The five service pups I've raised...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ghosts and Goblins Trick-or-Treat

What a grand night. Linda and I sat on sunset hill at Eagles' View in Cardiff and enjoyed some lovely wine as the dogs waited not so patiently nearby in the car.

Then when it got dark, we went to downtown Encinitas and enjoyed the festivities. What a perfect night - a full moon and just the right temperature - not too cold not too warm.

The costumes were imaginative. The kids so darling. One little girl who's costume you could tell was hand made, I asked her if she were a cat? She replied ever so seriously, "no I'm an arctic fox". I said how special as no one else has THAT costume. And with a little coaching from her Mom, she said it was because arctic foxes are endangered...yessiree. My kind of Mom - save the animals while educating the little ones; tee hee.

My favorite costume was on a dog of course -a large clock face and then I realized it was a giant watch wrapped around the dog's trunk as he was, of course, going as a "watch dog". Fun-ee!

Self Realization Fellowship outdid themselves again as always, with some stunning jack-o-lanterns. Here are some photos I took so you can see for yourself:

Kerry if front of the cutest dalmation puppy jack-o-lantern.

Goodness, how long did these take to carve?

These folks were enjoying their night -funny to notice the farmer boy looking right at my camera...

Francie with the pumpkins. Me with all the dogs. Ronie laying and Kerry and Francie on each side of me.

These girls reminded me of my nieces in Ohio.
I asked if I could take their photos and they quickly struck a pose!

The kids watch all the goings-on at the Lumberyard courtyard as the band played and folks got refreshments...

Oh no, it's "paranormal activity" -->
actually it's just what happens
when a puppy turns her head too quickly while I have my camera on a slow shutter speed.

We ended the evening with a brief visit to Pam and Mark's as their street really does Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

GoD and DoG < --> DoG and GoD

Over 1 million hits on YouTube... Today's 2 mintue feel good!

Click here and more will know why we call them miracles...

or enter to play it.

So very precious!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


The Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center is by far one of my most favorite seasonal places to visit in San Diego. Nestled amongst rolling hills of rural ranches and farms, (although the urban sprawl and developments are gradually encroaching) this family farm/pumpkin patch is chock full of Kodak moments.
We had a grand day, starting early and a good thing too as it quickly got quite crowded. A nice size CCI group turned out and we enjoyed finding clever places to put the pups for photos...there was also a Halloween dog costume contest so I'll include some of those fun photos here too.
I did notice that against the straw bales and brilliant orange pumpkins, the black lab pups really did have the advantage of that great contrast. Our yellow/blonde pups were often lost in the blonde straw and hay...but there were plenty of neat place to pose them - scarecrows, tractor rides, and even the giant pumpkin scale -oh yea, that's little Francie on there. Little? Hardly not, she weighed in at 52.5 pounds. At $.69 per pound she would have been a $35 pumpkin to purchase!

Tractor hayride or horse drawn wagon ride...

who's grinning more, Francie or the scale operator?

Francie with Shirley and Cane above her.

Francie and me on our tractor hay ride

A bird dog literally A banana A scarecrwo WITH his diploma,
("if I only had a brain....")

A giraffe and Cyndi
A monarch butterfly

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Fall Saturday

Kerry & Francie below the OSU flag

It's fun when a routine falls into place...for me today it was a Football Fall Saturday.
I hung my OSU flag and headed down to town.

So Football Saturday- today it was back to D Street Grill to watch the Buckeyes play football on what looked to be a chilly day in Columbus. Brrr. And by 4th quarter it started raining there- ugh. That's why I live where I do!
So we beat Minnesota, appartently on a mission to redeem ourselves after last week's loss to Purdue.

Dad met me there and little Francie was restless under the table but finally settled in. My Buckeye friend Bob also came and Betty and Michaela (who will be a pirate this Halloween courtesy of my costume I'm loaning her). She looked SO cute when she tried it on.

When our fog burned off it was actually quite warm here today. It was great talking with Chris this morning and catching up on all our news.

Francie at D Street in her Buckeye clothes- since I can't have her wearing Michigan colors.....

This morning before the 9am game, I actually made it to an 8am Qi Gong class at Moonlight Beach for an energy healing was so peaceful listening to the waves hitting the shore below. I realized how tight my shoulders are and I will really work on that...too much computer work and rounding forward throughout my work day I suppose.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

God Painted the Sky

Tonight on a whim, Linda and I decided to pop down to Moonlight Beach just in time to catch the light show. And what a show it was....the colors were fantastic. Peaches and purples....the watercolor brushed sky was stunning. It was a clear night and we could see the city lights all the way up the coast to Oceanside. A sailboat bobbed out beyond the waves. We could smell the beach fires. From our picnic table on the overlook, we enjoyed our wine with the pups at our feet; we watched the sun set and the colors slowly thanks that we live where we do.

Thank you God - another good work, we loved your sunset.

We appreciate this day. Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

So what have you been doing for 23 years?

A self timer shot using the tripod.
At the Beach Grass Cafe for dinner.
I believe one of life's treasures is reconnecting with friends.

I received the email this Monday past. Jan (pronounced "Yawn", whom I first met in Sweden in 1985) was able to get a flight to LAX (he's a pilot for Emirates Airlines and now lives in Dubai). Was I around? Could we hook up? Maybe enjoy a dinner to catch up?

I emailed him back YES! I have to work but will try to get off early. Can you come south? Take the Amtrak maybe, I could meet you in Oceanside? We swapped numbers and when he got to his hotel on Wednesday evening he phoned me. He had rented a car and was driving down.

Traffic was horrible (no surprise - LA at rush hour?) but he arrived at my door around 7:30pm. Oh my gosh - there he was! It had been 23 years. I last saw him in Cardiff in July 1986 when he visited me only a few months after I had moved here from Ohio. I was still living with Dad at hiss first Cardiff home (see blog from a few weeks back). And here Jan was 23 years later! Big hugs and smiles.

I popped a champagne bottle and we reminisced as we enjoyed the bubbly. Kerry dog welcomed him like a long lost friend although she of course had never met Jan. (aren't labs just so accepting and welcoming?) We laughed and looked at the old photos I had dug out, from over two decades ago. He caught me up like one can only do in person and told me about Katrina and the kids (Martin and Malin - son and daughter 19, 18 yrs old).

We laughed at remembered events of his first visit to Calif when we were both in our early 20's. I recalled his keen dream to be a pilot...he recalled a fortune he got when we went for Chinese back then. It said "your success will be determined by your efforts" and he said at the point he was in his life, that really stayed with him. The Top Gun movie was huge that summer and we went to the Miramar Air show. We watched the impressive Blue Angels...and now here Jan is flying jumbo jets = wide bodied 777s 15 hours over the north pole to arrive into LA. I have such respect for a person that has a dream and sets out to achieve it.

We went to the Beach Grass Cafe and enjoyed yummy seafood salads and Merlot. More talk, more catching up...our trip to Tijuana, and Rosarita, MX that summer for lobster...."no, no Mexico is not really a place you would want to visit these days", I shared with him.

He crashed in my spare room for the night and after her morning walk today, Kerry charged up the stairs to see if he was awake. Well his door was not latched and former service dog in training Kerry has the skills she needs to just push a door open with her nose -it's quite easy she always tells me with her want to keep me out? then all you have to do is close it tightly. ("really you humans!") I failed to share this vital info with Jan.

So she barged in and jumped up on the fold out bed doing circles all excited that our guest was still here, carrying his socks in her mouth as she must always carry something - a true retriever without doubt.

"Are you awake Jan?" Kerry wants to know.

We had limited time as Jan had to head back up to LA around lunch time. So after a bit of visiting over coffee we headed out to Pipes Cafe for some good, cheap surfer breakfasts and lattes.

Then I showed him Eagle's View, Dad's home now which he had never seen. Ooohing and ahhhing...
Some goofy photos with Kerry; shots of the lagoon; the pacific ocean; me, clothed in the jacuzzi tub (I'll have to post that one later as it's quite funny but its on his camera)....and then we cruised by Dad's old place waiting until someone went through the gate so we could follow in behind them.

Jan remembered exactly where Dad's former house was and what street to turn on...things stay with you when it's an adventure for sure. He kept remarking how gorgeous the area was. And of course it's October today and this is some of So. Calif's best weather -plus a Santa Ana arrived today so clear BLUE skies, sunny and warm!

It was fascinating to learn about his life in Dubai the past 7 years; learning about the nomads that still live in those parts, camel raising - VERY expensive and a huge indication of wealth; the fear of Iran's amassing nuclear weapons as Iran is only about 60 miles from Dubai; Jan's concern about his daughter who gets too much attention from the young Lebanese men....

I told him as interesting as it sounds, I prefer to trade him a stay in So. Cal at Dad's if Dad and I can come visit him and Katrina at their home in northern Sweden where during the summer it can stay light for the whole day. I have not been to Sweden for so long and I would love to visit there again. He said that sounded like a fair trade to him. LUCKY him, het gets 42 days vacation a year and free flights as an airline employee perk. Wow.

Getting a shot from Dad's driveway.

Jan and Kerry at Sunset Hill.

Our time went by much too quickly but how wonderful to see him again.