Monday, February 28, 2011

Rally O

We have signed Cooper and Otis up for advanced obedience training (Rally O). I was concerned about taking Coop to the class, because he still struggles with the down command. The instructor knows about Coop's past and said we can adapt much of the training to use a sit instead of down.

I am sure that the next 6 weeks will be yet another adventure. To learn more about Rally O click here

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Dog Ate My Gift Card

I purchased a gift card as a birthday present. I placed the card and the receipt on the floor in preparation for wrapping.

I became distracted with another task and heard Otis crunching on something a few minutes later.  I assumed Otis was enjoying his new Nylabone and did not go in to check on what was happening.

When I did check, I saw a small piece of the receipt, the rest had been eaten. Even worse, the gift card had been chewed and there were teeth marks in the plastic.

I was furious that Oti had destroyed this gift. There was no way I could give someone a chewed card! Otis showed no remorse for his transgression.

I went back to the store and explained what had happened. The clerk looked a little confused, but agreed that I could use the chewed gift card to purchase a new gift card. When I got back home, the new card was placed high out of Oti's reach.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Postal Rules

I was waiting on line at the post office. The woman ahead of me stepped to the counter holding a large box. I heard the clerk say we need to talk about basic postal rules. Thinking about my past history of working on postal products, my ears perked up.

The clerk politely explained that the return address goes on the upper left and the destination address goes in the middle. The woman had written the TO: Address at the top and directly below it the FROM: Address. The clerk explained that as it was addressed, the box would be delivered back to her.

The woman's response was, but it's a box! The clerk looked stunned and was silent for a moment. He then kindly took out a marker, crossed out and rewrote the address.

I got called to the counter by another clerk. Upon seeing my Golden Retriever address labels, he asked if I had a Golden. I said I have 2 from a rescue organization. He said his dog was from Yankee Golden Rescue. I said there are too many dogs in rescue. His response was that Goldens were big rambunctious puppies until they turn 6. He thought most people could not deal with their high energy. All I could think was, how will I ever survive 2 more years of Oti's crazy antics!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Severed Ties

Our Westport family suggested that we look at consignment shops for dining room furniture. On a cold and windy day,  we headed to New Canaan , CT. Unfortunately, we did not find any dining room sets that we were interested in.

While visiting Severed Ties, I spotted a beautiful Waterford bowl. The bowl had been discounted several times and was reasonably priced.

Never having bought from a consignment store, I was not sure if you could request a discount. Jeff said it couldn't hurt to ask. I asked the clerk if the listed price was the best they could do. I was pleasantly surprised when she calculated a price even lower than I was hoping for.

It seems like consignment shopping could be dangerous - you enter the store with one item in mind and leave with something completely different!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sand, Sand Everywhere

Due to the endless snow, the streets are covered with sand and salt. This means that the dogs end up bringing piles of dirt into the house with them.

I keep vacuuming, but it seems like a losing battle.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Borders Books is in bankruptcy and the Wilton store will be closing. I was sad to hear this.

When we rented a condo in Wilton, we would walk to Borders once a week and browse their books. The bookstore was always a warm and peaceful place.

Jeff said that he thinks bookstores will become extinct in the next 20 years. I hope not.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The paperwhites are in bloom! After 12 weeks of waiting, it is wonderful to see and smell these beautiful flowers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What melting ?

As you can see, the snow is melting extremely slowly. Cooper and Otis still have not seen any grass. We are supposed to get 2+  inches of snow  tonight/Monday. At least we had a temporary reprieve from the heart of winter.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Cooper spent the day at the vet having his teeth cleaned. Since anesthesia was being administered, Coop could not have any food or water after midnight. Poor Coop did not understand why his food and water bowl remained empty in the morning.

We found out the hard way that it is not a good idea to feed a dog after he has his teeth cleaned.  Cooper was exhausted  and spent the evening curled up asleep on the bed.

Coop's teeth look great and no problems were found.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Double Amaryliis

The amaryllis finally bloomed. For a $2.50 after Christmas sale bulb, I am amazed at how big the flower is.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Eldred Wheeler

One of our neighbors recommended we visit Eldred Wheeler to shop for dining room furniture.  Eldred Wheeler pieces are handcrafted in cherry or tiger maple wood.

I visited the showroom in Wilton and saw some beautiful pieces of furniture. There was an amazing secretary in tiger maple. The dining room table and chairs in cherry were exquisite with simple, clean lines.

To have a dining room set made would take 3-5 months. We are still continuing to look at other manufacturers.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Who Wants to Sleep ?

For some reason, Otis has started barking and running from the front to back windows at 4:25 AM!

If this happened once, I would not be so upset. However, it has happened several times in the last week. I  believe there is an animal wandering around the yard. Otis must sense that there is something lurking and goes into signal mode. Coop lends moral support and barks, while still curled up on the bed.

 I noticed 2 raccoons in the yard this morning and wondered if they were to blame for our sleepless nights.  Of course, when Jeff and I head to work, Otis is sound asleep on the bed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Above the rim

The paperwhites had a sudden growth spurt and are now taller than the vase's rim! I am not sure when flowers will open.

The Valentine's roses bring color into the house while we wait for these bulbs to bloom. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! May we all enjoy a day of flowers and chocolates.

Don't forget to wear red today. Red reminds me of Danny and the red collar he proudly wore. Time goes by but there are some things you never forget.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Linda's Pack

Danny's foster Mom, Linda F, sent this picture of her 3 gorgeous Goldens. The fourth Golden, is a pup that she was fostering.

This picture made me smile. I can't help but wonder if Linda has the same issue with bed space that we do. When Coop and Otis stretch out, there is never any room.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

World's Tallest Amaryllis

I wonder just how tall this amaryllis will grow.

Friday, February 11, 2011


This toy lasted for several days, until Cooper realized there was a squeaker inside. Once Cooper heard the first squeak, he was determined to remove the squeaker.

As you can imagine, it did not take long until the bedroom was covered with stuffing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


We visited the Stickley Furniture store in White Plains, NY. Immediately upon entering, we knew that this shop carried much nicer furniture than the chain stores we had visited in Orange and Milford.

Many of the Stickley pieces are made in the Mission style. We saw gorgeous coffee tables, bedroom sets and desks.

There were a few dining room tables and chairs that we really liked, but none that I fell in love. This is a good thing, since the dining room set would cost more than Jeff's Honda Civic did.

We decided to continue to look at other stores. We will definitely keep this manufacturer on our list of possibilities.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Two Good Citizens

This week was the final dog obedience class.The final class is the Canine Good Citizen test. Each dog is tested on the skills that have been learned the previous 5 weeks.

Otis  passed all 12 skills on the first try! We were thrilled and  the instructor was shocked.  Otis was given the title of the most improved student.

Cooper passed 10 of the skills but failed on the sit/stay and recall. One the first try, Cooper raced towards the puppy class and the squeaky toys.  The instructor was kind, and after all the other dogs were tested she gave Coop another chance. The third time was the charm and Cooper passed the stay/recall test.

Jeff and I learned a lot about how to train the dogs. What surprised me most, is that the dogs can learn new skills, you just have to be firm and consistent. The instructor suggested that both dogs attend the next level of training classes. I am not sure Coop needs this, but Otis definitely does.

Congratulations Cooper & Otis on passing the Canine Good Citizen exam !

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Snow Shoveling

I stepped onto our electric scale and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had lost 15 pounds. I told Jeff that the constant snow shoveling was having a positive impact. Who needs a gym if you have a shovel ?

My excitement was short lived. Jeff weighed himself and the scale reported a 50% decrease. Obviously, we need to install a new battery in the scale.

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Never Ending Bulb Watch

I do believe these bulbs actually grew a little bit this week.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Blood Tests

Cooper went to the vet for blood tests. Cooper is scheduled to get his teeth cleaned in a few weeks. Any dog over 6  years old needs to have blood work before anesthesia is administered.

The vet tech said that the blood tests are to check Cooper's liver and kidney functions and red/white blood cell counts. Hopefully the tests will not show any problems. After years of neglect, Cooper's teeth really need a professional cleaning.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Fox Update

It has been months since I last saw the fox. I thought he may have been eaten by a coyote or hit by a car.

I looked out the window the other morning and saw the fox running across the back yard. The fox's coat was very long and thick, but mainly brown in color. The only red-orange coloring was along his spine.

Later in the day, I again saw the fox headed in the opposite direction. Hopefully the fox will survive this extremely snowy winter.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Godiva Rewards

For Christmas, Santa brought me both a large box of Godiva chocolates and a Godiva gift card. I stopped by the Godiva store to redeem my gift card and saw people receiving a free piece of chocolate.

It turns out that Godiva has a chocolate rewards club. If you join the club, by giving them your email address, you can get a free piece of chocolate every month. There are other benefits, like exclusive offers and free gifts if you spend $10.

I immediately signed up and selected a white chocolate with raspberry star. It was delicious!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Vacuum II

I went to the Wilton Library and made a copy of the latest Consumer Reports vacuum lab test. I was surprised to see that Dyson was not in the top 10 vacuums. The top 10 vacuums range from $80 - $800 and included names like Hoover, Kenmore, Miele and Panasonic.

We went to Sears to view their vacuums. The salesperson was nice, but only wanted to discuss the Dyson. The Kenmore Intuition was rated as a CR best buy, but she focused on the Dyson. I guess this makes sense, since the Dyson costs twice as much, which means a larger commission. The Kenmore is 21 lbs and it felt very heavy to me. The Dyson was lighter, but I don't see paying that much for a lower rated vacuum.

We also went to Best Buy. I was pleasantly surprised by their wide selection of vacs. I saw a Hoover WindTunnel T-Series which weighs less, seemed easier to maneuver and is rated  #13 by CR.

After all this looking, I am even less sure of what to purchase.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Best Storm Photo

From Rick Green of The Courant:

Ice Storm

Wilton did not get much snow yesterday, perhaps 2 inches at most. However, we are now in the midst of an ice storm.

We had freezing rain last night and the driveway and roads are solid ice. Trying to walk the dogs was extremely difficult as we were slipping and sliding. The dogs are frustrated as they got an abbreviated walk and they miss seeing grass.

I am not sure if it will warm up quickly enough to avoid broken tree limbs and downed power lines. Hopefully, we will not lose power this morning.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Handcrafted Pen

One of Jeff's coworkers crafted this beautiful pen out of cherry wood. I was very impressed by his skill.