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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Connecting with Nature in Autumn

The autumn or the fall season is when the weather is ideal for spending time outdoors. There may be sunny days with the temperature in the mid 70's so you can enjoy your time outdoors connecting with nature without feeling hot or cold.
Stroll down a nature trail in Autumn, Watch for wildlife. This is a good way to connect with nature

Now is good time to make tentative plants for you and your family to take a road trip to a state park and spend the day outdoors. One of the things I like to do is go to the Audubon Nature Center, it is located in SW Missouri and its not a bad drive.

Here is a postcard I designed from the photographs I took last autumn when visiting the Audubon nature center at Wildcat Park.

We will leave early in the morning and get there in time for a picnic lunch. Then after lunch we can walk on the nature trails, stop to watch the birds and the wildlife and also enjoy the white water rapids on Shoal Creek.

We always cease a warm sunny day in autumn because winter comes too soon.  Do you connect with nature during the autumn season?

Learn more about the Audubon nature center in SW Missouri here.

Decorating with Zazzle Autumn Throw Pillows

Whenever I decorate my living areas such as my den, bedroom or living room I like to accent the room with autumn throw pillows and throws.   In the past, I would accent with plain orange, or chocolate colored pillows but found that I prefer autumn themed pillows that feature lovely scenery, leaves or trees.  These home accessories are more eye appealing and interesting.

Cozy Autumn Home Accessories by sgolis 

I do most of my shopping online as I am not the type of person that enjoys shopping at the mall.  The pillows that I decorated my space I found at  These throw pillows with the autumn maple leaves really caught my eye because orange is a good accent color with brown and it went well with the color flow in the room.   

Know that I stayed away from the pillows that were trendy and selected only classic style home accessories.  Anything traditional or classic can be used year after year.  

I have bought other pillows from Zazzle and found that the quality was excellent and the pillows soft to the touch and comfortable.  Good support for your head and neck while watching TV.  Even my husband likes the Zazzle pillows, he always grabs them when he lies on the sofa or the floor.

Here are a few autumn home decor pillows and sofa throws.  These home accessories are perfect for decorating your home for the autumn season.

Training Dog for Autumn Hiking Trails

Whenever the leaves on the trees change and the weather is warm and sunny I like to take to the nature trails with my husband and my boxer dog. I have been taking my boxer off trail since she was puppy and when I look back I recall a dog that was hyperactive and did not want to respond to commands. Yes she was a wild child and was clueless as to why I wanted her to be aware of the terrain.
Hiking on a mountain ridge in autumns:  Ozark Mountains 

Know that my boxer puppy learned a few things from my mature Border Collie.  When my boxer did not stop me from rough terrain I slipped on the gravel my border collie ran the opposite direction and safely held me steady with the leash. Then to my surprise my border collie barked and nipped at the puppy as if scolding her for not paying attention.
My mature trail dog helped me to train my boxer to guide me on the trails and this autumn I plan to take her off trail hiking with me. My boxer is a year old now and I think she will do very good, at least I hope so. I have been taking her on short hikes by my home and she is doing better but I will need to watch the trail closely as she is easily distracted.
Know that I took my boxer on the trail along Shoal Creek, just SW of Joplin, this one mile hike was cut short because of my boxer. We scaled the side of a steep hill and my dog pulled so hard on the leash that I nearly fell down. My boxer was distracted by turtle and did put me in harms way.
Boxers have a short attention span and thus not the best breed of dog for hiking. I would take my border collie on this Autumn hike but he is having issues with arthritis and hip displaysia. 
 Border Collies make the best dogs to hike off trail, they are alert and aware of their surroundings and they will never lead you into a dangerous area.

I will keep working with my boxer and I hope she is ready come September to go off trail hiking with me.  

Hiking with My Dogs in Autumn

Whenever I take to the hiking trails in autumn I always take my dogs. Both are large and will protect my husband and I if a situation would arise, plus the dogs enjoy themselves as it is good exercise and a fun activity to do during the autumn season.

Choosing a nature trail where dogs are welcome is something that I look for when planning our hiking trip. I always call the state park ahead of time to make sure my dogs are permitted. Know that there are hiking trails that permit dogs, but you must keep them on a leash. 
 Public trails are fun, but if I want to let my dogs stretch their legs and play ball I will take them on private property hike. Many of my friends have acres of land and as long as I ask and give them notice they sure do not mind me letting my dogs walk without a leash.

Getting my dogs ready for nature trail hike.

Whenever I take my dog to the park I will get him ready by fastening a hunting bell to my dogs collar. I buy these bells that look like small cowbells because they have a ring that carries. 
The bells are an inexpensive item that has huge benefits as it lets everyone know that a dog or people are on the trails, plus if your dog happens to get away from you the bell will let you know where they are.
I also get my dog ready for a hike in the woods by putting a tick collar on them. Ticks are really bad where I reside and the revolution topical treatment that I use is not effective in the woods. My friend has hunting dogs and told me that the tick collar is a must if you are going to be walking in the woods.
The tick collar that was recommended to me by my Veterinarian is Preventic by Virbac. Know that this collar is effective because  when the tick bites your dog, the tick will detach itself and will be killed immediately. 
Other than the bell and the tick preventative, I will get my dog ready by bringing along a thermos full of water and a folding collapsible travel food or water bowl. .

Autumn will soon be here and I am looking forward to hiking with my dogs along the banks of Shoal creek in SW Missouri and Arkansas and we may take a few camping trips with our dogs.  The nature trails when the leaves start to change colors will be a really fun activity. 
Do you take your dog on nature hikes?
Here is one of trails in is off trail but does look like an adventure.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Getting Ready for Halloween

Well there is no stopping my husband, he is in the Halloween frame of mind and has started to shop for decorations for the yard.  He said he has to buy when he sees the lawn decorations  because if he waits too long they will sell out.

Okay I know that the early bird gets the worm but really wish that the retailers would not put out the  Halloween decorations until August, I think it would be more fun to shop for everything that you need and then get busy with designing your outdoor decorations; layout and then set up at the end of summer.

So this week husband is organizing the garage, and will pull out the Halloween orange plastic storage bins with locking lids that he got at target.  Know that when it comes to Halloween decorations it is important to color code the storage containers that way you can find what you need faster than looking for marking pen on the outside of a cardboard box.

We will check to make sure that the decorations / yard props are in working order and make a list of what is needed for repair, set up of prop enhancements.  By starting in July for our Halloween celebration it gives us approximately 12 weeks to get everything staged in our front yard.

 Know that I do love decorating the house and outdoors for Halloween and that I do it for the kids.  I love to see their eyes twinkle and see them smile.

Are you thinking about Halloween?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains

Normally I do no think of autumn in July but husband mention that he would like to go to the smoky mountains this year to view the fall colors and I know that I will need to make travel arrangements if we expect to get a spot in a camp ground or a room at a hotel.

You really have to make your arrangements well in advance because everybody and their brother travels to the great  smoky mountains to view the autumn scenery.

Here are some landscape photographs of the autumn season.

There are many beautiful areas in the US to view the autumn leaves, some people travel to New England, others to Vermont or North Carolina. Another one of my favorite destinations is hidden away in Arkansas, the city of Eureka Springs is spectacular during the fall season and many people travel to this city in the mountains to capture the beautiful scenery with their cameras.

Know that autumn is my favorite season and I am am really looking forward to our road trip this year to the great smoky mountains.  Here is a video that will show you how gorgeous autumn is.