Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yeah I know it was Thanksgiving yesterday but I am usually a day late and a dollar short so what else is new. I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. I had a wonderful time and wonderful food, cooked of course by yours truly. Thanksgiving is a time of tradition where you dig up the old family favorite recipes, blow the dust off of them and bring them out to oohs and ahhs of delight from family members as they savor the remembered tastes from their pasts. A time to engage in watching the traditional Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in the morning, enjoying the aromas of all the foods as they are cooking, cheering for your favorite football team to win and of course taking a well deserved nap after eating all the wonderful food everyone in the family prepared. It is a time to give thanks for all that you have family, shelter, warmth, food, etc. I also think of Thanksgiving as a time to take a breath and get ready for the upcoming Christmas holiday season. Although I am not quite prepared to go so far as to join the shopping madness of Black Friday I do get ready to decorate my house, gather Christmas wish lists from family and friends and mail out those Christmas cards to one and all.
Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kai earns his first title!

I am so proud to announce that Kai has obtained not only his first title an AKC Canine Good Citizen title (CGC) but that he has also qualified at the same time to be a therapy dog with a local therapy dog group called Therapy Dogs United. You can check out their website at Kai's picture is posted there along with the other dogs in the group. As soon as I get him to write his bio that will be posted also. I am so proud of him and can't wait to get started going on therapy visits with him.

Proudly presenting NewHope Kaiser Will to Please CGC

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New neighbors and Apple Blossoms

We have new neighbors now, Jim's sister Carrie and her significant other Mark have moved into Todd and Carolyn's trailer and they are getting settled in. It is great having a relative so close. Jim is very close with his brothers and sisters and since Randy unexpectedly moved out last fall he has been missing the close companionship he had during the summer Randy was here. Now we have visitors and we have a next door neighbor that we know well and can drop in on at any time. It will lessen the sadness that our good friends have moved away.
Rommel enjoys the beautiful spring day

Jim's sister Carrie

When I took Kai for his daily walk I found that the large apple tree near the end of the road had bloomed since the last time I was down that way. So I hurried home because I had forgotten my camera, one of the few times I have done that. I got some beautiful pictures of the blooms and I have included a couple of them here.

Spring is advancing so fast that it seems to be passing at super sonic speed so that if we are not careful we will miss it. For whatever reason this year I have been determined to slow down and take a good look at the changes the spring weather brings and to enjoy them during the brief period that they are with us. Soon summer will be here and with it will come it's own unique changes to our world. I will enjoy taking a good look at them also.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Neighbors moving day and the Kentucky Derby

Our neighbors Carolyn and Todd are moving today. They are not moving far but still it is going to be a major change to realize that they are no longer right next door. We have only been neighbors for about two years now but still in this transient society where often you do not know your neighbors at all to have ones that you become friends with easily is a gift to treasure.

Carolyn with some of her junior helpers

Jim volunteered to help them to pack up and move their stuff to their new home. They had promises from family members also so it seemed that things would go smoothly and everything would be moved in record time. After about an hour of Jim being the only helper it was beginning to look like it would be a bit of a longer process than first planned for. Fortunately the rest of the moving crew arrived and things began to move quite a bit faster. Todd and Carolyn's three children and the children brought along by other helpers all dived in and worked hard along with the adults.

One thing at a time

How to wrestle a sofa!

I couldn't help much with the actual lifting and moving although I did cheer from the sidelines and took pictures of some of the more memorable moments such as squeezing a very large sofa out of a not so large door! I also took the opportunity to take the dogs for a walk and check out the progress that spring has been making since my last photo journey. I took pictures of our other neighbor, four mile creek as well as many of the trees that now have new leaves instead of just the buds that were there last week. We do not have the full leaf effect of the summer but at least we are losing the dull browns and greys of the winter months.

The leaves are coming, the leaves are coming!
Forsythia in bloom, a sure sign of spring
A small waterfall on four mile creek

After a long afternoon in the sun I finally came back inside and discovered that it was almost time for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. I try to watch the Triple Crown every year, pick a favorite and cheer them on. I came inside so late that I turned on the television about ten minutes before the start of the race. I really had no idea who was running this year, I had done no research and I was astonished to hear that 19 dogs were running in this years race, one horse had scratched. That is a large field and that can make a race interesting. The horses came out of the paddock and were loaded in the chutes and all that anticipation that has been building explodes when the gates open and out the horses rush. It only seems like seconds later and the race is over. This year was quite a suprise when a 50:1 longshot called Mine that Bird (who names these horses anyway) squeezed up the rail and blasted into the history books as the second largest longshot to win the Kentucky Derby. Congratulations to the owners, trainers and jockey. Best of luck in the upcoming Preakness! Will we have a Triple Crown winner this year?

That is all I have to say for now. Good luck to Carolyn and Todd in their new home, we will visit you often. I will post again to let you know what suprise is moving in next door over the next few days.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A day at the south pier

Friday Jim and I went to the South Pier because Jim had a hankering to fish for perch and crappie. We arrived bright and early because the weather forecast was for temperatures in the seventies, bright sunshine and a possibility of thunderstorms in the late afternoon. We no sooner get set up and ready to fish when what is looming on the horizon but a very large black sky complete with lightening and thunder. So we pack up all our gear and head back to the car. We wait out the storm which blew through rather quickly and then we unload all the gear again and head off to get set up.

Storm blowing in over Presque Isle State Park

I decided at this point that instead of fishing I would abandon Jim at the pier and follow the multi-use trail that goes next to the road heading towards the Bayfront Highway. Kai needed a good long walk and I had brought my camera so I could also take the opportunity to take pictures of the budding spring.

Jim fishing happily during my absence

Budding tree

Pine cones that have fallen in the grass

There were so many trees in bud and other plants struggling up through last years growth to reach the sun that I took many interesting photos.

Another budding tree

Walking out along the length of the pier later I was able to photograph the buoys waiting to be put in the water for the summer boaters, the lighthouse at the end of the north pier and other sights of interest that I did not know were out there since I had never walked along that pier before. Kai had a good time because he got to exercise until he was tired.

A sunken ship? I am not sure, it is located in a partially walled off area behind the south pier

Lighthouse at the end of the north pier

Bouys waiting for summer

A friendly red winged blackbird came to visit
It was a long day, Jim never did manage to catch any fish but had plenty of evidence of visitors due to the disappearence of many minnows. Just being out in the sunshine and warm weather was great after the long cold and very snowy winter. I hope we do something similar in the near future.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dog Walks and the Great Outdoors

We have been having some wonderful spring like weather lately and I have had a major case of cabin fever so it seemed like a great time to take a walk. We decided to walk to the ball park so the dogs could have a nice run as well as a walk. When consulted about the idea Rommel and Kai had no objections so we headed out.

Running past where I live is Four Mile Creek. It is a rather small creek at this point but it is typical of creeks in the area with a slate bottom and deep in a gully. The slate bottom causes many levels in the floor of the creek so there are lots of areas of ripples, small water falls and white water. I do not have a digital camera that will take time exposure yet so I am not able to blur the water movement so that it is shown in the picture. It is a great special effect that is easy to do with a tripod or stable position for the camera and a timer on the camera to create timed exposure. I did take some pictures of the creek no special effects.

Part of Four Mile Creek

I had to take the pictures from a bit of a distance because the banks were really not very stable because of the heavy rain a day or so before. I did not want to risk getting too close.

Four Mile Creek

Kai and Rommel had a wonderful time walking to the park and then once we were there they ran and chased each other all over the place. Finally when they had slowed down a little bit I decided to take the opportunity to take some picture of Kai in a stacked stand. After eliciting the unwilling assistance of Jim to pose Kai I did manage to get a few pictures. They are not the best poses because Jim had a very short crash course in how to stack a German Shepherd Dog about three seconds before I took the first picture. Even though we never did get the front and the rear stacked at the same time the pictures aren't too bad. We will just have to keep on practicing and see if we can do better.

Rommel hides under bench at ball park waiting for Kai to come running past

Kai in a stack while Rommel hangs out practicing his stand also

Now that the spring weather is here to stay (please let it be here to stay) I am hoping that walks can become more frequent for everyone. I know Kai and Rommel have no objection and with my scooter I am definately able to take off on a long walk with minimal difficulty.

Till next time.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scooters, parties and strange bedfellows.

I have not written anything here for so long I almost debated just letting the site disappear into cyberspace but I am going to give things another try and make an attempt to keep things just a little more current. I really do not have too much to talk about but here goes nothing.

I finally saved enough money to purchase an electric scooter so that I can get around easier. Since I do not have health insurance yet I had to use my own money so I had to purchase an inexpensive scooter. I thought at first that I was going to have to purchase a used scooter but I managed to find a brand new scooter in my price range so I am really happy about that. I want to thank the people at Blackburn's Rehab Specialities for all their assistance. They are a very informed, polite and friendly group of people that took care of my needs in an expidited and efficient manner.

Picture of my new scooter the day I picked it out

So now with my scooter I can go places and I am able to get around long distances. It gives me so much freedom, I can take my dogs for walks, go to the mall or even WalMart. I will be able to go to fairs and other celebrations and spend an hour or the day with no difficulty. For the past two years or so going anyplace like that was so painful and I could spend no more than a short time walking before I either had to stop to rest my knees or catch my breath. Now I have freedom, what shall I do with it!!
I had the opportunity to go to the 18th birthday party of the daughter of friends of mine on St. Patricks day. The birthday girl, Amanda is a beautiful girl and a sweetheart of a person. We had a great time, ate the usual cake and ice cream and had dinner later in the evening. As parties go it was a quiet time but we had a great time.

Amanda opening her gifts

Amanda showing us some of the gifts she received

Other than the addition of my new scooter and Amanda's birthday party I really don't have a great deal of new information to talk about. Let's cover some old ground. The dogs are doing fine. Kai started agility classes last month. He is doing well and now that I have my scooter I can train him much better. I am looking forward to possibly showing him soon. Rommel seems to be enjoying his retirement with us and is getting along well with all the other residents here. Kai and one of the cats seem to be joined at the hip. You never find one of them more than a few feet from the other. It has gone so far that sometimes the cat, Pip, sleeps on top of Kai. It is a strange relationship, they groom each other, play together and just hang out cuddled up.

Kai and Pip, together as always

I am going to close this post and work on ideas for the next time. See you then.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Here we go Steelers!

I can hear the chants of "Here we go Steelers, Here we go!" echoing around Heinz Field. Too bad I was not there to hear the cheering and excitement in person. It has always been my dream to go to a Steeler's game in Pittsburgh but so far that dream has not come through. I have travelled to Cincinnati to see them play. Isn't that so sad that I would have to travel so far to see my team play. I have to sit in a stadium of hostile people that want my team to curl up and die on the football field so that they can be victorious.

Today the Steelers played the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field during the semi finals for the AFC Championship. The winner of todays game would go to play the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC Championship and then it would be on to the Super Bowl!

YAHOO! Today we won. It was a great game. Now I have to dust off my Terrible towel and get ready for the game against the Ravens. I hope we are as successful.