Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wildlife walks

   On my walk with the dogs this morning, a squirrel high in a tree misjudged a distance or just plain slipped, & fell with a splat on a driveway right in front of us. I could tell he was seeing stars, but he shook it off & scrambled across the street. Even the Shibas were in disbelief!
   And a couple weeks ago, we were walking at dusk when up ahead I saw five pairs of eyes on the curb, staring at us. Aki went into stalking mode and as we neared the corner, five baby raccoons darted into the storm drain.
   Have you any idea how long a dog's memory is? It's LONG. Aki has consistently stuck her head into storm drains ever since we saw a family of raccoons, and later a mouse, use them as escape routes. And now she'll be looking skyward as well. Walks keep getting more interesting...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sharknado is nigh!

   I treated Gary & Ginny to a random sharking today, in honor of tonight's premiere of Sharknado 2! I wish, however, that I was partying with Ginny and Dawn tonight… Dawn made Sharknado cupcakes!!!
   The four of us texted hilarious comments and photos to each other throughout the duration of the movie, which made the movie itself bearable. My favorite comment came from Gary, after I commented that Shakespeare could have written the script ("a twister with teeth"): "
What light through yonder window breaks. Tis a shark. A mutha effing shark."
   This guy ran into me underwater:
   A tiny shark bit Gary's nose: 
   A flying shark ate my sandwich:
   And then a whale shark attacked Taylor:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dive weekend pics

   Beaver Lake or bust! Melia offered to drive, and we just barely got two peoples' and two dogs' worth of stuff in one Jeep.
   We brought food for our potluck dinner. Pretty sure eating 112 oz of this would NOT be the "Best Choice" for Taylor.
   The plans changed, however, so we went out to Eureka Springs to eat instead: gorgeous, terraced Casa Colina:
   and Rockin' Pig (a high-end bar & grill for Harley riders):
   The dogs love all aspects of these lake weekends: car rides, attention from lots of people, occasional tastes of "people chow", and lately, sleeping in people beds. They don't get to do THIS at home!
   When you're THIS tired, though, anyplace will do. We were practically tripping over this girl who only made it as far as the middle of the room.
   Three busy days pass quickly. Melia demonstrating her Tetris-master-car-packing skillz. You have to take a lot of %€$@! for diving!
   News flash: dogs are still tired! All the way home, nearly five hour drive. They each found a headrest to call their own and were quite satisfied.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gone to the dogs

   Melia & I roomed together for our dive training weekend, and my no-good, ungrateful, traitor dogs chose to sleep with her instead!

   In truth, though, I'm thrilled that my pups trusted her and bonded with her immediately. Made me indescribably happy to think about how far they've come since I adopted them--especially Aki, who was fearful of even me when I first got her. 

   But that wouldn't make such a funny cartoon. ;)

What's the plural of "sphinx"???

      Check out this gorgeous white-lined sphinx moth... There were two of them on my door this morning when I went out to leave for work. What a treat! They're surprisingly large: about 2" long.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Playin' with the po-po

      Last week I received a text from Rich that totally made my day:
   It seems he wanted to help me in my quest try everything in the world at least once. And I have never officially played a hostage or a victim before.
   I don't want to brag, but I rocked it. I play a dead person really well, after a long day at work... Zzzzzz... And a hostage? Well, let's just say that when someone has even a gun full of Simunitions to my head, I can scream with the best of them!
   I even got to hold a gun bigger than me:
   I should clarify that I am not at all gun crazy, as these pictures could suggest. I am merely curious to put myself in others' shoes and try experiences I've never had before.
   My favorite part was talking with the instructing officers between training exercises, and hearing them debrief with the student officers after each round. I learned a lot. Mostly, I learned how thankful I am that the stakes aren't so high in my own career. Can't imagine having to bust into a creepy old building in the dark and risk my own life to stop an active shooter. The further I am from these harsh realities, the better! But it was fun for one night. And I am thankful for those who dedicate their lives to protecting all of us.
   And it seems that my acting must have been even better than I realized:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nuance in terms

   I have to keep a close eye on Taylor the "grocery inspector" so he doesn't become Taylor the "grocery ingestor..."
    Also, I just found these photos of baby Tasmanian Devils online, and I'm pretty sure Taylor is a Devil.
   And Aki is a fox.
Photos from

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunday stroll

   Since I was dive training since early this morning, I felt the dogs deserved a nice, long walk. So we headed over to Santa Fe Commons Park for the free Sunday night jazz concert. The park was full of kids, all of whom wanted to share some attention with the dogs. We even bumped into Jana (aka Janamal) and Darren!
   Then, I came home and made good use of the huge bag of fresh basil that David had given me, and the jar of fresh walnuts that Rich and Britten had given me: presto! Fresh pesto! I had never made it before, but it was even easier than I anticipated. Salt-and-pepper, olive oil, nuts, basil, garlic, and Romano cheese. Now I just need to go get a huge loaf of crusty bread… and maybe an extra bottle of mouthwash. Holy cow, this is spicy and garlicky! :D

Savoring the moments

   Years ago after we had visited Stella up in Maine, I planted a little blueberry bush in my backyard. It has been growing very slowly, and I only get a few berries from it each year. But they are among the best-tasting berries I've ever had--they distinctly remind me of the ones at Stella's house. Because they are precious and few, I savor them more. It reminds me of my visits with Stella.
   My little blueberry bush will help me think of her every summer. :)