Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nick the Miniature Schnauzer and His ESP

Mr. Nick was with me for a few days while his mom was off having fun in NH with family. Sue texted me yesterday at 3:30 pm saying she'd be here between 4 and 5:00. As dog owners, one will often hear a story of "my (insert dog/cat name here) knew she/he was going to the (insert place here, i.e., the vet.) and as animal owners, we are always baffled. 

Well, Nick's ESP was right on yesterday. Shortly after Sue texted me, Nick laid in this position at the door. The only thing that would take him away from it was dinner, because he loves to eat. He then went back to this position until Sue arrived around 5pm. He would not budge from this spot. It was the darndest thing. 

When momma entered the house, he then stood pointing his nose at the door as we chatted. What a pip. 

Little Bug finally figured he was an OK kinda guy yesterday -- she ran up to him, barked, then ran fast in a big circle, trying to get him to play. He just looked at her nonplussed as she did this about 5 times before giving up on him and coming to the back door. 

I'm thinking I might need to get her a playmate. I keep reminding myself that if it's meant to be, one will come knocking on my know...figuritively. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Beautiful Weekend -- Laconia, NH Bike Week

We met up with friends on Friday in Massachusetts that we know through the campground, to take the yearly trip to Laconia at the end of Bike Week. This is my second year going and fortunately, as last year, the weather couldn't have been better. Of course, I'm layered with shirt, sweatshirt, scarf and leather as others are in t-shirts, and lightweight jackets. We got into Concord, NH, where we were to bunk down for 2 nights, early enough in the afternoon that we had time to travel further East and visit Angela at her lake house. We were greeted not only by smiling humans, but also, by happy barking dogs...or was that them being protective? LOL

Angela's Misty only had eyes for her and wouldn't even give me a glance...

Cassy was such a good girl visiting with everyone and sitting pretty next to Steve, who she only just met minutes before.

There would also be a photo of Bella here, but I couldn't get her attention long enough to snap one. She was very busy and stimulated from having 6 strangers visiting.

It was a dusty road traveled, well, two dusty roads because Google maps took us down a road that did not connect with Angela's. I thought for sure that even though this group is easy going, they would be ribbing me for making them drive down a dirty gravelly road for a couple miles, (never a chosen path when on a motorcycle) only to have to turn around and drive back on it and then drive down Angela's dirty gravelly road.

Once we got there and were able to see the lake view and beautiful setting, they didn't mind. Angela and Dave have a lovely, comfortable, humble home and I was very excited that we had some extra time to go visit and say 'hi', as I do not get to see her often given the travel difference between us at her MA home and the lake house in NH. I think I must plan a trip to visit NH over the summer for a few days and take advantage of the quiet peacefulness, soaking it in and doing what she does -- watching the Egrets and the boats while sitting doing some needlework.

After our visit we headed back to Concord to our hotel for some food and rest.

Saturday morning we headed out to Laconia, specifically, Weirs Beach.

We spent the afternoon walking the main street and checking out the bikes. R is particularly fond of the Rat bikes and I like the ones that have a some interesting work done to them.

R. had double booked events for himself. They say once a Marine always a Marine, I can vouch for that statement and say it's true in many ways. One instance is that he lives his life with 'missions' and one of those missions for the weekend was to run a 5k he had been training for with a group from work. I knew he wouldn't NOT be able to do the run as he had enjoyed the friends he made and trained with so much and the race would be considered the end of the mission. He always finishes what he starts, and this wasn't going to be an exception. After only 5 hours of broken sleep, we got up at 3:50am Sunday morning and hit the road a little after 4:30. We planned to get on the road 20 minutes earlier than we did, but, per the norm, I kept forgetting stuff in the room. When we first woke up, we were both got slap happy because the silliest things were happening. I had hit my head on the towel holder in the bathroom, then R. conked me on the head with hangers that had gotten hooked onto a part of his jacket when he took it off the clothes hanging bar. I was bent over underneath getting my bag ready and as I lifted my head and he lowered the jacket, clank, collision. We both got so giddy and were trying to be so quiet, I thought we were going to lose it. Add to it, the night before Melinda asked if we had everything out of her van (she drove the sag wagon) and "yup, yup, absolutely" were my words. We get down to the bike and I question where my fleece, rain gear and scarf is....Melinda's van! We cracked up again, because she asked us numerous times because she didn't want to be awakened at 4am. The irony was just too funny. There was no way I was waking her, I'll get the gear from her next weekend up at camp. I was not happy about not having my fleece because it kept air out of the spots where it creeps in on you as you ride. Fortunately, I had another scarf with me, but I was planning to double up on scarves, and use one to partially cover my face. I had to suck it up.

The temperature was 43 degrees. Standing still. I don't know how to calculate the temperature when riding at 60/70 mph, but what I can tell you is that it is C.O.L.D. Make that FREEZING cold. In the mountains, with no sun until we were about 45 minutes away from our destination. I thought my fingers were going to fall off, as well as my face and my toes... and I generally have a rule of no riding unless it's 65 degrees outside -- oh, the things you do for love.

Your body gets so tense trying to stay warm, and riding the highway for that length of time is also muscle consuming. Today I feel like I had an intense workout at the gym. Even my abductors are sore from hugging the tank.

We made one stop for gas about an hour and a half into it, warmed up a little in the store, and we were off again. We had an hour and 45 minute ride to go. We weren't going to make it. The race started at 8am and that timeframe put us at 8:15. So, we didn't stop again until we got there, hoping we could make it close at least...we honked butt.

We got to the race with literally three minutes to spare. We made quite the entrance because where we had to park was behind where the race started. So all those who were there on time and early, had to make a path for us to get through. We really got some looks. We parked and R. undressed/dressed in record time, leaving all clothes and leathers on the ground and ran to the starting line, the horn blew for the race to begin and he was off...he was operating on no food, no coffee, very little water, muscles so tensed that getting off the bike was a task, no stretching, and feeling like he had hypothermia. 

He did awesome under the conditions. 24.58 minutes and he won first place for his age in the male group. He didn't expect that at all and was all smiles when they called his name. This is all a big deal because not only was the morning so intense, but also, he hadn't run in years and was surprised during training that he was doing as well as he was.

I was very happy for him, he works so hard at everything he does and most of it is real work, not 'for fun' work.

When all was said and done, I wanted to sit and have a coffee. Off to Starbucks we went. As we sat at an outside table, we relived the weekend and laughed again. We should have gone and taken naps after that...but we didn't. He had stuff to do, and I had to go pick up Buggy, who got completely spoiled by my friend Toni while watching her, and then I went to pick up Nick (a.k.a. The Nickster) from Sue's. Then, back home to unpack and get the house straightened up. No time for napping.

I hope you also had beautiful weather all weekend, and was able to go out and enjoy it. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Skully Birthday

Although my friend Toni and I already celebrated my birthday together on the big day...she came by today with a skull cake she made for me. I think my squeal with delight calmed her worry about whether or not I'd like it. I'm especially fond of the 'rotting' teeth. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cat vs. Cardinal and Then There's a Turtle

I didn't realize this had not been published. If you check me out on Instagram, you know about bird vs. cat. This little Cardinal was so pretty. Here's how I came about finding her:

A few days ago I walked out to my trash can to throw some stuff away and I saw my neighbors cat, Hunter, hiding behind it and under the privet. I started talking to him not realizing at first that I had interrupted his game of cat and mouse...err, I should say, cat and bird.

All of a sudden I see this little Cardinal with flapping wings running toward me. I tried to catch her, and got a slight hold but she wanted nothing of it. She chomped down onto my finger, which startled me, which made me jump, which made me let go. Damn. Hunter started chasing her. So I went after her and Hunter, shooing Hunter away. Well, the little girl is scared to death and wanted nothing to do with me coming near her. She was finally cornered where my garage attaches to the house and was trying really hard to figure out an escape route. I had to get a small towel to throw over her because it was the only way to get my hands on her. When I did, she let out a nice big squawk, which I hoped was a fear sound and not a pain sound.

I brought her inside and put her on a towel, underneath the top of a bird cage that is for a someday art project, but seems to come in very handy for wayward birds.

That girl was feisty!

I put some bird seed in there with her, as well as a small dish of water. She sat in the water and after awhile she was cracking at the seeds and throwing the shells around. But, she couldn't fly so I figure the outcome was grim no matter how tenacious she was. When picking up injured birds in the past, they've always let me handle them, probably they had given up the fight because then they died after awhile. Since she was so 'vivacious' I thought there was hope.

I brought her to the bird vet the next day, protocol for the rehabilitation center I was going to bring her to. The receptionist came out and I asked if this would be the end, and she said, "well, she's pretty feisty" so you never know. I had to take a breath before asking the question because I started getting really teary and couldn't talk. I really dislike that, it's kind of embarrassing.

The back half of her wing wasn't there, and even though she did have the energy and fight to lamely fly to the cage sides and hang on...I didn't think there was hope for her to be rehabilitated and sent back out to wild. I'm assuming she was just getting a hang of the flying thing, or trying to anyway, because she still had some soft downy fluff on her back. That's probably why Hunter was able to get at her.

It turns out that the damage beneath her wing was too extensive and she had to be euthanized.

Now about that turtle...

Just a few days before, I found this beautiful Eastern Box Turtle in the road, in my lane.

I came upon it quickly, going down hill in Big Bertha, R.'s 1990 quad cab F250, with sorta bad brakes and hauling a trailer full of brush. Fortunately, I was able to straddle it and after stopping down the hill a ways I hoofed it back up as a car was coming speeding down. Who knows if they saw it or not, but they didn't hit it. So I picked it up, it was totally tucked in (the EBT has a hinged shell in the chest so that they can completely hide) and didn't even peak, much to my disappointment. As I save these creatures I talk to them and I like to see their faces. It wasn't happening. I put it back into the wooded area and hoped for the best.

'Tis the season when they head toward nesting areas and often cross the street to get there. They are a turtle that is being watched in CT due to it's mortality rate by automobiles, not reaching maturity for 10 years, not laying many eggs, and being able to hang onto the male sperm for up to 4 years before deciding whether or not to lay eggs. Did you know that 90% of the males have red eyes and the remaining 10% and the females have brown?

One thing a like about finding these awesome creatures is researching them for correct facts,  therefore, being further educated about the species.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

This photo is a month old, but still cool that a double rainbow occurred, something I do not see that often. Like hardly ever. 

I love how the sky gets an eery silvery color when there's a later-in-the-day rain shower. Then to have this pop up, too? pretty cool. What's funny is how amazed we all are at nature. Everyone around my house, came out of their houses, camera in hand, to take photos of this beauty.