Sunday, April 11, 2021

04.11.2021 A belated Happy Easter

 How did the day get away from me!  It was a beautiful Easter Sunday. First, went to Mass in the morning - many people were there. The Church was beautifully decorated with Spring flowers inside and outside. There was even Mass outside in the courtyard. It had a very fresh and renewal feeling. A good Easter Sunday start.

Then it was time with the boys. Ran around the yard with them and they do have Spring fever! They ran and chased each other and were smiling and exhausted when they finished. They stood on the deck panting with a bright glimmer in their eyes and a big smile on their faces.

Now, I had to write Shorty's blog ( Yes, he takes priority! Then there was no time for mine. I did prepare an Easter brunch for a few friends and we had a wonderful time. I am not a good cook, so I am always pleased when the meal is presentable and palatable! I even made a bunny cake - had that cake mold for 15 years and it was still in its original package! No time like the present. It leaned a little to the right, but otherwise stood as the table centerpiece until we ate him. I think the new stove with a proper functioning oven was the deciding factor to bake. He was even decorated with raison eyes and a nose, green grass to hide a few chocolate covered peanuts by his side. Maybe I'll bake another one in 15 years!

Here he the bunny fresh out of his mold - no frosting yet and standing upright! I was amazed he did not fall over on his side, so I put him in the refrigerator with two small jelly glasses by his side to give him support until he firmed enough to stand without the threat of falling. It worked. Also used a bit of chocolate icing on the plate so he would stick to the bottom. That was a really good suggestion found on the instructions on how to bake this cake. Good thing I kept everything.

The gardens are also showing signs of life - with a few snow drops and crocuses and daffodils in blooms. The hyacinths are just starting to bud, too. Still a lot of work to do and I am taking advantage of every nice day to clean the beds and prepare for mulching. In the fall I will need to plant more bulbs for more Spring time color.

Flowering shrub - I need to find out its name. These are at least 20 years old and still flower every Spring. They are my first shrubs to bloom.

A hyacinth and johnny jump ups (violets) emerging. More picture to come when they are in bloom!


We also have a pair of nesting cardinals in the shrub by the front door and the carolina wrens are also near the house. Wonder where they will build their nest this year. Last year it was on the wreath on the front door. And we are looking forward to the hummingbirds returning soon.

It was a beautiful Easter Sunday with good friends and a good meal. This Sunday the weather told cold within a short time while we were outside with a very cold wind. So probably not much yard work today!

I hope you all are well and enjoying life.  Stay well.

Gunnarr, Shorty, Fionnegan. Yes they do pose for me!

Until next time.......

Sunday, March 14, 2021

03.14.2021 Spring teases

 March 2021 came in like a lion. We could hear the wind blowing hard and heard quite a few snaps and crashes as tree branches fell around the yard. Fortunately  there was no damage to the house or car! A little time doing some yard clean up and hauling branches over the hill to the brush pile and the yard is mostly clean again - still has packed snow and ice in many places but you can see the brown grass and flower beds that will need cleaned soon. Spring is coming soon! 

Then it was warm - really warm. The 6 foot snow banks that the dogs love to climb to play "king of the mountain" are quickly melting. We even had lunch outside on the deck on the sunny side of the house. It felt so good to be warm outdoors. Everyone has Spring fever. The dogs are running around chasing each other, squirrels, birds and any little mouse that dares pop it's head up through the underground or snow bank burrows. And now it is cold again. Welcome Spring!

It won't be long before we are in our Spring routine. I have already been dong some garden preparations by removing some dead plant leaves that I left so the ground would not be muddy for little paws when it rained. Am removing only a little at a time until the gardens can be mulched to try to keep those paws as dry as possible. The dogs are also helping me with the Spring garden preparations by digging more holes for  me. Dirty faces, dirty paws, happily wagging tails! What could possibly be so interesting in the ground for them? They saw me coming and I called  No digging and they starting furiously digging as they must know their time is limited for this apparently most pleasant and intriguing activity for them. Really dirty faces!

There is always something interesting happening outside the gate. They watch for birds, squirrels, chipmunks and any family member of our neighbors to come outside. They also listen and then call out to Tukka and Oliver our neighbor dogs. There are times when all of the dogs are howling at each other! That is when it is time to come back inside the house. There are other neighbors that may not appreciate canine communications!

Signs of Spring. The daffodils and hyacinths have broken ground! These are close to the house where is it warm. Won't be long now for more flowers to poke through the earth. 

We are all enjoying a little warmth and sunshine after lunch.

Gunnarr. He has become very attached over this past year of the pandemic. He likes having me home more often and really becomes quite upset when I must go to the office. He is a precious companion, loves to sit right at my side and looks at me with loving eyes. he tilts his heads and listens to my every word. Sometimes I just tell stories as he listens intently. No one has ever listened to me like that! He has had a few challenges this year - one trip to the vet for a torn dew claw that really bled and this month he sprained a knee running in the yard. But he recovered well and is back to normal chasing Fionnegan. He is such a pleasure.

Fionnegan. Loving, ornery, athletic, and how he loves to cuddle and sleep on my lap. He has a special place on a desk near my computer to keep me company while I work from home. He sometimes will look at the computer screen and looks very mystified when I show him pictures of himself and Gunnarr and Shorty. And he was really stunned to see the video of them all playing in the yard. I wonder how these little brains handle this technology! He has such energy - he rarely just walks - but runs in the house and outside with such enthusiasm. He is a joy. 

Shorty. My Yapese dog and excellent companion. He too is ornery, clever and very smart. He is very inquisitive and watches me like a hawk whenever I am cooking, cleaning and doing household and outdoor chores. He also is the guard dog of the house and barks loudly to alarm me of someone at the door of my house, the mailman at the mailbox and the neighbors in their yard. 

He has adjusted so well to a more structured life than the life we had in Yap. And he loves his forest walks in the mornings when the weather is nice. But I must always keep an eye on him. One day he slipped through the outside gate while I was shoveling snow. He wanted to visit the neighbors! He walked along the road and my concern is that he never has shown any fear of cars.  Fortunately wondered into their driveway and up their sidewalk. And most fortunate for both if us, he let me readily connect his leash to his collar and walked very calmly home with me. A short lived adventure, no doubt. Since then he is still very good by the gate and doesn't rush it when I am passing in and out of the yard. He knows better. And so do I. I must be very careful so this does not happen again. He is a love.

Looks like it is nap time and time for me to do a few more chores. 

May you all stay safe during this pandemic. Let's pray the worst is behind us.

Monday, February 22, 2021

02.22.2021 Bluebirds of Spring

 February is one of my favorite months. The mornings are light earlier and the days are light longer and we often have beautiful bright blue cloudless skies. We also have some bitter cold weather, too, in February. And even though we have over two feet of snow on the ground, you can feel Spring is close. Spring is in the air.

And nothing was more convincing of that then yesterday afternoon. It was a gorgeous day. It was warmer (OK, the sun was out and it was above the freezing mark) and crisp and clear. And there was a flock of 8 bluebirds at my feeders! These beautiful birds - six males and two females - were feasting at the suet feeder right in front of the kitchen window. What a treat to watch them. They were joined at the feeders by titmouse, chickadees, juncos and hairy woodpeckers.  What a treat to watch them and take an occasional photograph. While they were leery of me and  especially the camera, they totally ignored the dogs sitting on the porch right next to the feeder. It was a nice way tot spend an afternoon. Taxes can always be done later!

These bluebirds fluffed up their feathers as insulation against the cold weather. 

My fellow birders!

Please stay well. And enjoy each and every day as a special gift.

Until next time......

Sunday, February 21, 2021

02.21.2021 Shorty's adventure

So as not to repeat the activity of this week, please go to Shorty's blog:

He tells the story of his moment of freedom as he slipped past me through the outside gate while I was shoveling snow. He ran along the road for the first time since he arrived from Yap. He likes the neighbor boy and his dogs and went for a short lived visit!

We have been mostly working and shoveling snow. Before the last storm we had a day of sunshine and the boys have been enjoying the time outside! 

Time for me to prepare to do my taxes and make lunch for the boys. Will write more very soon.

Until next time........

Sunday, February 14, 2021

02.14.2021 Happy Valentine's Day - St Valentine's Day

 It has been a while since I last posted. So much for new year resolutions. But Shorty has been active on his blog -, so I guess that I have done some blogging. Look for cute pictures of him and his brothers.

We have been very busy, especially these last two weeks when I have had the opportunity to hone my shoveling skills. There was even too much snow for Shorty to make his path for Fionnegan and Gunnarr so I had to make paths for them. They followed me like little ducklings and looked so cute. Regretfully, there are no pictures of them walking behind me, step by step as I shoveled.

Shorty also hurt his leg running but is now back to normal chasing squirrels and playing with Fionn and Gunnarr. They do seem to love rolling around in the snow - as long as it is not too deep.

Valentine's Day has a complicated  history. It was first established as a holiday in the 5th century (496 AD) to commemorate the live of the saint who was a clergyman in Rome. Rumor has it that he wrote a letter and signed it as "from Your Valentine" and this day has subsequently been associated with love. Be careful how you sign your letters!  So it is not a Hallmark holiday afterall!  

So for those of you with a special love in your life, so something special for them. And may  you all be safe and healthy in this era of the coronavirus pandemic.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.

Friday, January 1, 2021

01.01.2021 Farewell 2020 Welcome 2021

 2020 did not live up to expectations, that is for certain. 

May 2021 bring us more love, more joy and more peace and happiness and stability. May we all treasure those that are special to us and take comfort in knowing that the future will be bright once again.

Happy New Year to you all from my boys and me.

Fionnegan and Gunnarr take a pre-celebration nap after their bath. Shorty is keeping watch after a nie massage and brushing.

New Year's Day - on patrol keeping watch in all directions! 

My very best wishes to you and your family for a safe, healthy and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 25, 2020

12.25.2020 Merry Christmas

 It is my sincere wish that you all enjoyed a happy, healthy and wonderful Christmas holiday.

We had a busy Christmas. It starts with Christmas which is my favorite evening of the year. I think I enjoy it so much as it extends the Christmas Day celebrations. There was no midnight Mass this year nearby because of the pandemic, so I went to a local Church for an early afternoon Mass. I just pretended it was Midnight and that I still had a lot of time to prepare for Christmas Day! Christmas Eve was enjoyed with close friends and we had a lovely dinner together. Then back home for a little quiet time with the boys.

What a day they had. A friend mailed them presents - lots of presents, mostly the kind that they can eat. Gunnarr sniffed out his present and promptly set to very neatly taking of the wrapping paper and opening the barbeque sticks. He did share. Fionnegan was a little overwhelmed and retired to watch from the couch. Shorty enjoyed the gifts and even opened one up for me. A special dinner was made for us and they all promptly took a long nap. What a peaceful day. Did not really mind the rain as I was grateful I would not have to shovel snow today. Water in the basement, but not a flood.

All gone. No more treats or toys. But Gunnarr and Fionnegan keep checking.

Time for another nap, Shorty settling in on the couch.

Gunnarr and Fionnegan wait for me at the door.

May you all enjoy the peace and joy and blessings of this beautiful Christmas season. May you and your families stay safe and healthy. And do keep hope for a better future. 

Merry Christmas.

If you would like to see see pictures of the boys enjoying their presents, visit Shorty's website: Is that your dog?  

Thursday, December 17, 2020

12.17 2020. Life happens ......

Most likely you have heard the saying that "Life happens while you are making other plans". That could sum up this year for me and many others. I know that I am not alone in this. The pandemic had a way of taking care of most plans. 

My plans this year included a trip to Rome to see the holy sites, a birding trip, my volunteer trip to Honduras and to spend my birthday in a European Christmas market. I have always wanted to do that - visit a European Christmas market. The city did not really matter except that I was thinking of visiting a country where I have never traveled. That would satisfy two goals - a new country and a new experience. I had almost confirmed  the travel plans last year before the coronavirus took hold of our lives. I was that certain that I would be traveling in December. O such plans! Every birthday is a big one at this stage in life, but this one was really a milestone. I wanted to celebrate in style.

So if I cannot go to Europe, then I thought I would go to Maine for my birthday - closer but safe. All set, reservations made. Looking forward to walking along one of my favorite coves and towns in Maine. In November the new travel restrictions were placed on us and I guess that I just do not feel comfortable traveling when we are supposed to stay home and safe. We are not supposed to travel to a red covid state, and with the exception of Hawaii, they are all red states. OK, so no European Christmas market, no quaint Maine bed and breakfast, what about a lovely dinner in a local restaurant. Stay local and support our own. Sounded good to me. Reservations made. Plans made in my head. Finish work, feed the boys, then a nice quiet but special dinner. Sounded great. O what plans.

First we had a snowstorm and instead of sleeping in, I was outside shoveling snow 18 inches deep. OK, no problem, still have dinner plans. Happy birthday to me. Will get the car shoveled out, the walkway is clear. I am all set.  Will make it to dinner.

Working remotely has never been a problem and today should not have been a problem. We had no power outage, so what could go wrong? Well, I'll tell you what went wrong. No internet connection on the computer that I use for work that allows access to the larger files and programs. I had an internet connection on a small computer (my Microsoft surface that I love but less capacity and not used for work) but none on my work computer. How can that be? They were sitting right next to each other! Talk to each other - please. But to no avail. The work computer did not recognize any internet site anywhere. Not the neighbors and certainly not mine in my house! Are you kidding me????? I had to download new programs and access special websites on the small computer. And the computer phone was not working either. What a day. Finally caught up at the end of the day. We always catch up at the end of the day! That is why it is the end of the day!

Now I could really use that dinner! Called the restaurant to make sure they were open and not closed because of the snowstorm. O, what was I thinking. They closed yesterday because of a "covid incident". Are you kidding me? So I bundled myself and the boys in our warm clothes and went back outside and finished shoveling another porch and more of the driveway. More to clear off the car as well. It is good exercise. But what about dinner? Wasn't this a special birthday? Wasn't a celebration in order?

Well, my options for dinner were leftovers, a frozen dinner or pizza. Pizza it is. The boys like the crusts and I enjoy the store - bought pizza. So I pulled out my good china and stemware (why not?), had a nice glass of wine and a wonderful pizza dinner and salad as my special birthday treat. The boys were good, I called my Mom and it was a wonderful night afterall. I didn't need to travel to Europe or Maine to have a nice birthday - but I would have liked to see if it made it feel more special. That is what next year is all about. It is good to have dreams and goals and plan for next year. Never lose hope! 

We had fun outside early in the morning. Shorty, my Yapese dog from that tropical island, loves the snow. While Fionnegan and Gunnarr had second thoughts about going out in the snow, Shorty plowed ahead and made a trail for them. Once the little ones had a path, they did much better and all three were sniffing through the snow for most likely mice or moles or some little creature. They are a delight to watch and that in itself is a nice birthday present.

Here is my Shorty under the bushes and trees, having fun. He is really good at allowing me to dress him in a sweater and coat.

Fionnegan is very reluctant to play in the snow. He seems to like it the least. Gunnarr is trying to coax him to come and play. Fionn was outside all of two minutes and already his front leg is out of one PJ suit and sweater.

Snow on the hemlocks, causing the bows to touch the ground.

Lots of snow. This is a birdbath.

Shorty leads the way. Good boy.

Fionnegan and Gunnarr

Fionnegan. He just wasn't that into it. Clothes falling off, snow bunnies on his hair, he probably just wanted us all to come inside and play with him. And play he did when we went inside the house.

Gunnarr with a snow covered face and nose will follow me anywhere. I need to keep an eye on him as he would like to go through the gate if I am going going out. Sit, stay. Please.

My dear Shorty. Loves the snow. He is so much fun - we can run through the snow and he likes to play chasing games with his brothers and me!

Not the best photograph but they are probably feeling like - glad we are dry and inside the house! They love to sit on the landing. It is a good perch for them and they can see everything inside the house from that vantage point.

All in all, a good birthday. 

My best wishes are with all of you to stay safe and healthy and have a little fun. Even if you are confined to your house. We can find joy if we chose to find it wherever we are.

Stay well..