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Updated: 2017-11-15T07:28:52.565-05:00

 



Passover 2013

2013-03-24T21:01:08.670-04:00


This year I had help as I made the gefilte fish.  Ari is a curious puppy who wants to check out anything new on the counters.  As he gets bigger, nothing much is sacred.  For him, stealing something off the counter is even better than stealing underwear off the drying rack.

The fish always starts with a stock made from the bones, heads, and skin.  Not exactly a pretty picture, but definitely the way to a good fish stock (that turns into bouillabaisse after Passover).


By midday the fish patties had come out of the broth and were stored away in the refrigerator with their little carrot slices to sit in a thin layer of broth awaiting tomorrow night's seder.

Tonight we got a sneak preview as we each had a piece for dinner.  The fumes from the horseradish pronounced it sufficiently potent.  But there is always a concern before the first bite of fish when I wonder if I got the seasoning right -- enough salt and sugar, but not too much.  Every year is different, but my husband always declares it to be just right.


Happy Passover!  May you extricate yourself from any unpleasant situation just as the Jews did as they left slavery in Egypt.



My Life

2013-03-22T11:07:15.399-04:00

Several of you have wondered if I have anything to report on my life beyond having a new dog.  The truth is not much.  I haven't gone anywhere of significance since our trip to Chile a year ago.  My only sewing project was a white reading stand cover for Temple Micah's use during the high holy days next year.  My librarian job has finally gotten down to the maintenance level of 10-15 hours a month.  Shelter kids come and go, but my work there is much the same.  My creaky body is creakier than it ever was and I often use 2 Leki walking sticks when I have any significant ground to cover.The only areas in which I feel creative are cooking and music.  The new CSA share arriving each Wednesday prods me to discover new ways to use things like rutabagas and kohlrabi.  I'm working on dinner for tonight -- a study in orange:  Swedish chicken salad above and butternut squash soup below. As for music, the most unique pieces I have found come from listening to Sirius XM as I drive the new Prius.  Pieces like Farewell to Stromness by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1980) and Bailecito by Carlos-Lopez Buchardo (1997).  I am drawn to pieces that suggest movement, such as walking or dancing as these two do.  I also continue to play gems recommended by my teacher Anadel, like The Seasons by Tchaikovsky -- 12 short pieces that are moderately difficult but worth the effort.I have struggled to adjust to having an adult child living at home, tempering my tendency to  give advice and wondering whether or not this is a permanent situation.  Truthfully I see very little of him as he is up at night and sleeps during the day for the most part.  I want so much for him to be independent and happy, but I have come to realize that it is all very much out of my hands.Lately I have spent a lot of time heading up a Temple Micah team called Aging Together, which is charged with looking at issues dealing with getting older.  We are focusing on several aspects of this:  establishing support groups for those who lose a loved one, looking at barriers to older congregants attending services (transportation, parking, hearing, etc.), and setting up a monthly lunch-and-learn program.  I was able to use by former career skills in selecting a sample of those 65+ years old and administering a survey to learn more about what people are thinking.  With my team's help, we had one-on-one conversations which not only completed the interview forms but established new connections with people who thought they had been forgotten.  I haven't quite joined this age cohort, but my time is soon enough, so I hope there will continue to be things that make me want to remain an active member.Ari is proving to be a great host when people come over, so we have gradually started having guests for dinner and hosting groups like our book club.  He is much better than our previous dogs in terms of not barking or jumping obnoxiously.  He is a counter-surfer, so we constantly have to be on guard so as not to lose the main course to a dog.  But otherwise, he is content to sit around chewing on a marrow bone while we entertain.I must remind myself to be more observant as I go through life.  I used to find some reportable tidbit every day.  I'm sure they are out there, but I seem not to look at the world through Blogging glasses these days.Thanks to my few remaining readers who have continued to ask how I am doing.  I think of you often!blog feed[...]



Puppy Reunion

2013-03-17T21:39:43.420-04:00


Ari celebrated his 6-month birthday by visiting his sister Roxy in Bethesda.  She too had had a haircut so they both more closely resembled poodles.  They happily hugged each other in a little doodle dance and then ran non-stop for an hour or so.  Roxy is considerably smaller than Ari, but otherwise looks very similar to him.

For those of you who have asked for news about me, I will soon put out an update.  I wish I had something of great excitement to report other than the acquisition of our goldendoodle Ari!



First Haircut

2013-03-15T18:41:12.225-04:00


Today Ari went in for his first grooming.  I had always sworn I would never have a dog that needed this much pampering, but alas I have one.  The good news is most golden doodles don't shed.  The bad news is every 3 months or so they must be trimmed.

He had gotten to look like a raggedy mess as his hair continued to grow, so it was time.  We took him to Muddy Mutts, where Hindy (a groomer of 35 years) did her magic.  Three hours later it was much more obvious that he is indeed 70% poodle.

This is just one more critical step toward Ari's adulthood.  I wonder if he knows how good he looks with his new haircut?




Closing in on 6 Months

2013-03-06T11:54:32.321-05:00


Ari has taken up Jake's spot on the window seat in the family room.  He has a perfect vantage point where he can bark at every squirrel or bird that enters our back yard.

He is Mr. Sociable these days.  He goes to daycare once or twice a week, where he plays with other adorable dogs with names like Lucy, Max, and Toaster (who really would name a dog Toaster?)  He has also made good friends at the local dog park with Jax and Sadie.  He meets Birdie at the neighborhood ball park.  And he has friends like Shelby and Magruder who come visit and explore the back yard with him.

But his favorite activity of all time is chewing on a frozen marrow bone, which feels good to his sore gums and means he is not chewing on furniture or shoes.

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After a hard day of playing and chewing, we often find this kitchen rug.  I only wish my hips were so flexible!





Ari Out in the World

2013-01-21T19:53:11.669-05:00


Now that Ari has had all his shots, he is learning all about dog parks.  On his first trip he met Jax, an 80-pound standard poodle.  Not at all intimidated, Ari ran every time Jax ran, not running after the tennis ball but rather just running after the big dog.  At one point he launched himself onto Jax's back.  He cried when Jax left.  He came home and slept the rest of the day.

The next day he met Casey, the black and white rescue dog who delighted in pinning Ari on his back in the mud with his jaws on Ari's neck.  Despite the fact that Casey was borderline aggressive, Ari seemed happy to have yet another canine friend.  His lovely fluff didn't fare so well, as evidenced by the photo above.  It confirmed that he is not getting fat at all, but is instead a little dog with a lot of hair.  After a bath, he resumed his beautiful fluffiness.


Yesterday's playdate was with Birdie, a service dog for our diabetic neighbor.  She is a 60-pound black lab, who thoroughly enjoyed fetching with Ari as her shadow.  They raced around the neighborhood ball field until both were completely exhausted.

Today at yet another dog park, Ari met Luna, a weimaraner 3 times his size.  Luna could run like a greyhound, often leaving Ari in the dust.  She was gentle and understanding with Ari as he tried to keep up and occasionally lunged at her.

Just this week since his dog park debut, I have noticed that Ari's tail now curls up over his back instead of handing down like a rat tail.  According to our trainer, that's sign of self-confidence.

I'm enjoying watching Ari's little world expand.  He is embracing it all with enthusiasm!



Birthday Celebration

2012-12-29T12:18:21.027-05:00



It's my other baby's birthday.  Ari sends his greetings!



Defiance

2012-12-24T16:55:54.017-05:00



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This is the scene that plays out most every morning as we urge Ari to come down the last few stairs. He flops down with his legs out behind and just looks at the treats that otherwise work so well as motivation. A very cute dog but not one we want to bargain with at 7:30 AM.

He is just as defiant about house-training. I have seen him come in from outside and squat on the floor under my nose as if to say "I will choose when and where." Fortunately this is not the case most of the time.

I have known 2-year-olds with the same mindset!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Dawes Ave,Bailey's Crossroads,United States




Ari at 12 Weeks

2012-12-08T19:40:49.675-05:00


Young Ari is getting bigger and older and more clever every day.  He has discovered that humans have far more interesting food than kibble.  The only food he has sampled is bananas, the mainstay of our son.  He has come to believe he should have a bite of each and every banana.  By checking out the dishwasher, he also has found remnants of good-tasting things.

We can no longer complain about sleep deprivation.  That is, if we go to bed by 11 PM, we are guaranteed 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  As for house-breaking, there is still the occasional accident.  He pretty much relies on us to get him out in time and sometimes we fail.

Today we were treated with a visiti from Roxy, one of the two girls in his litter.  As you can see, little Roxy is tiny compared to Ari, but she makes up for her small size with cunning.  She held her own as they raced around the back yard.  On a few occasions they tried to play with the same toys and neither wanted to give in.  I wonder if they really remembered each other after 4 weeks of separation.

It is true that Ari's entrance into our household profoundly changed many things.  But it's hard to remember life without him.  When he lies on his back in my lap and looks up at me with those sweet brown eyes, I know we made a good decision!





5,000 Pipes and a Whole Lot of Stops

2012-11-27T21:14:03.011-05:00



Who knew that Washington loved organ music?  The new Rubenstein Family Organ made its debut at The Kennedy Center tonight in a free 6 PM concert.  The tickets were given out to those standing in line starting at 5 PM.

Given the poor attendance at most NSO concerts, I figured I could waltz in around 5:30 and get a ticket somewhere in the Concert Hall.  But when I arrived at The Kennedy Center around 5:00, I realized I had totally miscalculated my chances.  

For starters, the entire Kennedy Center garage was full, meaning the limited street parking was all that was left.  As I drove by the front of The Kennedy Center I was dismayed to see the line snaking around the building.

I managed to find a parking spot about 4 blocks away and quickly walked over to The Kennedy Center to find the line even longer.  It was about 20 minutes to performance time at this point.  Soon thereafter a KC official told my part of the line we were at about 800 with only 300 tickets left to be distributed.  

Instead of going home, I decided to go inside and see if I could find someone with an extra ticket.  It turned out there were two guys with 4 tickets whose friends had not materialized.  They were happy to give me one of the extra tickets, which turned out to be a box seat with a great sightline to the organ.

For the next hour or so, I enjoyed hearing the magnificent new organ show its stuff, accompanied by the NSO.  It reminded me of my days playing the organ in my younger years.  I’m always amazed when a single individual bequeathes something as expensive as a pipe organ!

But it is an instrument that will greatly enhance The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall.  Hopefully we will new see organ concerts that have never been the hallmark of this venue.

Perhaps my greatest coup was spending exactly $1.50 instead of the $22 standard parking fee.  It was a cheap night filled with beautiful music.

(The photo above was not from the concert, but rather from the days preceding as the organ was installed and the 5,000 pipes voiced.)



Getting Adjusted

2012-11-27T08:49:14.545-05:00



Getting a puppy and having a baby have an awful lot in common.  If you remembered the reality of either, you would never go for another round.  And so it might be with our new addition to the family.  

We wanted something sweet, lovable, and cuddly.  But we seem to have forgotten about the getting up in the middle of the night and the incessant peeing.  Not to mention those needle teeth that seem to find their way into the bottoms of whatever pants I have on.  And the bark of our little Ari is enough to send shivers down your spine.

We had also requested “feisty”, or at least not complacent like our wonderful old black lab Dylan, who hardly moved except for food.  We definitely got what we asked for here.  Ari is often in perpetual motion when he is not sleeping.

The thing we both failed to realize was that our lifestyle would need to change to accommodate our new puppy.  We could no longer pick up and go off for museums and lunch without securing an Ari-sitter or crating him.  We have resorted to the latter a few hours a day just to have some free time to do the things we always did before Ari arrived.  So far he has not adopted the crate as his “den” the way the books promise, but rather seems to throw a temper tantrum with screaming and kicking for a long time after being imprisoned.

Just today we may have turned a significant corner.  Ari slept from 11:30 last night until 7:00 today, giving us both some much-needed rest.  Today he has been opting for the treat-every-time approach to pottying outside instead of puddling on our inside floors.  

I can with certainty say he will be the last puppy of our lifetime, but I think we are going to enjoy seeing him grow up as we grow old.



Ari vs. The Stick

2012-11-16T18:11:20.919-05:00

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We wanted a dog with spunk and we most definitely got one.  Today Ari found a stick much larger than he is.  He raced back and forth across the back yard with it, growling ferociously at it.  He loves his back yard!



Day 3 with Ari

2012-11-14T16:14:37.803-05:00


You might wonder where the dog in this photo is.  Ari seems to have the same escape artist instinct as Jake did.

We are attempting to periodically crate train him so we don't have to keep a constant eye on him.  Especially after yesterday's fiasco with turkey hotdog bits offered as treats, which caused him to drink and therefore pee constantly.

Midmorning today I put him in the above crate with his favorite toys and went to practice the piano in the living room, still forbidden territory for Ari with its rugs and furniture.  He immediately began crying like a baby in earnest but then settled down for 20 minutes or so.  When I came down to answer the phone, I was utterly amazed to see Ari prancing up to greet me, as if to say "Look what I was able to do!"

He had obviously gone out through the top of the crate after turning over the Playmate cooler and standing on the blue side.  I can't even imagine how he managed to pull himself up and over with no apparent injuries.

Today we have seen only one accident and that was when I corralled him for a few minutes in a doggy playpen.  He is insisting on freedom and is being fairly convincing.

One of his favorite spots to nap is on a cushion under my husband's desk.  When asleep he looks angelic, but then so do most babies.





Ari At Last

2012-11-11T21:41:05.305-05:00

It was reminiscent of preparing for our first-born.  We had acquired all the necessary things -- crates, toys, food, treats, a car harness, etc.  We were all excited as we drove the 2-1/2 hours to pick up Ari and bring him home today.When we arrived at Fox Creek Farm, another family was meeting his sister Roxy for the first time.  They are in the DC metro area, so we quickly started planning play dates for the 2 puppies who had never been apart for the last 8 weeks.Ari easily settled in for the car ride home, moving from one lap to the other.  I took the above picture as he slept in the crook of my arm.Once home he began exploring his new surroundings in earnest.  Can you imagine going from 12 square feet to an entire house (or at least the non-carpeted parts of a house)?  Here he is taking a break in my lap.  At this point he still had a perfect record for accidents in the house.  That would soon change.We are trying a positive approach to training Ari, rewarding him for things like asking to go out.  He is also training us to read his cues.  He is definitely not the complacent dog that Dylan was.  He is full of spunk but ready to snuggle when he gets tired.Below he is enjoying the bed Jake slept on.  You could fit at least 12 dogs his size on it.  But he seems content to luxuriate in the extra space.I am starting to wonder how his first night will go, when we confine him to his crate and get up every 3 hours or so if he wimpers to go out.This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long and loving relationship!blog feed[...]



Our Introduction to Ari

2012-10-27T20:16:10.843-04:00


The whole family made the trip out to Berkeley Springs today to meet our new puppy Ari.  It was a beautiful drive through the peak of Fall leaves as we made our way to Fox Creek Farm, the home of his breeder.

We were greeted by the excited barks of the 15 adult golden doodles and poodles that live there.  We sat excitedly in the "meeting" room of the kennel while Amy went to get our puppy.  He greeted us enthusiastically and seemed quite content to be passed around.

We spent some quality time with Ari, in the company of two other families who had come to meet their puppies as well.  Ari seemed quite happy to run around in a little enclosure with an older puppy who is destined to be twice his weight.

He was in motion most of his time with us, meaning that he will not be the complacent dog Dylan was. In many ways he reminded us of a very young Jake.

After a while, Ari missed the company of his littermates and went back to join them.  Every one of them was as cute as the next.

In just two weeks we will pick him up and bring him home.  Meanwhile we are making lists and acquiring puppy things.  It is somewhat reminiscent of getting ready for a new baby!





Big Puppy News

2012-10-25T17:52:54.879-04:00


Today we learned which of the 7 male puppies will be ours.  Meet Ari, by far the best fetcher of the lot according to Amy, the breeder.  On Saturday our whole family of 4 will head out to Berkeley Springs, WV, to meet him and spend some time playing with him.  The interesting thing is that of all the puppies, he looks the most like Jake did when we first met him.  I'm sure there will be more pictures after Saturday's field trip.

Below is his 4-week photo (puppy on the left).  It's amazing how much they have changed in just 2 weeks.





Puppies at 4 Weeks

2012-10-16T21:05:03.410-04:00


We just got the latest photos of Taylor and Levi's puppies at 4 weeks.  We still don't know which one will be ours, but it will be one of these 7, which are all males.  Do you have a favorite?  I still like the little guy on the right in the above photo.  He's the one with the tiny white spot on the top of his head.







Puppy Update

2012-09-30T13:20:13.713-04:00


Which one will it be?  Our puppy was born to Taylor (and Levi) on September 17.  This picture was taken 2 days later.  At this point we have submitted our preferences and we know we will be getting a male.  We know there are at least 5 males in the litter, but we haven't seen a photo of the puppies by gender yet.

We are so excited at the thought of once again having a dog in our family.  We will visit the puppies when they are 6 weeks old and after the breeder has determined which one best fits our criteria.

Our puppy will be named Ari (which means "lion" in Hebrew).  I hope he lives up to his name and is a gentle lion.

Here is an update of the puppies at 2 weeks.  They are just starting to open their eyes.  Aren't they adorable little golden doodles?






Going for Gold

2012-08-19T22:07:26.829-04:00


Over a year ago I first mentioned to my dentist a sensitivity in one of my upper teeth.  At that point it was slight and intermittent, so he said we should just watch it.  But I recently realized I was no longer chewing on that side of my mouth and any change in temperature sent me through the roof.

The odd thing was I went in this past week swearing it was a tooth that already had a crown and a root canal.  How could that possibly be?  But when my dentist touched a piece of ice to the molar behind that tooth, I knew just how wrong I was.

One hour later I walked out of his office with a temporary crown and high hopes that I wouldn’t need a root canal.  It all seemed so painless and easy, except for the $1675 charged on my Visa.

The immediate relief of my symptoms was so profound.  I could chew on both sides.  I could drink water with ice in it and hot tea without wincing.  Even though I have only the temporary crown, it seems like such a permanent fix.  In a month or so I will have my new gold tooth in place.

I am struck by how we often accept gradual changes in our bodies without paying much attention to them.  It was only when I was in agony that I realized I needed to get my cracked tooth repaired.

I wondered if a person with dementia has the same experience.  Is the very gradual loss of one’s mind even perceptible?  

I also wonder about my hip-back-gait issues.  I’m sure they collectively are worse than they were a few years ago, but the change is so gradual.

Unfortunately not everything can be fixed as easily as a broken tooth, and some things are just not fixable.  



1 Prius + 1 Prius = 2 Prii

2012-08-12T14:32:55.415-04:00


We didn't waste any time in getting a replacement for the old Volvo.  It's not exactly where we had thought we were going, but it's a very nice addition.

Several years ago when we went to a car show at the Convention Center, we had determined to get an electric car as our next car.  At that point the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt, and the Ford Focus seemed just on the verge of reality.  But they haven't come into production as quickly as promised and there are still a lot of unanswered questions about how they will function.

So we decided not to be on the cutting edge, but at the same time to go with one of the most fuel efficient hybrids on the market, which happened to be another Prius.  Having had absolutely zero problems with our 2005 Prius, we thought it was a logical choice.  Besides the new Prius gets even better mileage than our old one, advertising 51+ MPG on the highway.

There are now bigger Priuses and smaller Priuses on the market and we tried them all.  The Prius V is the station wagon model which adds inches in every dimension and therefore feels quite roomy.  But the extra weight reduces the gas mileage to 44 MPG.  I also envisioned parking in DC with 9" in additional length.  A great car for a family, but we are just two people and (hopefully) a dog.

Feeling somewhat like Goldilocks, we looked at the Prius C, a zippy little car with the same engine as our current Prius, but a lot less space.  I was set to get one of these, especially since the price is considerably lower than that of the other two models.  But after our son pointed me to a Consumer Reports video on the little Prius, we both decided against it.

So we have a very deluxe standard Prius, a dark gray like many of the other gray cars on the highway.  It has fake leather seats and a console that looks like it could navigate an airplane.  The really cool thing is that the car has voice recognition, meaning you can use the GPS and make and receive phone calls without ever taking your hands off the steering wheel.  It also has a little hologram in the lower part of the windshield which reflects your speed so you don't have to look down to see it.  No more excuses for speeding!

The hardest thing for me to get used to is the fact that everything works!  There will be no need to replace duct tape.  The doors all lock and unlock at the push of a button.  The speedometer works.  And on and on and on.

It would seem we are set for many years.  There is the little matter of what happens when the battery in our 2005 Prius goes.  But I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.  For now, I am luxuriating in hybrid luxury!



A Year of Goodbyes

2012-08-06T10:50:29.469-04:00

All good things must come to an end.  The old Volvo was just plain worn out after 27 years of faithful service.  Last Wednesday I tried repeatedly to keep it running as I attempted to back out of the driveway to go pick up our CSA share.  But to no avail.

Ironically I had just taken it in the day before for an oil change.  While there, they performed a 27-point inspection and pronounced it alive and well.  But alas, on closer inspection the very next day the timing belt appeared quite worn and there were many other potential reasons why it wouldn't keep running.

So WETA is the recipient of old car.  This morning it was being loaded onto this big truck for the next part of its journey.  The guy hauling it away said it would be auctioned off.  I wonder who will buy it and whether it will be fixed up to keep running or dismantled for antique parts.

In any case, we are off to go car shopping this morning.  It will be the first time in many years that I will be driving a new car.  I'm sure I will enjoy that new car shine and smell, but I may also miss the periodic application of the duct tape that became so much a part of the old Volvo's character.



Getting Around

2012-07-18T13:08:58.960-04:00



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This is my trusty rental Giant bike. I ride it to practice music. I ride it to yoga class every morning. I ride it to the concert hall. I ride it every place I can because it is so much easier than walking for me.


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There are actually bike riders of all ages. Riding a bicycle here could not be safer because the few motorized vehicles allowed on the grounds must yield to everything else.

I look around Chautauqua and realize we are probably younger than the average age. Because of the number of older people here, there are many options for getting around.


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There are buses.


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There are trams.


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And there are motorized scooters.

I like being among the bicyclists because it makes me feel more mobile and less old. But when walking is the only option, I am now using a Leki walking stick with a little rubber foot on the end. It doesn't give me tremendous speed, but it does give me better balance.

It is, however, reassuring to know there are so many other options so that when my days of riding a bike are over, I can still come to this lovely place and enjoy a week or two of cultural stimulation.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Chautauqua, NY




A Captive of Cabin 59

2012-07-15T18:28:06.969-04:00




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Once again we have gone away to adult summer camp, entering the no-bad-news grounds of Chautauqua. This is the view of our neighbors' front porch, much like ours with its stars and stripes flying. Last night we were greeted by sunny skies and a nice breeze that turned into a rather frightening thunderstorm around 7 AM.


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Thinking the rain had abated, around 10 this morning I rode my trusty rental bike over to practice the piano for a while in cabin #59, where I will spend quite a few hours this week. My optimism about the weather made me forget to take a rain poncho, an umbrella, or even a plastic bag to protect my music.


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Midway through my hour I looked outside to find what seemed like never-ending rain. I glanced around my renovated practice cabin with its shiny Steinway, air-conditioning, and windows that no longer had to be propped open with big sticks.


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But even with all those amenities, I eventually wanted to go home. I called my husband on the cell phone I luckily did have with me and he walked over to rescue me with all the rain gear I had neglected to bring, including a towel for my very wet bike seat.


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This afternoon the sun is once again out and our thoughts are turning to dinner. I went in search of a beautiful patch of wild mint we had discovered 2 years ago. I finally found it on dead-end Bliss Street. It will lend an Italian touch to the CSA zucchini that is on our dinner menu. I delivered the mint and prepped the kale and zucchini. Someone else will make dinner and perhaps I will help clean up before we head out to an evening of Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
It's great to be back in this place we have grown to love!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Chautauqua, NY




Miky the Dog

2012-06-23T17:25:48.626-04:00

In my obsession with dogs, I ran across this unusual story about a German shepherd named Miky in Montana.  It is a touching collaboration of a dog from Israel, a Lubavitch rabbi, and the police force in Helena, Montana.

Miky was raised in Israel to be a bomb-sniffing dog.  He was then surplused and ended up in the police department in Montana.  He was a smart dog, but he had been trained in Hebrew.  It was only through Rabbi Chaim Bruk that the police in Helena learned how to issue commands to their new canine assistant.

You can just see the intelligence in that face!



And So It Begins...

2012-06-16T17:31:06.062-04:00

This morning we drove over 2 hours to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to make a down payment on a dog that hasn't even been conceived.  Some time later this year we should be the proud new owners of a goldendoodle puppy, somewhat like the little guy below, who is already spoken for.We filled out an application where we specified our preference for sex, color, hair type, size, etc.  My husband emphasized that we preferred a dog who was engaging like Jake, as opposed to the sweet, placid wallflower that Dylan was.  In truth, I just want the clone of Levi, who immediately bonded to me.Levi is just one of several multi-gen goldendoodle studs who will be paired up with an appropriate female during the coming months to produce the perfect litter for us (and everyone else on the waiting list).  Levi has the additional distinction that he gives to a doggy blood bank every 7 weeks. My husband, in his typical thorough fashion, was the first to determine that a goldendoodle would be the perfect dog for us.  They shed very little if at all.  They have the temperament of a golden retriever and the intelligence of a poodle.  And they come in a variety of sizes, depending mostly on the size of the male.He also sifted through the many breeders in the local area to find Amy at Fox Creek Farm, who was a pioneer in creating these "designer" dogs.  Along the way, she has donated many such animals for use as service dogs.  Her world revolves about the goldendoodle and she has many fruits of her labors to show.  One of her major concerns is the health of her dogs, so she certifies that the parent dogs are free of the many defects that can cause problems in their offspring.  She socializes the puppies from an early age so they adapt well to people.  She feeds them food free from the awful stuff that goes into most commercial dog food.  She does just about everything right, as far as we could tell.So we paid our non-refundable money and will now wait until our puppy comes along the the next few months.  He will then stay with his mother for 8 weeks before coming home with us.As much as we still miss Jake, we are both excited about the prospect of welcoming a new dog to our house.blog feed[...]