Sunday, February 27, 2011

a day in the BIG city

Oh goodie.. more snow!! which is just about how we felt getting up this morning. We had plans to go to Boston for the day, in celebration of Sadie's birthday, and even though the weather looked like this, we decided to go anyways. It's sort of getting to the point that if you stayed in on account of the weather, you probably wouldn't be going anywhere!!!

Sadie thought it might be a fun, family day.. to take Abbie to the aquarium in Boston. We were all up for it, and I decided to bring Ginger as well, and do a bit of service dog training in the "big" city. Abbie loves to travel, and is getting to the point where she notices things "outside" of the truck and likes to "comment" on them. Rides are now full of all sorts of "conversation" with Abbie!!!

I must admit, I am far from a city girl.. but it did look kind of "cool" in the snow. We thought it might be raining by the time we got there, being "south" Boston has weather very different from ours... but we didn't find any rain.. just more snow.

I was a little surprised at how busy it was at the aquarium. Course, a winter Sunday afternoon, and the end of school vacation, I guess I should have known better.

Here's Tom, Sadie and Abbie.... waiting to go inside....

Kas, Nate and Abbie......

Once we got in, there was much to see. It's quite a wonderful place and really great for any age. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of Ginger there, but I can tell you, she was wonderful and wasn't at all "bothered" by penguins.

Abbie was totally fascinated by it all. She loved watching all the fish in the big tank. They have sea turtles, sharks and sting rays to name a few of the creatures in the center tank.

They also have "touch" pools where the kids (anyone) can handle different sea creatures. Abbie had a great time playing with all of them.

We stayed just a few hours. For the adults, it was plenty of time to see it all, and for a little girl and a puppy, it was more than enough time.

The parks in the city were pretty with the new snow. Once we got out of the city, we stopped and had supper together, and it was just a nice way to end a very fun day.

And this pretty much tells you how much fun we had... and how tiring it was. A full tummy, lots of things seen and a new penguin, makes for a happy little girl.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

winter evening

"Winter, are you back again? We all thought the groundhog said you were leaving.... guess the groundhog didn't know what he was talking about"... and so, this was the view this morning... howling winds, snow... cold.... spring isn't looking very close. Thursday night's forecast was 2-4 inches, and in the morning it was more like 10-12... ugh!!! I will certainly enjoy seeing the field green again, and watching the horses venture out more than just a few feet from the barn!!!!

All in all, it was a good day for "inside" projects, Ed is finishing up the final touches on the new pantry shelves and I am getting into paint mode. The shelves will be the same red as the lower cabinets. I am trying to organize this space in my head while getting it ready. I'm pretty excited about all this space and I'll even be able to finish unpacking some boxes in the basement that contain "kitchen things"... Abbie, by the way, supervised it all.

Despite the weather, we headed down to the hometown for an evening with the family. My brother in law - Ed - makes the most amazing home made pizza and fried dough!!! I had been hoping to get the family here for a pizza night, but with our heavy snow and icy conditions (that they don't get on the coast).. I haven't felt "safe" asking everyone. Doesn't matter, it's just getting together that is fun, and so we went to my parents house.

Here are my folks, brother in law Ed and my sister Becky... the pizza was just grand, and so good with all kinds of fresh items on it!!!! We're definitely going to have to do this again!!!!

The entertainment of the evening.... old slides!!! My sister Becky, especially loves to have my Dad pull these out and we have an evening of laughter. My Dad has taken such good care of all his slide equipment, and it works like a charm . Some different from all the digital stuff we have today, but at one time... all this was the "latest"....

The three cousins always seem to have a good time together. Kelsey is so wonderful with the little ones, and they truly adore her. Naomi is getting used to the idea of Abbie.. hard to share the spotlight sometimes!!!! It was such a fun evening, and we are so blessed to live close to each other and be able to do this sort of thing at anytime....

and just to give you an idea of how "old" the slides were (are)..... well, a picture with worth a thousand words!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

golden girl day

Another check in day at NEADS, goodness the months fly by. We go down once a month to check in with Dave and make sure everyone is on track. Ginger and Leo love to go, and some of the gals from the puppy house got to see the two puppies and see how much they have grown.

Dave ran us up to the training room, we took the elevator up and he was pleased to see how well the pups are doing with that (thanks to our trips to the hospital) Then he went thru the "check in list" and I am proud to say that both Leo and Ginger are right where they should be. He gave us some homework lessons, and then we all piled into the van and headed to the local grocery store.

We sat and chatted a bit while Dave observed the puppies around the "traffic" going in and out of the store, how the handled the noise of the shopping carts, and all the people that stopped to admire them.

As you can easily see, both of them thought... "this isn't any big deal"......

But, here's the surprise... the Maine puppy chapter has a new puppy raiser and puppy..... the gal is Bernice and the puppy is Loyalty ("T" for short). He is a four month old St. Poodle.. NEADS uses a number of Standards in their program. Bernice is an experienced "poodle person".. so this is going to be a great match. And the nice(er) thing, Bernice lives close to Kathleen and I, so it's going to be easy to do puppy training together.....

Look out goldens!!! There's a new kid on the block (and I think he can give them a run for their money!!!!!)

Some parting words and advise from Dave... and it was time to head for home. Goodness the day here goes by fast!!!!

Ginger was happy to hop in the car and sit with her "kitty"... she was pretty tired at the end of the day. I forget sometimes that she is just (almost) six months old, and still gets tired!!!!

Course, we can't have a trip without our usual stop for "lunch/supper"... they're so good to us here and the puppies are more than welcomed. So, good day, good fun and another month come and gone. Hopefully when we head down next month, some of "that white stuff" will be melted away.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

back to work!!!!

Monday was a holiday.. and as it so happened, I was in between dog sessions as well. So, Kas, Sadie and I all planned a day of "shopping"... well, they went shopping, I don't shop.. but I do have a service puppy to work!!! Our original plan was to poke around the city, but plans were all changed around and we ended up heading out to a mall. I haven't been to this particular mall in years, so I really didn't know what would be in store for the
"golden girl" and I, but that is what the public training is all about.

Deb was able to join us as well, she is looking for a "Mother of the Bride" dress for Lauren's wedding next summer. I assured all the shoppers that I was totally happy poking around the mall with Ginger and practicing all sorts of lessons... "under" being one of them. Funny how this service dog thing has changed me.. I actually look to go to malls, ride in elevators, and a few other activities that were never on my list of things to do. Ginger had a good day, and of course, she got lots of attention. It's fun to see how folks behave around her, some just don't "get it", others know that she is a working dog and shouldn't be bothered.. and some just have to stop and ask all the questions.. but again, I don't mind any of it.

We popped into one store that had these big mirrors... Ginger could not believe her eyes... another Golden in the store??? "Mom!! do you see this??? Look at the beautiful dog!!!"

"Wait a minute... that's me!!!!! "

"Oh, I am way prettier than I even thought!!!"

OK, I'll admit it, for the past few weeks I have been fussing at Ed about the pantry. It's on our 'needs to be finished" list, and since it isn't (hasn't) been done, I haven't really moved into yet. The bad part is, it's becoming a catch all for everything, and stuff is piling up. I can't find anything in there, and the more the piles grow the worse it gets. So, I said to my dear Ed, its time to get that project done!!!!

"well", he says "make it so I can get in there and get something done". Which I did (and now everything in there is living on the dining room table)... but there is room to get it done.

And so, true to his word... Ed got the shelves made for the pantry!!!!

The "thing is".. it only took him one (long) afternoon to finish it.. I thought this was a project that would have taken days!!! Had I known it was going to be so quick, I would have been fussing months ago!!! It looks so nice and is exactly what I was hoping for...

but, guess who has the work now??? I need to get the shelves primed and painted before I can move in... so, think I better get done with this blog and get to work!!! I can't wait to move in here!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

just around the house

Well, this HAS to be a good sign. I am beginning to see my garden horse once again. We have had some "almost" spring days, and it's amazing how quickly the snow will drop with just a bit of warmth and some sunshine. I know we aren't out of the woods yet with this "winter thing".. but even big storms now don't stay around that long. Another month or so.. we're getting closer.

One thing that has been so great about this house is the sunshine. All afternoon we get the sun shinning in the living room. It makes it warm and cozy and there are plenty of spots to take those cat (dog) naps in. During the evenings, we fire up the "little" stove and we're all nice and snug.

Abbie has been into all sorts of new games. This one being "ghost" I guess. She found one of Sadie's scarfs and draped it over her head and ran all about. She would run up to you, grab your leg and when we sounded "scared", she laughed and laughed and ran to the next person.

She is just so much fun at the this age, and everyday that she is here with us I count as one of the greatest blessings in my life. She is also doing so many different things with "walking"... she walks backwards, on her tip toes, walks with her arms behind her back.. all sorts of ways.. it is so funny to watch her!!!!

And if Abbie isn't entertaining enough.. there's always Ginger. She tears through this house like a whirlwind and is always picking up something. Which, for a service dog, is a good trait. But she has a real thing about Abbie's slinky.... and anytime she can find that, she is one happy girl. I have been doing work with her back pack, and she hardly knows it's there when she can play with the slinky. I think I'm going to have to get Abbie a new slinky and let Ginger keep this one!!!!

I have a project going right now... a little baby quilt. A friend of mine is having her baby at the end of the week - a little boy - so I wanted to get a quilt done for her. (actually as this blog is written, the quilt is complete and ready to be taken to my friend). I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out, I think she will like it.

Ah.. bacon!!! a favorite of mine!!!! We have it almost every Sunday, from the pig that my sister raised. I can't even begin to tell you how yummy this is, our bacon is getting low and I am going to be so sad when we run out of it!!!

And fresh eggs... the "girls" are laying again and we are getting 4 to 7 eggs a day. So far we can keep up with them, but I am sure that I will be looking for "homes" for those fresh eggs.... so if anyone would like a dozen or so, just let me know!!!!!

Oh.. and my steamer!!! you know "they" always tell the menfolk never to give appliance type things to their wives for Christmas. Well, Ed and I have never followed that rule and I have received many appliance type gifts and have loved them all. But this year, Ed gave me a steamer (I told him I thought one would be nice)... just with all our hardwood and tile floors I thougth this would be a good idea. Well, let me tell you.. I love this silly thing. I even enjoy steaming the floors. And it's great for keeping up with puppy prints, spilled juice from Abbie's cup or whatever. The floors stay looking great and it's so easy to use. So, if you've thought of steamer, I say get one!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

weekend visitors.,..

Another weekend has come and gone. They just seem to fly by, especially thinking that we are soon looking at the end of the month. I did my usual Saturday morning working at the post office... then, I ran to meet up with a client and pick up another guest doggie (we currently have 8 guest doggies with us!!!) A quick bite of lunch, and then Kathleen and Leo arrived to use the dog tub and have a little visit. Ginger just loves it when her brother comes and they can just play. We like to let them out in the pen together, but right now, it's just too icy, so.... we allowed them to race around the house. Though, two "big" goldens racing about.. well... they won't be able to do that too many more times!!!!

On Sunday, Kas and Diana made a trek up to the farm. Nate was home doing homework and Kas, wanting to get out of the house for a bit, called Dian and said "let's go". Di is always up for adventure. It's been almost a year since she was here last, we weren't even living in the house then.. so she got to see alot of changes. One thing she really wanted to do, was to go out to the barn and see the horses. She fell in love with Tonka.

He always likes the company, but when he found a little grain on the floor... he attention was divided.

Still... a hug is always a good thing.

Another one of our guests was Rachel and her two little guys. Rachel is the daughter of our friend Glenn. She moved here last October and we have been trying to get together for months. Sadie thought it would be fun to introduce the boys to Abbie and hopefully she and Rachel can get the kids together a little more often. At first Abbie wasn't too sure what these boys were up to, especially when it came to her toys...

But, when Tom popped in on the scene.. she seemed to get the idea that sharing wasn't so bad. The kids had a great time together, and the adults had a chance to sit and chat. Sadie made supper for everyone and it was very good.

Course, I must also mention that it was the day of the Dayton 500... so Ed really didn't do much visiting as he has waited all winter for the first NASCAR race. But the kids didn't mind, they played happily and we just enjoyed everyone's company.