Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Lexi

As we were driving around this weekend, Jeff said "You know your car is out of warranty". I gave him a blank look. "It's now 3 years old".

I wondered if that could possibly be correct. After all, the Lexus only has 18,000 miles on it.

Turns out Jeff was right. Time really does fly by. I guess that explains why I have been getting letters from Lexus, asking if I wanted to trade in my car. Give up Lexi, never !

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lets go out, I'm buyin!

I had tossed my wallet on the bed and Otis decided he was going to take us all out to dinner with his new found fortune (about $3).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkeys, Turkeys Everywhere

One thing I love about Long Island is that the residents embrace the season.

I have never seen so many turkeys adorning front lawns. Everywhere I looked, there was another turkey proudly announcing Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanksgiving on Long Island was a beautiful sunny day around 55 degrees.

My Mom has a large fenced yard and the dogs were in heaven. Once their leashes were unhooked they were off and running. Both dogs raced back and forth chasing tennis balls and each other.

Coop had no interest in joining the festivities inside. It was clear that he knew winter was coming and soon such warm cheerful days would be memories. The sparkle in Coop's eye and his waving tail reflected his complete happiness.

Oti, on the other hand, wanted to be in the middle of the action. Once Jeff and I went inside, Oti raced to the back door and whined to be let in. With a house full of people, Oti made the "pet me" rounds. When dinner came, Oti stretched out under the table and waited for crumbs to drop.

By the time we got home, both dogs were exhausted. Their 6 pm dinner became an 8 pm snack. Oti's snoring attests to a fun filled day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We want to wish all our family and friends a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Coop and Oti wish Carol and the play group a tail wagging Thanksgiving.

May we all take time to reflect on our many blessings. As we gather around the dinner table, let's not forget to pray for the soldiers who are far from home.

One Xmas, we went to a church in Ilion, NY. The priest asked for donations to support their basic needs pantry and for items like soap and toilet paper. I remember thinking, how can people not have toilet paper ?

The request for such small everyday items has haunted me. The priest's words serve as a reminder that we have an abundence of things to be thankful for. Good health, a nice home, good jobs, friends, family, food, heat, clothes and a million other things. His words also remind me that because we have been blessed, we should help those with less.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I read a news article today that said there is an animal shelter in Indiana that euthanizes 600 animals a month.

I was stunned and sickened to read this. That is one shelter. Multiply 600 by the number of shelters around the country and the total deaths is astounding.

I look at Cooper and Otis and think how they are two of the few lucky animals who find a new home.

With Thanksgiving approaching, Coop and Oti want to say they are thankful for Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue and especially Linda F and Linda P.

To all the volunteers across the US who roll up their sleeves to help, instead of just giving polite lip service to change, thank you!

To companies like IAMS who are sponsoring a pet adoption drive with a goal of 1.5 million adoptions, thank you!

Linda F calls Coop a little miracle. The truth is that this miracle exists because of the chain of wonderful, kind hearted volunteers which stretches from Alabama to Maine.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I have been looking for a pair of winter boots for Alaska. I have several pair of LL Bean boots and hiking boots, but nothing insulated for -25° temperatures.

I have stopped at a local store several times, but they did not have any winter boots in stock yet.

While we were out Christmas shopping, we stopped at Dick's Sporting Goods. To my surprise, I saw a pair of blue Sorel boots. I had never heard of Sorel, but Jeff with his cold North Country experience said Sorel is a good boot manufacturer.

I decide to try the boots on. When we went to find what sizes were in stock, it turned out the boots were only in the kids/youth section. Jeff said, "It looks like you are out of luck". I picked up the display boot (which was larger than my sneaker)and said, "Let me try". Did I mention there was a super sale on the boots ?

It turns out that the child's boot was too big. After I put a -40° wool sock over my normal sock, the boot fit correctly.

Needless to say, I bought the boots. When I got home, I looked up Sorel and the one complaint people had about this type of boot was it runs SMALL. I couldn't help but laugh. I always thought I had average size feet, but who knows ?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Salon Day

With the holidays (and pictures) coming, a day of beauty was needed for all. I headed off on Saturday morning to get my hair done.

Jeff took the dogs to the dog wash. The dogs definitely needed a bath before spending Thanksgiving at Grandma's house.

The dogs look and smell fantastic. Cooper continues to amaze me - could this be the same throw away dog that no one cared about ?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It must be Christmas

Christmas is here - at least commercially....

Jeff heard the first Xmas carol on the radio tonight.

Our mailbox is stuffed with the black Friday ads.

I could not resist the beautiful poinsettia plants at Costco. For $16, how can you go wrong ?

Today the Wilton postal workers will collect food for the needy when they deliver your mail. I am hoping that everyone takes the time to put out a few items for those who have so much less than we do.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

-27 °

The temperature in Bettles, Alaska is -27°

It is still Fall. What will the Winter Solstice bring ?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


When we were walking in Wilton Center, we saw a woman headed towards us with her 2 year old daughter. When the little girl saw Coop and Oti she yelled and began running towards us.

The Mom grabbed her arm and said, "No, wait". I purposely took Coop to the right and Jeff approached with Oti. Oti is so big that his head was higher then the child's head.

The little girl rubbed Oti and began to squeal and jump up and down. Oti was unphased and leaned in against the Mom who bent down and petted him.

I give Oti bonus points. I know Oti likes kids, but when the girl yelled and jumped, I thought he might get nervous. Instead, Oti never blinked. I do believe Oti's past life involved kids.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Christoper Dodd is the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs which is in charge of "reforming" the Financial System.

One of Dodd's cornerstones to financial reform is the "Say-on-Pay" provision of the bill. In theory, the shareholders of a company will get a "say" on the "pay" packages of the executives. Since the shareholders are the ultimate owners of the company anyway, his theory is that the shareholders will punish the executives for poor performance.

Lets forget for a minute that Christoper Dodd has never actually run a business. Lets also forget for a minute that he's been in the ivory towers of Washington for the last 34 years and has no clue about how business runs (unless you count participation in Countrywide sweetheart deals as "business" experience).

Of course, if Christoper Dodd did run a public company, he would understand that the majority of shareholders are institutional investors and not individual investors. Mutual Funds, Index Funds, Hedge Funds, Pension Funds, and other institutional investors comprise more than 50% of all shareholders. These institutional investors hold stock in many companies. The institutional investor hasn't shown any interest in the past about day-to-day management of the company.

So Dodd wants to put this rule in place and nobody will care. That's constructive use of his time and our tax money. It's time for Connecticut "Say-on-Pay" for Mr. Dodd and adjust his compensation to zero in 2010.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pet Me

We spent Saturday at Van Cortland Park in Bronx, NY watching our niece's cross-country race. After the race, she spent the night at our home.

Oti was in heaven. Catherine loves dogs and Oti sensed this. Oti spent most of the night next to Cat and she happily petted him. As soon as her hand stopped, he would nudge her as if to say, "Don't stop!".

Coop would wander over every once and a while to also get some love.

When we went to sleep at night, Oti paced by the door for a few minutes. He wanted to be in the guest room, not with us. Maybe this Daddy's boy has a soft spot for young ladies.

Cat said she thinks Oti came from a family with kids. This may be true, because he really enjoyed playing with our nephews.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bohemia Bobcats

A couple weekends ago we had the chance to watch our niece's Soccer game. Going into the game, the Bohemia Bobcats (Yellow/Blue) were tied in the standings with the team from Kings Park (Maroon). In the first five minutes, Bobcat number 30 took a kick from the corner and it went into the goal!

A few minutes later, the girl on the left was getting ready to eat a soccer ball delivered from Ms. Rebecca.

The game ended in a 1-1 tie, but was a hard fought contest. These U12 girls really mix it up on the field.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


A few weeks ago, some trees came down in the yard during a storm.

The cleanup process is still continuing. The first weekend, Jeff began to cut up the trees. The second weekend was spent finishing the blocking and cutting off the limbs. I helped Jeff carry the blocks into the driveway and pile the branches together.

Last weekend we rented a wood splitter and now we have enough firewood for several winters. After the splitting, Jeff had the joy of stacking the wood.

We still need to rent a chipper for the limbs. However, we have other plans this weekend. I just hope the snow holds off for a few more weeks, so we have time to finish this task.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just Passing Through

Returning from our morning walk, we spied some visitors to our pond. Fortunately we still had some corn from the Springtime visit and promptly threw out some food for our guests.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Cooper and Otis want to remind you to think of our Veterans today.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Arctic Circle

I had a DUH! moment yesterday. I suddenly realized that Bettles is in the Arctic Circle.

Does this change anything ? Not really, but when I hear Arctic Circle, I envision EXTREMELY cold and snowy conditions. I am mentally prepared for Alaska cold, but not Arctic Circle cold.

I read that the coldest temperature in Bettles is -70 degrees below zero. Maybe crazy is an appropriate description for this adventure.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

One Month

Jeff said to me, "We'll be in Alaska next month". My thought was, I'm NOT ready! I need to get my shopping list together and start visiting all the outdoor sports stores.

Wendy then sent me an email, saying her friend (the 4th member of our party) had just broken her ankle. The good news is that the cast will come off 2 days before our trip.

I am hoping that this is NOT a sign of things to come.

We are staying in Bettles (the red star on the map). If you thought Fairbanks was in northern Alaska, travel another 180 miles and you will reach Bettles with its population of 42 people.

I have a feeling I will be wishing that Coop and Oti (aka bed warmers) were with us on the cold arctic nights.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


We usually do not get many trick-or-treaters at our house. However, since Halloween was a Saturday, I thought we would get a larger than normal amount of visitors.

I put the full size candy bars in a covered (dog proof) bowl by the front door. Oti pranced around in his pumpkin colored collar, ready to greet anyone who rang the bell.

We spent the morning cutting up the fallen trees and creating a pile of limbs to be shredded and wood to be split. After lunch, I expected the first kids to come by, but no one wandered down the driveway.

At 4:00 pm, I put on all the outdoor lights. I wanted to make sure everyone knew we were open for business. At 9:00 pm, we turned the lights out.

NO ONE, ZERO, ZIP kids showed up. What happened to the spirit of Halloween ?