Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog has moved to a new address. Click HERE to visit me at my new location. I hope you'll continue to follow me. Be sure to bookmark or add my new address to your favorites file.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Life is good

Finally.... We were able to take our new trailer camping for the first time this weekend. We LOVE our new trailer! We camped up at Silver Lake in a Jellystone (Yogi Bear) campground. That's not our type of a campground but some friends that we met up with already had reservations there. We prefer to be out away from the commotion and a little more secluded. The campground was nice and clean but very crowded and everything was geared towards young families. It's a great place to camp with young kids. Anyway.... We enjoyed ourselves just the same. About 10 different times this weekend I would say to Craig "Have I told you that I LOVE our new trailer?". It's so spacious compared to what we had, so much more comfortable.
Of course Craig spend most of his time out in the dunes. I went for a few hours Saturday morning and took my camera with us. I had a fun photo shoot with Craig and his beloved Jeep.
He loves those dunes and he loves his Jeep.

The weather was beautiful, sunny and 80's during the day. We did have an awesome thunderstorm roll through about 4AM Sunday morning. I love thunderstorms! And by the time we got up the sun was shinning again.
When we got home this afternoon Craig filled up the doggie "kiddie" pool for the dogs. They love it! All 3 of them.
Fiona is doing wonderful! We took her to the vet last Monday for a checkup on her hip. The vet was impressed with how well she was doing. He was so pleased that she is already weight bearing on her leg. He said that most dogs at her stage are just starting to toe touch. Yay for Fiona!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Graduation 2010

What an amazing weekend...... Saturday was Jordan's graduation open house and Sunday was Graduation. After months of planning and preparation it was all we hoped it would be. So many friends, family, and teachers came out to help us celebrate Jordan at her open house Saturday. I was so proud of Jordan as she made a point to go out and personally greet and thank every person who arrived. She was so gracious and appreciative.
Graduation itself was very emotion for me. I easily cry at occasions like this and this one was especially emotional. How much more proud can parents be when their daughter walks up to the podium and gives a 5 minute commencement speech to her classmates, teachers, parents, family and friends spoken from the heart? Jordan struggled for several weeks pondering what to say and how to compose her speech. Three days before graduation Jordan woke up at 3 AM and for the next 2 hours was somehow inspired to write her speech in the wee hours of the morning. I would have read her speech ahead of time had she allowed me but she refused to let anyone read it so I got to hear it for the first time along with everyone else at graduation. And actually I'm glad she did it that way. It made it much more special for me. How she finds the words and feelings to put down on paper amazes me. She is amazing. Craig recored her giving her speech and the quality of the recording turned out pretty good. I tried to post it on Facebook but it tells me that it's too big, so I need to figure out how to post it somehow for you all to watch.

Thanks to everyone who made Jordan feel special... she deserved it!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Congratulations Jordan

Jordan graduated today. More to follow soon...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Music to my ears

Listening to my birds. Even it's only for a moment or two. I steal a minute here and minute there and every moment is worth it. I have this Momma Wren (above) nesting in my back yard. I could sit out there for hours and watch her. She's one busy little Momma. And if I get too close to her house she lets me have it! She's very vocal and I love it.

Listening to Caleb's car pull in the drive when he gets home from work. I love the sound of those mufflers as he coasts into the driveway. As time goes by I know the closer we get to that inevitable day when Caleb will spread his wings looking for a nest of his own.

Hearing Jordan excitedly say "Guess What Mom!", when she wants to share something with me that makes her happy. I'm the luckiest Mom in the world.

The click of my camera shutter. It gets my creative juices flowing and I'm always excited to get my photos uploaded. Just wish I had more time.

The wind whipping around me when we are going for a Jeep ride. It makes it difficult for Craig and I to talk to each other but there's no talking necessary. What a stress reliever.

Listening to the words of country songs. I'm not a huge country music fan but lately I've been listening to the words and stories of the songs on the radio on my way to work. "The House That Built Me" is an amazing song and always makes me think about my own childhood home where I grew up.

Listening to Seadra snore at the foot of the bed (Seadra is only allowed to get into bed with me until Craig comes to bed). And hearing her suckle her nookie. I love my sensitive neurotic Boston.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just a moment

I have just a moment to post a quick photo and type a few sentences. We are down to the last few days before Jordan's graduation open house Saturday and graduation on Sunday. It will be such a relief when Saturday is here and we can relax and enjoy it all. In the meantime we are frantically trying to make use of every moment we have to get ready. I have a few hours off of work this morning and I'm trying to prioritize.
Take care and have a great week!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We Celebrate Jordan

Yesterday was Jordan's last day ever of High School. That morning it was pouring outside. While Jordan was upstairs getting ready for school Craig and I snuck outside and put Grad flags and magnets on both sides of her car. We followed her outside.... As soon as she saw her car she got a big smile on her face, then she says "Get that stuff off of there! I'm not driving to school looking like that!" We snapped a few photos (sorry the photo is so bad, rain drops were on the lens), then took it all off and away she went. Craig waited a bit then ran up to the school parking lot and put it all back on her car so she could smile again when she got out of school.

I can't tell you how much we love that girl! This is a big milestone in Jordan's life and we love to celebrate Jordan! All her hard work and dedication is being honored and recognized at every turn this past few weeks. Senior academic awards night, senior athlete awards banquet, track banquet, band concerts, symphony concerts, dance recitals. I will be here all night if I wrote about every award she's received recently. The ones that make us the most proud are the ones based on her character, integrity and being a role model for others. Each year one senior girl and one senior boy receive an athletic award that is the highest honor given each year to a senior. The recipients names are put on a plaque and remain displayed in the High School forever. Students for this award are picked by all the coaches collaboratively based on character, dedication for all 4 years of high school. Jordan received the award this year!

At the end of the senior academic awards night they showed a DVD of the senior trip the class took to Florida. I just sat there watching with tears falling down my cheeks the whole time. Seeing the photos of those kids having the times of their lives and knowing what a bond they have formed all these years is the best thing ever. And it's not just Jordan that we are proud of. I know I'll cry just as hard when I see Ty walking across that podium to receive his diploma, and others too. So many of those kids are a big part of our lives. We wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

This Sunday we honor our graduates at church and then the following Sunday is the actual High School Graduation and so starts a very emotional week for me. But it's such a good emotion.... one that makes my heart happy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our Sweet Puggy Baby

Fiona had her first hip surgery today. We got to bring her home about 6:30 tonight. From what I can tell she is doing amazingly well. Jordan sat on the floor by her and hand fed her a few handfuls of dog food kernel by kernel. I was surprised she would eat. She isn't doing much walking or standing at all. She did take a few steps outside and peed, I thought that was a good sign too.
She is definitely not her happy self and I do feel sorry for her. I'm sure she doesn't understand what happened to her or that this will make her better. Zoe went up to her and tried to sniff her incision and Fiona snapped at her. It's the first time I've never seen Fiona get mad at one of the other dogs. I guess she has a right to be grouchy.

They did Fiona's right hip today because we suspected it was the worse one. After the surgery the vet x-rayed the left hip. He said it's broken and crumbling as well. It's amazing she did as well as she did for these last few months. The vet said she had to be in a lot of pain with the hips the way they were. He said that her hip that was operated on today will immediately feel better other than the muscle and tissue pain, but her joint pain should be gone immediately.... I guess you don't have hip pain when you no longer have a hip joint. She has what is called a "false hip" where the ball is cut off the femur and they live with the leg attached by ligaments, no hip joint at all. Amazing, huh?

Well, we are happy she is home and she is getting lots of kisses and attention. Jordan's last day of school was today so she's going to stay home tomorrow and cater to her every need. Her other hip surgery will follow in about a month.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Poor Momma Robin

At my request Craig built me this robin nesting box that I found in a birding magazine. We put it up on the back porch and for the last two years I have anxiously waited for a Robin to build a nest in it. Much to my delight this was the year. She's been a good Momma and before we went camping last weekend Craig climbed up on the railing to take a peak..... 3 eggs.
The sad news is that when we got home Momma Robin was no where to be found. Again Craig climbed up on the railing and all the eggs where gone. We found the shells scattered around the yard. We have no idea what got them. Do squirrels like eggs? We have a lot of squirrels around the yard. Or maybe it was a raccoon? We see them around outside in the evenings. Poor Momma Robin.......

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A new hobby

Craig and I took Friday off work and headed up north to Silver Lake area camping... just the two of us. We are still here and at this very moment I am sitting around a campfire blogging and enjoying the peace and quiet. I am very content! Craig left a bit ago to run into the dunes for a few hours and I was very happy to be left alone and do nothing but enjoy the cool breeze and crackling of the fire. It's been a wonderful weekend. As much as we love and encourage the kids and their friends to join us when we go camping, I need a weekend like this a few times a year.
We decided to try something new this weekend... Geocaching. If you don't know what it is check out their website. It's a hobby where people hide caches all over the world and then put the GPS coordinates along with clues online for others to find. It's really easy. You simply program the GPS coordinates into your GPS which takes you to the vicinity and then you use the clues to find whatever is hidden. Usually it is some sort of box or container. Inside you leave your name, where you are from and the date you found the cache. It's interesting to see when the last person found it and where they were from.
We went hunting for 3 different caches this weekend and were able to locate 2 of them. The first one we found was behind an old historical cemetery a few miles from our campground out on a dirt road. It was a beautiful place!
We found it just into the woods tucked under a fallen down tree. It was an old army ammo box. People leave little trinkets. We didn't have anything to leave but we signed the register.
The next day we went hunting again. This one was by far my favorite. We had no idea where the coordinates were going to take us but away we went. Much to our delight it took us down this little two track at least 3 miles into the woods! We ended up at a nature preserve and then had to go on foot on some hiking trails... right up my alley!
It took us a while to find this one. Just as I was about to give up Craig says "I found it!".
This one was a Tupperware container hidden under a rotting stump.
Here I am signing the register.
If you look at the website you will be amazed at how many caches are hidden all around the world. You can put your zip code in to find ones hidden in the area you are at. Almost anywhere you are at in the US there is a hidden cache a few miles from you. What a great thing for families to do and I'm sure kids would love to do this. And for hardly any cost at all if you have a GPS. Give it a try!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Time For a Fiona Update

Fiona has been to 3 different vets for consultations on her hips (Calve Perthes Disease). All the vets agree that she definitely has the disease, definitely needs surgical correction, and all are recommending the same surgical procedure. We were encouraged that she might only have it in one hip when we heard that only 10 percent of dogs with this condition actually have it in both hips.... no such luck there, it's in both hips.

Cost has been a big factor in this decision for Craig and I. In years past Craig and I have had general conversations stating that we would never spend a huge amount of money on trying to save a dog. Never did we think that we would actually be in that position of having to make that type of decision. When I'm at work I would be telling myself that we had to make this a practical decision and not let our emotions make this decision... then I would get home and see her and I would absolutely melt. Ultimately, our decision was finally based on the fact that she doesn't have some condition that can't be helped. It's not like she has a terminal or chronic condition that can't be cured such as cancer. All the vets have told us that these dogs go on to live long productive painless lives. They said that after surgery we will not be able to even tell that she has this disease. They will not fix both hips at the same time so she will have 2 surgeries about a month apart. The vet we are going with quoted us about $700 per hip which we were very happy with as the other vets quoted us double that amount. We feel this is doable.
Fiona's first surgery is set up for June 2nd. In the meantime Fiona is getting lots of attention and pampering. Her every whim is catered to and we love babying her. Twice a day she is given anti-inflammatory' and amazingly she gets around pretty well.

More to follow.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another Proud Evening

Yesterday afternoon our community Lions Club had it's annual Community Honors dinner celebrating the top 10 graduating seniors, the Hartford Citizen of the year, and the Grant Hitchcock Lifetime award.
Eight of the top ten seniors with Principal Kent.
Aly, Jordan, Lindsey, Emily
Jordan's good friends.
Each year the Lions club awards 3 scholarships and Jordan received the highest honor scholarship! Way to go Jordan!
We love our Jordan!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


When the workers were here putting our fence in last week they found some morels in the yard. Later that night I walked out into the woods behind our house. Boy did I find a bumper crop this year. I found so many I had to run back to the house for a bag, My total for the year was 60! I may take one more walk out there this weekend to check for any last few that might have popped up.
Caleb is always the cook. We enjoyed so many that we were starting to get tired of them. I gave some to my parents and some to the neighbors.

My orioles are back and enjoying the grape jelly I put out for them. They are so beautiful! I'm STILL waiting for my hummingbirds. I really think they have been here but I just haven't spotted them yet. My Dad's been having some at his feeders for the last week.

Tomorrow is Friday. The week has flown by! It's supposed to be cold this weekend... just as long as it's not too cold to do some more yard work.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekend Projects, Fiona and a Bluebird

With the new fence in the back yard we've got our work cut out for us with all the landscaping we have planned around the house and around the fence. This area under the bay window of the kitchen used to have ornamental grass. Jordan sprayed it with weed killer a few weeks ago so yesterday Craig and I dug it all out. That was a job!
Fiona is having an OK weekend. We are continuing to give her pain medications. She was so happy to be outside with us all day yesterday. She's hobbling around but getting around pretty good. She puts no weight at all on her right back leg. She'll be seeing the specialist soon.
We are edging and putting river rock all around the fence. Our goal is to edge and rock the west and south sides this year.
Some more Fiona cuteness....
Zoe is a big help, she just makes sure Daddy is doing it right. Craig is edging wide areas around the corners so I can plant pretty things in the rocks.
Craig's working hard!
This part is already for the rocks. In fact, Craig is outside right now spreading the rocks. I'm inside nursing a headache, blogging and watching the Andy Griffith Show. I'll post more photos of our progress soon.
The last 2 days Mr. Bluebird has been visiting us. He's been checking out the bluebird house but unfortunately a pair of house sparrows have also been checking it out. If you know anything about bluebirds you know that house sparrows were responsible for the near extinction of bluebirds. Craig is trying to get rid of the house sparrows. House sparrows are one of the few birds that are NOT protected. The sooner we can get rid of the house sparrows the happier I will be and so will Mr. Bluebird.