Thursday, March 31, 2011


I have always liked the town of Ridgefield with the interesting shops and historic homes along the main street. While I am enjoying a week long stay-cation, my Westport family and I had lunch at Bernard's.

I had never eaten at Bernard's, but my aunt said this was a favorite restaurant for special occasions. Bernard's is a beautifully decorated restaurant with wonderful meals and service. The staff is discrete and we were able to enjoy a leisurely lunch. The food was fantastic. I would highly recommend the trio of chocolate dessert!

On a warm and sunny day, it was fun to wander Main Street. We made sure to window shop at Addessi Jewelers with their sparkling diamond displays.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rally-O Oh!

You never know what new obstacle will appear at Rally-O.  When we walked into class the weave poles and a tunnel were out.

We have been practicing the weave poles in our yard. Cooper and Otis completed this obstacle fairly quickly.

The tunnel was something new. Neither dog wanted to go into the 3 foot fabric tunnel. Even tossing a treat into the tunnel was not enough of an enticement. Otis went into the tunnel and sat down,and the tunnel flipped vertically. Many of the smaller dogs raced in and out of the tunnel.

Every day is a new adventure at Rally-O!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dover Furnace

What could be more fun on a beautiful spring day than going to shoot sporting clays ? I don't shoot, but Jeff loves this sport. I have always wanted to drive a golf cart and finally got my chance. It was a little cold at 10 am, but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed spending time with family.

Dover Furnace in Dover Plains, NY has a beautiful course. The buds on the trees announce that spring is here.

We enjoyed a great lunch at Copperfield's in Millbrook, NY. Their "Turkey Tuesday" special features turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, cranberries, cornbread and salad for $9!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Good Try

March Madness is in full swing! The UNC men's basketball team made it to the round of the Elite Eight. Unfortunately, the Heels lost to Kentucky (76-69) in a hard fought battle and will not be in the Final Four.

I am proud of how well the Heels played. UNC is a young team and previously had games where they fell apart. UNC had their chance to win, but in the end Kentucky proved to be the stronger team. Hopefully, UNC's players will return next year and they can again make a run for the National Championship

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Driving Miss Daisy

I spent the day with a friend in NYC.  We had lunch at Don't Tell Mama. This is a piano/cabaret bar and restaurant. The food was ok (not great) and the service left a lot to be desired. The waiter was hard working, but one person cannot cover an entire restaurant. The sliver of lemon meringue pie I received, could not be called a slice. I would NOT recommend this restaurant if you are in the theater district.

We then went to see the play, Driving Miss Daisy, starring Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones. The Golden Theater is relatively small and there is not much of a set for this show.

 The acting in this 3 person play was incredible! James Earl Jones stole the show and Vanessa Redgrave was fantastic. They did a wonderful job of drawing you in and making you believe that over the years these 2 people who had nothing in common became fast friends. Driving Miss Daisy ends its Broadway run in April.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Favorite Things

Toys in our house have an extremely short life. In 15 minutes, Cooper managed to tear open this "super tough" toy.

I really don't mind having to clean up the mess, when I see how happy Cooper is. It is nice to see Cooper active again.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Nothing says Spring like tulips!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Rally-O

Cooper and I skipped obedience class last week, because he was having a hard time standing and walking. Cooper did not seem stiff today, so we decided to attend class.

Upon entering the building we were met with weave poles. This was a big change from weaving around cones. After a few tries, Coop and Oti both figured out what needed to be done and completed the weave in 11 seconds. The smaller dogs managed to finish the exercise in 7 seconds. I could not help but think that our Sheltie, Brandy, would have flown thru this event.

We also worked on an active down, where the dog goes from walking to down with no sit in between. Cooper aced this 5 second down and completed the exercise in 5.3 seconds. Otis managed a close second with 5.4 seconds

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


When we went to see the King Tut exhibit in NYC, there was an ad for the upcoming exhibit "Pompeii". My Dad was always fascinated by the ruins at Pompeii and I told Jeff we should see the show.

We took the train into Grand Central and headed to Times Square. The exhibit consists of two parts. The first part shows relics from Pompeii  - everything from artwork to a gladiator helmet to jewelry and wine vessels. I was amazed by the sophistication and beauty of this ancient civilization.

The second half of the exhibit shows body casts of people and animals who were unable to escape the mud and toxic gases.  24 hours after Vesuvius erupted, Pompeii was destroyed. When I saw the body casts and read about the thousands of people who died, I could not help but think of the Japanese tsunami and how quickly nature can destroy what man has built.

I would recommend visiting the exhibit if you are in NYC.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still going

The cyclamen that I bought back in January, is still flowering. I am shocked, since none of my other plants have survived life in Wilton.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm Hungry

Even after eating a full bowl of kibble, Otis wants more!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Vacuum

Our vacuum search is over. We purchased a Hoover T series Windtunnel. This vacuum was well rated by Consumer Reports.  I especially liked that it is lighter and easy to maneuver.

The first time that I vacuumed, I was amazed by the amount of dirt and dog hair that was sucked up. Since this is a bagless vacuum, you see everything that is captured. What is odd I never would have guessed that there was so much dirt on our floor.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring is Here

Just in time for spring, the crocus are in bloom!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I love Stargazer lilies. When I saw this bouquet at the store, I immediately picked it up. As I looked around I saw beautiful dutch iris and tulips in every color. I was torn about which flowers to buy. I was surrounded by Spring and wanted to take them all home.

In the end the Stargazer's won out. However, if the dutch iris are still there next week, they too will be headed to Wilton.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2 Years Cancer Free

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

With his green collar and leash, Cooper has always been a big fan of St. Patty's Day.

Two years ago, Cooper had surgery to remove the cancerous tumor on his thyroid. Coop has managed to beat the odds and is still with us.  Thanks to the pain pills, Cooper is eating again and able to jump up on the bed.

Don't forget to wear GREEN today!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kiawah Dreams

We did not get to go on vacation last year, due to the house construction. We were determined to return to Kiawah Island, SC this summer and have reserved a beautiful villa.

We still have 6 months to wait, but I am already dreaming of the beautiful beach and trips to Charleston.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Jeff and I have been running back and forth to the Norwalk Vet Hospital over the last few days.When I walked into the waiting room, I was greeted by two gorgeous Newfoundlands. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for these big furry dogs. I once wanted to buy a Newfie but Jeff rejected the idea, saying these dogs were too big.

I stopped to pet the Newfies and talked briefly with their owners. I was warned that if I petted Tank (the male), I must also pet the female. I was more than happy to comply. These gigantic dogs were perfectly behaved and did not bark or jump, they just stood perfectly still while I petted them. I was told that the dogs get fresh cooked chicken and eggs for breakfast (plus kibble) and for dinner steak and eggs. I laughed and said I don't cook like that for my husband. I complimented the owners on how well trained the dogs were and we talked about the importance of showing the dog who is boss. When I went to leave, the man said you have some dog drool on your sleeve. I said it was no big deal.

I got back home and Otis raced over to me. He slowly sniffed my coat starting at the sleeves and then the front. Oti's nose was going a mile a minute.I knew Oti realized I had been with other dogs. After a few minutes Oti stopped sniffing and stared at me suspiciously as if to say - Who were you with ? What's going on ?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Feeling Better

The steroids/pain killers that the vet prescribed for Cooper seem to be working. While Cooper is still stiff, he is walking better. When Coop saw deer on our morning walk, he wanted to chase after them.

I am not sure what the long term solution will be for Coop's health issues.  I do not know if Coop could permanently stay on the pain killers as there are risks to his liver and kidneys. For now, we are glad that he is not struggling to get up and can sleep peacefully.

Coop goes back to the vet in 3 weeks for another thyroid blood test. Coop is taking 2 thyroid hormone pills a day. Hopefully, we will see Coop's appetite and  mobility improve as his thyroid levels increase.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Boots

After 2 years, my $12 pink boots are starting to show their age. While visiting the Christmas Tree Shop, I looked for a new pair. Unfortunately, there were no boots in my size.

I ended up buying a new pair of boots at Target for double the price.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cooper Update

To try and get Cooper to eat, we are mixing Science Diet I/D canned food with the regular kibble. Coop is eating a little, but not nearly  the amount he should be.
Cooper struggles to stand up and will only stand for a few seconds before sitting down. When Coop walks his back legs seem very stiff and he sometimes stumbles. Coop cannot get comfortable and will lay down and then get up and pace. This process continues all night long.

The vet called and said that Coop's blood tests were fine, except for a low thyroid level. A more extensive thyroid test was run and Coop's level is very low. Cooper will be given pills to raise his thyroid levels.

The vet said that Cooper may have a compressed disc or pinched nerve in his spine. To diagnosis this would require an x-ray or MRI. The vet is concerned that Coop may have a degenerative disorder, for which there is no cure. The only thing we could do would be to medicate for pain. The vet said that Cooper's early years of malnutrition may have caused bone and joint problems, which are now appearing as he ages.

For 10 days, we are to give Cooper a medication to reduce pain  for dogs with arthritis. This will hopefully make Coop more comfortable as we wait to see if thyroid medication helps to increase his appetite and  reduce his neurological symptoms.

Otis does not understand why Coop no longer wants to tussle with him.

Thanks to everyone who is sending good wishes our way.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Touch of Spring

The cheerful flowers remind me that Spring is almost here.

Cooper Update:
Cooper is still not eating. Jeff took Coop to the vet and they immediately tested for Lyme Disease. The Lyme disease results were negative. The vet gave Coop a complete exam and did not feel any lumps along his stomach and spine. The vet manipulated Coop's hind legs and was unable to find any issues.

The vet said that Cooper could be lethargic because he was not eating.  The vet suggested that we put Cooper on a bland diet. Blood tests are being run and we should have the results on Saturday.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's Wrong with Cooper ?

For the past few days, Cooper has not wanted to eat breakfast. I was not too concerned, because Coop was still eating dinner and  milkbones. Jeff thought maybe Coop was having too many snacks and was not hungry.  When Coop showed no interest in dinner last night, I really began to worry. Memories of Danny's loss of appetite and cancer still haunt me.

We also noticed that Cooper is limping and seems stiff when getting up. When Coop could not get comfortable lying on our bed, Jeff ran out to the pharmacy for buffered aspirin. I don't know if Coop's stiffness is from too much rough housing with Otis or possibly arthritis.

Next week is Cooper's cancer-versary. I am extremely aware that we already  have had much more time with Cooper than the oncologist predicted. We have decided that if Coop does not eat breakfast tomorrow, we will make an appointment with Dr Duffy.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Rally O #2

These sweet faces hide the terrors that Cooper and Otis become during Rally O training. Otis spent the majority of the class barking at the other dogs. Cooper's attention was focused on a squeaky toy that someone brought as a training device.

This week's lesson focused on changing gaits, timed sit/down and down/sit , stand and weaving thru cones.

Jeff and I both left with headaches and wondered if we should skip the remainder of the classes.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


We have not seen our Weber grill since the first big snow storm in December. Every time I looked onto the porch, I would see a huge snow pile on top of and in front of our grill.

Our back deck gets very little sun, so the snow melts extremely slowly. After two months without a barbeque, I was craving a steak. I stopped at the store and picked up a luscious porterhouse. Jeff cleared a path to the grill.

Dinner was fantastic!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Congratulations, UNC!

Congratulations to the UNC men's basketball team for beating Duke and becoming the ACC regular season champions!

With March Madness just one week away, I am hoping the Heels will continue to play well and bring home another title.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


As the pictures show, our existing walkway is an eyesore. It certainly does not increase our home's curb appeal. Even worse than how it looks, is the fact that the stairs are not evenly spaced. Obviously, this was yet another  project that a previous owner did incorrectly.

One of the biggest problems with our home, is that the front door is eight feet above the driveway. This is a huge distance to have to cover in a relatively short space. How to balance a large quantity of stairs  and not look like a Mayan temple was a problem that we struggled with.

We spent this winter interviewing landscaping companies and discussing designs. We have chosen Young's Nurseries and the construction should begin in April. It will take about one month to complete this project.

I thought a month was a long time.  However, I was told that building an 8 foot high stone wall takes a lot of time, skill and material.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The First Sign of Spring

Safe from the snow, these daffodils are beginning to grow.

Friday, March 04, 2011


I went downstairs one morning and found that our 4 foot tall amaryllis had tipped over. The flower stalk had snapped during the fall.

Since there were still 4 unopened buds, I cut the stalk and put it in a vase. Luckily, the flowers are continuing to open. This may be the best $2.50 I ever spent.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

What's Down There ?

Every day when we walk Otis, he stops and peers into this snow hole.  There is a run off grate at the bottom of the hole. Otis seems fascinated by the running water.

One of our neighbors has a stream in his yard. On rainy days, Otis likes to stop and stare at the rushing water.  I think Otis might dive in if he wasn't on a leash.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Oh No! Rally O!

We attended our first Rally O dog training class. Upon entering the classroom, we saw a line of traffic cones. It was obvious  this would NOT be a traditional obedience class.

The instructor said that we had 9.5 seconds to weave in and out of the cones, turn around and repeat the weave. 9.5 seconds sounds like a lot of time, unless you are dragging an 80 pound dog, who is more interested in the other dogs than in following you.

After the weaving exercise, we practiced turns. 270 degree turns, pivot turns, left around (passing the lead behind your back and keeping the dog on your left). The goal is that you and the dog move fluidly as one. As you walk, commands are called out and you and your dog need to follow them.

All four of us were hot and tired by the time class ended. We now have many new skills that we need to practice.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Piles of Snow

We heard from our LI family that most of their snow has melted. We are not so lucky.

Even Otis is tired of having cold feet.