Saturday, February 28, 2009

Warm Enough

Kona was lounging in the sun earlier today, and seemed to be soaking up the warm rays.

After a bit, it actually got so warm that it seemed (gasp) HOT! Well, OK, maybe not really hot hot, but you know, surely warm enough to go in the pool. At least the dogs thought so. The air was in the mid 80's and the pool was a semi-comfortable 72F. Sure beats the heck out of the 56F the water was a couple of weeks ago when we had all that rain, and wind.

I'd been waiting for a good chance to play with the new camera (an Olympus Stylus 1050SW) Hubby got me for Christmas, and this was the perfect opportunity. This isn't a camera to replace my beloved Nikon, but something to use in addition to it. This new little toy is water proof, and can even take video underwater. Here are a couple of my clips from today. Not bad for not actually being in the water with the pups. (Hey, I said the water was warm enough for them, not me!) Here is Kookie Kona, trying to get at the warm water coming from the solar return....

video

Jill brings the ball in, Jack snags it, and Kona gets kookie again.

video

Harley up close and personal.

video

After a good swim, everyone needs a healthy little snack! Here I am sharing an apple with Harley, Jack, Kona and Jill (you can't see Jill, but she is sitting in the water in front of me...just her nose is barely visible.)


The Youth of America Hard at Work...

...TP'ing our yard and cars.
Isn't it funny how things go sometimes? A friend of mine is getting ready to move into a house for rent across the street. Just yesterday morning we were chatting about the neighborhood - how it is a nice little area, very quiet, very little drama, other than maybe the occasional
stolen car...and basically a great place to live.

Fast forward to 12:11am this morning. Hubby and I are settled quietly into bed, watching Letterman and snuggling with Kona and Harley. Everyone is starting to doze and suddenly a noise brings the whole house into action. What I found out a few minutes later but didn't realize at the time was the sound was the doorbell. What I heard sounded like a tornado warning horn - or something similar, and turned out to be Jack howling loudly in a confused response to the unexpected door bell. The pups all went a bit crazy barking and running back and forth in the hallway, making sure we were all awake (which we were). Hubby flew to the door, whipped it open, and found that we'd been TP'd. Not a very good job of it either, I must say, (obviously amateurs-with very little experience...)

Other than the obvious clean up mess, there was no harm done. As Hubby said while we were cleaning, it was all in good, clean fun. We had the mess picked up in less time that it probably took them to do it.

Now here is the best part. Some time ago, we'd had something stolen out of our front yard. It was a small, insignificant sign, but it really bothered Hubby that someone would take something of his. (This was long before the stolen car incident...) So, Hubby did what hubbys do...he went to Costco and spent a ton of money on a surveillance system.

Yup, cameras up on the outside of our house, covering pretty much every square inch of the front lawn, driveway, and sidewalk. They are on all the time. ALL THE TIME.

Sooooo, when we got the TP cleaned up, we walked in, plopped down at the computer, and basically hit rewind. Ain't technology grand sometimes?

Pickle knew the boys, each and everyone one of them. All classmates of hers. One of them had a birthday party yesterday evening. I'm figuring we must have been the after party.

"Smile you're on candid camera," Matt, Pete, Kyle, Pat, we know who you are, we saw what you did, and we've got it on video.

Don't come messing around here no more...

Friday, February 27, 2009

In Full Bloom

I have many different talents (thank you, thank you very much), but gardening has never been one of them. When we first moved into our house, long before we got our pool put in I did give it a good college try, but it was always a struggle to keep my blooming beauties alive.

I wouldn't say that I have anything even remotely resembling a green thumb. We have Easy Turf in our backyard, lots of palms that require little care, a rather small front yard that Hubby keeps well groomed, and a couple of other little plants here and there.

Nearly two years ago when I had surgery on my ankle (a nasty little bone spur that was cutting into my Achilles tendon had to be removed and my Achilles repaired...fun fun) a neighbor gave me an Orchid. It was a lovely little plant with gorgeous dark pink blooms. I loved it, and almost felt bad that it was coming into my care, with my track record of killing plants and all. Well, ladies and gentlemen, drum roll please....I haven't killed this one (yet)! I've been as careful as I could be with this little baby, and I'm so pleased to say that it has survived 23 1/2 months in my care, and is currently in full bloom! What a hearty little thing this one must be!

Maybe the tide is turning on my plant killing days...last summer, while we were at the County Fair, I bought a Plumeria or two (they still look like sticks in pots right now..) and was given a couple of bulbs. I didn't think much of them, but threw them in a pot with some dirt and forgot about them. Well, low and behold, over the last couple of months the darn thing sprouted and became a gorgeous lily of some type.

Not bad for a girl with a brown thumb, huh?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pooch Party

This past weekend we were invited to a birthday party for one of our pooch pals. Our friend Cori was turning 6, and after a year of dealing with some tough health issues it was time to celebrate. We'd never been to a "real" birthday party for a pooch pal before, complete with a doggie birthday cake, party favors, hats and games. We had a blast!!







Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's a Show Dog's Life...

...but not for us.

I had a great time this past weekend, walking around the Silver Bay Kennel Club Dog Show at the beautiful Del Mar Fairgrounds, but as I looked around at all of the perfectly groomed dogs, I realized that its not a life I would want for my dogs. At least the "show" part.

I went early Sunday morning to see the judging of the Goldens, and I have to say they did look absolutely gorgeous, stately, even regal. But not particularly happy. They sat quietly on their grooming tables or in their kennels waiting patiently for their turn to dazzle the judges with their perfectly coiffed ears and tails, and silky smooth coats with feathers flowing in the wind. Yes, they were beautiful indeed.




But they didn't look like they were having fun. I couldn't imagine any of these beauties romping in a dog park, rolling in the sand, or wrestling in the mud with a buddy. I couldn't imagine keeping my furbabies from rough-housing and getting all slobbery and having fun. But that's just me. I'm sure that many of those dogs do lead a "normal" dog life of ruff and tumble fun, and that some people can balance that kind of stuff...I'm just not one of them. (But then again, as beautiful as I believe my two daughters are, I would never, ever have considered entering them in any beauty pageants when they were little...it's just not my "thing")

Now, the agility trails were a different story all together. Those dogs, although not as "pristine" as the "show" dogs, looked like they were having a BLAST! Everyone of them was eager to run the courses, and seemed to be beaming as they maneuvered through the weave poles, launched over the jumps and flew through the tunnels. Yup, now those were some happy dogs!



Monday, February 23, 2009

Snow Bunny


One of my dearest friends is on a ski vacation in Idaho with her husband and some other friends this week. I got the following note from her earlier today. It cracked me up, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you.


The note was titled : Day One

Light snow last night. Conditions should be good. I check the ski trail map one last time. Yep, there is a beginner run from the top of the mountain.

I head up on the lift. I. Not we. My beloved is in rough shape this morning. Tequila and poker with the boys last night.

I notice as the lift goes up for what seems like miles that it's pretty foggy at the top. Not 20 yards down the hill, I wipe out.

Then the fun begins. Broke backpack strap. Tied it. Got up. 10 minutes to get my damn right ski back on. 20 or so more yards. Fall-Get up. Ski goes on much quicker this time. Good thing because that means I can fall again in no time.

And again.

And again. Green run my ass!

Everyone stops to see if I'm okay. Folks are so nice. After 6th time on my butt a ski instructor and his young student stopped to ask if I was ok. I told them I was ok but a little over my head.

He offers to call ski patrol. I finally give in.

They both wait with me and Patrick the Instructor says that the run I'm on is a little steeper than the typical beginner run. No kiddin'.

Ski patrol guys show up. With a sled. Yippee. At least they offered to let me sit up instead of lying down like I was dead.
LONG ride down, constant spray off his skis. Did you know you can get car sick ON A SLED? Had time to think on the way down about where I could find a phone book to look up gun shops or divorce lawyers. Tough decision...At lodge drying out. Resting. Drinking. Maybe I'll hang with the little kids later. But I probably couldn't keep up.

I can't wait to hear how Day Two goes!!

Pedal, pedal, pedal...

One of the many things we did this weekend was to go out to see the end of the Amgen Tour of California Bike Race. Hubby is quite the bike race enthusiast, and wanted to see some of his favorites out there, in person. I just wanted to see Lance Armstrong. I think he is pretty awesome, not only for his mad skills on a bike, but with all he has done for cancer research, etc. Yup, I think he's a pretty good guy...even if it didn't work out with him and Sheryl Crow, and he dumped his wife...(I didn't say I wanted to live with the guy, I just like his public persona...and his legs!)

Anywho...it was pretty cool being out there. Naturally I had my camera with me, and tried my best to get some decent shots. Let me tell you, you get one chance to get a happy snappy, and those boys FLY by! I was able to get one, semi decent picture of Lance, riding right next to the winner of the overall race, Levi Leipheimer. I was tickled pink. Yeah sure, it's a little blurry, but I can tell who they are...


Here is just a little information about the race, for those who might be interested...courtesy of their web site...

The largest cycling event in America, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding, recently expanded, 750-mile course from Sacramento to Escondido from February 14-22, 2009.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Whirl-wind Weekend

I have wanted to blog all weekend, but there hasn't been time. This has been the busiest weekend I've had in a long time! Dentist appointments for the kids, a pooch birthday party, out to dinner with friends, a dog show, out to see the end of the Amgen Bike Race of California, and now home to watch the Oscars! Whew! I need a vacation! Ha ha!

Lots to fill you in as soon as I catch my breath. I've got an MRI on my silly numb leg in the morning, so by tomorrow afternoon, I should have lots to update you on!

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A "One Day" Get-away

I went on a cruise yesterday. Now, I'm back. It was a one day cruise. Seriously, on a great, big, gorgeous ship and everything. We went out about 5 miles into the ocean, did a bunch of ginormous circles, and came back into port this morning.

This all came about because my friend Lisa is a travel agent, and her specialty is selling cruise vacations. Sometimes in her line of work you get these cool little perks, and this was one of them. This was called an inaugural "cruise to no where" and was basically designed to introduce a whole bunch of travel agents to this ship. The cruise line invites all of these agents (who are allowed to bring one guest each, that's where I come in...) to come and see the ship, look at the different classes of state rooms, eat in the restaurants, visit the bars, see the shows, etc., so then they can go home, and start telling all of their customers how awesome the ship is, and why they should book a vacation on it.

This particular ship was Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas. Saying that the ship is awesome is a total understatement. It was fabulous! (Even if we were only on it for roughly 20 hours!) I've been on quite a few cruise ships, on several different lines, but this one was the cream of the crop from what I've experienced so far. The pictures I'm going to share don't do it justice. Even Norm, the Gnome (my travel companion) was impressed - (those pictures will come soon). Oh, by the way, did I mention this little adventure, food, drinks & all was FREE? Who can beat FREE? Oh, I LOVE FREE!


Yes, I think it's safe to say I could be happy on a ship like this for a couple of days...or weeks... or longer!

The gorgeous Mariner of the Seas

Looking down from the 8th floor onto the "Promonade" shopping area.

One of the many banks of elevators.

Looking down into the dining room
One of the stained glass windows in a cool little bar/dance area called the "Dragon's Lair"
One of the several pool areas on the ship; this is the "Solarium"
Another of the pool areas.
A carved watermelon
The end of the ice skating show - that's right, this ship has an ice rink on it! (It also has a rock climbing wall, a full sized basket ball court, video game lounge, running track, ping pong tables, huge gym....you name it!)
Looking down onto the main pool deck.
It also has a mini golf course
There are tons of things to do on this ship!
Leaving the port of Los Angeles
It was a short little trip, but really a great time...with tons of great food! In fact, I'm still full!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spiffy

Jack, Jill and Kona had a grooming appointment this morning. Since I didn't know that I've have Harley today, it was too late for me to try to squeeze her in with them. Instead she came with me to drop them off, and then spent the morning shopping with me. She has her service vest, so she is allowed to come into any and all stores with me, but today it didn't matter anyway, since we only when to dog friendly places, and then back to the groomer to pick up the pack.

I love how they look when they have been freshly bathed and trimmed! And they smell SO good! Don't they look spiffy?

"Face forward please"
"Look to your left..."
How sweet are they?
Yeah, 4 big dogs = lots of food...this is what was waiting for me when I got home from the groomer...160 lbs. of food!

The Four Musketeers

I'm not talking about Aramis, Athos, Dartagnan and Porthos...I'm talking Jack, Jill, Kona, and Harley.

Yup, you read that right, Harley is back with us for a little while. I got a call yesterday afternoon informing us that her Dad was not feeling well, and would be going into the hospital for a bit. Last night Hubby and I hopped in the car and made the drive down to pick her up. (She lives about 30 miles south of us.) Needless to say, she was surprised and happy to see us. She was really happy when we got home and she got to play with J, J & K. She is such a sweetheart that its never any trouble to have her come to stay...she really does fit right in with our pack.