Saturday, June 13, 2015

My dog Bacchus
This big softie has a smile that'll melt your heart! 
I have an 11 year old yellow lab named Bacchus

Yes, we named him for the God of Wine in Roman mythology. However, if you know anything about Roman mythology, you know that Bacchus was pretty much a party boy and a wild child. This dog is the complete opposite of his mythological namesake.

He pretty much sleeps all day. He's like a canine Koala!

Bacchus doesn't like to lick people's faces. Mom and dad call him a 'gentleman,' because he basically keeps to himself and doesn't do anything to upset anyone. When he was younger, he used to sit up straight if you came up to him while he was laying down. But anymore, he'll just roll over for a belly rub every time you see him.

Although Bacchus won't lick anyone's face, he always licks mine when I'm petting him, because he somehow senses that I like it.

One time, Bacchus kept nipping at my hands, and I had no clue what to do

I was a little girl, and Bacchus was still a puppy. It had snowed outside and I went out to go sledding. It was Bacchus' first winter, and he loved to play in the snow. He was jumping all over the place and running as fast as his stubby little legs could carry him. He chased me all the way down the sledding hill and followed me back up it.

There was just one problem: Every time I'd get to the bottom of the hill, Bacchus would start running back and forth in front of me, and nipping at my hands! He nearly destroyed my gloves doing it. For some reason, he was very intent on putting his little mouth on my hands and running all over the place.

Not going to lie, it hurt a little bit. He was doing it so much every time I was at the bottom of the hill, that I had to go inside. He just wouldn't stop nipping my hands! I ran inside, got all my snow gear off, and told my dad, "Hey, we need to do something about Bacchus biting my hands! He wouldn't stop nipping at me while I was sledding."

My dad just started laughing. I mean, looking back on it now, it is pretty funny, but at the time, I was confused. My dad proceeded to tell me why Bacchus had been so intent on biting my gloves off.

You see, my house is very cold in the winter, and the best way to heat it is by wood stove. So my dad goes out every winter and cuts wood about once a week to burn in the stove. He always takes Bacchus and Maddie with him. Well, when he goes woodcutting, he puts his work gloves on.

When Dad comes out in the Garage, he slips his gloves on, and then he roughhouses with the dogs a little bit. They love that playtime with Dad. Then, after he puts on his gloves, and lowers the tailgate on the old truck, the dogs go on an awesome adventure with Dad to the woods to run and play and find small animals to chase while Dad chops wood for the stove.

So, when Bacchus saw my gloves, he thought it was time to wrestle, and play, and go on an adventure. He kept nipping at me because he wanted me to realize, "Hey! You have those fun paw things on that mean its time to play! So why aren't you playing with me!?"

After hearing that, I couldn't help but laugh too.

Keep it Classy, Keep it Country,
Gretta Patrick <3

Have any funny dog stories you'd like to share with me? Comment below!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

If you're bored, does that mean you're boring?

It's a well known saying, only boring people get bored;postID=4243059826646961107;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=14;src=postname

So does that mean, on those days where nobody is around, you don't have any work to do, and nothing is on TV. And you're bored. Then that thought crept into your mind, "I'm bored. Does this mean I'm boring?"

Well, I've been thinking, and the answer is no.

There's a reason behind your boredom

It could be that you've literally never had nothing to do. If you're a generally busy person, you're probably used to having zero down time. If you're someone who has every day packed from dawn till dusk, then having free time is just... weird.

This free time that you're not used to is what's making you bored. This doesn't make you a boring person. On the contrary, you're quite the opposite of boring.

Most of the time, you're out there making great things happen in the world. Whether you're a blogger, a journalist, a chef, a school secretary, a nurse, or an economist; most of the time your life involves a lot of interesting things. Some free time - that is so uncharacteristic in your daily schedule - does not make you a boring person. It just means you're bored. Simple as that.

Your actions define you. Your boredom doesn't

What you do with most of your time is what makes you a unique person. What you do with the time you are bored makes you.... in need of something to do. Just because you can't come up with something to do when you normally would be doing a million other things doesn't mean you're boring.

You're not boring. Unless you're Star Wars Episodes I-III movies, then you're not boring. Promise!

Keep it Classy. Keep it Country,
Gretta Patrick <3

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

5 Great summer reads
Great books to curl up with on a hot day under a shady tree. 
With summer comes more time to be in the sun, and the days are longer. During those extra daylight hours, one thing I particularly enjoy is reading a good book on my patio while drinking a huge mason jar of iced tea. 

Book 1: The Mermaid's Mirror

This book by L.K. Madigan tells the story of a young girl and her struggle as she finds out that she's half mermaid. If you're going anywhere near a beach this summer, I highly recommend this book. 

Book 2: Dream Lake

This book is about a strange ghost who changes the life of the man who buys the house he inhabits. He and the ghost end up helping each other to a better life, or afterlife. Oh, and there's a pretty nice love story in this one. 

Book 3: P.S. I Love You

This book, I will warn you, is very different from the movie adaptation, but the book is just as good if not better! All the heartache and the entire love story is still there, and it's a great light read. Just don't expect Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank's rendition to come to mind while reading. Okay, maybe only Gerard Butler will come to mind. Not going to complain about that! 

Book 4: Wuthering Heights
Ahh Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte's heartbreaking love story of the rough and wild Heathcliff and the social climbing Cathy. This book will cost you a few tears, but it's a classic that will stay in your heart forever! And it's the perfect book for a rainy, stormy day. 

Book 5: A Midsummer Night's Dream

I just had to put this one in here, because I love me some Shakespeare! This book is one of the comedies, so it won't break your heart like Romeo and Juliet would, but it's got all the iambic pentameter and literary groundbreaking themes of any other Shakespeare. This one can be read in an afternoon, and there's even a pretty decent movie adaptation with Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer and Stanley Tucci.

Keep it Classy. Keep it Country,
Gretta Patrick <3

What's your favorite summer book? 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Look like a million with little effort

How I look like I tried when I actually got up 10 minutes ago

** Disclaimer: I'm not endorsed by Batiste Dry Shampoo. I'm being 100% objectively honest about this product.
How to go from bed to fabulous in only 10 minutes!
Also, does your dad bring you coffee in bed? No? I guess that means mine's the best! 

First thing you do: get dressed in something that's comfy and cute. Heaven Bless yoga pants!

Next, you do this fun little twisty thing with your hair. Don't forget the dry shampoo. Today I'm using my favorite brand: Batiste. That stuff sucks up all oil like it's its job!
Don't forget to use dry shampoo on days you don't wash!
The finished product

Finally: Face. You just swipe on some tinted moisturizer, some eyeliner on your upper lids, and some mascara and voila! you look like you actually tried.

Finishing touches: adding a cute scarf can make anyone look put together. And you accomplished this look in only 10 minutes!

On that same note: Scarves are the most awesome accessory ever. Just look at these great outfits made so much better by adding a scarf!

P.S. Heaven bless maxi skirts also. They're the sweatpants of skirts!

Keep it Classy. Keep it Country,
Gretta Patrick <3

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What ACTUALLY happens when you try to make a 1-hour skirt

One hour skirt actually takes more like three
I made skirt C. Although easy, it does take more than 1 hour as the package claims

When you go into a craft store, and you see those patterns that say, "1-hour skirt," or, "It's so easy!" you think, hmm, I have an hour, I can totally make a skirt in that amount of time! But by the time you get everything cut out, ironed, the instructions read, and you start to sew, an hour has already gone by.

I suppose it could take an hour for some people, but I'm a perfectionist. And the adorable skirt I made actually took more like three hours. Still impressive, but there are some things I like to do that take a little more time than just throwing a skirt together in an hour.

  1. I iron the paper patterns. You read that right. I feel kind of like the butler who irons the newspapers on Downton Abbey. But This allows them to lay perfectly flat on the cutting table. 
  2. I set up a big ironing table. I do this by laying a towel on a fold out picnic table. This lets you iron lots more surface area than a traditional ironing board. 
  3. I read the entire instructions and make sense of them before I start. 
  4. I'm a huge proponent of being extremely careful when you cut out patterns. That means, you double check them to make sure they're facing the right way, you memorize where the notches are so you don't miss cutting one, and you check the grain arrows to make sure they're all facing the same direction. 
  5. I sew very slowly. Fast sewing is okay if you're a seasoned seamstress, but my theory is slow and steady wins the race, because if you sew slowly, your seams are straighter, and the seam ripper doesn't get as much use. 
  6. I iron everything. Even if the instructions don't tell me to iron a seam, I iron a seam. 
  7. I fit it to myself. I'll take a couple of minutes while constructing something to make sure it fits. If it doesn't, I'll take in the sides or something. This adds a bit of time. 
But if you take the time to do the above steps, the results are worth the extra work!
And midi skirts are really in right now!

Keep it Classy. Keep it Country,
Gretta Patrick <3

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to curl your hair with a flatiron

A lot of women get confused at how to curl their hair at all!

...Let alone with a flatiron. It may sound like an oxymoron, but I promise, you can curl your hair with a flatiron. In fact, it's super easy!

It's one of the most simple methods of curling one's hair and it's a darn shame that more women can't do this. So I put together a short tutorial on how to do this. Just look at the before and afters!

 Before: stick straight and poofy

After: beautifully curled

Watch the tutorial and see for yourself 

It really is easy. I hardly ever use a curling iron anymore. 

Quick Tips

If you have heavy hair, like I do, don't use any hair products, as product will just weigh your hair down. 

Snowballing from the last tip, only use a little bit of hairspray, and make use of the spray & shake method shown in the video. 

Do your hair in layers, and keep the already curled hair separate from the hair that has yet to be curled. Like so: 

Keep it Classy. Keep it Country! 
Gretta Patrick <3

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My Dog Maddie
Hello. My name is Maddie. May I lick your face? 
I have a nine-year-old chocolate lab named Madeline, or Maddie. 

Or Mad-dog, or Madd-Maddie, or Mad Dog 2020, or whatever else you may call her. She's a cutie, she's a weirdo, but she's pretty much the greatest!

Maddie should have been named Shadow, because she's always following everyone around. She follows my dad out to the barn to work on cars. She follows him to the garden. She follows me on my runs. She follows mom around when she's watering the plants, and she even drinks straight from the hose when mom waters plants. She's like a little, brown, dog-shaped shadow.

She has to lick any exposed skin. Heck, she'll even lick your knee through the holes in your jeans. I have no idea why she does that, but she does. If I sit on the ground, or do yoga in the back yard, she puts her face in my face, and licks it. In fact, in that picture, she was coming up to me to lick my face.

Maddie's Story

One time, Maddie hid behind the barn for a whole day.

My dad owns a vineyard, see more on that here. And every year, we have trouble with birds in the vineyard. We've tried all kinds of things to get the birds to stay out of the vineyard and stop eating the grapes: We've hung pie tins from the vines so the noise and flashes scare them away, we've  even hung old CDs from the vines.

The craziest thing we've tried, is my dad walking out into the vineyard at 5:00 a.m. and shooting a 12 gauge shotgun in the air to scare the birds away. Effective: in both scaring away birds and waking everyone in the house up.

Our older dog, Bacchus, a yellow lab, loves when Dad shoots the gun. That means that he has something to retrieve. On the off chance dad actually hits one, Bacchus runs out into the vineyard, nose down, looking for something to retrieve. Most of the time, to no avail.

Maddie isn't quite so courageous as Bacchus. The first time the bird situation was so bad that Dad had to pull out the shotgun, Maddie followed Dad and Bacchus into the vineyard like the little shadow she is, and as it turns out, did not like what she heard.

As soon as the gun went off, Bacchus ran after the hypothetical bird that would never fall to the ground. Maddie, on the other hand, ran straight for the hills. She did not like the sound of the gun one bit. Strange because labradors are supposed to be good hunting dogs.

Dad didn't immediately notice that Maddie was gone. In fact, I got home from school that day and we still couldn't find Maddie. Nobody knew where she went! We went out and called her name over and over but nothing. We had begun to worry that Maddie had gone really far away. We were worried.

Before my parents started calling the neighbors, I decided to walk every inch of the 17 acres of our property looking for Maddie. I walked all over the back yard, behind the tree line, and I came up on our old, fallen down barn. I called out, "Maddieeeee," and there was the little brown dog. Ears stuck straight up, bounding around the side of the rubble. She ran, full force, (and Maddie can run fast) straight to me and was so happy to see me! She had been hiding in the barn wreckage the whole day. It was just before dark when I found her, and she'd been there since 5:00 a.m.

Nowadays, she doesn't get scared quite that much by the sound of the gun, but she does get really shaky every time the gun goes off. It takes a bit of hugging and some belly rubs, but she'll be back following everyone around quite quickly.