Monday, March 31, 2014

Froggie Comes to Boise

A dozen years ago after Froggie was born her momma asked if Mike would be her Papa.  It is some big shoes to fill but he proudly stepped in to make sure Froggie would know all the stories about her Papa Ric and get as many hugs from Papa Butch as she required - and even a few extra.  Our first meeting Froggie was introduced to Papa Butch, Uncle Matt, Uncle Krieg and me - Uncle Deb.

Our Froggie turns 13 years old in October.  Time slips past and we were feeling the emptiness of our nest so I asked her momma if Froggie had plans for Spring Break.  What luck!  Her week off was the same as Mr. T and she didn't have any sports or appointments.

Sunday of Spring break, Papa and I loaded the car with an overnight bag, powdered donuts and coffee, slipped through the dusky morning to pick up our travel companion Mr. T and headed west.  Mr. T was very excited to have one of his 'cousin friends' come visit for a week and asked if he could come along.  You see, Mr. T has been making their journey between WA/OR/ID for all of his nearly seven years - and he LIKES it!

The journey was uneventful.  We stopped for breakfast with Ronald and ran off some energy at a rest stop later.  We stopped to show Mr. T some of  the big horn sheep herd which grazes along I-84 between milepost 122 and 112.  The weather was beautiful, the sunshine warm.

In Portland, we enjoyed a meal shared with our sister-in-law, her children and their families.  Mr. T and cousin friend Mr. A played as only six year old boys do.  After dinner we all walked through the wooded area to a big grassy field, complete with a long hill perfect for racing up and down or rolling.  We let the dogs loose to keep the kids in motion.

Monday morning we packed up our companions and headed for home.  Froggie helped to entertain Mr. T with games and imaginary play.  It was good to arrive home.

Tuesday Froggie accompanied me on my errands.  Ruger needed his booster shots.  We stopped for lunch and later took Ruger to his final Puppy Training class.  It was our slow 'catch up' day.

Wednesday we headed out for a little girl time with a pedicure.  After lunch Mike joined us for a trip to Birds of Prey where we enjoyed the two bird shows and the tour of the archives.  Froggie is so good about asking questions which makes Papa very happy to provide answers.   We went out for an early dinner and Froggie joined Matt, Brit and Mr. T at his soccer practice.

Even when Papa goes to Birds of Prey as a visitor, he still gets asked to help when they are busy.

Thursday I had to go to work. The weather was threatening to stir up trouble.  The girls, Erin and Brit, were planning to take all of the kids to the zoo when Brit got off work.  I invited Erin, Froggie and Baby C to join me at the hospital for soup bowls for lunch.  The rain was coming down already, but it didn't deter their plans for the zoo.
Lunch with these folks!

Papa and Froggie picked me up after work and we had dinner at Chili's.  (I'm not sure I ever cooked while she was here.)  We grabbed a bag of overnight things and took Froggie to Matt and Brit's for a sleepover.  Papa had an early morning appointment Friday and I was going to be back at work.

Friday the group took lunch to Matt at work and stopped to introduce Froggie to Tate's great-grandparents.  Grandpa Lyons showed her his special rock collection - something for the beach comber in all of us.  Matt & Brit's friends from Washington came over for the weekend.  We all met for pizza and an early celebration for Mr. T's 7th birthday.

Having Froggie visit was the easiest thing we've  done in ages.  She is a special, loving young lady. Her momma worried about her manners but we had to keep assuring momma everything was great. Froggie chatted easily, helped around the house and we loved having her stay with us.  Plus she got to spend time with her extended family, reaffirming the family bonds her momma instills.  We are looking forward to another visit this summer.

Saturday we once again packed up Froggie's things and headed back to Portland.  The weather was cooler and cloudy but we did see the Big Horn Sheep once more.

After a short visit with her momma, we headed for home once more.  To change things up a bit, we crossed the Columbia River into Washington State and followed Highway 14 along the river on the north side.  Despite the cloud cover, the view was very pretty.  Seeing Bridal Veil and Multnomah Falls from across the river was special.  There are several "cute little towns" along the way, providing opportunities for antique shopping or a coffee and pie.  We've already decided we will have a return trip on the north side of the river - and make time to enjoy the adventure along the way.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Our Little Graduate

Ruger and I have been attending Puppy Training at Petco for the past six weeks.  One of us learned quite a bit... and it wasn't always the dog.

We were in a class with one other puppy, a Havanese named Brodie.  Brodie is 3 months older and loved to play. 

Classes were an hour long and started out with letting the 'boys' romp together in the arena.  We worked on sit, down , stay and leave it.  We walked the aisles in the store, practicing all the commands with plenty of distractions. We worked on staying when people asked to pet him. He learned to ignore the glass acquariums of mice and the cage of ferrets. 

I learned little Ruger has a delicate bum, refusing to sit on the hard floor.  Michelle, our dog trainer, said it was because he slid and found him a pad to use out in the store.  What a problem child I have.

Every week I left class excited because Ruger always responded so well.  I came home to be a proud parent and show off my well trained puppy...  and he would flat out refuse to cooperate.  One night I was telling our son about my stubborn dog.  He looked at Ruger and said 'sit' and dang if he didn't squat his delicate tush to the ground.  Traitor!

With the use of a harness called The Easy Walk Ruger doesn't pull on the leash when we walk.  What a difference it makes!

Michelle is an excellent trainer.  Its clear she loves animals and her job. She also is real comfortable around the dog parents.  We called her the "Dog Whisperer".

Our last class was during Spring Break and our great-niece Froggie was visiting. She helped to provide distractions. We will definitely return for the Puppy Training II in two months, when Ruger is six months old.  Meanwhile we keep reinforcing all we've learned. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dear God...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Did It Myself...

 My shoulder and arm work out continues.  
Monday I finished up the trim and painted the closet and door to our guest room. 
After a extra long week at work I was happy to return to my project.    
I'm very happy with the color.  

After years of  '50 shades of beige' throughout the house 
(actually the guest room was sage green), 
I expanded our wall color to Montpelier Ashlar Gray and am so excited to see how it looks.  
It's exactly what I wanted.  Depending on the time of day and the light through the window, 
it ranges from gray to brown.  The trim and doors are Winter Dawn.

Good thing I like it as I bought enough to paint the guest room, the 'grandsons' room as well as the office.
We are waiting on new 2" white blinds and have some ideas for the window treatment.  

I'm am so not a shopper but decided to check out Marshall's this afternoon - and found a comforter with exactly the look I wanted - as well as throw and pillow.  We already had the down comforter to add for those chilly, winter nights.  

I'm hoping it will be appealing to our next visitors - to make them comfortable.  
Just need to add a few more finishing touches to make any one who stays feel right at home. 

Well I don't know about the next visitor - but Ruger found a comfy enough for a nap!

Paint:  Lowes; Bedding:  Marshalls; Blinds:  Bali

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Not-So-Routine Week

A typical week for us starts out with our 'to-do' list, matching appointments, errands and projects.  Mike volunteers once or twice up to Birds of Prey, Erin comes over for laundry day and 'girls play time'. But lately our projects have taken over.  We have really been kicking @$$ and taking names to reach our intended goal.

Last weekend we ended up with both of our grandsons here Saturday.  Baby C's folks had dinner plans downtown and Mr. T's folks were heading out on the motorcycle for a quiet dinner after a day of garage cleaning.  Papa and I split the list.  I headed out to run errands.  Papa worked on shelves for the garage.  After too many years we finally a tidy garage...  I don't even cringe when the door opens.  I bought a paint for 3 of the bedrooms but painting was delayed because of time with grandsons.

Monday morning I was determined to make things happen.  The guest room was emptied of furniture and calling my name.  Unfortunately so was work.  My job-share coworker left word she wasn't coming into work and I was asked if I could help.  I opted out of Monday with the promise to work the rest of the week.  I had a goal - to get the guest room painted - ceiling, walls and trim.  Well two out of three isn't bad...

I love going in to work when it isn't expected.  Everyone is so appreciative and welcoming. Despite only working four days I still managed over 40 hours and kept all of my afternoon appointments

Ruger is doing great with his pet training - when he is at class.  At home he behaves like a 3rd grader high on sugar.  Actually he is a good puppy - and I have to keep reminding myself despite the fact he has a 'big boy' haircut and is nearing his full-grown status, he is still just that - a puppy.  He sits, lays down, stays and obeys leave it.

Ash Wednesday mass was this week.  We now have 40 days to reflect the meaning of Lent.  It's a good starting point to make changes in your life - especially changes for the better which will be able to carry on beyond Easter.

We all make sacrifices for Lent.  We try to let go of a vice.  For some it's chocolate, soda or coffee.  For others it might be eating dinner out,  .  Two years ago I gave up Facebook.  Most try to leave something behind.  In previous years I've tried to do something different - pay it forward, help someone in need, do something without being asked - you get my drift. I like this idea better.

Father Len discussed our vices and leaving them behind after 40 days.  I am trying hard to be less critical of others during Lent  I've never been a big 'pollyanna' type of person.  I call it like I see it.  I'm finding I enjoy the challenge I've chosen.  I've also given up idle-ness (is that a word?)  Even if it's just a walk every night with Ruger.

After two years following weight watchers, I've changed to my Fit Bit which is worn - and registers steps. I come close to 10,000 steps most days - and have met that goal often.  I can log additional activities, meals, water, and best of all my sleep.  It's been interesting to see how the restless periods affect how I feel during the day.

With the weekend once again up on us, we had two big ticket items - the back yard spring clean up and finishing painting.  After checking our weather satellite maps it was easily decided to work outdoors Saturday and inside Sunday.  I raked the flower beds and the entire back lawn. I rearranged some stones left over from previous ponds to make a small wall along the edge of the deck.  Mike trimmed grapes and berries.  It all looks pretty spiffy in an early spring sort of way.

AND we still managed to take a break long enough for Mr. T's soccer game during the afternoon!

We will definitely be doing some seeding this year to recuperate from the bug that ate the roots last year, but for now the shrubs are groomed, flower beds cleaned and grass raked.   Ruger spent most of the afternoon dropping a ball at my feet and chasing after when it's thrown.  He was dragging grapevines out of the pile as soon as they were collected.

Naturally we took advantage of the clippings that were bigger and enjoyed a few moments by the fire pit as well.

Saturday evening we shared a dinner date and sleep over with Mr. T.  He joined us for Mass today and did very well. The gray, gloomy skies didn't bring out the best in me.  I've been struggling with a couple of things lately and had hoped this was the weekend my folks were coming for a visit.  They had to delay because of my Aunt's health.  So today we weren't very productive and boy - I really missed that extra hour of sleep!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why I Blog..

Recently someone asked me why I blog.

There are many reasons why someone would blog.

Sometimes people blog to instruct. They have something to share.  A skill.  A talent. Others want to know more about it or how to do whatever it is they do.

Others blog to draw attention to a website.  It's a good way to connect your site with visitors, and market  yourself.

I've read many blogs created because of a personal situation and a desire to share - a means to share the experience you are going through.  It's like an on line journal. Maybe you are sharing a life threatening disease or illness within your family circle.  It's a great means for sharing insight, requesting prayers and creating public awareness.

Some people actually blog to make money. Now there are sources for ads and buttons - if you choose self promotion.

I do it to have fun.  We were a military family always living far away from family.   I use to write long, newsy letters about the unbelievable things that happened despite my incredible planning abilities (I exaggerate).  I shared my impeccable flexibility for our every-changing chaotic life and photos.  Our first computer - a Commodore 64 - enabled me to speed along creating these letters and print them out on our efficient dot-matrix printer.

Thank goodness for modern advances.  My letters became emails and emails became my blog.  One stop updates since 2007.  Our family and friends can stop by and catch up with our family activities and see pictures - knowing first hand we are still alive and well.  Years of moving, separations and life's surprises lead to the belief in "Murphy's Law" - thus the blog name.

I don't have beauty tips to share.  I seldom share my cooking because I am horrible about following recipes. No one cares that I'm wearing yoga pants and a comfy sweatshirt (and my career clothes are scrubs). I've read plenty of blogs with these updates and they are fun. It's free speech after all.  If you don't want to read about it click  ahead to the next one and try something else. For me, it's just not my thing.

Working attire - minus the delightful scrub cap for sterile areas. 

I like to share our road trips and photos, and our family adventures.  I love sharing stories of our grands and extended family, (because our grands and greats are so darn cute).  Sometimes I vent a bit - hey I'm human.

Our adorable Grands. 
Occasionally I remember to share a DIY project.  A lot of my stories are created when I'm deep into other activities - those don't always get shared right away because at my age I have the attention span of a gnat and quickly forget.  With the Smart Phone app I'm able to write myself notes or create an outline.  There are usually a couple of blogs partially created, awaiting completion.

I blog because I love to share with family and friends.  We've always stayed in touch.  And since I've unplugged from many social media sources, I blog because I want to reach out to those who mean the most to me.