Karen Shanley


“Handy” Tips

One of the ways I help myself miss Cait a little less is to text her. I was sharing outdoor survival tips from a TV show I was watching.

Helpful tips

Glad to see her sense of humor is still in tact.


Why I Don’t Need a Calendar

If I never looked at another calendar again, this is how I would always know that fall is arriving.

w-butternut-squash   w-grapes   w-pumpkin

The Mona Lisa of Dog Faces

Mona Lisa Wink

Herd mentality: ‘Sheepdog mystery’ solved at last. Really?!

sheepherdingParis (AFP) – There is the riddle of the Bermuda Triangle. The unresolved identity of Jack the Ripper. The enigma of how the Universe developed beyond a quark-gluon soup following the Big Bang. And then there is the Sheepdog Mystery. A puzzle that has niggled mathematical minds for years, the Mystery is this: how does a single dog get so many selfish sheep to move so efficiently in the same direction? The answer, revealed on Tuesday in a journal published by Britain’s prestigious Royal Society, is that sheepdogs cleverly follow a simple rule book.

Researchers fitted highly accurate GPS tracking devices into backpacks that were then placed on a trained Australian Kelpie sheepdog and on a flock of 46 female merino sheep in a five-hectare (12-acre) field. They then used the GPS data to build a computer model of what prompted the dog to move, and how it responded. Sheep cohesiveness is the big clue. The dog’s first rule is to bind the sheep together by weaving around side-to-side at their backs, and once this has been achieved, it drives the group forward.

Read the rest of the article here

Yes, the big mystery of sheep herding… All they had to do was ask any sheepherder. This was the first thing I learned when Kiera and I went for sheepherding training.

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

We’re in the countdown hours until Cait leaves for college. Trying to hold onto every moment.

Apparently, I haven’t been too subtle about it.  While stopping at our favorite ice cream place as part of our end-of-summer rite, I was yet again asking my daughter where she was off to next and when she would be returning home.

She looked at me with a wistful smile and said, “Mom, you’re never going to be able to store up enough to fill the void, no matter how much time we spend together…”

Somebody just shoot me now please.

Pet First Aid App

It’s been an interesting week. We’ve been fighting hard to bring Finn back from the brink of death and he’s finally out of the woods (more on that in another post), and Cait has been very chatty about the movie, Into the Storm.

So combine one very sick animal and a wacko weather movie, and you won’t be surprised that I went looking for an app like this.  It’s a great little app. If you decide to download it, take a moment to upload your pet’s records as soon as you get the app, so if they’re injured, you’ll have all their info on hand when you need it. This Red Cross app also provides instructions for pet CPR and will even find the nearest animal hospital.

Red Cross Pet First Aid (Android, iOS)

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Pet First Aid App


When Cait was little, it was always a challenge to find enough fun things to do at home. Since we didn’t live in a neighborhood, there were no ready friends running and playing from house to house. Nope, it was just me and Cait. And the animals.

I was always looking for ways to keep Cait happily occupied for stretches of time so I could get some work done. When I saw this at Home Depot the other day I had to smile because, back in the day, I would have scooped this up in a heartbeat!

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Outdoor bounce and slide

Want to Know What Online Info You’re Putting Out for the World to See?

Take this LollipopAs part of my work, I have to use social media for myself and for clients. That said, I HATE the massive loss of privacy that we pay in exchange for using these platforms. And, in general, I could not be more angry with the direction all online participation is headed with continuing to rob us of being able to choose what we share.

Because I’m  a geek and I probably know way too much about how easy it is to find out anything about anybody, I have all my privacy settings on everything cranked to the max. Yes, that means using private browsing, and clearing cache, search history, and cookies from my computer every night, etc., etc. Even with doing all that, I’m only moderately more protected than the average bear.

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So when something like this makes it easy to drive the point home, you can bet that Cait is “strongly encouraged” to watch. : )

Go ahead– click on the image. It will take you to the “Take this Lollipop“website.

If you’d like to read the context for the above link, here you go. ” What are you revealing online? Much more than you think .”

Please be as safe as you can be online–remember to regularly check your privacy settings.

Public service announcement over and out.


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