Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adiós Amigo, we'll miss you...

Last night our family said goodbye to an old friend. Not a typical friend, a school buddy, a favorite neighbor, but rather a restaurant. I know, I know, it probably sounds silly, but this was our favorite restaurant in our little area. It was not quite a "hole in the wall" or a "dive" but certainly isn't anything like the big commercialized chains that pop up everywhere... this was our very favorite little Mexican food place, Tio Leo's.

Now, I have lived in this particular part of San Diego for the better part of 33 years. (I know what you're asking yourself..."She's that old?") and Tio Leo's has been part of my life for just over 26 of those years. I graduated High School here in 1982 (there, it's out there, you all know how old I am now!) and it opened that same year. Many of my friends had their graduation dinners there, and celebrated different occasions there over the years...I remember going there with a friend of mine, and our boyfriends (who were twins, and in the Navy- interesting story for another time...) before we even graduated from school, one of my first "real" dates....Over the years, along with family and friends, I would venture to say that I'd been there hundreds of times. I'd been to birthday celebrations, baby showers, karaoke evenings in the bar, alumni get togethers, you name it. It always was fun, and it always felt like home. We spoke with one of the owners last night, and he told us that it wasn't his choice to leave. He said the landlord wouldn't renew their lease....after 26 years they'd have to go...our beloved Tio Leo's will be demolished, and in just a few short months it will be replaced by a Walgreen's. I guess it could be worse...they could be turning it into another mattress store or another bank, we have those on every corner here (and tell me, please, who's got any money to put in a bank right now??) Our little part of this area doesn't have a Walgreen's...of course there is a CVS right across the street, but that doesn't count, right?

I hear Walgreen's is a great little store, and they have everything you're looking for...I wonder if they'll have my # 1 special...a beef taco, cheese enchilada, rice and beans...and the best salsa in the world. I bet not.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chunky Legs in Motion - Part Sześć (that's Polish, don't ask...)


What a morning! What a walk! What's with the humidity?? We San Diego folk aren't used to the kind of humidity we've been having, and needless to say, we really felt it this morning. Bear and I went on an 11 mile training walk, and it felt like a 100! OK, well, I may just be exaggerating a tiny bit, but it was a long, tough walk today. The humidity was a killer - and even though we got a semi-early start (we were on the road walking at 7:30am) it was miserable!

I'll have to admit, (and I hate to do this...) that I really started doubting myself this morning. Doubting if I could finish today, doubting if I would be able to walk the entire 60 miles in November, doubting my sanity for signing on to the challenge of raising at least $2200 just to be allowed to participate in the walk. Oh, sure, I'd done it in 2006, raised more than double what I needed to, walked over 67 miles in the course of the 3 day walk, but I was 2 years younger then, a few pounds lighter, and a little more sure of myself.

And then it we approached our 9 mile mark, we found inspiration. We'd walked by this particular little area a couple of times before, but were always on a mission to get back to the car as soon as possible, and never really took the time to look at what we were walking by. For some reason today I told Bear that we should go out on to the different little path, and get up close to the sculptures and plaques that we'd so often walked by in the past. As soon as I realized where we were, and what the park signified, it hit me. Pretty hard. I can do these last couple of miles. I can walk 60 miles in 3 days in November with over 4,500 other people that are all walking for the same reason.I can walk for my Mom, a 22 year breast cancer survivor, my Aunt Evelyn, another survivor, my bowling friend Lisa, currently fighting, my friend Dave's Mom, and all of the other survivors out there...and, of course, those who weren't so lucky. I can raise the rest of the money I need to, and help Bear and Shirley raise their money. I.CAN. DO. ANYTHING!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back in the U.S., back in the U.S., back in the U.S.A.

It's back, officially, in this country....the stolen car that is. We got to see it this morning...It. Is. A. Mess. Wow, I have to say that it was somewhat surreal to see it again, after pretty much giving up hope on ever getting it back. The guy at the shop seemed really cool, and was very helpful. By the time we'd gotten there, around 8:00am, he'd already started a list on what needed to be fixed. It's a pretty long list. Just a couple of things include new bumpers (both front and back were pretty banged up) of course the radio and battery, that we already knew about...the driver's side window seal (where they broke into the car) the windshield seal (it looks like they tried to get the windshield out...) all of the hubcaps are busted up, and the tires were all switched out, including the spare, which is gone. To top it off, it looks like it had been sitting in the impound lot down in Rosarito for the last 6 weeks with the windows down. The interior was absolutely covered in thick reddish brown dust. The guy at the shop tells us that we'll have it back in two weeks. And that it will look better than ever...keep your fingers crossed again for us.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seven Weeks...a stolen car update

Well, isn't it interesting that it has been exactly 7 weeks today since the car was stolen, and today, FINALLY, we got some solid news about it. We have been informed, (again, FINALLY) that the car is back in San Diego, and is sitting in a holding lot until later this afternoon, when it will be towed to the Honda dealership. We have an appointment at 9am tomorrow morning, with an insurance adjuster, to see the car. I can't wait...this is going to be interesting, to say the least. They've told us that the only thing wrong with the car is that the battery was removed, and the radio yanked out....we'll see about that. What about the door locks? Were they busted? What about the ignition? They obviously didn't have a key, so isn't that screwed up? Yeah, just the battery and the radio, right? I'm not holding my breath. You can be sure that I'll take my camera with me tomorrow...and I'll let you know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Star Student

At the risk of sounding like I'm gloating...I'm gonna gloat for a minute. Today was Kona's second "basic obedience" class. He. Rocked. He is such a good boy in class, it's unbelievable! Not to say that he isn't a good boy usually, but it just seems that he is extra good in class.

There are only 3 other dogs in the class, one pit bull named "Baby" (um, OK, not the name I would pick for a pit bull, but then again I would never have a pit bull...) and two black German Shepard sisters named "Sam" and "Marley." Baby seems nice enough, as far as pit bulls go, and the sisters are fine with each other, but are very skittish around Kona and Baby. I suppose that is part of the reason they are in class.

Kona has been a real show-off in class so far. Sitting perfectly every time, "leaving it" and "taking it" when he is supposed to...even doing great on loose leash walking. I am like a proud momma when the instructors need to "borrow" him to show the class how things are "supposed to be done..." He's my little star! Good Boy! Now, if we can only keep it up at home!

Dogs Days of Summer with the Padres

Last night we attended the annual "Dog Days of Summer with the Padres" game in our beautiful Petco Park. We went with members of our Golden Retriever Meetup Group, and it was a real blast. There were lots of dogs of every size and shape, but of course the Goldens were the stars of the evening! Petco stores sponsored the evening and it was very nicely done. There were photographers taking pictures in a number of settings, lots of free goodies, and the opportunity for dogs and their families to walk around the warning track on the field in a sort of "Pup Parade!" It really was a fantastic evening, at to top it all off, the Padres actually WON the game against the Diamond Backs, 9 to 2.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fresh from the groomer!

Just two quick pictures of my sweet smelling fur babies...I took all 3 of them to the groomer today in anticipation of our big evening at the ballpark.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Festival of Sail

Yesterday Hubby and I joined some friends and visited San Diego Harbor to enjoy the "Festival of Sail" which was presented by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The festival took place from August 20th to the 24th, and this was only the fourth time in nine years that San Diego has hosted such a large fleet of tall ships in it's bay. The festival featured San Diego's own Star of India, built in 1863, the United States Coast Guard Eagle, home ported in New London, Connecticut, the Gloria, home ported in Cartagena, Columbia, The Lynx, home ported in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and a score of other sailing beauties. Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I took...kinda makes "me shiver me timbers", and want to swab a deck...or not.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Sarg" in flight

After spending a wonderful morning down at the harbor admiring and photographing a large collection of ships that were down here for the Festival of Sail, (a post for tomorrow...) I came home, camera in hand and sat in the backyard and waited...

It didn't take long. I knew they'd been around quite a bit in the past few days. The feeder, which had been filled only this past Thursday, was nearly empty again. They swoop in for a quick drink and are gone again, like lightening with wings. We have a regular, who sits perched on a nearby tree, always waiting and watching for any others that try to invade his territory. When another comes by for a taste, he cackles his disapproval and buzzes the unwanted visitor away from his precious nectar. He reminds us of a Sargent on patrol..."Sarg" is the one with the red cheeks...the little green guy is another frequent visitor.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rollin in the Gold...

Today I had 6 - yup, count em, 6 Goldens at the house. It was heavenly! Of course I had my regular cast of characters, Jack, Jill and Kona, and Valerie brought over her boy Joey, and sweet little Kealani. In addition, we had Harley (the service dog that I sometimes take care of) and her owner. Harley and Jill are half sisters, and it's sometimes difficult to tell them apart.

It was a fun filled, beautiful, sunny warm day here, and it really did make me feel like we live in a little slice of paradise.

Baby Kealani sunning herself after a swim.
Kona, Joey and Harley giving each other a nuzzle.
Joey teasing Harley with a toy.
Harley and Joey in the pool, while Kona rests his rear end on the step. The "Big 5" dogs ready to play.
In addition to a wonderful service dog, Harley is a great retriever!
Merrill, with his girl, Harley.
Jill and Harley Kona, getting tired after nearly 5 hours in the pool, needs to rest his weary head on something...
Jill and Merrill...Jill thinks she is everyone's therapy dog!
Kona is done. Seriously, stick a fork in him...done.