Sunday, December 31, 2006

Danny's first snow

Danny got his first exposure to snow when we ventured north to Herkimer, NY for the holidays. The unusually warm Connecticut Winter hasn't brought any snow to Wilton which has been fine with us. I don't think Danny has ever seen snow because the first time he hit the snow he danced around and started running in circles. He just ran and ran and ran and loves the snow.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Ready for guests

We finally got a new bed for the master bedroom and our old bed is now in guest room 2 (pictured). The new bed is a Queen, which means there is room for Danny. About 2 am , he starts panting and then he jumps off the bed. I think it gets too hot for him - especially with a new electric blanket.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Danny's first Christmas

Danny took Christmas in stride with no problems. That's saying a lot considering we went from a household of 3 to a household of 9 over the long weekend. He was always appreciated the extra hands for petting and he and Uncle Mark bonded over their afternoon naps. Sure, he slept about 6 hours straight today after our guests left, so I think it may take him a couple days to recover.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Guest room II finally done

The guest room is finally done. This room was in the worst condition of all the rooms we've worked on so far. We rewired the light switch and put a ceiling fan (Hunter, of course) with two switches; one for the light, one for the fan. We also ran a light switch along the closet wall so the light would turn on with a switch instead of a pull string. Then we put up wire shelving in the walk-in closet to double the storage space. Last, but not least, we painted. To add to the complications, Valerie took a spill and banged up her hand so she couldn't help much with the painting, but took over all other household duties so I would have time to paint. Such a sweetheart. We'll finish it off with a bed next week, but this week's guests will hit the air mattress with sleeping bags.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The price of everyday low prices

Could not believe that WalMart charged me $.03 for a gift card. Not the 3D Pirates of the Carribean Hologram card, the plain jane smiley face piece of plastic.

Powered by Zoundry

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Getting ready for Santa

I am not sure if Santa is guided by the stars or a GPS, but these inflatables should help him find his way to our house this Christmas.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Could this face be anymore pathetic? It's like he pulled my sleigh to whoville with a cut off branch strapped to his head. Actually, he just came in from playing with a tennis ball for 30 minutes, so he can be a little tired. I tried placing a Santa hat on his head for the picture, but he thought the pom-pom on the end was something he should play with. Maybe for next year...

When we took him for his walk this morning (6:00 am, for those wondering) his nose was on DEFCON 3. He spotted five deer in the neighbor's yard a split second before we did and Valerie barely escaped with her arm intact.

The deer hopped across the street to another neighbor's yard, and Danny was sniffing like crazy. He was so distracted, he almost forgot to do his business. Well, almost is kind of a strong word since he always finds the most inopportune time to do his business. On the way back home, the deer found their way into our yard and we watched them hop the stone wall between our yard and the neighbor's just as the sun was peeking out behind the trees.

A worthy reward for getting up at "oh dawn thirty" (as my southern friend used to say).

It seems like a great majority of my posts about the dog gravitate towards poop somehow. Is anyone else disturbed by this?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

A December to Remember

I HATE car shopping…. finding a car that you like is easy enough, but the negotiation is always difficult and I am not a haggler. Usually, Jeff ends up handling the purchasing of a car.

That is why I am EXTREMELY happy with our latest car purchase. We ended up purchasing an RX-350 at Lexus of Westport. The entire buying process took 2 hours and 2 emails. We went to Lexus on a Saturday, took a long test drive (about 2 hours) and received a quote for the car. I later sent two emails to the sales agent and the car was ours.

It took more time to learn all the features of the car than it did to come to agreement on price and delivery date.

Before you leave the showroom with your new car, the sales agent presents you with a dozen roses.

All I can say is Wow – what great customer service!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Danny's Bling Bling

When Danny walks, you can here the clink, clank, klunk a mile away. Especially annoying is the clink against the water bowl in the middle of the night.

I carry my driver's license for ID, but Danny has a tag for his RFID microchip, his Rabies tag from Alabama, Wilton license, Connecticut name tag, and Long Island name tag.

Fair warning if you ever come to visit us, don't wear a celery costume.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Under construction

Progress is finally being made on the second guest room. Since we returned from Hawaii, we haven't had much time to work on the inside of the house. However, with Christmas coming and guests arriving our goal is to have the room ready for visitors.

This would not be so difficult, if the room were in better shape. Unfortunately, the sheetrock is in terrible condition, which means lots of spackle and sanding. Also, a ceiling fan needs to be installed and we can't forget all the new closet shelving.

27 days to go - I see many late nights in the future.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Our fifteen minutes

You may recall that we were contemplating talking to a reporter about the blog the other day. Well, we decided to talk to him and our story is in the Wilton Bulletin this week.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Landscape Plan

Brian Cossari at Hoffman Landscapes has been working diligently on the site plan and it's finally finished. We've had to make multiple changes due to feedback from the Wilton Inland Wetlands Department, but we finally think we have a plan that will satisfy everyone's needs. Hopefully, our application will get accepted at the December meeting and we'll be able to break ground sometime in late Winter/Early Spring.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Newspaper meets blog

For those of you who are tired of hearing about our new dog, you will be glad to know that there is finally a new topic.....

When I came home from work tonight, there was a message on our machine from the Wilton Bulletin, the local newspaper. The message was from a reporter who has been reading this blog and wanted to do a story on our Wilton experiences and blog. My first thought was isn't that funny, a newspaper wants to discuss electronic communication.

My second thought was that I am not sure that I want our blog to be discussed in a news article. Jeff started this as a way of sharing our new home experience with friends and family and now suddenly it would be public. (I realize that the blog is public and anyone can read it, but most people will never find it or see it).

Jeff's reaction was completely opposite. He thinks a news article would be a great way to increase readership. Personally, I think that if you don't know us, you would have zero interest in reading about our home, but maybe I'm wrong. The Internet has a way of making distance irrevelant and provides a sense of kinship among strangers.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

And the winner is....

Our vet, South Wilton Vet, hosts a Halloween party and invites everyone (pets included) to attend. We went to see what it was all about - we had some cotton candy, chocolate, and talked to several of the vendors who were there. There were several raffles which we entered. It was fun and a nice way to increase Daniel's socialization.

Well, it turns out that Danny may have the luck of the Irish ! He won two raffles - the first is a gift basket from Best Friends Pet Resort in Norwalk, which I am sure he will enjoy. The second is a free microchip from South Wilton Vet. In case Daniel is ever lost, hopefully he will be found, scanned and returned to us.

Thanks Best Friends and South Wilton Vet!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bathtime for Daniel

When Daniel was at his foster home, he had a run in with a skunk. Although he did not smell too badly, on days when he got wet, you could definitely tell he had some skunk funk

It appears that Daniel has allergies, so I did not want to bathe him, until the hypo-allergenic dog shampoo which we ordered arrived. The shampoo arrived this week and since it is still fairly warm, we decided it was time for a bath.

We were not sure how Daniel would react to this process. Our Sheltie hated to get wet and would cry pitifully when the water started to flow from the hose. Our other retriever accepted that baths were part of life, and would put his head down and wait for the process to be over.

Daniel was wonderful during the bath. He stood still the whole time and only appeared to be concerned when his tail was lifted for washing underneath. Of course, washing a dog on a rainy day means that the drying process is a slow one. Lots of shaking and several towels later, Daniel has a shiny coat that no longer smells.

Daniel really seems to be a happy dog with an easy going personality. We often wonder why someone would abandon this sweet boy and are thankful that he came into our lives.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Neverending Supply

As a dog owner, you want your charge to be a good citizen. You want him to be friendly around other dogs and to be gentle to other people. That requires socialization and bringing your pup to public areas.

Inevitably, that means you're going to end up picking up some crap. Before taking Danny on his walks downtown, we throw a tennis ball around coaxing him to get done what needs to get done. Sometimes he agrees, sometimes not. Somehow, it seems like I'm always the one walking the dog when he decides to do his business in public.

The other day we were walking downtown when he decides it's time. No problem, I never leave home without a plastic grocery bag in my pocket. He does what he needs to do, I do what I need to do, we find a trash can, and we're on our way. Upon arrival back home, I told Valerie to make sure she puts a grocery bag in her coat pocket so she can do the deed next time. She gives me a devilish smile and says "OK".

The next day, I find a new bag in my coat pocket. At least I know where I stand.


Browning BT-99
  • Built mid 1970s
  • 12 Gauge
  • Browning Case
  • 32" IM Ported Barrel (marked **)
  • 34" F Barrel (Marked *)
  • Some blue wear on trigger guard
  • Adjustable Recoil Pad
  • LOP Adjusts from 13 7/8 to 15 3/8
  • Old Style forend
  • Blonde Wood

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pet Sounds

Danny is not a very vocal dog, until it comes to bedtime. Not a night goes by where he doesn't groan on the way to his bed. He sounds like an old man with arthritis. Last night he started yelping in the middle of the night. At first we thought something was wrong, but further investigation showed he was still sleeping. I wonder if he was dreaming about chasing squirrels or running from something.

He's also a serial sigher. Every now and then he lays down and lets out a big sigh like the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders.

We've only heard him bark on two occasions. One day, out of the blue, he started barking at a swallow house we put on the shed. He was fixated on that bird house and we basically had to drag him away although there was nothing in it.

The last time he barked we had just come into the basement. He quickly turned around and started barking and growling at some plywood we have stored down there. The hair on the back of his neck was standing straight up and he was just barking at plywood.

We're not complaining, mind you. He could be a Sheltie...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or Treat

The Halloween preparations start pretty early in our household. We usually start picking up a bag of candy here and there so we have enough when the big day hits. We get candy we like, "just in case" we have some left. Sometimes all the candy makes it to Halloween, sometimes we dip into the stash for an emergency chocolate fix.

Since this is the first year in the new house, we didn't really know what to expect. Our two previous houses were in big young neighborhoods and we knew we would get swamped. It was not uncommon for me to get a call on the way home with a frantic "WE NEED MORE CANDY!!" coming from the other end.

But this house is different. We're in a small neighborhood with mostly original owners. It's a nice quiet street with a couple kids, so we thought there would be a steady trickle of goblins all evening. We were prepared with 36 full-sized Hershey bars and a bag of Baby Ruth's for backup.

The darkness descended at 4:50 and Valerie prepared...




7:57...Ding Dong. Danny rushes down the stairs to greet the ghouls. Two kids dressed up, a Father, and an older kid just accompanying them. Danny almost manages to get out the door, but Valerie keeps a handle on him while she gives out the goodies. It's been a slow night, so she offers a big Hershey bar to the older kid who takes her up on it. Dad passes, knowing he's waiting for the Butterfingers when the kids go to bed.

8:00... Nothing.

8:30... Nobody.

9:00...Lights out.

Three freakin' trick-or-treaters last night. And I use the number three loosely.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Danny Update

Imagine waking up in the morning and having this look back at you.

At some point in his life, somebody introduced Danny to the bed. He jumps up there any chance he gets. The first two nights we brought him home, he was on the bed all night. Two people and a dog on the bed all night long. Oh, did you know we have a full-size bed?

By the third night, he must have had enough and jumped off at about 11:30 to perch himself on his L.L. Bean bed for the rest of the night. He's pretty much settled into that schedule, but when we get up in the morning he's right there ready to jump up, even if he's still half asleep himself.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Danny Update

What a face!

Today was a big day for Danny. First thing this morning he went to the vet. Danny was a perfect gentleman with Dr. Cronin who thought he was a little over one. What a surprise! We've got anywhere from one to five-ish for his age. He certainly acts one-ish, but we'll see. Then he had to go to the tax man and get registered with the town. A couple rounds with the tennis ball and he was tuckered out for most of the afternoon. His dog walker Diane came out to meet him in the afternoon and was impressed how sweet he was.

You forget what it's like having a dog in the house. Like, everything on the floor is fair game for playing. I was awoken this morning by a wet sock in Danny's mouth. In another episode, he... well I'll spare you the details, but lets just say we'll be keeping the lid on the laundry hamper from now on.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Meet Danny

Meet Danny. We went to Portland Maine for a lobster dinner and came back with this beautiful Golden. We can't thank the people at Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue enough, especially his foster Mom, Linda. We promise to take good care of him. More to come...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Keeping you in the loop

Here at the Wilton Diaries home office, we try to keep the Blog updated on a somewhat frequent schedule (somewhat being loosely defined as when we get to it). To keep you well informed or otherwise occupied, we have introduced an email subscription form at the right. When you subscribe via email, you will get a message when the Blog gets updated.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address and click the "Subscribe" button. A form will then pop-up asking you to verify that you are an acutal person and not an aggregator. You simply type the letters that show in the box and click which buttons instruct you to. You will then be sent an email message with a URL that you must click on to finish your subscription.

If that all sounds too complicated, feel free to continue checking the Wilton Diaries every day.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

NordicTrack Pro

Complete NordicTrack Pro.

  • works fine
  • heart monitor

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hawaii Fauna

Here's Valerie playing host to a Macaw on Kauai.

They have a Koi pond at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Every day the guests are encouraged to help feed the Koi. These fish go crazy when it's feeding time and it's just a massive sea of orange and white for about 20 minutes.

At the Hyatt, they have Swans in the pools surrounding the grounds. They are graceful creatures, but Hawaii Wildlife law mandates that since they are wild birds their wings must be clipped.

This is not the Geico Gecko, but one we saw in the wild.

A sea turtle.

A spider web.