Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Bella!

March 31 was Bella's birthday....a wonderful 8 years old!!!  Sadly I don't have puppy pictures as we only adopted her last Sept. -she must have been a cutie!!!
It was what I refer to as my "health week". I dislike doctors and put off all the annual stuff for as long as possible...then I make all the appointments for one, optometrist (my distance vision has actually improved and so I am trying mono contacts to see how that goes before laser surgery), mammogram, and dermatologist (mole check). Everything is good for another year!!!!
The renovations continue......stripped wallpaper in the dining room, JJ finished laying hardwood in one bedroom, purchased a new washer and dryer for the laundry room, and painted in the bathroom -still one coat to go. We still have snow so no outside work yet. I'll try to do some sorting before I move furniture back into the bedroom. I think I'd like a new dresser ...maybe red?????

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Return to Reality

Fantastic to be relaxing....but good to be back home to the wee doggies and even work!

 It is amazing to love my job so much, sometimes I almost feel guilty thinking I get paid to work with these kids. I have to say it is due to how I run my classroom- high expectations, lots of fun, encouragement, mistakes are part of learning, hands on learning. As a who follow the rules and make sure their peers follow the rules, kids who teach skills to those that don't know them and lots of praise and encouragement among the kids themselves. Disabilities....what disabilities!!!!

We traveled inland from the west coast of Florida  one day to visit the Audobon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. 2.5 miles of boardwalk through 5 regions of the swamp. Fascinating!! Took tons of pictures of the birds, butterflies, animals, reptiles, trees and vegetation. Here are a few......

                                                White Great Egret
                                                 Painted Bunting

                                                  Bald Cypress Knees
                                                Green Anole
                                                  Brown Anole
                                                 Black Crowned Night Heron

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Had a busy, busy week trying to get as much done in the house before we take off for Florida tomorrow. Painted the laundry room all weekend, primer, 2 coats of paint on the walls and the trim. Monday JJ and a friend, then son put together the big cupboards that will stretch across one side of the room. Tues. and Wed. nights I had to finish report cards and Individual Education Plans for all my kids before the break. Last night we had another sbowstorm, freezing lucky for me the buses were all cancelled.  I couldn't go in to school as I have not had a car for the past 2 days. Yea!!! Extra work day....I'm totally exhausted, my back hurts and I know I'll be sorry tomorrow...but heck ...I'll just be sitting on a plane heading for warmth and sunshine.
Got a call today from my oldest son Ryan...he presented his Masters Thesis today at York University in Toronto....he was successful!!!!  School is done with an M.A.(Anthropology) after his name.  He is coming home as I write this. He'll stay at home with the wee doggies, begin the job of looking for a job, and fill in the free time doing some renovation work around home. It is payback time!!!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Little Crooked House

There was a crooked man and woman,

who walked a crooked mile.

They found a crooked willow tree

beside a crooked creek.

They bought home two crooked dogs,

who caught the crooked mice,

and they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Well......not the poem you likely remember...but it fits us.  We put down our books and decided it was time, once again, to begin work again on our little crooked house. (ongoing for 30 some years) This time the upstairs laundry room. Once upon a time...oh say a hundred years ago when JJ's grandparents added the second story to the house we live today, this room was likely a bedroom.  When we moved in 30 some years became a laundry room...basement is to low and yucky for a laundry room. It has had only  redecorating since. So rip out old walls, cover some up, new insulation, new gyprock, level the floor....unbelievably crooked all these years...everything was jacked up to level them. Oldest son came home for the weekend to help out the crooked parents.....he sanded the old wooden plank ceiling , which we decided to leave and helped me to paint it. Actually he did most of the painting and I painted the bathroom ceiling and got the walls in there ready for repainting this week. I hope to paint the laundry room walls after work this week then wait until the hired help comes to lay down the new floor. New cupboards to be assembled and refilled with the laundry room/linen cupboard's contents stashed all over the upstairs. Of course with construction comes dust...ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE.....I am hoping my older son comes home again during my March break to paint some more in the house and look after the terriers two while we go south to bask in the warm sunshine of Florida.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Terriers Two

What a week!  The temperatures here have varied from plus 11C to minus 25C, up and down, up and down.  The big thaw lasted for 3 days and nights with strong winds to pick up melting moisture so that we lost about 1 1/2 feet of snow....YEA!!!  It has frozen solid again so the dogs can finally run around on the top of the snow in the yard again without getting lost.

After Nellie passed last August, I was so heartbroken that another dog right away was not even considered.  Funny how things happen was only days after she passed that I get a phone call from a man living 400 miles away.  He was a breeder and my name had been given to him by another breeder that I met at a dog show early in the summer.  I told her I was not interested in a puppy but rather wanted to adaopt an older dog in need of a home whenever I was ready for another dog. (we knew at that time Nellie was not going to survive as she did not respond to any treatment or medication in the previous 4 months) Would I be interested in a Lakeland Terrier, a young dog that needed a home???. Well as it turned out he lived 20 minutes from my older sister and we going to spend the Labour Day weekend with her in Sept........  we decided it was too soon but we'd look anyway.

To make a long story short....we went , we saw several dogs that needed homes and came home with 2 Lakeland Terriers. (neither one was the dog he originally called us about) In the above picture...Bogie, is 9, (on the left) and came from an elderly lady who had been hospitalized...terminal.....and Bella, was one of the breeders own dogs, a show dog that didn't work out -she is 7.  They wanted to find a home for her as they wanted to breed more dogs and didn't have the room or time to devote to all of them.

They are terriers....lively, inquisitive, alert, playful...well Bogie is, Bella only plays outside with her giant ball and inside with a squeaky toy.
They both have issues(what dog doesn't have some)....but we are dealing with them with retraining.  Smart dogs, somewhat stubborn, but sweet.  Bogie is a real snuggle bunny...he is on my lap as soon as I sit down...even at the computer, responds to training with treats soooo easily, comes when he is called, sleeps against me at fact follows me everywhere and is somewhat anxious when I leave him to go to work but gets over it quickly. Bella is a real watch dog...alert to any comings and goings in the neighborhood and alerts us.  She sleeps downstairs by one of the doors and is not a lap dog.....she prefers to lie beside my husband on the couch...not with me at all.  They get along well except when Bella barks too much, which neither we nor Bogie he snarls and nips at her and she stops.  He is the boss after all! They are easy to groom, easy to bathe and go next week for their first haircut since we got them.  NON SHEDDING them!!!  I still get tears in my eyes and a sad heart when I think of my little Nellie but the wee doggies (15 pounds each) Bella and Bogie have found a place in my big heart already.  I can't imagine life without a dog or two to share it with.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

                                                                  In memory of Nellie    2004 -2010

You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn...
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong

And you really do have worth...
And you learn and learn...
With every good-bye you learn.

by Jorge Luis Borges
Translation by Veronica A. Shoffstall

It has been almost a year...what a year.  There have been very good times and very, very sad times.  Several friends and neighbours passed away last year very sad.  We lost our dear, dear little dog Nellie in August after a rare blood disorder that did not respond to anything we tried. It just broke my heart.
My health seems to be on an is so hard having an invisible illness (M.E). Work is going well....I have a great bunch of kids this year and a fantastic assistant-we make such a good team!!!
Lots of construction done or about to get underway around the old house and the cottage...will it ever end!!!
We couldn't imagine life without pets so we have adopted not one but two Lakeland Terriers...they are a challenge!!!
....but enough for now....the sun has risen and the day is about to unfold...more later...happy to be back!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Warmer weather at last!

Tt seems that a warm March is upon us.  The temperatures have been above zero during the days -below zero at night -perfect to start an early maple sap run!!  The creeks are opening up and flowing with meltwater and we have seen the sun every day the last week!!

When I left for work the other day a sheltered bit of flower bed was still a mound of snow -but at night....the first snowdrops!!!

We are off this Saturday for our annual March Break Florida trip. It has been cool this year so I hope it warms up for next week!! I love the Matlacha area of Florida where JJ's sister has a home on the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Reserve.

Look out we come......back on March 21......hope that the Manatees are still hanging about!!!