Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nuts and Mooses

   Sunday we checked out of the hotel and made an unscheduled stop at Perry's Nut House on our way down the coast. I mean, when you see a giant wooden squirrel holding a giant peanut, how can you NOT stop for that? I'm so glad my family enjoys all the same stupid things I do. Wait... Maybe it's their fault!?!
   On the way down to Camden, we wandered into a resort called Point Lookout that looked especially enticing. There were many cabins nestled in the woods, and we followed the curving path all the way up to the overlook and see clubhouse, where many weddings are held. It seems like the perfect place for us to spend the night. (Note for future trips: the cabins are quite small, and really only accommodate one person for each of the two bedrooms. The beds are doubles, not queens as we were told.)
   As we were enjoying the view, suddenly, the silence was broken by the sound of a moose bugling. To this day, none of us have ever seen a moose in Maine, but finally we have heard one! The bronze statues on the resort property will have to suffice for this trip.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Foliage Friday

   Friday: Acadia didn't disappoint with fall color, though we were perhaps a week late for peak.
   We stopped for lunch at Jordan Pond and then enjoyed the somewhat foggy view of  the Bubbles.

   Then we drove up to the misty, cold, windy summit of Mt. Cadillac.
   Then we headed to Belfast and had dinner at Nautilus. The lobster mac & cheese and mashed butternut squash were truly spectacular!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lobsters and unicorns

   Thursday: I flew into Manchester, New Hampshire, picked up my rental (a Volkswagen Golf with only 350 miles on it!), and drove to Portland to meet up with Mom, Martha, and Gayle. We had seafood at Portland Lobster Company, shopped, and then headed up to Waterville for the night. 
   We had dinner at Cancun Mexican restaurant (Stella's favorite) complete with rounds of margaritas. 
   Mom and Martha surprised me by giving me my Grandmother's wedding ring, purchased in 1947.
   And I braved the rain to do a reprise of a photo from the last time Kelley and I were here in Maine together. Before Stella took us inside for dinner, Kelley stood out front showing her unicorn horn. Here's to you, Stella!

Tribute to Stella

   This morning we drove by Stella's former home on Violette avenue in Waterville, then went to visit her final resting place at St. Francis cemetery on Grove St. This is the obituary for our very special lady: http://m.legacy.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Stella-Orr&lc=1638&pid=171641671&mid=6037421
   Now we're heading to Acadia to appreciate the peak leaf color on the coast. Stella was an artist like me, so we'd like to think she'd heartily approve.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Foliage report

   Beyond excited to see for myself!!!

This sport is like Pokemon

#gottacatchemall Oh PADI, what have you done to me???

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

From the most thankless task...

   To the most thankful. I spent over 7 hours on my laptop and phone on Sunday, organizing and backing up photos on multiple drives. I had nearly 3000 photos on my phone, and enough was enough. A task I despise, but unless I stop taking photos, I must do it.
   I noticed that iTunes was showing that I had a large sum of "other" taking up memory on my phone. I searched for an answer as to what it could be. It's a catch-all category. And apparently it includes voice memos.
   So imagine my surprise when I opened that app and discovered two recordings from over two years ago, which must have transferred from my old iPhone 4s (the hard drive died in Utah this past ski season). I had no idea these recordings were there. Both were of Gypsy, purring.
   Rather than feeling sad, I feel so happy to have discovered this hidden treasure, with my girl sounding so content and happy. I hope she's in heaven, happy again and free from pain, smiling down on me with those lemur eyes and preposterously long whiskers. And I hope she's laughing at the antics of the kitty who followed her, Kismet. 
   Though they look very different, they are much more alike than meets the eye. And I think Gypsy would approve.

Monday, October 13, 2014

This chick's gettin' crafty

   Hallmarket was so fun, I just had to do it again! Come see me at Crafty Chicks in Liberty, MO on 11/29 and get your holiday shopping done all on a single Saturday. Then go get some pie. That's my advice. It's gonna take a lot of caffeine and sugar for me to get all this new work done in time. Like a science experiment and an art experiment rolled into one.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Birthday Gift

   "Enough with the funny hats… we were promised treats!"
   Okay, I know I'm having way too much fun taking photos of my dogs in birthday hats. But how cute are they, seriously?! While they enjoyed their kibble and carrots with seafood stew, I enjoyed my Kung pao noodles with spicy seaweed strips and "soybean sundae" (tofu with edamame and Thai sweet & spicy chili sauce). 
      And while today was TAYLOR'S birthday, it was ME who got the gift. Tonight I received a message from a woman at MSIR (Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue) who helped rescue Taylor from his original owners. I knew he had two homes before me, and I knew his name was Sailor, and I knew he lost home #2 when he kept busting through the invisible fence. But that was about it.
   She wrote, "Sailor was his original name (named after the Japanese Manga series—Jen: I assume Sailor Moon???). He was purchased as a puppy by one of my daughter's friends from a puppy mill in Seymour, MO. Her friend fell in love with my Shibas and next thing I knew they were asking me for advice with their new puppy—I even offered to train him. The girl's mom had several kids ages 17 to 2 years, and once the "cute puppy" wore off he was kicked out in the back yard with absolutely no training. He was a digger and fence climber due to boredom. I tried getting them to turn him over to rescue when he was 4 months old. By the time he was 7 or 8 months and after paying many fines to animal control, they gave him to me. He was a mouthy, ill-mannered boy who needed a home to show him love and attention. At the time I had two other fosters at my house, so he was sent to KC for his first foster home. She renamed him Taylor (we used to give "wild child" male fosters "T" names-—for terror!). And the rest is history. I am so grateful you have him. I love seeing him now and how far he has come from where he started."

   I wouldn't have described my boy as a terror, though he came to me with issues. When I adopted him he was a terrible door-bolter, and escaped my back yard once—I roamed the neighborhood for an hour and a half to recover him. He was terribly food aggressive, and I thought he and Aki might murder each other over their meals, so I had to physically separate them. And he must have been allowed on the bed before.
   I've put him through my version of Boot Camp, which included learning basic obedience and manners, building trust and respecting my authority, running with me to lose weight and burn energy, and an agility class. And now I'm proud to have him represent who I am as a trainer: far from perfect—but able to go virtually anywhere with me and leave a positive impression. If I could turn him into an off-leash dog like Aki, that would be the icing on the birthday cake. Maybe next year. ;)

Happy Birthday, Tay-kun!!!

   My Taylor-man is 8 today, and it has been 5.5 years since I adopted him. And what a great 5.5 years it has been! He makes every day more fun. I attempted to get a family photo to commemorate the occasion, but Kismet the ninja-cat kinda ruined it when she thought Taylor was upstaging her. Aki saw it coming: look how she's leaning away:
Taylor stepped forward (rookie move, Taylor!) and...
Poor, sweet boy never stood a chance. Whammo!!! He didn't fight back, and as you can see, Aki didn't even consider stepping in to help her buddy for a second. Kismet has kicked her @** before (she still has a scar to prove it), so she knows who the boss is. Birthday or no birthday.