Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-bye 2012

I have no complaints about 2012, it was a good year.  We spent the first three months in FL where the temps were nice and warm and the skies were clear and blue, perfect beach weather.  Bill got thin, I got tan.  
Corkscrew Swamp State Park boardwalk
We spent a week at camp in August, where it rained almost every day, although there were 21 sunny days that month.  Bill gave me the nickname Miss Stomps-a-lot.  Haha, very funny.
Rain, rain go away!
Even so, it was a week at camp which means, I'm not working.

In September, we went to Bar Harbor and had the best week ever.  It actually didn't rain the entire time, which is very unusual.
Frenchman's Bay
We fostered lots of puppies for the shelter, some better than others but all cute and fun.

Other than falling down a couple of stairs in the garage and severely spraining my ankle, Bill and I remained healthy.
We rode our bikes several times this summer, mostly on the Eastern Trail.
Scarborough Marsh on the Eastern Trail
I had my first ever root canal.  I must admit, it wasn't a bad experience but I won't be buying a new Apple laptop any time soon ;o(

Titan turned 3.  We took him to Nose Work classes and I started taking him to Behavior Adjustment Training to help deal with his dog reactivity.  We started making his food when we returned from Florida using a recipe from Dan and Wendy.

As I sit here reminiscing about 2012, I can't think of anything negative about the past year.  I guess if nothing comes to mind, there wasn't anything.  

What about New Year's Resolutions?  I don't make resolutions any more; however, if I did I would resolve to take better care of healthier food, get more exercise, loose some weight.  I'm not getting any younger...

Happy New Year...Hello 2013
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why We Go to Florida...

"our" swing overlooking the marina at Fishermen's Village
Fresh fruit, oranges right off the tree.
Palm trees and blue skies
Spring training

Walks along the harbor
Happy feet

Happy face
Along with this...
and this...
and this...
Stay tuned for this year's Florida adventures.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Heaviest Christmas Tree Ornament, EVA!

My son-in-law, Dan has decided that all of the ornaments I have given my daughter, Wendy over the years and some of his are just too darn heavy.  He finds it very stressful to place them on the tree because they weigh the branches down and it's hard to find just the right spot, so he makes Wendy hang them.  In his quest to make a point, he made me this very special ornament.
It's literally a ROCK, a very nice rock, which he drilled a hole through for the hanger and commemorated it with the year it was presented.   Too funny, hahaha. I think he likes me ;o)

Thank you Dan.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All...

Ahhhhhh, it's finally here.  It doesn't really matter if you're "ready", Christmas comes anyway.  

A very brief recap of the day...

Bill and I quietly opened our gifts after breakfast.  Titan and I went for a walk in the falling snow.  I tried really hard to enjoy the moment...walking quietly with the dog in the softly falling snow on Christmas morning.  It was nice but it's still snow ;o(  

Bill prepared a yummy lasagna and garlic toast (I failed to get a photo) Wendy and Dan arrived around 1:00.  Scott and Kris were unable join us.  I was responsible for the salad, Wendy made a marvelous dessert.
Yummy dessert made by Wendy
We played Wii where I lost several games of bowling and one game of golf.  Surprisingly I was a pretty good sport, if I do say so myself. 

It was a delightful day.  We're looking forward to Round 2 tomorrow when Greg arrives with Vanessa and Ella.
Hope your holiday was a happy one and Santa brought you everything on your list.

...and to all a good night.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Bring it on!

I wrapped the last of the gifts

and finished the candy
Bring on Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Productive Day

I love, love, love it when I have a day at home and I'm productive!  Today was one of those days ;o)  YAY!!!  First, I took Titan for a walk around the block.  I have walked this route many times with Bill and not once did we come across a loose dog down the road.  Well, today was one of those days, damn-it!!!  There we are, walking along minding our own business and we pass the "dump" house.  You know, the one with two trailers, a camper, a boat, four trucks and three cars, along with lots and lots of trash.  I know they have dogs and always keep my eyes open but didn't see a thing.  Next thing you know, there it is, a big hound dog trotting toward us, barking away.  If you know anything about Titan, he's not fond of other dogs, especially barking ones coming our way.

What's a woman to do?  First, "oh, shit" and then we ran.  Well, not ran really, but starting jogging away.  Now, Titan is not good at being reactive and jogging.  It's too much to wrap his brain around.  So, we jogged and jogged and jogged.  I kept glancing back to see if we were being followed.  Of course, we were.  Damn-it!!!  I threw a hand full of chicken behind me in an effort to slow down the approaching hound.  We ran to the end of the road, where I thought I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen or have a heart attack, whichever came first.  Thankfully, the offending animal had, finally, turned around and ran his/her butt back home, where it belonged in the first place. 

Once home, Bill and the foster puppy, Briska, were coming out, so we all went for a walk.  Lots of exercise for Titan and Briska, too.

Next, I made my annual Christmas Cherry Cake.
It's like a fruit cake, only different.  It has candied fruit and raisins but it doesn't have any molasses, so it's lighter.  The recipe calls for 8 eggs, along with the usual sugar, flour and so makes a 5 pound cake and I eat most of it myself.  It's not a favorite of everyone but it's mine.

I got on the phone and made motel reservations for our trip to Florida.  While on the phone, FedEx delivered a large package from Amazon.  I have ordered a ton of stuff from Amazon so, naturally, I assumed it was MY package.  I got all excited, ripped off the tape holding the box closed and realized that it was addressed to Bill McGovern.  Oops!  At least I didn't rip open the box inside.

Next, I wrapped some presents.  Bill was away so I was able to get a few of his things wrapped, along with some other small stuff since I was using the kitchen table and there isn't much room to work.

Yes, I know, they still need my special, super, duper bows.  It's a start.  

I put some laundry in the washer and took a few minutes to play with our current foster puppy, Briska.
Briska, bringing everyone a White Christmas

She is such a good girl and easy to have around.  I think Bill has fallen in love with her.    I managed to clip all her nails, which they really needed.  She didn't care as long as she was spending time with me.  She will make someone a very special friend.

After that, I made sponge candy, another annual holiday staple.
Sometimes called moon candy
It doesn't look very good but it's very tasty and easy to make.

Bill wanted to make cookies, so I cleaned up my mess; I had had enough of the kitchen.

I gave Briska a bath, which was extremely easy, compared to Titan, a big scaredy cat.  

Since everything was out, I decided to give Titan a bath.  Yeah, right.  Instead, we worked on getting him into the tub without freaking out.  Chicken to the rescue.  

First, I held a treat on the edge of the tub and when he came to take it, I marked it with YES and he got the treat.  We did that a couple of times, then I moved my hand into the tub and he had to lean over the edge of the tub to get the treat.  Again, good work was marked with a YES.  
This is a scary way to get a treat
I kept moving my hand farther away, finally putting the treats on the opposite edge of the tub so he had to put his front feet into the tub to reach them.  
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can
Finally, he had to get all the way into the tub to get the treats, which he did all by himself.
Look mama, I'M IN.THE.TUB!!! and I did it by myself.
After that he went in and out a few times, always for treats and lots of praise for being such a brave boy.  At the end, I turned on the water, but didn't get him wet.  Clearly, the water is really scary for him and I wanted to end this session on a positive note.  These are small, but important steps, in my quest to get Titan comfortable with getting a bath.  My original plan was to put him in the tub myself and clean him up but I feel this was a much better way to spend my time.  I don't want him to be freaked out every time he needs a bath for the rest of his life.  

All in all, a good day.  However, being productive makes me tired!  I'm not as young as I used to be but don't tell anyone.  AND, I got bows on the gifts.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It was spitting snow all day today and I decided to skip BAT training, which made me feel bad.  So I put on my favorite Christmas CD, Kenny & Dolly, which makes me feel much better and started decorating.

First, the tree.  It's not always easy to "man"handle the tree into the house but I did it all by myself today.
Not to worry, I had help getting it out of the box and set up near the front door.
Let's do this part first
It doesn't look like much yet, but I haven't worked my magic.
See, that looks better.
It's beginning to look like a tree.
It's even leaning like a real tree
Looking pretty good
My help is less than impressed.
Boring...can't you go any faster?
There's not a darn thing wrong with our tree!  It even leaves "needles" on the floor ;o(

I spent the rest of the afternoon adding the tree skirt and ornaments, then getting the rest of the house decorated.  Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; looking out the window, there's even snow on the ground.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 11.7.12

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Considering the weather on Saturday, which was sunny, dry and warm, it was hard to believe that a monster storm, "Frankenstorm", was bearing down on the Eastern US. 
That's One.Big.Storm! 

Sandy was her name; wind and rain was her game!  She was predicted to make landfall somewhere around New Jersey.
I don't know what it means but it's a very pretty map.
Although she was turning inland south of us, we were still getting the storm warnings about beach flooding (we don't live anywhere near the beach) and limbs and trees down due to high winds.  We do live around lots of trees. So, we took precautions...
X marks the spot
Bill taped all the windows in the glass room.
wood pile
I filled the wood rack in the cellar.  If we need a fire, the less we have to go outside, the better.

We put away everything in the yard that could potentially blow away or blow into a window.  Then we waited...

It was raining lightly when we got up this morning and the wind was blowing, but nothing significant.  After taking Titan to the vet for kennel cough, a nasty sounding bug that keep the three of us awake all night, we settled in for the afternoon/evening of strong wind and somewhat heavy rain.

Bill made a meatloaf and I did a little cleaning.  The plan was to get everything we wanted to do, done before the power went out.  He and Titan took a nap and I sewed and sewed and sewed.  We ate early, while it was still light out, just in case.  The lights flickered a couple of times but as of 10:30, the lights remained on. 

I feel lucky, there is severe flooding along the New Jersey, New York shore which will result in millions of dollars in damage.  Unfortunately, this storm made landfall during an astronomical high tide, pushing water levels to historically high levels.  We won't know until tomorrow how much damage has actually been done.  

As often as I am jealous of those beach homes, today is not one of those days.  

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's Not McDougals

Wendy and I spent last night and today visiting with Greg, Vanessa and our beautiful Ella Bella.
Beautiful Ella Bella
We arrived a little before dinner and enjoyed a delightful Tuscan Bean Soup made by Greg.  After dinner Auntie Wendy and I played with Ella in her awesome playroom, then got to snuggle and read some bedtime stories.

This morning Ella showed me the new tree her daddy planted for her
See, I can touch the top of the tree

My daddy and I love the outdoors
Three Wehmeyers
Then we tagged along for Ella's dance lesson
Sharing the back seat with Auntie Wendy

Bring on the music
Ella changed her clothes, we went to lunch and headed North in two separate cars, equipped with GPS, to pick apples.  

As it turns out, due to a number of reasons, the apple picking season ended early this year so we drove for nearly an hour before reaching Honey Pot Hill Orchards.  This is a 200 acre farm growing apples and pears, offering hayrides and a hedge maze.  We didn't realize it  also includes more than one entrance and more than one parking lot!

We also discovered that going to the ONE orchard that still offered apple picking, on a warm and sunny day on the biggest weekend during foliage season was not just our idea but an idea shared with hundreds, if not thousands, of other people.  OMG!
Lots of cars

and lots more people
Since we were in different cars, we ended up coming in from different directions and parking in different lots.  We discovered that Wendy and I were at one of the entrances and Greg, Vanessa and Ella were at the entrance on the opposite side of the farm.  It was a disturbing and annoying complication to our apple picking plans.

After something like 30 minutes and several phone calls, we caught up with the other three, determined that Wendy could not participate in the hayride because of her allergy to hay and started walking toward the trees with apples. 

CA-BOOM!  What the heck?  It's probably nothing...CA-BOOM!

This is not promising.  Ella really doesn't like LOUD noises and this is LOUD.  

There were old planes flying overhead and lots of canon and rifle fire for the next hour or so.  It turns out Stow, MA was the site of the reenactment Battle for the Airfield.  This is the only event of this type - in the world!  What are the chances that the reenactment of a WWII battle is taking place practically right on top of us???  Quite frankly, it was not the atmosphere we were looking for.  Ella was quite upset, Greg & I were cranky and the air reverberated with the sounds of war. 
Sort of smiling & pretending to have fun
On top of that, the sky had turned dark and was threatening rain.  That would be the icing on the cake!  Thankfully, it didn't take long to fill our bag with apples
These apples are BIG!
and before long we were headed back to the cars.  Greg, Wendy & I walked, while Vanessa and Ella took the hayride.
Waiting for the hayride
It wasn't what we anticipated but it was an ADVENTURE and a story we can share for years to come.

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