Sunday, July 28, 2019

Back Home in Virginia!

I'll say it again...My trip, as I've made no secret about, was wonderful, although a day or two, too short.
The time away allowed me to unwind, step back, evaluate, and spend time recentering.  In the process, priorities have been realigned as well as readjusting goals.
Our drive home was uneventful. Todd, Max, Rhett and Charlie were totally worn out.  It was a "good tired." They all slept nearly the entire time for the 7 hour drive.

But now we're back home, and time to step back into real life and our routine.
~Getting ready to leave -Max & Rhett were a bit worried~
Work tomorrow. For the first time in almost a month all of the staff (including the doctor) will be there. It's going to be a be a busy day and week too.
Carl did a great job caring for the dogs while we were gone. All was well when we got back.
I did want to show off Alf who went to the groomer (again) just before I left.  You'll recall, my middle of the night idea, had him looking like a Lab in a yeti coat.
And now he looks like this. (below) With the heat, Alf is definitely happier and looking better too.  It really was the best and right thing to do to have him "buzzed" completely down.  By winter he'll have a really nice coat to keep him warm.

Outside, there are no sightings of the wrens around the house.
~This handsome Cardinal kept tapping on the window of the cabin. My friend said this is his 2nd year he's done this
I did take the wren nest down in the garage. Inside was one egg that didn't hatch. I put the nest into the woods in a quiet place. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
Have a good week!
~Sunset, our last day in Tennessee~

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Our Last Day

Our last day in Tennessee. After a couple of days or torrential rain, the sun has come out.
~I saw a dog in these you?~
Despite the rain, the time away has been all that I'd hoped it would be. I've decided that next time I come, I'm going to have to stay a bit longer.
Five days just doesn't seem like enough time to do everything there is to do here. Especially this time of year.
I think Todd
And Rhett may just agree.

So, today I'll take the last of my photos and head home in the morning.
Despite wishing I could stay a bit longer,
 ... it's always good to leave a place like this, looking forward to coming back again.
And I'm already looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Recharging in Tennessee

In the cold and gloomy days of January my mind  was already thinking ahead to warmer days and vacation. This was helped along when the doctor I work for told us that he'd be taking 2 weeks off for a family trip overseas. So, I contacted my friends in eastern Tennessee, and reserved their cabin.  We've been here several times before, but never in July.
~Todd, my sleeping co-pilot~
At the time, July seemed so far away, but here we are, at a place that I've come to love and enjoy for its peaceful setting and as a place to recharge my inner batteries --  And it's dog-friendly too.  (Carl is a left-behinder at home with the other dogs) 
~Early morning view from the porch of the cabin~
I may be here alone, but I'm not totally alone. With me on this trip is a very shaggy Todd, Charlie, Rhett and Max.
~On the way with Rhett probably wondering "are we there yet??"
And here for the first couple of days was a longtime friend who I have known since about 1975 when she dated my oldest brother.  Their dating may not have worked out, but Teresa's friendship and connection with my entire family, and ours with hers over all these years is one that without question, I truly value and treasure. Teresa lives just over an hour away from the cabin and it worked out perfectly with her schedule to come. We talked and laughed until the late hours of the night and ate too much.
~Freshly baked blackberry cobbler is best enjoyed with a friend!~
It was really great fun having her here, if only for a couple of days!
~We took a drive through Smokey Mountain National Park~
Now that I'm alone, and with 2 days left of my trip, it's time to just relax, reflect and of course recharge before I get back to my life.
I hope you're having a good week!

UPDATE on the Wrens in our garage. 

They family of Wrens were ready to leave before I thought they would be, and they did not leave quietly or without a little drama.  The drama came when one of the three fledglings appeared to not quite be able to find its way out of the garage. This really upset the parents who made no secret of their unhappiness with the situation. I think the fledgling was one that got "misplaced" when it fell out of the nest the day before -- During the day I saw it fall behind a box on the top shelf, fly and land on Gino's bed, sitting on top of the garage door, on the floor, and finally the next morning, I saw it sitting on top of my van looking in the direction of the big scary world. That was the last time I saw any of the wrens. It appears they all made it out of the garage safely!  Yay!!
~Two of the three wren fledglings out of the nest on flight day~

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Power Outage

Summer storms are nothing unusual, especially this time of the year. The one we had on Wednesday afternoon wasn't too bad as far as storms go. It passed through pretty quickly and the skies began to clear. Then, for a still unknown reason, our power went out.
It was a mostly sleepless night. I kept waking up for reasons ranging from thinking I heard a dog barking outside, (there wasn't), the power coming back on (it hadn't) and to let Gino back into the garage, (because he was meowing to be let out).  We were up early sitting on our front porch as the day began.
Sometimes it's nice just to sit and listen as the world around you wakes up.
But life has a way of creeping back in and I had to think about getting ready for work. Thinking through how we were going to manage 3 of us getting ready for work, with no power, little sleep, and a limited amount of water made for a bit of a challenge.
Thankfully our power was restored around 11 o'clock, and the regular programming of life resumed.
But last evening, we were all in bed by 9 o'clock.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Gino and The Wrens

I saw the wren in the garage about a week ago when I was leaving for work. I checked the top shelf, and sure enough, back behind the small chain-saw, there was a nest. Thinking it was a "new-nest-construction" I decided that when I got home I would knock it down.

I decided this only because our mostly outdoor kitty Gino living in the garage doesn't make for the best of neighborhood to raise a family of birds. I know the picture below makes him look innocent and like a real marshmallow. But trust me, Gino has a wildlife-crime record. Unfortunately. But he is a cat and an outdoor one at that. Last year we had another family of wrens build a nest in the same spot and Gino (somehow) managed to get onto the shelf one night and know.... I really enjoy the wrens and was really sad when the lives of the nesting birds came to an end. And, I know it goes without saying that I don't want that to happen again.

So, when I got home from work, I decided I was simply going to just knock the nest off the shelf with a broom. Carl said he'd take care of it with a gentler approach and just put it into the trash. When he took the nest off the shelf, inside were 3 little wrens with barely any feathers.  I was glad he'd not done it my way for once. He put the nest back and we hoped that our disturbing it wouldn't be an issue. It wasn't.

And so now I'm watching the parents fly in and out of the garage. We're opening the door first thing in the morning, and close it after dark which gives the wren time to get settled in for the night.
And the air is now filled with the wren's loud shrill-rattling-warble-warning of danger. The danger is of course Gino.

I just hope they heed their own warnings and stay safe and leave the neighborhood soon!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Finish Line!!

I had a hectic, crazy and busy past week because I worked every day - And it reminded me of why I don't want to work every day. But with my counterpart at my office gone on vacation, and the doctor I work for getting ready to leave for a 2 week vacation, it created the perfect storm for my putting in more than 40 hours at the office.

With that all behind us, the pace of the next couple of weeks slows down for us.  It will be a welcomed break and a much needed one too.
~The sunflowers are in bloom - Photo taken last year~   
Not that there hasn't been some fun in the past week.  Last Saturday my friend and I attended a dog show.  It's was great fun to see all the different breeds of dogs.
And of course it was fun to see the favorites. 
And the ones hidden under a lot of hair.
Then of course there are the Golden Retrievers. How do the judges decide when they seem to be cookie-cutter images of one another?

Back at our house where all the dogs are different and unique - It has been a mostly quiet weekend for us.
We did however take time to just sit on the porch.
It was nice to just sit and soak up the hot afternoon sun.
I think Todd liked it too.
And I think that I am practically giddy that I am only working 2 days in the next 2 weeks.
Let the needed recharging time begin!