Saturday, July 28, 2012

And We're Back!!

I'm not even sure where to start....It has been a hectic and busy week with my brother visiting.  He left this morning to go back to Kentucky.  While he was here he saw the space shuttle Discovery at the Smithsonian....

Carl took time off work and they saw the sites of Washington D.C.
Then another day while I was at work they went to see a couple of movies.  We met for lunch at my brother's favorite place to eat while visiting us--Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.  
Carl returned to work, and I took time off and my brother and I spent a day in Baltimore...

We enjoyed the inner harbor....
and we visited the National Aquarium.  
Here's a little video I took of the sting-rays being fed--They were fun to watch and to me they looked like they were smiling.
Toby is smiling too--Not because 'Jeff' is gone, but because we had a good visit with him.
I have to admit that we're all a little worn out...
I'm looking forward to relaxing, watching the Olympics and catching up on your blogs!  I hope you're enjoying your weekend!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

On the Porch With Annie and Lucas

What was I saying about 'rhythm' in my last post?  I really thought I was going to find that on Saturday, because I had so much to do to get ready for my youngest brother who was due to arrive later in the day.  But some things are out of your control because our power went out, yet AGAIN!  It occurred to me as I was sitting there doing nothing, that you really don't need power to dust and clean, so that's what I did--Amazing how much you can get done without any distractions like a computer or television--I even went as far as to clean the rocking chairs on our front porch. Thankfully the power came on later in the afternoon before I got out the paint!

I finally was able to discuss the blood work results for Lucas and Annie who went to the vet last week.  The news for Annie is not the best.  If there was any good news, it was that her kidney values are unchanged from last month.  The bad news, is that her liver values continue to change.  We've put her on a liver supplement  called denamarin which raises antioxidant levels and has silybin to help improve liver function.  Paws crossed that it works for her.  All this is a reminder that when our pups are taking non-steroidal-anti- inflammatory medication like Annie was for an extended period, that regular blood work should be done to to make sure they are not damaging their kidneys and liver.  Unfortunately her previous owner didn't do this, and sadly this is the result.
The news for Lucas was mixed.  He has a high white blood cell count but where the infection is, is unclear.  He's on antibiotics for 2 weeks in hopes that will take care of it.  Lucas has been made available for adoption through the rescue I volunteer with, but so far, not a single call about him.  Even with the articles that have been written about him, no one has expressed an interest.  I know it's probably due to the limitations of his adoption.  Lucas as you may recall was a stray so he cannot be placed with young children because we don't know his history around them

Then there is Lucas's never ending fascination and obsession with the cat.  He and CC still have their moments when she's had enough, but they don't occur as often as they did at first and she allows Lucas to closely admire her, which he does every chance he gets.  

Our poor cat, CC, never gets a break, no matter where she is...
~Todd and CC this morning~
Enjoy your Sunday!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We've Got Rhythm


I don't know about you, but I’m a schedule person.  I like schedules, rhythms to my day and to my week.  When those are changed I end up feeling out of sync until I can get back into that rhythm.  Some people refer to this as 'balance.'  I try not to call it that because if you could see me on a daily basis, you'd know that's not what I have--Instead I go for rhythm.  Each day, each week and each month has its own rhythm.  It’s up to me to make adjustments and find the rhythm and flow.

Our dogs are good examples of lives that have rhythm and they often help me to find it.  We do the same things each day, almost always in the same sequence.  This rhythm even finds its way into meal time.  When we feed the dogs, their bowls are all put down in the same order every single time.  Each dog knows where they eat, and will wait in that spot. Added  to their daily rhythm, our dog walker comes about the same time each day--On days when we're home, at around 12:30, the time 'Christy' usually comes, they become restless and want to go outside for a walk. The dogs know when it's time to play and when it's time to relax and take a nap.
I think our daily rhythm and has really helped the new comers to our household adjust--Sandy is the latest example of that.  Being totally blind he has had to make a lot of adjustments and learn a lot of new things.  THANKS to your suggestions, he's learned the rhythm of our routine.  Sandy knows by sound (and probably smell) when we're getting the meals ready.  And because we've taken him to the same place each time, he waits patiently in that spot for his bowl to be brought to him.
Sandy has also learned his way around the outside yard and can now easily find his way back inside.
Inside the house, Sandy easily navigates the floor plan.  Yes, he will still sometimes knock over a floor fan and get caught in the curtains or behind a door, but not as often as he did at first.
When Sandy first came, I have to admit that I only focused on his being blind.  But he and I have gotten into that rhythm and I have gotten to know an endearing and affectionate senior boy, who just happens to not be able to see, and who has found a place in my heart and our home.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lancaster Was Delicious!!

I think that you can always tell a good trip by how you feel when it’s over. Sometimes extended weekends away are fun, but then you return home feeling tired from everything and behind on that to-do list.  My trip to Lancaster?  I've returned home feeling relaxed and even though there's the never-ending laundry and housecleaning, at this moment, I'm finding these things are really not that important.

I don't know about you, but when I take a trip I always seem to take on the idea of being on vacation to heart and I promptly forget about maintaining any sort of diet. So let me just show you how much fun I had and why I won't be stepping on that scale for a few days...It all started with dinner on Thursday that was deep dish pepperoni pizza.
We were up early on Friday morning where we met another friend for breakfast.  As the rooster was crowing, we made our way to 'The Green Dragon' in Ephrata (in Lancaster County) where local growers, merchants and craftsman meet for one of the largest farmers markets in the area.  Most often I gravitate towards the fresh produce.  Not this time...
I was drawn to the delicious and fresh baked goods offered by the Amish.
Afterwards, because I'm a chocolate lover, a visit to the Wilbur Chocolate Candy Factory was a last minute addition to our agenda.
All this and it was only lunch time!  This took us to the Tomato Pie Café.  With a name like Tomato Pie Café, there's a hint that there must be something really special on the menu that shares that name; and 'special' it was!  Tomato pie has layers of fresh tomatoes with cheese, that is flavored with basil and layered on a buttermilk crust that was a cross between a biscuit and fluffy bread--Delicious!
I returned home on Saturday afternoon and we enjoyed a late dinner with friends. For some reason, I just wasn't that hungry......Today I'm making chocolate cupcakes for a co-worker who is celebrating 25 years with the practice where I work.  However I am finding that I just don't have the enthusiasm that I usually do for baking...I think we all know why that is...
But I really hope you've had a good weekend!  Once again, I am looking forward to catching up on your news!  Enjoy your Sunday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On The Road Again

Off to the vet this morning with our three foster pups, Annie, Lucas and Sandy. I thought taking the three of them would be easy enough but I hadn't taken into consideration that Sandy can't see where he's going and Lucas is a little bit leary about being taken anywhere--Annie on the other hand is happy wherever she is.

Sandy was the main focus of the visit.  Despite putting drops in his eyes they continue to be red and today was the day to check his eye pressure.  As expected, it was high in both eyes indicating that he has glaucoma--Having previously had a dog that had glaucoma (Tanner) I felt pretty sure of what the diagnosis would be and would have been more surprised if it hadn't been.  We're going to try medications in hopes of lowering the pressure, but if it doesn't help, he'll need to see an ophthalmologist for more treatment.  Paws crossed.

Tomorrow I hit the road again for Lancaster Pennsylvania to spend a couple of days with my good friend Sidney.  We have some things planned to do, and I'm excited to see her and have some fun.

Then the following week my brother comes from Kentucky to spend a week with us.  Will the month of July slow down--Probably not until Todd does!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Cat in the Hat at Golden Pines

The sun really shined...
It was too hot to play...
So we have sat in the house, where it's cool for these past three days....
I sat here with the dogs, when the temperature reached more than one-hundred-and-two...
And only Todd and Annie have found something to do...
But even Todd will agree it's to hot to be out and much too hot to play ball...
And so we have sat in the house--We have done nothing at all.
So all we did all weekend was to Sit! Sit! Sit!  And we have not liked it...Not one little bit....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

An Award and Our Jewel, Wendy

While we're all staying inside trying to stay cool I thought I'd take today to give a heart-felt thank you to two bloggers who recently passed on the 'Sunshine Award' for my blog.  The first blog was Ruled By Paws which is written by Brooke who works with a guide dog.  Her blog is about her adventures with all her pups, Cessna, Canyon, Aspen and Rogue.

The second time the award was given to us, it came from brown dog cbr  which is a blog chronicling the antics of Hawk, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever who is an easy going boy who loves to run and find adventure.

I really enjoy both blogs and hope you'll stop over for a visit and get to know them!

When you receive the Sunshine Award, you're supposed to answer seven questions about yourself.  Since I usually only follow rules when I absolutely have to, I've decided to change that up a little.

On July 3rd we celebrated 13 years with our girl Wendy, who is now almost 15 years old.  She was the second dog Carl and I got, and of all of our dogs, she has been with us the longest.  When I think of the years we've had together, and how embedded within our life she is I am humbled and grateful for that time with her.
So, today as a tribute to Wendy, I'm breaking the rules of the 'Sunshine Award' and am going to tell you seven things about her that you may not know.

1.  Wendy is our only dog that will 'speak' when you ask her to
2.   She never had an interest in chewing on bones, swimming, tennis balls or stuffed animals--In her younger days she was an energetic frisbee gal through and through.
3.  She is not a full-bred Golden and is mixed with Border Collie. (probably why she loves the frisbee)
4.  Wendy doesn't like the other dogs (or us) touching her while she sleeps.  She'll give a single bark and a harmless snap to remind us to leave her alone.
5.  Wendy is the very first dog we got from a rescue which means she has known every single dog we have ever fostered, adopted and owned.  She also has known the 3 cats we've had too.    
6.  She came to us with the name of 'Amber' which I changed to Wendy, my favorite character in Peter Pan.
7.  I knew the first time I met Wendy, that I really wanted her.  We didn't get to bring her home with us that night, and I was worried that the foster home wouldn't pick us to adopt her--They did, and the rest is history!
~Wendy and our First Golden, Tod~

So today, 
Here's to Wendy, 
the Jewel of Golden Pines, Cheers!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's Good to be Home??!!

It was a good visit to Kentucky where I spent time with my four brothers and sister in law.  I really enjoyed catching up with them, doing a little shopping and just getting away, I needed the break.  My trip was pretty uneventful, compared to the weather which seems to be grabbing all the headlines.  In Kentucky the temperatures soared to over 100 degrees.  On Friday, from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic, a small, upper-level disturbance near Chicago interacted with all the heat to produce a rare, straight-line wind-maker known as a "derecho."  Winds at times approached 100 miles-per-hour, twisting and toppling too many trees to count, including the one below on our road.  But the trees took down thousands of power lines, leaving more than 3 million people in six states in the dark.
We were among those that lost power on Friday night.  I arrived home last evening after an 11 hour drive to a sweltering, dark house, which put me in a less than cheerful mood.  Even though it cooled off after we'd gone to bed, not even hearing the Barred Owls in the quiet of the night could console me--I was miserable.
~Josh and Todd~
I don't think that the dogs were enjoying it either.  The heat was even taking its toll on Lucas who has breathing problems.
Thankfully by late afternoon today the power company arrived to repair the downed electric lines.  It took them all of about 15 minutes to make the repair, and we had power once again.  YAY!!!
At the end of the day, the house is finally cooling down and I'm feeling better, and I know the dogs are too!
Even with the loss of all the food in both freezers and refrigerator, and still being worn out from the heat and the trip, I can honestly say 'it's good to be home!'
It'll also be good to catch up with you and your blogs on Wednesday!