Monday, December 28, 2009

Lady (12-28-2009)

Lady came to us as all of our animals do, by destiny not design. My youngest son was doing some community service at an animal shelter about 8 years ago and Lady was at the shelter. She was 6-8 weeks old. She had been abandoned and was found running down the middle of the road. She was dehydrated and starving.
On Saturday, we headed to the shelter to help any way we could and there she was in a puppy playpen in the yard. Her fur was glossy black and she was eager to please. We had lost Nova (another black lab) about 6 months earlier and Cricket really needed a playmate. However, I really did not want another dog. New dogs, especially puppies need so much work and time.
Both my son and husband wanted this little pup. She was sweet as could be, but I was darned if I was going to bring another dog home. As you can see, they won the battle. She house trained easily and was the sweetest dog ever. She loved playing catch; anytime day or night. She could run out about 30 feet and catch that ball : ) She was smarter than we gave her credit for.
Lady was a canine garbage disposal and I think that might have been the end of her. She was fine one day and sick the next. She went downhill fast and there was nothing we could do. Vet care for a sick animal is expensive, especially if they don't know the cause of the problem. We had to set a limit. Sadly, Lady left on her own time schedule, we were saved having to make that decision. She's now nestled under the squirrel tree with the ever present tennis ball.
We are better because of her. I hope we made her as happy as she made us.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A New Project

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. We started a new project today. It is relatively small compared to most of our projects, but it does involve construction. I can't say too much at this time because it is a gift for someone who might read this blog and I don't want to give away the surprise. We spent about three hours, cutting, gluing, and nailing. A good life.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Government Quarters

I had to go out to Fort Benning this week to get a new ID card. It expired a year ago October. Just goes to show you how much I have separated myself from 20 years of my life. Anyhoo, while I was on post I decided to take a spin thru Custer Terrace, now called Custer Court, if I remember correctly. I finally made it to 101B Arrowhead and it looked the same except for the fence out back and the flowers up front. When I lived here I worked really weird hours and was going to school. No time for gardening. Not much time for it now either : )
The thing that surprised me most was the rush of emotion that came over me. We lived in this dumpy little duplex longer than any other place before our current home. I believe these homes were built in the 50's. When you walk in the front door the kitchen/laundry is to your left. To your right is a hallway with three bedrooms and a SINGLE bathroom. Just imagine 1 woman and 3 men sharing a SMALL bathroom. Straight in from the front door is the living/dining room. The whole house had the most beautiful hard wood floors. The whole place was probably 1200 square feet. So much living in such a small place:
  • Sean started high school
  • Jeremy started middle school
  • Growing pains (and that's all I'll say about that)
  • TOM deployed to Saudi Arabia
  • Jeremy was diagnosed
  • We built a snowman
  • We lived through our first hurricane
  • Nova chased an MP out of the backyard because he got too close to her puppies
  • Lawrence passed away
  • I broke my leg
  • I received my Associates degree (it took three more years to finish my bachelors)
  • Pizza Thursday's (Papa's John's)
  • I bought my 1993 Z28 Camaro (I should have never sold that car)
  • I quit smoking
  • TOM broke his back
  • We took a great vacation to the Florida Keys
  • Dad had his bypass surgery

Good and bad, these are the things that come to mind as I sit here in my comfortable (10 year new) home with 2 bathrooms, a separate laundry room, and a garage. The day after I went to Benning the shootings occurred at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. We lived there for almost 5 years and I think of the people that we knew and hope that they are all right. A whole other list of things comes to mind that I won't mention here. I'm saving them for my memoir : 0.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Who Built the Dog House?

Opening hunting weekend in Alabama and TOM was not hunting, but I'll tell you why. First, on Saturday he committed to working on House of Heroes. HOH is a charitable organization, that thru the help of volunteers, repairs homes of retired veterans, fire fighters, and policeman. Depending on the work that needs to be completed, contractors donate time and supplies to make the repairs. Anyhoo, that was his Saturday. After a long day on the job, son #1 calls and asks his dad to help him build a dog house for his dog Gypsy, which means no hunting for TOM on Sunday. Now when said son says "I'll be over at 10:00 a.m., he really means sometime after noon. I don't know how this one manages to make it to work on time. Anyhoo, they had a great day for building a dog house. The only injury, aside from a couple of splinters, was a severely smashed thumb. It bruised all the way thru and he, my son, will probably lose the nail. But they finished the house and it turned out great. And TOM is glad he didn't go hunting : )
Life is good. Go out and enjoy it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wild Four O'Clock

The sky is gray
the wind is blowing
I'm just glad
that it's not snowing.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Time Flies

Where does the time go? My last post was in July and it's already September. We got back from a trip to Minnesota on Saturday and the last couple of days have been pretty, well, lazy. We didn't even go get groceries. Of course that could have something to do with the fact that we don't have any money left : )

We did have a good time. I spent one aftrnoon setting up my mom's wireless connection, opening her an email account, and putting together the 'office'. We also got connected thru skype. That is the greatest software and so easy to use. You really should check it out. Click here for a free download.

We also went to the state fair. MN has one of the best fairs around. Truly, like a mini city. We had a great time. We spent the morning touring the barns, the International Market, Heritage Square, and the midway. Later that evening we went to the Jackson Browne show.

My dad went to the fair with us. In fact, my main objective that day was to get on the Ferris Wheel with him. He always used to take me up when I was little.

TOM managed to get a couple of shots.

Friday, July 31, 2009

How Do You Know When a Watermelon is Ripe?

Apparently, even the experts don't know.

This is what the farmer's almanac says.

Next question:

Where do the seeds for seedless watermelon come from?

And the final question:

How much water is too much?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Hate Reptiles

I know it is not nice to hate God's creatures, but I really can't help it when it come to green slithery things. Reptiles have to be number one on the list of things I don't like.

It all started back when I was in the first grade (yes, I do remember back that far) and I was walking thru my front yard with bare feet. I don't know what made me look down, but there slithering under the arch of my left foot was a garden snake. I know, they are perfectly harmless (until they bite you). I don't think I even actually touched flesh to reptile skin, but it totally grossed me out. I don't like frogs or toads, lizards or salamanders. Geckos (like geico) are ok. Turtles are OK too. I have been known to move them out of the road to the safety of the shoulder.

But I digress, back to the note and the reason for it at the top of this post. Kitty brought a frog into the house. It wasn't quite dead, but was close. TOM was on the road for work so I didn't have anyone to get rid of the frog. (TOM recently instituted rule 37 which states 'the first one to see it has to get rid of it', but I don't follow that rule. The next best thing for frog disposal is my son, it is his cat after all. He works late so I left him a note. I put an ice cream bucket on the frog and a rock on top of the bucket. My son called me at 10:00 to tell me that the FROG WAS NOT UNDER THE BUCKET! I mean where the heck did it go? I thought is was too weak to move the bucket, now I'm worried there's a dead frog in the house. And to top it off, we have a ferret and instinctively he is not fond of reptiles either. I am afraid he will find it and drag it off somewhere. Think it's a toy or something. What a quandary. I'm surprised that I can sleep with all the slithering going on in this house. Maybe Kitty realized how upset I was and took it back outside. I will probably never know, but I watch my step pretty carefully.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Takin' Down the Fence

This project started because we have to upgrade our septic system. We figured if we had to get some money from our heloc, we would get enough to finish the meditation garden in the back. The first thing we had to do was put a fence at the top of our property line. About 30% of our backyard is atop a retaining wall. We want to use that space and improve access. Because of the privacy fence for the dogs we had to walk all the way around, a bit of a hassle to tell you the truth. Anyway, we decided on a split rail because we have one in the front. This is the site plan for the new project:

This is the meditation garden 'space'. We will be putting a lattice panel behind the bench to retain the feeling of a room. Oops, this photo doesn't have the bench, but you will see it in the next photo. To ensure the dogs don't escape from the back, we put green chicken wire from the bottom rail to the ground. You can't even tell it's there. I really like it.

It was so blasted hot and humid this weekend that we did not get as much done as we planned. TOM is out of town on business this week so this is what the yard will look like until he gets back. You might be wondering why we didn't use the old privacy fence. We are going to use the old slats for the fence expansion we need to make as a result of the septic tank repair. That new fence really stands out and we would rather have it in the back.

Friday, July 10, 2009

OK, I Know I've Been Slacking

I hate slackers don't you? They never finish anything, but they expect you to be at the top of your game. They lack for nothing because they want nothing. Personally, I don't know any slackers. Do you?

On to nicer, happier topics. I really am having a blast with Woodstock. I have started a blog and am planning his movie debut. But how do you script a movie in which the main character is a ferret? We plan to take-off on one or many of the following (real) movies/characters: Indiana Jones, It Takes a Thief, and Mission Impossible. I had a couple of others, but the titles escape me.

And that's another thing. All week long I have been losing snippets of information. Is my hard drive crashing? It's like I have no short term memory. And my notebook is crapping out too. The hard drive is fine but the processor is definitely acting up. Do you suppose my hard drive and the notebook crapping out is systematic of something else, like maybe I spend to much on the computer and too much time at work?

I have been preparing for the notebook replacement. You know doing my research, checking prices, but what do I do about my hard drive? Not so easy to replace. Just can't run down to wally world and pick up a new one.

Maybe I should become a slacker. What do you think?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy Anniversary to US

32 years ago I married this young soldier. It wasn't always easy, but it was always an adventure. Boy, we were young.

We managed to get a fellow traveler to take this shot of us in Union Square on our recent trip to San Francisco.

Clairol really had it right when they said 'you're not getting older, you're getting better'. I have to agree. Age adds character (along with a few other things).

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Streets of San Francisco

Coit Tower. Across from the boat to Alcatraz.

Watching our cable car as it heads to the end of the line.

Powell and Hyde Cable Car. We got off at Union Square for lunch.

Parallel parking. No problem.

Ghiradelli Square

Fisherman's Wharf

Mr. Toad's Tours in front of Rain Forest Cafe

Pedi Cabs were all along the Embarkadaro

AThe Cannery

Blue Mermaid Chowder House

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Alcatraz Favorites

Alcatraz from the boat

Cellhouse, Cell Blocks B and C

Flowers taking over the Warden's House


Blue flowers

Snowy Egret

The Lighthouse

The Officer's Garden

The Warden's House


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Half Dome

From the Valley
One of the most amazing monoliths in Yosemite is Half Dome. You can see it from almost any location in the Valley and it draws you in. It has a power that you don't realize or can even understand. Adrenalin junkies want to climb it, artists want to to photograph or paint it, and some just want to gaze at it. Even now I think about it and am in awe. And you have to see Half Dome in person, a photo doesn't have the same impact. So what are you waiting for? Get going.

From Mirror Lake

From Glacier Point

From Tunnel View

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Trip to Yosemite

We spent four days in Yosemite this year on vacation. Let me say that this is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. We try to beat the 'summer rush' whenever we travel but I think Yosemite is one of those places that is always full of people (although I am sure not as many as say, July). We drove in from San Francisco and arrived at the park around 6:30 in the evening.

We wanted a more 'rustic' experience so we rented one of the tents in Curry Village. They were cheaper too : ) and included b'fast at the dining facility each day. We stayed in unit 716. The tent had a padlock on the door to lock up when we left. We had a double bed, a mirror, and a book case. Oh, and a bare bulb for light. We had to use public restrooms and showers.

We froze the first night. The temperature was in the 40's. We knew it would be cold and we brought flannel pj's, but they were not enough. The next day, we took a swing by the front desk and got some more blankets. We were fine after that.

This is what Tent City looks like from our front step. I did not think to take a snap of the food protection safe. Those green boxes in front of each tent are used for your food and anything that smells nice. You know toothpaste, shampoo. Anything that attracts the bears. You are not supposed to leave any food in you vehicles or tents.

The food in the dining hall was fine for b'fast. It was an all you can eat buffet. The dining hall is also open for lunch an dinner, but if you are not interested in buffet food, there is a deli, a couple of pizza places, and a general store where you can buy groceries.

If you're interested in parking your car for the duration of your trip or if you arrive via another mode of transportation, Yosemite provides shuttle service to most areas/attractions in the valley. They use a hybrid shuttle and it's a comfortable way to get around the park.

In Yosemite Village, you will find another general store, a recycling center, an employment office, a fire department, a garage, the Ansel Adams Gallery, the visitor center, and post office.

Village Store

Visitor Center

Ansel Adams Gallery

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Official Trip Foto

A week ago today, I returned from a terrific week in Cali. We spent 4 days in Yosemite and 3 days in San Francisco. It has become a tradition to take a trip Foot Foto. This is Half Dome from Glacier Point.

I think the flip flops add the Cali attitude. Don't you agree? If truth be told, I had to take my boots off. I couldn't take one more step in them.