Sunday, March 12, 2023

03.12.2023 "Joe"


03.23.2023 “Joe”

  Finally, the house is back in order. All of the furniture was placed into the original places, all of the pictures were rehung on the walls, books placed back on the shelves, and all of the boxes emptied, unusable contents discarded, and the boxes finally removed from the living room, dining room and atrium. My house is back in order! It feels so good to have everything in its place. I even bought a bouquet of pink roses to celebrate the restored order. It took about 2 months to have everything completed and I will admit the dogs were skillful in negotiating the new obstacles in their pathway.

Everything back in place except for Joe. Joe is a bunny rabbit won for me at the local county fair by a charming young man when I was just a shy 16 year old young lady. My friend named him after his own nickname. Joe has traveled with me for every move since high school. He had a prominent place in my bedroom until it seemed inappropriate for a woman to have a stuffed animal in her room. So Joe lived in a box with other stuffed animals, tucked safely away in the closet. Or so I thought they were safe. It appears that the mice found their way into a few boxes in the closet, so the items that could not be salvaged were discarded. But Joe was gently placed in the washing machine for a good cleaning. Then he had a few seams sutured and he is almost as good as new.  While I do have a new and clean box ready for him for storage, I have hesitated to put him away. He reminds me of the younger days that we all thought would never end, of all of the dreams and hopes we had as we grow up and transition into adulthood. Yes, Joe will eventually be put safely away, this time with a few additional precautions to ensure that the mice do not disturb him. But until there is a guest who uses the room, he has a comfortable place on top of a few pillows. 

Meet Joe, who is now a Vintage stuffed animal! He shows a little wear but smells so good from his two washing machine baths! He lost a little of his filler but that does not seem to matter. He is still cute. Don't you agree?


Spring will be here in less than 2 weeks. It seems like we all have Spring fever here and Spring cleaning is in progress. We anticipate at least one more snowstorm this week, but it is March and the wintry effects will not last long. The boys (Fionnegan, Gunnarr and Shorty) still delight in rolling in the snow in the front yard. And I will delight in only shoveling paths instead of entire driveways and porches following the next snow. 

A pink rose to brighten the living room. I love fresh flowers in the house and have always enjoyed their presence and fragrance. They do make a difference in uplifting the mood.


Hope you all are well. Shorty will need to update his blog soon, too.

 Until next time.........



Sunday, March 5, 2023

February - 03/05/2023

Where has the time gone? February is already past and we are into March. I guess February is the shortest month of the year!

It is one of my favorite months of the year. Yes, it has been bitter cold and then it becomes unseasonably warm and confuses everything from the birds to the trees and shrubs. But, in February the days are appreciably longer, the sky is robin egg blue, and you can just feel that Spring is coming soon. Yes, Spring will be here soon. So, I don't really mind the cold and the snow in February as I am already planning my gardens. When it was warm and the snow had all melted, I was already doing Spring clean-up. But now it has snowed again and again and I am shoveling again! But there are absolutely no complaints about this winter as it has been relatively mild with rain more often than snow. The good news is that we have had sufficient precipitation so as to offset the minimal snow. One does not have to shovel rain! But I do need to manage the leaky basement,

Icicles on the lilac bush. Cold then warm, then cold again. Winter scenes are appealing, they are refreshing and clean.

Blue skies and just a wisp of clouds and snow is still covering the ground. The next day we did have a snowstorm, much to my boys delight!

Fionnegan gets up close and personal with the snow. He just puts his face right into the snowbanks and also likes to eat it as if it were ice cream.

And when your face is almost completely covered he just shakes it off. Maybe we should all learn to just shake things off whenever we are covered with something a bit annoying.

Shorty loves to play in the snow. They all run to the gate when they hear the question "Who wants to run?" And run they do, just like the cavalry.

Gunnarr is being camera shy here. He has just finished chasing Fionnegan around the yard. 

Here they are on the back porch. They spotted a squirrel outside the fence and are keeping an eye on it.

And when he is done running and playing and rolling in the snow, he loves his spot on the front porch. This is his spot and only his spot. He does not share this special real estate on the porch.


We have also been quite busy in the house. I decided to take advantage of a special deal by my contractor and paint the downstairs bedroom. And since it was being painted, this was the ideal time to remove the carpet that had been there for 30 years ever since I moved into the house. So everything had to be moved out of the room and into the dining room (the only furniture there being the chair and ottoman the dogs love) and into the living room. All of the pictures were taken down, the bookcases emptied, and knickknacks carefully placed in boxes.  There was not much time to sort through the items so everything was packed in anticipation of a clean-out as the contents were to be moved back. My old desk that was a bit sad and falling apart was sent out for repair by a local cabinet maker. The bed was the largest item placed in the pathway of the dogs run. It was pretty amazing how they negotiated the new obstacles while keeping up the speed chasing each other. 

So after 6 weeks, the room is done, the bookcase is back and the furniture is back in place. So I have been spending each evening sorting through the boxes with the goal of discarding at least 10% of the contents. Since I am not moving, I cannot discard any sentimental items or tokens of appreciation from my patients. But I can get rid of unnecessary clutter and clothes that no longer fit. The boys just go to sleep in my study as Shorty has realized he is not going upstirs to bed any time soon! After a while as it gets late, I get bored and just close a box or two and say that I will get to it some time again. Let's see how long it takes to get back to these tiresome boxes!

Now my attention turns to shoveling once more as we had a March snow storm and I need to clear the car before it becomes a block of ice!

I do hope you all are well. I will try to write again soon.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 22, 2023

01.22.2023 It snowed!

 Just after Shorty finished his blog last week ( noting that we only had a dusting of snow, I looked out the window to see big fluffy flakes falling from the sky. It was snowing fast and hard and we had over 2 inches accumulating. Now that is a rather modest snowfall, it probably was the most we had at only one time this year. We had plenty of rain, but only a few "dustings" of snow.  Then later this week it snowed a few more inches. It is so beautiful and I don't mind shoveling when it is just a few inches. Plus, it is a chance to be outside in the peace and quiet during the still of the night.

It is important not to forget our little feathered friends so I keep the feeders full of sunflower seeds and duet. I do believe they eat more than we do! We have the usual winter visitors or perhaps they are local residents - chickadees, nuthatches, titmouse, yellow bellied woodpeckers, juncos, hairy and downy woodpeckers, Carolina wrens, mourning doves, blue jays, and an occasional flock of blue birds. And the pileated woodpeckers are also in the woods behind the house chatting away loudly. There are a few owls calling at night and a falcon or two swooping past the feeders. No feathers on the ground recently, so I guess all of the little birds flew to safety before the falcon arrived! Sometimes I find a clump of feathers so it seems like the hawks do snatch their target. 



 The boys all have a different reaction to the snow. Shorty loves it. He wants to run in the front yard and rolls in the snow and eats it too. He seems to really enjoy the cold weather and playing in the snow. And he makes the tracks for Fionnegan and Gunnarr as they don't really like getting their tummies wet! After all, what are big brothers for if not to help the little ones find their way in the snow.

Fionnegan and Gunnarr also run and play but not as much as Shorty. Gunnarr follows me around the yard as I knock the snow from the hemlock boughs, and he runs up and down the ledge and under the bushes. And he does chase Fionnegan under the hemlocks and bushes, But this year it seems Fionnegan was mostly happy just watching us from the porch, keeping his paws and tummy dry! Smart dog.

Fionnegan with a bit of snow on his head and legs and paws. We will melt those snow bunnies in the bathroom with a nice warm towel rub and the hair drier when we go inside the house.

Gunnarr was having a bit of a run around the yard as I work. While they all keep a close eye on my, Gunnarr is really my shadow. He never leaves me far out of range.

He is looking for a squirrel or chipmunk.  There are also deer tracks as Bucky Deerburgher hops the fence and leaves his trail. This deer drives the boys nuts!

He was having fun making his own tracks. 

Once I am finished clearing the trees and shoveling the walkway (limited shoveling if I think it will melt!), Gunnarr rejoins Fionn on the porch. 

Christmas lights are still on the tree and handrail. The lights look nice in the snow and since it was still early morning, they are still light.

Shorty stays out with me as long as I am outside doing whatever needs to be done. He keeps an eye on me but also just runs and plays. He is lucky to have grown a very thick undercoat, even though he sheds like crazy. It does keep him warm in the cold weather and we only need to use the puffer vests when it is bitter cold. When it is time to go inside the house, he always gives me a big kiss with one very cold nose! That is how he tells me he is happy.

I do hope you all are well and warm if you live in a cold climate. We have not had much snow this winter and the skiers are disappointed. I do miss the beautiful winter scenery when there is snow, and I really enjoy watching the dogs and birds at the feeders. But I do not mind the break from constant snow shoveling!

 Until next time................

Sunday, January 1, 2023

01 January 2023 Happy New Year

 It is now 2023! How time does fly! Do you remember when we transitioned to the new millennium? It seems like only yesterday.

Maybe our new year's resolution should be to appreciate each and every day, seize every positive opportunity, and to be kind and courteous to each other. Maybe this could be the one resolution we do not break on Janury2!

May you all enjoy a healthy, peaceful, blest and safe new year.

A very Happy New Year - from my home and family to yours.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

12.24.2022 Merry Christmas


It is Christmas Eve, my favorite evening of the year. And while it is a blistering 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside, it is nice and toasty warm inside the house. We have Christmas carols on the cd player, the trees are light, and all of the candles are also lit. It is a magical feeling on Christmas. A lot of hope and excitement for children, peace for the adults. Have already been to Mass and most likely will not venture out to a Midnight Mass. There are none close by, and I am pretty comfortable and happy just being at home enjoying the quiet.


The boys also had a busy day. The stay awake whenever I am on the move - cleaning, laundry, etc, so now they need a much deserved rest. Their tummies are full and I think they also like the quiet feeling with the candlelight and music!  They endured the bitter cold without fussing. And Shorty really seems to enjoy it. His coat is very thick so he must be toasty warm. He stays in the atrium often when I am working, and it is chilly there. Maybe he just likes the peace and quiet!

 Perhaps Fionnegan smells good! They had been to the spa for a grooming. They are dressed in matching plaid puffer vests. These are thick with lamb's wool collars and lining. Gunnarr is always a bit distracted. He is watching the neighbor taking something out of his car trunk. Hard to focus on the camera when something exciting may be happening next door!




May you all be safe and healthy and enjoy a beautiful Christmas Day.

 A Christmas rose.

Merry Christmas.

 (Had a few technical difficulties. The blog also uploaded onto Shorty's blog. If possible, he is going to write his own tomorrow!  Take a look if you can:

Sunday, December 18, 2022

12.18.2022 Cars - an ordeal to keep them running

 Cars are a necessary part of life for most of us, whether we own one or not. We depend on them simply to get to where we need to go.  Some people love their car and polish and shine them and fuss over them. Some people like to race their car. Some of us are happy to make sure they still run, have a full tank of gas and are insured!

My car has been in one auto repair shop at least 8 times over three months. And the mantra of all shops I have learned is "We need to order the parts". Ugh,

It started very innocently. I took the car in to my dealership for a routine oil and filter change. I was informed that there was a small hole in the exhaust near the connector. It can be fixed simply, they said but suggested I go to a chain auto body store because it should be a segmental repair rather than a complete replacement. I like the dealership repair shop, so I took their advice. Over the years I have learned that cheaper service and parts is really not a bargain as the parts do not last. But I thought a segmental repair rather than the entire exhaust system sounded reasonable, so I booked an appointment with the local chain shop. First, they rebooked it as it was too close to closing time for an assessment (even though that time was an option on the website). But I rescheduled.  So I returned at a later date so the mechanic evaluated the exhaust system with time still on the clock. And yes, they said they could repair the segment, but "We need to order the parts".

In the meantime, the check engine light turns on. Now I am tempted to do what Penny from The Big Bang Theory did - put duck tape over it.  I have been down this road with two other cars. One had a faulty sensor so I just had to have it reset 50 miles before an inspection. The other was just annoying and related to the exhaust system. So when I took the car back for the segment repair I asked them to reset it. Oh ma'am, this could be very serious, etc. I suggested that since the exhaust had a hole in it maybe it interfered with the sensor. No, that never happens the manager said. I think they were trying to do a wallet biopsy. They did the scan and said this could be very bad. I'm taking my chances I said to myself, just reset it. And guess what, the second mechanic said they could not do a segment repair and needed to do a complete replacement of the exhaust system. He said the first mechanic was new and did not look at it carefully. Hmmm. And of course, "We need to order the parts". Since I already put money down for parts, I agreed.  Rescheduled for the following week. 

When I returned the check engine light was back on, they rescanned it and told me they misread it the first time. It was the sesnsor. The new exhaust system was installed, the check engine light reset and they tell me I need four brakes and shocks to the tune of almost $5000. I thanked them kindly for the work they did and said I would need to think about the brakes. Maybe do the front brakes, then the back brakes? No, they said you need to do them all at once. And today. I don't think so. I knew the brakes were wearing thin, but I never had to pay that much for replacement.

The good news is the check engine light stayed off, I took the car in for inspection, and it passed. Amen to that. And then a short time later there was a leak under the front of the car. Slow leak, but persistent. It was not oil, it was not from the air conditioner, so that left engine coolant or transmission fluid. Yes, I looked it up on the internet. So back to the dealership I go, and by the way, I mentioned, please check the brakes. Yes, I needed the brakes and calipers replaced but for far less that the chain auto body shop. But the leak was from the transmission and yes "We need to order the parts". Since it was a slow leak, I was able to reschedule another appointment for the following week.

So I am now back in the dealership. Enjoying the free Wi-Fi and working on my computer and drinking one cup of tea after another to keep warm. The car is fixed, the transmission line replaced, and she is ready to go. What a relief.  Trust but confirm is my motto. And I looked under the car every day to see if the leak was really fixed.

Within two weeks there is a huge puddle under my car at the same site as the previous leak. But this time I can watch the fluid drip, drip, drip from under the car. It did not stop. Everywhere I went there was a big puddle so I was back at the dealership early in the morning. This time it was the engine coolant. The drain line was rusted, just like the line from the transmission was rusted. There was a huge hole and the mechanic did not think it was safe to drive. The engine could seize and I could be in an accident at the worst or stranded at the least. We can fix it, they said, but "We need to order the parts". 

I left the car with them. This time I rented a car. Afterall, I need to get to work so I can pay for all of these repairs! They did fix it, I am happy to say. No more leaks, the brakes work just fine and the exhaust system is working quite well. And yes, I still look under the car to make sure there are no more leaks. And you know you are at the auto shop far too often when they send you a birthday card! With luck, I will not have to go back until the next oil change.

The boys are doing well. Fionnegan and Gunnarr had a spa date for their Christmas haircut and baths. Shorty and I went for a nice walk or rather a near run. I don't know if he was just so excited to be out, but he ran most of the time we were out. And he seemed absolutely delighted! He does well in cold weather. He has grown a thick coat to keep him warm and he sheds heavily every two years. I think his coat is now too heavy for summer. 

Fionnegan and Gunnarr have been sharing this dog bed in the kitchen since they were pups. If one is already in it, the other will wiggle himself next to him. This is a pre-spa photograph. I like the longer hair on them, but it is time for nail clipping and a bath, too. 

Shorty is my true companion. He has his quirks but he is adorable most of the time. He still does not like to be brushed, but has no say in the matter, especially since he is shedding so much now. I think he secretly like it as it must feel really good to get rid of that loose hair. And I give him a little massage too!

Group photo! It is amazing that they will line up for a picture!

Shorty looks at the camera far more often than the other too. Gunnarr is still a bit shy until yo ask him if he wants a kiss or a treat. Then he will look at the camera.

There were some beautiful lilies at Trader Joes last week. I bought two bunches and they house is so very fragrant. The lilies are beautiful, too.

After a while the boys were posing for the camera so I took a few more pictures. I think they flash intrigues them.




And yes, they all got kisses and a treat for being good!

I do hope you all are doing well and getting ready for the holidays. We have a live tree in the living room and a fake tree in the tv room. I do like the lights and enjoy them and the peaceful feeling they bring. It is good to take a breather sometimes.

Until next time, please stay safe and well.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

11.24.2022 Happy Thanksgiving

 It is already Thanksgiving Day 2022. Seems like just yesterday it was the beginning of summer. I haven't cooked a turkey in years, but it was my turn to do so. The turkey is done when the meat falls off the bone right? Well, that is how we gauged it. And it was easy to separate the meat from the bones. It was a nice feast to celebrate a day of thanksgiving for all of the blessings that are bestowed upon us each and every day. We know that there are many troubles both here in our country and abroad and pray that one day soon we all will enjoy a peaceful existence.  We all have to work towards that goal for it to happen.

The day ended with a wonderful walk through the woods and around the baseball fields and grade school. Just enough to keep the dogs happy and me getting some fresh air. It is good to stretch after eating dinner.

It was a good day for the holiday group picture. Shorty never seems to mind the camera, Gunnarr is a bit shy and Fionnegan is happy to oblige. 

Nap time. A big lunch, a long walk and some fresh air and it is time to snooze. What a big yawn for one little dog! Fionn is always very expressive.

Of course, everyone has a blanket!

Shorty is my loyal companion. He is such a sweetheart. He is still evolving into one really good and polite dog. He lets me through the gates first and waits for me to start up the steps before he races past me. Still won't take a bath and still does not like to be brushed, but other than that he is one relatively easy dog.

Gunnarr and a big smile. He was just sitting there smiling, smiling, smiling. He rearely lets me out of his sight!

Fionnegan resting after chasing a chipmunk. And also chasing his brother Gunnarr!  They still play like puppies, and they are now nine years old. Love the energy.

The last frost killed the last of my flowers.  Will need to find some hanging balls of greenery and a wreath for the porch to give it some color and life. It is a bit more welcoming to have some type of flowers or decorations at the front. And soon it will be Christmas, so might as well as start planning!

I do hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. It feels good to have a day off in the middle of the week. For those of you who are traveling, may you enjoy safe travels as you visit family and friends.

Until next time, please stay well.