And so we’ve come to the end of June

Well we are gearing up around here for the 4th of July weekend. By which I mean we may go to our neighborhood parade, the pool and grill some hotdogs. Maybe light some sparklers if we’re feeling especially festive.

And we’ve reached the point in the summer where there just isn’t much going on around here. Caroline decided to do a sports camp in the afternoons this week and so I dropped her off yesterday and decided to run all the errands I’ve had on my list that I know she has no interest in doing with me because, frankly, I have no interest in doing them either but I don’t have a choice because I am a grown up.

I ran to the Tax Office to renew my vehicle registration but left when I realized I was the 115th person in line. That’s not even an exaggeration. And the line was moving at a glacial pace. Check, please. I decided to mail in my registration even though it’s already expired. I’ll take my chances with getting a ticket rather than growing old and dying in a line at the Tax Office.

Then I ran by HEB, Target, the dry cleaners and then went to an auto repair shop to get four burned out lights on my car fixed. I just have to tell you I couldn’t have been more proud of my productivity if I’d performed open heart surgery on someone.

And while I was waiting in the auto repair shop, I noticed they had one lone picture hanging on the wall. It perplexed me.


Who is this bearded man and why is he a prominent display in an auto repair shop? I racked my brain. Is it God? Gandalf? Dumbledore? Vincent Van Gogh? Some patron saint of auto repair?

So I posted it on Instagram and shared my dilemma. And my friend Sally Lloyd Jones was the first to say it was Leonardo Da Vinci.


I knew he looked familiar.

And also like Gandalf, Dumbledore and maybe Vincent Van Gogh but I can’t say for sure because I can’t see his ears. Or lack thereof.

Anyway, I feel good about patronizing what is obviously a sophisticated auto repair shop to get my brake lights fixed.

After that it was time to pick up Caroline from camp and we spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out before we went to a meeting to discuss this Sunday’s Community Worship Service.

As for tomorrow, I’m taking Piper and Mabel to the vet for their annual vaccinations. Leonardo Da Vinci and God, be near.


On a book related note, Nobody’s Cuter Than You is now just TEN DOLLARS (and some change) here on Amazon and here on Barnes and Noble online.

I’m no mathematician, but I think that’s the lowest it’s been since it came out. And I happen to have some book plates left. So if you order three or more copies to give to friends, I’d love to send you some signed book plates as a thank you. Just email me at with proof of purchase, how you’d like them signed, and a mailing address and I’ll get them in the mail. Offer lasts until I run out!

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Fashion Friday: Edition how is it almost July?

I meant to mention this all week and kept forgetting. And the truth is I want to write a whole post at some point about our Community Worship Service and how it’s all going.

But in the meantime, I just thought I’d share that I’ll be speaking for the first time there this Sunday, June 28th.


We meet from 9:30 – 10:30 at Turner Production Studios at 8126 Broadway in San Antonio. It’s a casual, laid back family service and we would love for you to join us if you’re in the area.

Now for the cute things I’ve seen this week in between my dogs getting thrown out of camp.

1. sabado dress


I’m all about the cool, casual dress this summer and this one appears to be really cute. It’s on sale at Anthropologie for $79.95.

***Alert! Anthropologie is now offering an extra 20% off all sale items with code SALEAWAY at checkout!

2. fluttered flores blouse


How pretty is this top? I love all the feminine details and it’s on sale for $59.95.

3. grant park top


Love the hot pink color of this, but it also comes in a bright yellow and a coral.

4. drawstring waist tiered linen skirt


I’ve always loved these linen skirts because they are super easy to throw on with a t-shirt or a tank. They are currently on sale for $29.40 at Nordstrom and come in a ton of colors.

5. bed and boardwalk dress


See? Summer of the dress.

6. all’s belle that ends well dress


And yet another dress. This one might be my favorite.

7. onzie low rise capris


These Onzie workout capris are super soft, comfortable and on sale for $37.52.

8. old navy striped sleeveless dress


Perfect dress for July 4th. You could even just wear it as a coverup.

9. tea on the terrace floral dress


Love the pretty green color of this.

10. wellspring popover tunic shirt


I’m always on the lookout for a great, basic white shirt. This one totally fits all my white shirt qualifications and it’s an extra 30% off with code EXTRASALE at checkout along with everything else on sale at Madewell right now.

That’s it for today.

Have a great Friday.

The wayward campers

So remember about six weeks ago when Piper got spayed and the vet called me to let me know she was a non-compliant patient and I should probably come pick her up earlier than planned? And so I did and just chalked up Piper’s nervousness to the fact that she’d basically had what was a surprise hysterectomy and wouldn’t we all be a little out of sorts if someone surprised us that way? As it is, we have our whole lives to prepare for menopause and it doesn’t seem to make that process go any smoother from what I can gather.

And Piper had never been at the vet without her sister or been for an overnight stay other than when we boarded her and Mabel last summer, whereas Mabel has had various stays at the vet due to her penchant for chasing down a pack of javelinas and overestimating her size.

But it did begin to occur to me that we might need a better option for boarding the sisters now that they are full grown dogs and not puppies like they were last summer. And so I’ve spent the last month or so doing some research to see what options might be available. Several people, including our vet, recommended a certain doggy daycare/boarding facility and so I scheduled us for a trial visit.

Our interview/orientation was yesterday morning and I had HIGH hopes about how well the girls would act. A new dog park just opened in our neighborhood about two weeks ago and I have been pleasantly surprised at how well they have played and interacted with their fellow canines each time we’ve visited and so I – FOOLISHLY – thought this would translate into them being awarded STAR CAMPER at the doggy camp.

I will tell you that things went awry from the very beginning when Caroline and I had one heck of a time wrangling them out of the back of my car and into camp. Piper somehow wrapped her leash around my legs and I fell. On the concrete. Fell. As in I skinned my knees, my hand and an elbow. It was at this point that I began praying the camp counselors couldn’t see what was proving to be a very inauspicious beginning to Piper and Mabel’s camp experience.

We eventually got the girls through the door and into the check in area. They checked all our paperwork, asked a few questions which I answered very optimistically, and then told us they would take it from here and the girls were welcome to stay all day. “No news is good news!”, chirped the camp counselor as I limped toward the exit, nursing both my skinned knee and my pride. “But we’ll call if there’s any problem!”, she added.

Caroline and I drove back home, I poured myself a cup of coffee and not even ten minutes later my phone rang. It was the camp. “Um. Mrs. Shankle, Piper and Mabel are not really responding well to the camp environment. They are very stressed out and we haven’t even been able to work with them to the point of introducing them to their fellow campers.”

I asked, “So should I come get them? Do we give it more time? I’m happy to do what you think is best.”

She replied, “I think it’s best if you come get them now.”

And so that’s how my girls got expelled from camp.

I made the drive back to the camp to pick them up and I swear Mabel was smiling at me as she trotted into the check out area. Mabel and Piper 1, Camp Counselor 0.

They didn’t appear to be traumatized at all, although by the time I got them back home they did exhibit some signs of shame. Piper kept giving me the side eye.


And Mabel curled up in her bed and wouldn’t even look at me.


Of course later I discovered she’d been busying writing some haikus in her journal.

Camp could not be worse
I have no need to make friends
Didn’t even get s’mores

Billed as summer fun
Lying liars telling lies
Pack my bags, I’m out

But in a sign that this camp experience brought out her most creative side, Mabel also changed the lyrics to the classic Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah and composed her own version.

Hello muddah, hello faddah
Here I am at Camp Bow Wowdah
Camp is very, very draining
And I would rather be in my own backyard even if it’s raining

I went hiking with a terrier
Wished to bite him in the derriere
You remember I hate shepherds
There’s one here that thinks he’s faster than a spotted leopard

All the counselors smell like biscuits
And the kitchen has no triscuits
And the head coach has a shitzu
So he thinks we should all just do what he do

Take me home, oh muddah, faddah
Take me home I hate Bow Wowdah
Don’t leave me here with just my sister
I even miss Scout and he’s not my favorite mister

Take me home, I promise I will not make noise
Or mess the house with all my toys
Oh please you hold the power
And I managed to get kicked out within an hour

And I appreciate her ability to write some catchy lyrics, but it still doesn’t solve the problem of where they can stay this summer when we go on vacation.

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