Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Balloons Everywhere

More photos from the Plainville, CT balloon festival.

I am hoping to go to the famous Adirondack balloon festival next year in Glens Falls, NY.

I have been told that this event is very popular and to book a hotel room early.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

After Irene

Jeff and I both had to be at work on Monday morning, so I am especially grateful that our power is still on. Driving around town, we saw that many of the roads in Wilton are blocked due to downed power lines.

75% of Wilton is still without power. It appears that CL&P is focusing their efforts on other towns, as this number has not been reduced at all.

On Monday night, I stopped at the grocery store in Wilton Center to purchase some ice cream. I went to the cashier with  a pint of Ben & Jerry's in one hand and cash in the other. The cashier looked at me and said accusingly, "You have power!". I answered, "We never lost it". The young man looked startled and I said, "Maybe I shouldn't say that too loudly".

I mentioned that the restaurants in Wilton Center were packed and the cashier said, "It must be that people don't know how to cook, cause I know they have plenty of food at home. With the number of customers who were here on Thurs and Fri, I thought it was Thanksgiving."

Monday, August 29, 2011


I have always been fascinated by hot air balloons. When I heard that there was a balloon festival in Plainville, CT, I told Jeff we had to go.

Mapquest said Plainville was an 80 minute drive from Wilton. The balloons were scheduled to take off at 6:00 am. The alarm  clock went off at 4:00 am , surprising Cooper and Otis. We checked that the festival was still on, since hurricane Irene was creeping ever closer. At 4:30 am we were headed to Plainville.

It only took an hour to reach our destination. We got out of the car and 5 minutes later it started to rain. We thought the balloons would NOT go up.  I know Jeff was questioning my sanity about  going to a balloon festival when a hurricane was approaching. However, life is too short to let bad weather slow you down. The rain stopped after a few minutes and an hour later, people began to inflate these beautiful balloons.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Hits Wilton

The hurricane is almost over. We have been very lucky so far. We have not lost power, but 75% of Wilton residents are without power. 700,000 CT residents are without electricity.

Our yard and driveway are littered with tree limbs and leaves. Thankfully, no large trees came down on our property. We are supposed to have strong winds later tonight, so I am not sure if this may change.

The local news says the main road that our street connects to is blocked by downed trees and power lines. I am not sure when we will be able to leave our neighborhood.

We heard from our LI family and everyone is doing ok, although there is a power outage in Oakdale.  

Irene Update

It is 8:00 am and all four of us are soaked from our morning walk.

At 4:30am Otis had to go out. Jeff put on his coat and Coop, Otis and he headed out into the howling winds and pitch blackness.

We went back outside at 7:30am. While it was light outside, the rain and wind were even stronger as Irene is getting closer.

The lights have been flickering and the Internet connection is dropping in and out, so I do not know if this update will get posted. Walking thru the neighborhood we saw broken tree limbs littering the road and yards.

Luckily we still have power, but do not expect that to last. Currently, there are 350,000 people in CT without electricity.

Changing Leaves

Walking the dogs this morning, I noticed that the leaves are starting to change from green to red and orange. Fall is slowly creeping up on us.

"It's comin' on the end of August, another summer's promise almost gone" - The Eagles

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Storm Watch

With Irene headed for CT....

We received a phone message from Wilton Emergency Services, stating that we should expect flooding due to 10 inches of rain fall. Power outages may last for DAYS!

Our home and neighborhood is surrounded by tall trees. I am worried that one may land on our house or block the only road in and out.

We are keeping our fingers and paws crossed that this storm is not as bad as is being predicted. To all our 2 and 4 footed friends  living on the east coast- stay safe!

Friday, August 26, 2011


I love Godiva chocolates. Jeff loves caramels.

What could be more perfect than this box of candy ? I could not resist buying it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The cow jumped over the moon

Cooper and Otis were playing in the front yard. Otis was headed straight toward Coop, running at full speed.

I thought Otis would collide with Cooper and send Coop crashing to the ground. Instead, when Otis got close, he jumped up and over Cooper. Otis landed gracefully on the other side of Cooper. Coop looked at Otis in surprise.

I was amazed. Otis can jump a stone wall, so it makes sense he could leap over Cooper. Jeff saw this and said "And you wonder how Coop ends up with a sore back!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We're Splitting Up

After nearly 20 years of a contemptuous relationship, I just can't deal with it any longer. It's not me, it's you. Your high maintenance lifestyle has just pushed me over the edge. You always need to have the latest and greatest. I get you the latest and BAM the next day you need something newer. I'm sorry, but after catching untold number of viruses from you and cleaning up all your messes, I am done.

Yes, I know that things will be different. You are familiar to me. I know everything there is about you. Unfortunately, so does the rest of the world. I may fumble in my new relationship. I may not even know how to turn on my new friend, but rest assured the journey of discovery will be worth it.

Goodbye Microsoft Windows, you can reach me over at Mac's house.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monkey Grass

The monkey grass which we planted along the new walkway is finally flowering.

I thought the cone flowers which were planted along the new stone wall would be safe from the deer.  However, the deer come about 10 feet from the front door to snack on these flowers.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Who's afraid of deer ?

We were walking the dogs, early in the morning, when a deer jumped over the stone wall  at a neighbor’s home and raced across the road in front of us. 

We were all startled by the sudden appearance of the deer. Otis immediately sat down and Cooper ran behind Jeff.

A second deer followed and Oti’s jaw dropped. Safely hidden behind Jeff, Cooper barked. Talk about false bravado. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coming Back

The cyclamen that I purchased in January has been losing its leaves for the last few months. Almost half of the leaves are now gone.

I had read that when  all the leaves die, you can put the plant in a cool dark place for several months. The cyclamen will eventually sprout new leaves and then you move it back to a sunny location.

When I watered the plant this week, I saw several new leaves and flowers forming. I will wait and see if the cyclamen manages to return to its former glory without being given a rest.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Don't Like Water

I thought that Retrievers were water dogs, but Cooper does not enjoy getting wet. On rainy days, Cooper does not want to go for a walk. He will race outside, do what he needs to, and turn back for home.

Of course, Otis does not mind getting wet and happily trots in front of me with Cooper getting dragged along behind.

The three of us eventually return home, soaking wet. Otis will shake off in the garage, but Cooper just stands there dripping. It is only when I bend down with a towel to dry Cooper, that he shakes, sending water all over me. I thought I saw a smile cross Coop's lips as he did this yesterday.

Could it be payback for making Coop walk in the rain ?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Loaded Lobster

Jeff spent three days in Rhode Island at a sporting clays shoot. I stayed home and took care of Cooper and Otis.

I received this t-shirt as a souvenir. How many people have a shirt with a lobster aiming a shotgun?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Faster than a speeding bullet

I worked late and passed Jeff walking the dogs as I drove down our street. I parked in the driveway and was getting my bag from the back seat when I heard a jingle of metal.

The noise got louder and I saw Otis flying down the driveway. Otis was running flat out and quickly closed the distance between us. I smiled thinking that Otis must be very excited to see me, to be running so fast.

Otis flew by me, hopped into the back seat and gave me a look as if to say, "I'm ready for a ride!". I guess a car ride rates higher than a hug from me.

Monday, August 08, 2011


Although we washed the dogs about a month ago, I noticed they were starting to smell doggy.

We took the dogs out to the driveway and washed them under the hose. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy and humid days, so even hours later the dogs still were not completely dry.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Back to Dr Duffy

Cooper had his annual exam with Dr Duffy at the Norwalk Vet Hospital. Dr Duffy said that Cooper is doing well and has put on 2 pounds since his last visit. I was not surprised, since Cooper had stopped eating the last time we were there.

Dr Duffy cautioned me to make sure Cooper's weight does not increase. As dogs get older, their muscle mass declines. We do not want extra weight to stress Coop's joints or spine.

I mentioned that recently, Cooper has not wanted to put a lot of weight on his right front paw. Dr Duffy checked and did not find any arthritis or muscle issues in the leg. He then said, a pinched nerve in the neck could also cause this. Dr Duffy twisted Coop's neck to one side and their was no response. Moving the neck the other way caused high pitched yelps of pain. Coop was given a cortisone shot and left feeling much better.

Dr Duffy reminded me that while Cooper was a senior, he is not "old". Dr Duffy thinks that Coop (who is almost 10) could live to 14! How can you not like such an optimistic vet.

Thursday, August 04, 2011


When I was at the post office, I purchased these dog stamps. At that time, I did not know the story of Owney, the US Railway Mail Service mascot.

Postal employees considered Owney to be a good luck charm, because there was never an accident on a train he was traveling on. You can read more about Owney's interesting life by clicking on this text.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Lobster Lover

Otis was raised in Maine, so I guess it is not a surprise he is a lobster lover.

Otis has been carrying the lobster around with him and gnawing on the claws.

Cooper is not as gentle with his toys. Cooper immediately ripped the stuffing and squeaker out and then tried to steal the lobster from Otis.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Shake Shack

When we lived in NC, one of our favorite snack spots was Goodberry's. Goodberry's sells frozen custard sundaes or concretes ( frozen custard with toppings (nuts, candy, fruit)  mixed in). Since moving to CT, we have not had frozen custard.

Now that the Shake Shack in Westport has opened, we can once again purchase frozen custard. We stopped at the Shake Shack on Sunday afternoon and saw a long line of people waiting. After a 20 minute wait, we finally placed our order. I could not resist the vanilla custard with blueberry pie mixed in. Jeff ordered a vanilla with toffee pieces. The concretes were delicious but I would order the smaller size next time.

The seating area inside is very loud and it is difficult to have a conversation. There is seating outside, but on a hot day there are no umbrellas to offer shade.