Category Archives: doggy “tails”

season for change


Four score and five years ago…

Once upon a time there was…

Did I ever tell you about the time…


Hmmm?   How does one just launch into the announcement that she is closing up her blog?

Say…that wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.   Yes, yes.  It is true.  Stepping My Way to Bliss will be closing at the end of August.  There are many, many reasons for it but here are just a couple:

1.  If you have ever read my About page, you know how and why this all got started.  Some of those reasons now seem invalid.  For example, Bliss House doesn’t seem new to me anymore.  It fits and feels like an old, comfortable shoe.  It is my home  not just my new house.  Maybe we will be here for another 10, 20 years, maybe not.  In any case, I don’t feel like I am “arriving” any longer.

2.  The “Stepping” part of my blog title has come full circle.  Once Belle Fille got married in May, I felt like there was closure to being a step-parent.  I mean, yes, of course I am still (and always will be) a Belle Mere. But when Belle Fille said “I do”, she also became her own woman.  She now belongs with another.  Our parental responsibilities have shifted from active participants to casual by-standers.

3.  Now that I am working more, my time is more valuable.  Valuable enough that I am not sure I want to spend as much of it in front of my computer.  There are many other things I want to have time for so I am always seeking balance.

With those reasons (and others), I almost decided to quit blogging altogether.  When chere Fiona ended her blog last March, my sadness was mingled with jealousy.  I started asking myself why I continued to blog.  There really isn’t a theme (or point?) to my blog.  I am not a “Fashion Blogger” or a “Minimalist Blogger” or a “Foodie Blogger Extraordinaire”.  I am just kind of an “all over the place blogger” which was making posting more and more challenging.  I don’t know why I feel I must pigeon-hole myself but I guess I want to.  When a theme is involved, it keeps me centered and focused. I decided that if I was going to continue blogging, I was going to have to simplify my methods.

I began thinking about what makes me tick.  What  things /topics do I really love?  Of course there are many.  But I kept coming around to three basic things (um, these would be the things on the shallow end of my deep thinking pool–just clarifying): I love all things vintage; I love all things French; and I love all things chic.  Sound familiar?  VintageFrenchChic is the name of my Etsy store…definitely a pattern.  So I decided, if I was to continue blogging, I needed to streamline a bit.  Voila! A new blog…Vintage French Chic.

Some of you have already found my new blog.  Others have noticed my username change.  This will be a new format for me to continue writing (if you can call it that), experimenting, and sharing with the masses  the few who do read my blog.  I have designed the blog with simplicity in mind.  I will only have three categories to post in (Vintage, French, Chic) so hopefully this will keep me centered…and creative.  Another big change…I will no longer be Mistress Bliss.  Well, OK, I will be if you want me to be but my anonymous days are over–to a degree.  The new blog will definitely be a little more personal in feel and content.

So I will see out the end of August on Stepping My Way to Bliss with a couple more posts, including one last Visible Monday and the photo challenge.  If you would like to take a peek over at Vintage French Chic, I would love to have you for a visit.

Thank you for reading Stepping My Way to Bliss.   It has been a very enjoyable way to fly.  I am amazed by all the great people I have “met” through this journey.

Au revoir.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

UPDATE:  Changed my mind…this is the last post for Stepping My Way to Bliss.  Makes sense, don’t you think?


Filed under 1948 series, awards wall, backyard excursions, beauty notes, book reviews, confessions, creative endeavors, doggy "tails", family matters, fashion cents, french twist, giveaway information, home sweet home, manners and etiquette, minimizing, out and about, traveling, Uncategorized, vintage finds, visible monday, weekly photo challenge

weekly photo challenge ~~ friendship

Man’s best friend.

My best friend.

My Rock (efeller).

For the record, I do have other “friendships”…with actual people.  I am not a freakish “dog lady” even though I take pictures of Rockefeller often  all the time.  But I really didn’t understand that phrase– about a dog being man’s best friend– until I got one.  It’s amazing.  And I love it.

Enjoy your weekend!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under creative endeavors, doggy "tails", weekly photo challenge

jungle dog

I was out planting flowers today and had Rockefeller on the tie out.  To say he’s not an outside dog is an understatement.  I actually missed the best photo op.  I couldn’t find him for a minute until I saw him hiding in the dirt (why would he lie his white belly on the cool, clean grass?) , completely concealed by a hostas.  I ran inside to get the camera and of course he moved on me…but he still looked like a little dog lost in the jungle.



Hear me ROAR!


Yes.  I am that tough.


Hope you are enjoying your  weekend too!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under doggy "tails", Uncategorized

weekly photo challenge ~~ sun


“My future’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades…”

Let’s bring on the sun.  These photos are all from my last trip to Tennessee to visit the folks.  One never knows how the sun will present itself on any given day while in the mountains.  First we might have a fog diffused sun:

And, in the next few hours, a gorgeous sunset against the silhouetted Smokies:

Which in turn, paints little white dogs with a hue of pink:

Enjoy the weekend, enjoy the sun.  Watch a sunrise or sunset over the next couple of days while you count your blessings.

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under creative endeavors, doggy "tails", weekly photo challenge

weekly photo challenge ~~ two subjects

This week’s theme is “two subjects”.  This picture shows Master Bliss trying to engage Rockefeller into some play time.  I love the light and shadows that were being cast through the window at that moment.  Rockefeller timidly held back because of the light on the floor.  This was taken almost a year ago.  It reminds me of how much Rockefeller’s personality has changed since then.  I am so happy we gave an abused dog a second chance.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under creative endeavors, doggy "tails", Uncategorized, weekly photo challenge

winter beach walk (a backyard excursion)

Well, I finally did it.  I finally seized the moment and took my winter beach walk at sunset.  I have wanted to do this for weeks now but we haven’t had the snow to really make it worth.  Granted, the beach can be beautiful in any type of weather but I just wanted to be there during some snow.  Especially at sunset.  So, this past Sunday, Master Bliss was gone and Rockefeller and I needed to entertain ourselves.  The sun was out and there was the distinct promise of a glorious sunset.

The route to the beach meandered through the county forest:

I felt like I was in a fairy land:

Once I parked the car, I realized that Rockefeller had caught my enthusiasm.  I could barely keep up with him as he started plowing recklessly forward and down the snow and ice-covered steps to the beach.  Falling was not part of my plan…especially being somewhere there was a good chance I wouldn’t be found for a while should I be knocked unconscious.  Once we hit the bottom step behold the beauty that greeted us:

Just gorgeous and our timing, perfect.  Rockefeller was crazed.  Silly me to think we were going to walk the beach.  No.  We ran the beach.  First up one way and then back down the other.

  It was freezing but it felt good.  It might have felt better if I had thought to wear a hat (wind chill coming off the freezing water is not a good thing).  And of course I was trying to stop and take pictures of the progressing sunset:

This was very hard to do with a lunatic dog and biting wind.  I had pain shooting up my left hand and arm because they got so cold while trying to take pictures.   But I persevered and was determined to see the entire sunset.  Even Rockefeller paused for a moment:

A little bit lower:

Poof!  She’s gone:

The weather is still being fickle.  Yesterday it warmed up enough to melt off much of the snow we got over the weekend.  Now tonight, we are under another winter advisory.  I would really like for us to have a lasting snow/cold spell because I want to get pictures of frozen waves–I don’t think that is going to happen this year.

Driving home, I stole one last shot:

I love winter’s soft, pastel palette.  The above picture reminds me of some of Monet’s winter paintings.

Winter Sun, Lavacourt - Oscar-Claude Monet

(via internet)


What is your favorite wintertime walk?

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under backyard excursions, creative endeavors, doggy "tails", Uncategorized

who’s loving the snow?


Rockefeller is.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend as much as he is.

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under doggy "tails"

weekly photo challenge ~~ launch


The only thing that came to my mind for a “launch” picture was Rockefeller (that and NASA wouldn’t return my calls).  We have developed a certain morning ritual.  After I let him out of his kennel, I hurry into the family room and sit down on the sofa.  If unchecked, as soon as I do this, he comes 100mph from the dining room and in a flying leap, joins me for his morning “love fest”– ears scratched, belly rubbed, hugs, etc.  I like to have fun with this routine.  Because we are trying to train him to only be on the furniture when invited, sometimes while he is gunning for the “launch”, I put my hand up for “STOP”.  All fours come to a screeching halt on the wood floor and he looks at me like I have just taken away his raison d’etre.  As soon as the hand goes down, I say OK, he revs up again and in a flash! he’s cuddling next to me.  I decided for this challenge to try to capture his launch.  Very hard to do with my camera…not quite fast enough.  Usually I got this:

yes, that's his nose in the upper left corner...his face in mine, ready for attention.

But finally I was able to get this blur of fury:

"watch out!!! and just try to stop me..."

Aren’t pets the greatest?



Filed under creative endeavors, doggy "tails", weekly photo challenge

weekly photo challenge ~~ winter

Timely challenge.  We just got back from Tennessee last night…clear roads, great traveling day.  And now tonight, winter’s fury hath unleashed.  Not complaining.  December was extremely mild in these here parts.  Now that the snow est arrive (you insert correct french accent marks), I expect it is here to stay.

So watch out little birds and seek ye cover:

And trees, stand strong under icy coats and snowy fluff:

Little dogs, find thee your friends:

not staged...he really had taken snoopy over to his favorite "hot spot" and then laid down next to it.

And cozy up for the long winter:

Happy Monday!  Stay warm.


P.S.  No idea if I used my Old English correctly so just roll with it.

P.P.S.  Um, question:  Do “fixed” dogs still try to “hump” things…like stuffed Snoopys?  When I was scheduling this for press, I heard an odd sound coming from my dog.  Oh the horror of what my eyes beheld!  Poor Snoopy.  Completely changes the meaning of the above photos.  Not so cute anymore.  He’s a deviant and he had a plan all along.


Filed under creative endeavors, doggy "tails", weekly photo challenge

a year ago today…


(taken this morning)

Can it be a year already? One full year has passed since little Rockefeller walked his scared, little, shaking body through our door. I remember feeling a little scared myself. Deciding to rescue a dog was really just an idea one day and a reality a couple of days later.I hardly had time to prepare– mentally, emotionally or materially. Sometimes the best decisions are the rash, not well thought out, go with your gut ones (not a rule I live by).

First, I must thank Fiona for her big heart and selflessness.  She adopted her beloved Atlas last year in November.� Her posts about him and the experience of adopting are really what got me thinking about doing the same thing.  Second, I have to thank my cousin/BFF for having decided to get a Havanese dog a few years ago. She had shared so much with me about what a fun and loving dog Ava was that checking into that breed was paramount for me.  Finding a Havanese rescue dog, relatively close by, I thought would be next to impossible.  I was open to other breeds/mixes but my heart was set on a Havanese.

 Rockefeller (or Cider, as he was named) was the third dog I called about.  I found him through  Earlier I had found another small dog needing a home through a local pound.  But by the time I called he had been adopted.  He was not a Havanese but some little poodley mix.  I was happy he got adopted so quickly but rather surprised by how fast one had to act on adopting cute little dogs.

Rockefeller’s personality has definitely changed in this past year.  It is still changing.  He is very cuddly and affectionate with Master Bliss and me but very shy of strangers.  He will take treats from someone but won’t let most people pet him.  My mom and another good friend are the only ones who have received that privilege over the last year.  But I think this will entirely change with time.  I hope so.

When we first got him he would spend a lot of time on our window seat either looking forlornly outside or barking at the squirrels.  Now he is hardly ever up there  preferring to interact with us or his favorite toy of all time–his bed.  I don’t mean he is lying around on it all day either (he does his share of that).  Rather it is his toy.  First thing in the mornings, as soon as he comes inside from going potty, as I unleash him I say, “Go Rocky!”.  Full throttle, he takes off, beelines to his kennel, grabs his bed and the fun begins.  He thrashes it around.  We play fetch with it.  If we are playing hide and seek/chase, he thinks he’s “SAFE!” if he gets on that bed.  He knows and loves that thing.  I kept thinking the bed fixation would be a passing thing so I kept buying other toys.  I am saving my money now because nothing beats his bed.  And he loves going for rides in the car…it used to terrify him.  Now he is the best traveling companion.

To celebrate our one year anniversary I went out and bought some new things and his favorite treats; a new red collar, new red leash, Get Naked treats, a Bully stick and a new tag.  I know.  He’s spoiled.

Is it just me or does this look like it’s from the Hollywood Walk of Fame?  Fitting, I suppose.

Take a peek at this post and this one to see what he looked like a year ago.  And now we will see a “day in the life” of Rockefeller (the following were all taken the same day, Wednesday):

After going outside this is what we do…get the bed.

And we show it who is Boss.

When we return from our walk on a cold day, this is the surest, fastest way to warm up.

(Although he looks cute, he is pretty grubby and doesn’t know today is Grooming for the Stars day).  Now he knows.

Going home in the car is both a relief and fun.  “Don’t hate me because I am handsome”.

And a bit goofy.

Stressful time at the groomer’s can only lead to one activity.

But naps aren’t fully complete without “the bed” (I had just washed it and put it on the floor, all fresh and warm.  He got off the other bed, dragged it over and put it over his head).

All rested and time to play. “Mom!� Get off your butt and play with me!! “

Happiness is just being “me”.

And happiness for us is having him here.

My advice…go adopt a pet!

Don’t forget my amazing giveaway!  Click here to enter.


Filed under doggy "tails", family matters, home sweet home, Uncategorized