Saturday, December 31, 2011

Here We Go Again

I couldn't resist picking up this amaryllis bulb at Walmart's after Christmas 50% off sale. I am hoping with some water and sunlight it will green up.

The amaryllis from last year is still hibernating in the garage. The plant spent the summer outside. I did not stop watering it until Oct. Its leaves recently died back. With some luck,  it should be ready to bloom in a few weeks.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Angels & Ornaments

While walking the dogs, I stopped at the mailbox. When I peered inside, I found it stuffed with two packages. One was addressed to Otis and the other to Cooper. The dogs must have smelled what was inside, because their tails started wagging.

We hurried home and immediately opened the gifts - homemade dog treats from Bobbi (Otis' Mom). The treats are in the shapes of angels, snowmen, bells, and ornaments. Coop and Oti love these delicious cookies.

A big thank you to Bobbi for thinking of us!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We're trying to sleep

After a few days spent visiting family, Cooper and Otis returned home and promptly settled in for a 4 hour nap.These calm creatures in no way resemble the hellions that woke everyone up at 5:00 am on Christmas morning.

There was not a single kitchen towel that Otis did not grab and race around the house with. Cooper barked and whined at the light being reflected off the outdoor decorations. When the dogs were loaded into the car for the trip home, I think there was a collective sigh of relief.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec 26

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa brought you everything you wished for. Cooper and Otis have a pile of new toys to destroy.

This is the first year that Jeff and I did not exchange gifts. This is not at terrible as it may sound. There were several reasons why: we already have a house full of beautiful things, we had little time to shop and we decided to donate to those in need instead of spending on ourselves.

I told Jeff that we must be getting old. There was a time when I lived to shop and could melt a credit card. Now we seem to want fewer possessions and more time for fun.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

We wish you a very merry Christmas!
May your stocking be filled with presents and your home be filled with family and friends.

Cooper is hoping that Santa will help all the homeless dogs find loving families.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

In less than 24 hours, it will be Christmas. I am not sure where the days between Thanksgiving and Xmas went.

The warm weather has me thinking Spring, not Winter. There were 7 ducks on the pond this morning. I heard them fly in at dawn. Being in the holiday spirit, they received corn for breakfast and lunch. Our two regular guests immediately swam over, while the other ducks hung back. As soon as I was away from the pond, there was a flurry of feathers as all the ducks wanted to eat.

Coop still wanders in and out of the guest room. Coop has not forgotten that his Xmas gift is in the closet. I tell Coop one more day until Santa arrives!

I am hoping that the family we "adopted" from St Luke's will have a happy Xmas. I wonder if the gifts are already under the Xmas tree. Are the children are counting the hours until they can unwrap their presents?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Midnight Mass

What happened to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve ?

It used to be that Midnight Mass would be held at 11:00 pm. As you left the church, Xmas day would just be starting. One of my favorite memories, is leaving midnight mass with snow falling gently, covering the earth in a pure, peaceful blanket.

Even when we were traveling in Alaska, we attended Midnight Mass. Now many churches are having mass at 9:00 pm or earlier. I don't know if this is because people do not want to be driving late at night or if people are just too tired at 11pm to head to church.

I for one think that Midnight Mass should stay later at night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Still Here

Surprisingly, the mallard ducks are still coming to our pond. Two or three days a week, we will spot the pair swimming on the pond.

On these cold mornings, the edges of the pond freeze and the ducks are limited to the middle section.

When I see the ducks, I make sure to throw out some corn as I leave for work. When I near the edge of the water, the ducks back away. As soon as I turn to leave, they race over to eat.

When I  walk Coop and Otis, the ducks see me and swim to the edge of the pond. It is obvious that they are hoping for an afternoon snack.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm Watching You

Cooper, Otis and I were out for our evening walk. There are no street lights on our street. As we were headed back home, we noticed a neighbor walking behind us with a flashlight in hand.

Cooper saw the bright light bouncing off the pavement and went crazy. He began to whine and tried to run towards the light. Otis saw the man and began to bark - loud and threatening. I pulled the dogs forward and said, you are not being very nice!

The whole way home, Otis kept turning back towards the man and growling and snarling. Otis made it very clear that he did not like a stranger following us. I have noticed that when Jeff is not with us, Otis become very protective and his persona changes from a goofy Golden into a guardian.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I don't know if it due to the cold winter days but Cooper seems to be slowing down. Cooper has a lot of white hair on his face and his eyes are becoming cloudy.

Sometimes Coop slips when he is racing up the stairs. Coop will look at me with big startled eyes that seem to say, "What happened ? Why won't my legs do what I want ?"

By 8:00pm, Cooper has settled onto the bed and is well on his way to dream land. When Cooper wakes up, he will stretch and his back cracks.

I suppose that for a 10+ year old senior, this is not too surprising.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stolen Firewood

Imagine my surprise when I went into the back yard and saw that our 6 foot stack of cut and dried firewood had disappeared.

It seems that someone saw the wood and decided to steal it! I am FURIOUS. Jeff and I spent hours cutting, splitting and stacking that wood.

I cannot help but wonder if the wood was taken by someone who knows us. The wood was stored behind the house,  not in plain sight and few people would know about it. The wood was also stolen on a day when I was not working at home.

I think that it was probably several people working together. For one person to move that much wood would take a significant amount of time.

So much for the spirit of Christmas and goodwill to your fellow man.

Update: I called the Wilton police and they said that theft of firewood sometimes occurs. They asked if we have a security system or a big dog which may have kept the thieves outside. Maybe Coop and Otis did earn their kibble this week. I was  told to make sure all doors and windows were securely locked as we now know there are criminals in this area.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tulips in Winter

These red tulips were too beautiful to leave at the store. I think they are an interesting way to bring the colors of Christmas into our home.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


With Christmas and visiting family  just 2 weeks away, we knew it was time to give Cooper and Otis a bath.

We headed to the dog wash and were the first people there. Neither dog objected to being bathed with warm water and apple scented oatmeal shampoo.

The dogs don't mind being blown dry, except for the air blowing in their faces and ears. I find this odd, since Otis loves to stick his head out the window when we ride in the car.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Magic of Winter

We attended the Norwalk Community Chorale's The Magic of Winter concert. The annual Christmas concert has become one of my favorite seasonal events. The concert is free, but donations are accepted.

The singers were accompanied by violins, cellos, and a double bass. This was the first time that I was able to see someone play the double bass up close. I was fascinated by how the bassist seemed to dance with the instrument.

The concert was wonderful. If you live in the Norwalk area, I  would highly recommend attending next year's concert.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tent Sale

I received a postcard from Dooney & Bourke that said there would be a tent sale in Norwalk from Dec 8-12. I marked the date on my calendar and headed down to the sale on Thurs evening.

At 6:30 pm, there was no line outside and I could enter the tent immediately. The tent was filled with Dooney & Bourke handbags, wallets and sweaters. There was a large selection of purses. Discounts ranged from 30-40%. That prices were not as low as I had hoped. I know that each day, D&B increases the discounts. Sunday will bring the lowest prices, but worst selection.

It is hard to believe, but I left the sale empty handed. I did see a briefcase that was beautiful, but nothing that I had to buy. Santa's credit card will be getting a break this year.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

My Tummy Hurts

We awoke to the sound of gagging at 1:00 am. It seems that Otis had an upset stomach and could not keep dinner down. As we cleaned up the mess, I remembered why we never had kids.

Otis is on a limited diet of canine I/D. I know that Otis is hungry, but until he feels better, I do not want him to be eating any large meals.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Wreaths Across America

I may have written about this topic before. However, men  like Mr Worcester are very rare  and  deserve many thanks from all of us.....

Morrill Worcester is the owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine.

In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Worcester made arrangements for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington in one of the older sections of the cemetery.
The first year, 5,000 wreaths were placed at graves. Since then, Wreaths Across America has continued to grow. This year 100,000 wreaths will be placed at Arlington.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

What's That Noise ?

I was driving the 4Runner and turned the heater on. A loud noise came from the fan box. I thought  leaves had gotten caught in the fan housing and that they might blow out.

Two days later, I was once again driving the 4Runner. When I turned on the heat, the noise was 10 times worse. I thought I heard scratching. I told Jeff that I could not take the incredibly annoying sound and immediately called our mechanic.

The mechanic called the next morning to say that he had found a  TOWEL in the fan housing. There was also leaves and twigs. I am wondering if some creature tried to make a nest in the fan box ??

The fan now blows much stronger than it used to

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Perfect Gift

Jeff and I went Christmas shopping at PetCo. We left the store with  a bag full of  treats and toys for Cooper  and Otis. We purchased a stuffed toy with a squeaker that we knew Cooper would love. The stuffed toy was large and hung out the top of the bag.

When we got home, Cooper saw the stuffed toy. Cooper began to whine. I told Coop that he needed to wait for Xmas to get this special toy.

I placed the gifts on the guest bed and went downstairs. Five minutes later, I heard a distinctive squeak coming from upstairs. Coop was at the top of the stairs, chewing on his new toy. I grabbed the toy and the PetCo bag and put everything into the top of the closet.

Coop kept wandering into the guest room, searching for his toy. I guess dogs really are like kids who can't wait for Santa to arrive with gifts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Old Drugs

I read that the Wilton police station had a drug drop off box. In this box, you place prescription drugs that have expired or are no longer needed. The drugs are incinerated and kept out of  a landfill or water supply.

While at my Mom's house, I found several expired prescriptions. I stopped at the police station and disposed of the medications.

What a great idea! I am sure that there are many people who will take advantage of this service.

Monday, November 28, 2011


At 6:30 am on Sunday, I heard ducks quacking on the pond. Otis jumped off the bed, raced to the window and began to whine. Otis ran to the different windows, wanting to get to the ducks.

Luckily, Cooper was exhausted from the previous day's activities and did not get up. At 7:00, it was obvious that Otis was not going to go back to sleep.

When we took Coop & Otis out, the ducks swam to the edge of the pond. For a moment, I wondered if this might be Maddy and Paddy. As we walked the dogs, we reminisced about how Danny loved to stalk our previous mallards.

Later in the morning, Jeff was outside and the ducks again swam towards him.We threw out some corn and bread. The ducks came over to eat. I am not sure where these ducks are from or why they chose to stop at our home for breakfast, but it was fun to see them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Smell You

I was walking Otis on the long lead in our backyard. Although the deck lights were on, the woods were engulfed in darkness. Otis was walking slowly with his nose to the ground. Otis stopped and lifted his head. I listened but heard only silence.

Otis suddenly raced forward, 5 feet of leash unwound, and my arm jerked as I began to be pulled forward. It was then that I heard hoof beats and saw the white tail of a deer racing away from Otis. Otis tried to follow the deer, but I was the anchor that weighed him down.

2 days later, I could barely lift my arm. Proving once again, that Otis is in much better shape than I am.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey for dessert

This all white meat turkey was a sweet way to end Thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wish all our family and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Although we will not be sharing dinner at the same table, you are in our thoughts and our hearts.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

If all the Black Friday ads did not enforce that Thanksgiving is this week, a Sunday morning trip to the grocery store quickly reminded me. I headed to Stop & Shop at 8:00 am, expecting to see an empty parking lot.

When I arrived, the parking lot was more than half full and there were few grocery carts available. I checked my watch again and yes, it really was 8:00! I think that most people were shopping early to try and avoid the crowds.

I can't imagine what the grocery store would be like at noon.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Redirection of Christmas

While attending mass at St Luke's we heard about the Redirection of Christmas. Redirection is where you purchase Christmas gifts for a needy family.

We will be providing gifts for a family of four. We were given their wish list and will be shopping and wrapping their presents. All gifts are returned to St Luke's for distribution.

I am excited to be spreading Xmas cheer. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No More Finlandia

I went to the deli counter at Stop & Shop and ordered Finlandia  Swiss cheese. Finlandia is my favorite type of Swiss.

The deli clerk told me, "We don't sell Finlandia any more. You can buy it prepackaged in the cheese aisle." I was silent, but thought to myself that prepackaged is not nearly as good as fresh sliced.

I asked what type of Swiss was available. The clerk said Boars Head or Stop & Shop. I ordered the Boars Head Swiss. It was ok, but not in the same league as Finlandia..

I am wondering why Finlandia was dropped by Stop & Shop. Maybe I need to start a write in campaign to bring it back

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The leaves were falling like confetti. Cooper stepped into my Mom's yard and his jaw dropped. His whole body began to quiver. I could see Coop wondering do I chase the leaves on the right or the left ?

Eventually Coop tired himself out and  stretched out in the sun, watching the leaves float down to earth. The thump, thump, thump of Coop's tail revealed his complete happiness.

Otis is much more relaxed. Oti wanted to be where ever Jeff was.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Still Waiting

There are still 16,000 people without electricity in CT. Some towns have 20% of the residents without power.

I don't think that I could last 9 days without lights or heat.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Favorite Things

Cooper loves to soak up the sun and chase shadows.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Still Waiting

There are still 160,000 people in Connecticut without power.

It has been one week since the snow storm struck. I know that CL&P workers are doing their best, but it seems that the electrical repairs are taking an incredibly long time. There are many angry and frustrated people currently in the dark.

I realize just how lucky we were to not have lost power.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Sometimes I forget how beautiful Otis is.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


There are still 670,000 people in CT without power. When I go to sleep at night with my electric blanket warming the bed, I am thankful that we still have electricity.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Man, A Chainsaw, & A Snow Blower

When we arrived home on Saturday evening, we discovered that our driveway was blocked by a fallen tree. Jeff and I walked to the house. A few minutes later, I heard the whine of a chain saw.

Jeff cut up the tree and dragged it out of the way. He then  cleared our elderly neighbor's driveway. Once the driveway was passable, he drove the Lexus up to the house.

Sunday morning found Jeff snow blowing the driveway. What would I do without him!

There are 800,000 people in CT without electricity. 80% of Wilton is without power. It is estimated that power will not be restored until Wed evening or later.

Happy Halloween! It is hard to believe we are talking about snow storm damage in Oct. We are lucky to still have our electricity.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

St. Augustine

Our Westport family was selected to receive the St. Augustine Medal of Service for St. Luke's parish. We wanted to attend this special ceremony and headed to Bridgeport in the lightly falling snow.  When we arrived in Bridgeport, the snow was falling heavily and a few inches had accumulated on the ground.

St. Augustine's Cathedral is beautiful with  arched ceilings, an immense pipe organ and stained glass windows. Bishop Lori presided over the ceremony, honoring lay people for their commitment and special works for the church.After the ceremony there was a reception with sandwiches, fruit and eclairs.

We made a mistake and took the Merritt Parkway back to Wilton. We were briefly delayed (10 minutes) for a rollover accident and thought we were very lucky. 10 minutes later we were stopped dead for 80 minutes. Tree limbs were all over the road and there were several accidents. As we waited in traffic, we heard that 50% of Wilton was without power.

2 hours after leaving Bridgeport, we arrived home to find that a tree had fallen across our driveway. We have a very long driveway and slogging through 4 inches of snow and slush in high heels was challenging. The low hanging tree limbs make me think that we will soon be without power.

The Governor is predicting that by tomorrow morning, 550,000 people in CT will be without power.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Giving Back

The other day we posted photos of Otis and Coop playing.  Coop looked like he was being terrorized by his much bigger brother. These photos show Coop on the attack.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I love this photo of Coop. He seems so happy. Cooper loves to run in my Mom's fenced yard chasing the falling leaves.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ellis Island

After visiting the Statue of Liberty we went to Ellis Island.

The museum at Ellis Island is very large. We did not have enough time to tour the entire  building. There is an interesting movie which describes the immigrants journey and what they encountered once they arrived at Ellis Island.
 If you are planning to visit Ellis Island, you should allow several hours to tour the facility. There are no security checkpoints within the museum, so once you get off the ferry you are free to wander everywhere.