Sunday, March 30, 2008

We Found Spring!!

We found Spring, unfortunately we were only able to visit it!! It's a 10 hour drive and 540 miles south of Michigan! We did get to enjoy it for a couple days though. Long enough for Howard to get in a round of golf with LeeRoy. Long enough for me to take a couple walks and admire flowers and enjoy warmer breezes and a little sunshine!!

Weeping willows

Daffodil in Aunt Elaine's garden

Flowering pear trees Uncle LeeRoy planted

Pussy Willow in the yard
We had a nice, easy drive south, through Indianapolis and Louisville and stopped the first night in Elizabethtown, KY. We took our time the next morning and arrived in Celina around noon on Tuesday. After touring the homestead and meeting the various four-legged family members, we headed inside for a nice visit.





The house LeeRoy & Elaine built

An interesting fact about the property Uncle LeeRoy and Aunt Elaine own is that it contains a cemetery. Many years ago the county "Poor House" was near their land. When people died they were buried in unmarked graves in the Poor House Cemetery. There are just rocks jutting up out of the ground to mark the sites or the ground might be slightly caved in. The only readable marker was this one.

Apparently Elizabeth's people could afford a proper marker for her grave.

The first evening there we ate in a little restaurant near the lake. I had the catfish dinner with hush puppies and it was good.

We really enjoyed our visit even though it wasn't very long. Aunt Elaine is doing remarkably well since her surgery a few weeks ago. Looks how great she looks!

Before we knew it our visit was over and it was time to head north. We left late Thursday morning and decided to spend the night in Fort Wayne as the weather was getting dicey and we weren't sure how much worse it would be to the north. We took our time getting started the next morning and by the time we left Fort Wayne the roads were clear and just into Michigan it looked like they had received a few of inches of snow sometime during the night. We were definitely back in Winter again.

I really enjoyed seeing so many birds in their yard, especially this Blue Bird. Even though we have Blue Birds here you don't see them where we live.

And look at this beautiful Tennessee sunset!

Spring break is over and it's back to the old grind tomorrow!

Happy 4th Birthday Zoe!!

Today is Zoe's 4th Birthday! Hard to believe that just 4 short years ago she came into our life and made it happy again after we had to put our sweet Chelsea to sleep after 14-1/2 years. Here's what she looked like that first week we brought her home.

And here she is today!

You can be sure she'll be treated like the birthday pup she is today!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter and Where The Heck is Spring???

I knew Easter couldn't be far behind when I saw this guy in the backyard. I was so anxious to get his picture because he didn't hang around very long! This was the best one of the bunch but sadly it's not that great.

Then the next day I saw these guys. They don't usually show up quite this early and it's usually not until the ice has melted on the pond, which it hasn't done quite yet. They are regulars though once the weather warms up!

Even though the weather wasn't that great, I decided to take the pups to the field for a little frisbee. They came back a muddy, wet mess both days but it was worth it to get them out. My frisbee throwing arm is sore!

This is how Charlie waits patiently for me to get ready!

Not much else is new really. We had a quiet Easter. Amber called and so did Tyler. I spent the day baking doggie cookies and trying to make some bread. I'm not having much luck with it though for some reason. You wouldn't think making bread would be so hard but it seems to be for me anyway. First the yeast wasn't cooperating and then I had Howard go buy new yeast and that's not working all that great either. So here it is 9:00 p.m. and I'm still waiting for the final rise so I can bake the darn stuff!
We are leaving for Tennessee in the morning to visit my Aunt Elaine & Uncle LeeRoy. My Aunt is home now and doing great. Hard to believe only two weeks ago she was having brain surgery! We are looking forward to a nice visit and a little warmer weather.
Speaking of weather, it snowed here today. Even though the calendar says it's Spring it really seems so far away weather-wise. The weather man is predicting nothing above 40 here this whole next week.

Here's Zoe's happy face because she got to go play frisbee two days in a row! Another amazing thing I learned about Zoe this weekend, she knows how to herd! I know, she's a herding breed but she's never had anything to herd before. The first time we were at the high school field and two boys were walking across the field. Charlie ran towards them to investigate and Zoe ran after him, circled around him and brought him back to me! I figured it was a fluke, a one time deal. Then the next day we were at the junior high field and I threw the frisbee. Charlie and Zoe both ran after it but then Charlie was distracted by a low flying bird and took off after it. He was a good 50 yards away from Zoe, not coming back when I called and Zoe took off after him and caught up to him, circled around him and brought him back to me again! I was standing there with my mouth hanging open!! My little Zoe can herd! Who knew??

Look into my eyes! You are under my puppy spell! Send me lots of doggie toys and goodies!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Big 23!!!

Where does the time go?? Yesterday he was my sweet little pirate celebrating his first Halloween or toddling off to preschool with hardly a look back and today...

he's celebrating his 23rd birthday far, far away from home and family, in Hawaii!! I'm sure he'll be having a good day too because there is no school on Good Friday! The birthday package has been sent and delivery confirmed so later he will call me to let me know it all arrived safely.

He's living the good life, in paradise. Ok, he's going to school too but still, it's in Hawaii people!! I wouldn't mind slaving away in Hawaii!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Somebody was very naughty...

And here she is now, the turkey bacon snatcher!!

Saturday morning I was just beginning to cook some turkey bacon and had the first 6 pieces in the pan when Charlie decided he needed to go outside. I left the pan on low thinking we would be back in a couple minutes. When we returned I saw some plastic on the floor and ... several seconds later realized it was the plastic on the bacon package and all but two pieces of bacon had been consumed!! None of this registered for a few seconds as I couldn't quite wrap my brain around the fact that my good little doggie had actually placed her paws and snout up on the counter and taken the package of bacon!!! Oh, was I mad. It was straight to doggie jail for this naughty little girl. Actually since I don't really believe a crate should be used for punishment it was more as insurance against the vomiting I was sure would follow or some other nasty side affect. She pretty much stayed in there all day with several trips outside but I guess her stomach is made of steel since she didn't suffer any ill affects.

Scott felt that if she could survive the cupcake and truffle incident of last fall she could probably survive this!
Friday night was a bowling night. Even without one of our partners we picked up 3 points. We are still down near the bottom but it felt good to move up a little. Saturday night Howard and I went to another movie! This time it was my pick though I did keep Howard's likes and dislikes in mind and didn't make him go to a "chick flick". Instead we went to see The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It was a good movie, at least a "B", and made you think and was even a little sad at the end.
While the weather wasn't exactly warm this weekend, I think 40 was the high, it was nice enough to get out and take the pups for a walk today. Much of the snow is gone but the edges of the grass are still covered in piles from the snow plows. It will take another week of warmer temps to melt that stuff. The dogs came back all wet and dirty but they had a great time. We are practicing "heeling" and boy do they both need work. I can't wait until the snow is gone and I can get them back out to a field to really run. That's what they are needing right now, a release of all this pent up energy!!
My Aunt is doing well after her surgery last Monday. They were able to remove a tumor that was pressing on her brain, growing between her skull and brain, that measured 3 inches wide and 1-1/2 inches thick. She is at a rehab facility now for a week or so to regain some physical strength she lost. I have spoken to her nearly every day and she sounds amazing. Her speech has returned to normal and she sounds like her former self again! Amazing!! She is supposed to get her staples out next week sometime.
So, it's back to work tomorrow but only 4 days and I'll be off for Spring Break!! Howard and I are talking about a possible road trip next week! Scott has school so he will be elected as Chief Dog Watcher!

This guy always needs serious watching!! Today while on our walk we stopped to talk to a neighbor. Thank goodness she is a nice person and dog lover because Mr. Happy jumped up to greet her and put two horribly muddy feet smack dab in the middle of her lovely pink sweatshirt!! It was so embarrassing!! I apologized profusely, offered to replace it but she was extremely gracious and said she would just wash it and it would be fine! We will be starting another round of puppy classes next month, not a moment too soon apparently! I really hope they include "greetings" in this session as obviously we need to work on that one!!

HI ANDY!! Come visit soon so I can jump up on you too!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

That Sinking Feeling...

That sinking feeling hit me today when I checked my voice mail and there was a call from my cousin, Glen. While Glen and I were close many years ago, we don't really talk much these days. Most news I get of him and his life is through my dear Aunt Elaine. So to get a call from him I know it's something serious. The message I got was not a good one and that's what caused the sinking feeling. He said on the voice mail that my Aunt was in the hospital and that they had found a brain tumor. He said they were waiting for test results and to call back in a few hours. When I got out of school at 4:00 I called and spoke to Glen's wife. She advised that they had decided to perform surgery as the tumor was quite large and she had been in surgery for two hours and expected it to last 4 hours. I called back again tonight to find that the surgery went well and she was out of recovery and headed to her room. They won't know the final results for a few days but feel the surgery was successful. Now keep in mind my Aunt will be 80 years old next month!! I don't think she would mind me telling you this because she doesn't act a day over 70! I hope and pray this puts an end to the problems she's been experiencing lately and she outlives my Granny (her mother) who lived into her 90's!!
I also go a call today from my Dad, another one who never calls unless something is wrong. Another sinking feeling. Thankfully he just wanted an address!! Phew, two bullets dodged!
This day did not start out well. Thanks to Daylight Savings Time I overslept 1/2 hour so got a late start to begin with. At least I'm blaming it on DST. I actually like DST once it gets going but it really messed me up this morning and I was so tired I fell back to sleep. So I was rushing around, trying to get out the door in time and happened to glance out the back window just as I was headed for the door and stopped dead in my tracks! I couldn't believe my eyes. And this is what I saw when I looked out...

It made me think of my Aunt. She sees deer all the time at her Tennessee home and is always telling me about them. She lives on Deer Run Road for goodness sake! I'm so thankful she's ok. When you are better and go home and read my blog again (she is one of my faithful 3 or 4 readers) I want you to know I love you Auntie and prayed so hard that you would be ok. And I hope you will be feeling better soon, back to your old self again. xoxoxo

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Another Week Closer to Spring...

And the good news was we didn't get any snow this weekend. Even though the temps weren't that high we seemed to have a bit of melt-off which was great! I was able to scrape away a bit of the ice that's been on our driveway for a solid month, at least. I was also able to take both dogs for a walk this afternoon which they greatly appreciated! I've been walking them alone, no more "together" walks for now until they are better trained. It's like walking two bucking broncos. Alone they do much better but tonight my legs are sore since it was our first time walking in quite a while!
Last night Howard and I went to a movie. Sadly I can't even tell you the name of the movie we saw before that. I know my mind isn't what it used to be but it's been a long time since we went to a movie! Last night we saw The Bank Job. While the critics gave it a B-, I would have to say it wasn't much better than a C to me.
Today I spent the afternoon cooking. First dog cookies. The pups just love these cheese and garlic cookies.

They get so excited when I show them the cookie jar!
Then for dinner I cooked a meal from Everyday Foods. It was a chicken marinated in buttermilk with breading made with Seasoning of Provence. Unfortunately my local Kroger doesn't carry "seasoning of Provence" so I had to improvise. Then I made mashed red potatoes, with the skin on, with more buttermilk and sour cream. Even the salad had some buttermilk. It was a spinach and lettuce salad with apples and red grapes with a buttermilk dressing. I promised Amber I would post pictures so here they are!

Everything was good Amber! I just love that Everyday Foods magazine! I can always find something good in there to add to the repertoire.
Not much else going on. My new job has been challenging. I had to physically manage someone for the first time last week. Having the training really helped me feel comfortable doing it. It's never a good feeling to have to do it but at least knowing what you're doing helps.
Countdown to Spring Break starts now! Nine days of school then a while week off!! Wish I was going somewhere warm! Have a good week!

Do I need a mint??

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Charlie is 7 Months Old Today!!

Today Charlie is 7 months old!

His favorite activities are chewing stuff up and chasing Zoe. Or sometimes he chews on Zoe and chases stuff. Depends on the day.

Sometimes he does both things within the same day.

He really looks up to his big sister!

Who can I chase??

Charlie is patiently waiting...

Waiting for spring to come so we can go for walks and play outside more. There's just not enough room to run around in the house!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy March (but it's still winter here in Michigan)...

It's still quite cold and snowy here in Michigan. Usually the normal snowfall totals around 40 inches for the season and the last few years it hasn't even reached that. However, I just heard the other day that we have had more than 70 inches now here. And it's been so cold that we haven't had the usual melt-off as in past years so winter seems endless!
My first week of being officially employed went well. We only had 4 days of school and then a developmental day on Friday where I went to a non-violent crisis intervention training. Unfortunately I also came down with a nasty cold on Thursday which has slowed me down all weekend and not much was accomplished around the house. Howard went bowling Friday night without me and reported back that the team took 3 points. We are still down near the bottom though with only another couple months to go.
Not much to report with the family happenings either. Amber and Andy both took trips for work, Andy to Miami, Amber to NYC. Tyler is busy with school and his new job at a health food store. He works a few hours in the evening so it's fitting into his schedule well. Scott was officially on Spring Break from school last week but just spent the week relaxing around the house. So, that's all the news worth reporting. The pups are bored and sleep all the time. Today I made a trip to the hardware store for black oilers and picked up these cows tails. They really enjoy chewing them up and the look of bliss on their faces tells the story! We didn't make it to Charlie's puppy class this past week as the roads were icy again. Seems every Tuesday the weather stinks and we can't go. So far we've missed 2 classes of the 3 that were held. Guess I should have waited until April to start.

Have a good week everyone!