Saturday, April 30, 2011


The walkway will NOT be completed next week. The rain storms are keeping work to a minimum and the stairs have not been started. The first walkway light is installed and the pile of sand is much smaller. We are slowly creeping towards completion.

I wanted the lower landing to have a sitting wall. This means that the inside wall must be smooth (even). For this to work, the stone cutting and fitting must be precise. It takes hours for a few stones to be installed. I think that the stone work is beautiful.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Flowers

We have a beautiful array of spring flowers brightening our home.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Morning Walk

 Cooper and Otis wanted to stop and smell the flowers on their morning walk.

Aren't these two beautiful dogs ?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dutch Iris

When I saw these Dutch Iris I could not resist buying them. Their purple color reminds me of Jake, our first Golden Retriever. For 9 years, Jake proudly wore his purple Neuse Golden Retriever Rescue collar.

Jake was a sweet, gentle dog who never was able to forget the early years of abuse. The scars on Jake's body were mirrored in his sorrowful eyes. Time does not heal all wounds and Jake's rescue came two years too late.

Happy Birthday JJ. We still miss you. Danny, Cooper and Otis joined our family because of the wonderful times we shared with you, our first rescue dog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Next Steps

Work on the stairs will begin this week. We are having lights embedded into some of the steps, so visitors can find their way to our door.

I can't wait to see what the finished product will look like. Right now I see a jumble of rocks and dirt as our paper design slowly becomes reality.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bunny House

I believe that the Easter Bunny lives in a sugary house like this one. This incredibly cute and delicious cake came from Audrey's Fine Baked Goods, Sayville, NY.

One glance at this cake and I was hooked. So much for eating fewer sweets.

Without a doubt. Audrey's is the best bakery on Long Island! Their holiday cookies are to die for. I always hope that some will appear on the dessert table and they usually do.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

We wish you a very happy Easter!

The Easter bunny hopped thru Wilton and left a basket of Lindt bunnies and truffles. The Easter Bunny always knows my favorite sweets.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Half Way

Week 2 of the walkway construction has come to an end. The project is half way finished. You can barely see the old concrete stoop. I think the stone wall adds character to the house.

Friday, April 22, 2011


When Otis gets petted, he likes to lean into you. Our trainer says that  Otis is trying to dominate you, which is not a good thing.

We were walking the dogs and a young girl came running over with her mother following behind. Jeff asked if she would like to pet Otis. The girl  said yes and walked up to Otis.  As the girl petted Otis, he licked her face and she squealed in delight. After a minute or two, Otis began to lean against the girl. Eighty pounds of muscle resting against a 30  pound child.

The girl immediately picked up on Oti's behavior and said, "Mom, he's hugging me". The girl then laughed and said, "the dog is giving hugs".

I never thought of Otis as a hugger. I smiled at the thought of doggie hugs. Children really do see the world differently than adults.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Lily

This beautiful lily came from Costco. Costco's plants are high quality at a fair price.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting Taller

The wall continues to get taller and longer. The tarps are to protect the new mortar from the rain.

A new supply of rocks was delivered.Jeff thinks we may need even more stones to complete the project.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I could not resist buying this plant with the striking purple flowers. I never heard of  Senetti, but thought it would look nice out on the deck.

Now if only the weather would warm up, so the plant could move outside!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Baskets

At Easter time, St. Luke's  distributes flowering plants and Easter baskets filled with food or fruit to people who are in need of Spring cheer.  Church members shop for groceries, assemble the baskets and deliver them.

When I heard that shoppers were needed, I immediately volunteered. If there is one thing I can do, it is shop! Jeff also agreed to help.

We volunteers gathered at the store and were told that the manager had already collected the groceries. We counted the items and then it was off to the checkout. We transported the groceries back to St. Luke's.  I wish that I could help with the basket delivery on Wednesday, but I will be working.

Three cheers for the organizers of  the Easter basket project! What a wonderful way to show caring to members of our community, who often feel forgotten.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bath Time

With Easter coming and a planned trip to see family in Long Island,  it was time to wash the dogs.

Neither dog enjoys bath time,  but they look beautiful after it is done.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Building the Wall

The frequent rain storms are slowing construction of the walkway. The concrete footers have been poured. The field stone wall, which will encase the existing stoop, is being built.

Even though there are only a few stones in place, I can already see how much nicer the natural stone is compared to the gray concrete.

The landscaping crew carefully selects the stone and then chisels or cuts the stone to fit in the wall. It is as if a puzzle is being put together.

The driveway and front lawn are a complete mess

Friday, April 15, 2011


I have been trying to eat healthier. This is not an easy thing to do when you have a giant sweet tooth. When I go to a restaurant, the first thing I look at is the dessert menu.

I know that trying to completely ban cake or ice cream from my diet will  fail. However, I try to not buy sweets too often and have switched to ice cream bars instead of half gallons.

When I was getting my hair done, my stylist talked about an Entenmann's chocolate fudge cake which was fantastic. The next day I was grocery shopping and there was the cake - on sale! I picked up the cake and thought this must be fate. As I was putting the cake into the cart, I asked myself do I really need this.

After some additional thought, the cake went back onto the store shelf. Being middle aged is no fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Amazing Flight

I saw this on the internet the other day. A passenger on a Paris bound flight from San Francisco set up his intervalometer to take a shot every few seconds. Check out the Northern Lights about half way through.

SF to Paris in Two Minutes from Beep Show on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


                                 The daffodils are in full bloom!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Walkway

At 8:00 am, Harry, our landscape architect called and said his crew could begin work on our walkway. I said that was fine, but no one would be home. Harry responded that there was some measurement and prep work to do. We could meet the next morning. I said that would be fine.

When I arrived home, I  thought I would see a delivery of stone  and the new walkway staked out. You can imagine my surprise at seeing the old stairway completely removed! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Nothing looks better than a freshly mulched garden

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I See You

Otis likes to keep watch over whoever is home. When I am upstairs and Jeff is downstairs, Otis sits at the top of the stairs and tries to keep track of both of us.

Friday, April 08, 2011


It was suggested that the bulbs near the old walkway be moved before construction begins. I moved the bulbs, but a few casualties  occurred.

I was not sure if the hyacinth flowers would open, but they did! I love how sweet they smell.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

No More Rally-O

We attended the final Rally-O dog training class. This week's class focused on getting a dog to lay/stay on a table, walking up a ramp and walking on a board that teetered.

Surprisingly, Otis had the fastest time for all dogs on the weave poles and table combination at 8.2 seconds. Cooper was close with  8.4 seconds. Otis did well on the teeter and the ramp. Coop did not want to go up the ramp.

Both dogs were exhausted after class.

I think we learned more from the Advanced Obedience Class, than we did from Rally-O. However, Rally-O was a good chance to interact with Coop and Otis and to reinforce the skills learned earlier.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


These carnations remind me of our niece, whose favorite color is purple.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cooper's Test Results

While we were waiting to pay for Coop's thyroid test, we spoke briefly with Dr Duffy. We are big fans of Dr Duffy,  because he is a great vet and a realist. Dr Duffy said that it was unlikely that low thyroid levels would cause Coop's stiffness. Dr Duffy said Coop probably has arthritis and should be on a buffered aspirin regimen. If Coop's symptoms get worse, he should be put on Previcox permanently.

We discussed Previcox (pain killer) and its risks. The vet said that he has many patients on this drug with no side effects. Liver levels must be monitored every 6 months. Dr Duffy said if the choice is giving a dog Previcox or having to put a dog to sleep because he cannot walk, then the pills are the obvious choice.

Dr Duffy gave Coop a pat and said he thinks Coop still has a few good years left. Coop wagged his tail enthusiastically in agreement. We are all hoping for that.

The test results showed that Coop's thyroid level is  now in the correct range. Coop will stay at the same dosage of medication and be checked again in another 6 months.

Monday, April 04, 2011


I read an article in Time magazine that stated that there have been massive burial mistakes made at Arlington National Cemetery. I found this to be very disturbing. I had heard this mentioned on the news, but the article was shocking. "One worker said he thinks 1 in 10  times a headstone sits above the wrong grave"!

I understand that Arlington is a large cemetery and mistakes occur, but how can so many people be buried in the wrong place ? Even worse, how can the government use an educated guess policy to determine if the right person is in the correct grave! I realize that digging up a grave is a serious matter. However, if it is the only way to be 100% positive who is buried there, then it should be done.

Shame on our government for not doing everything they can to right this wrong. These soldiers died for our country and should be honored. Their families should not have to wonder if their loved one is truly in the grave that bears their name.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ducks are Back

Coop is no longer our alarm clock. A pair of mallard ducks are now spending time on the pond. At 6:05 am the ducks fly in and the quacking begins. The quacking is loud and endless. Of course, this noise gets Coop and Oti racing around the bedroom and barking in response.

Otis is not a good host and charges toward the water whenever he sees the mallards.The ducks are smart and swim into the middle of the pond when the dogs are being walked.

I still wonder what happened to our people friendly ducks, Maddy and Paddy. The current ducks are wild and want no interaction with us.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Another Vet Appointment

Cooper has an appointment today at the  Norwalk Vet Hospital for blood tests. The vet wants to check if the medication is raising Coop's thyroid levels.

Coop is not as agile as when he was on pain killers, but he does not seem to be struggling to walk.  Cooper is still skipping meals, so I think he is not feeling 100%.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Tick Season

I spotted a tick on Cooper after our evening walk. Unfortunately, as the weather warms up, the fleas and ticks appear. If you have a pet, keep an eye out for these nasty creatures.