Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You've Got Mail


Down here....

You've got mail!

On our last day visiting my out-laws I stopped to get their mail. I was surprised by an anole, a small lizard indigenous to the southeast, hiding in the mail for the family! Anoles are often mistakenly called chameleons because they change from brown to a brilliant green. Several years ago we had an anole stowaway that rode with us from SC to CO on a plant. We put him up in a terrarium through the winter and fed him crickets. He was an ingrate, showing no thanks when we returned him and released him in his home. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

She Sells Sea Shells....

We stayed at the beach campground during our second week at Fort Clinch State Park in Florida. Sadly, we could not take the fuzzy family members on the beach, so we didn't take too many walks there. We won't tell the Rangers about Tucker's escape and romp on the beach, however!


a petrified alligator! 

Doesn't this piece of driftwood look like a 
dead alligator on it's back?!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Scene at a campground: I Feel Pretty

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty,
 Not witty,
 Nor bright...

Wild turkeys invaded the camp ground every afternoon. This particular RV has a shiny strip of chrome along the bottom of each side and has turkey-atttracting hub caps. This particular turkey vacillated between admiring the beautiful turkey she saw looking back at her, and pecking at it. I am certain the owner of the RV was thrilled that his RV attracted such attention!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Gypsy History Mystery - Solved

I received a special email today. 

Out of the blue.

Gypsy's most recent owner, Larry,  contacted me. Apparently my blog information was sent to him by the wonderful folks in the Wyoming Australian Shepherd Rescue group. Larry wanted to set the record straight on a few things, and gave me the "real deal". It is so wonderful to learn more about our sweet Gypsy's early years.

Gypsy was born in the fall of 2008, as far as Larry recalls. She was born on a cattle ranch in Marquand, MO. Her parents were registered Australian Shepherds. Momma Aussie gave birth to Gypsy and her 6 brothers under a large brush pile. Gypsy's original owners didn't, or couldn't move the brush pile. They were able to capture 5 of the pups, but not Gypsy and her brother. So, the two wile pups did not meet the 'off with their tails' appointment at the vet. Because their tails weren't docked, the original owner couldn't sell them. The puppies were given to another cattle rancher, and they had the run of his farm. He wanted to get rid of Gypsy, and Larry took her in. He also has cattle, and at that time he had an Aussie who had been kicked and was having some difficulty doing his job. Larry took in Gypsy hoping she would produce a replacement for his ailing Aussie, or become interested in helping with the cattle. Gypsy did neither. Larry needed a dog to help him with the cattle, and since Gypsy wouldn't do it, and his other dog couldn't (and later had to be put down), Larry acquired a Border Collie pup. Larry didn't originally intend to give Gypsy up, but the pup would not attend to his job, preferring to hang around Gypsy.
We couldn't be happier with our rescue pup... who has no Cinderella story to tell. We shoulda been able to figure that one out - she's just too darn sweet!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time Travel

Time travel is now available at the Rochester (NY) International airport.

Now boarding in the concourse.... 

I kid you not. I walked into the terminal on my trip last fall and was immediately transported back in time 50 years.

This "Clock of Nations" was the centerpiece of the Midtown Plaza, the first urban enclosed mall in the US, which opened when I was a "tween". The plaza has just recently been demolished, succumbing to shifts in the population, the popularity of large enclosed malls in suburbia, the downturn in economy and the closing of two anchor department stores. Before the demolition of the plaza began, the clock was moved to the Rochester airport, and will later be installed in the new children's hospital.

The clock has 12 capsules, depicting 12 different nations. On the hour the capsules rotate around the axis, music plays, the doors of the capsules open and the figures for the specific hour move and turn. It is amazing technology for that time, in my opinion!

"Meet you at the clock" was the adage of the day, and I couldn't help but look around to see if I could find my mom! It was great to travel back in time, if only in my memory!

Monday, January 14, 2013

ABC's of Me

Here's a challenge I stumbled upon last year. I've filled in my responses. What about you? Are you up to the challenge?

A: Age: 61(I still haven't figured out how I could possibly be this old!)
B: Bed size: King, at home. Queen on the RV.
C. Chore you hate: cleaning bathrooms
D. Dogs: 2 - Tucker, our almost 3 year-old Aussie and Gypsy our adopted 4 year-old Border Collie
E. Essential start to your day: coffee and time on the Internet (although I didn't acquire the coffee habit until after I retired...strange!)
F. Favorite color: for my home; earth colors with some earthy reds thrown in. To wear; deep pink, cranberry.
G. Gold or silver: no preference.
H: Height: 5’4″
I: Instruments that you can play: Ha! I have a learning disability when it comes to music. My last instructor refused to believe me...for a while! I have played (but have forgotten how): recorders (soprano, alto, tenor), guitar, violin, clarinet
J: Job title: retired!!! Before that, Instructional Technology Specialist, Teacher-in-Residence, ADEPT Supervisor (for teacher mentoring and evaluation) and may favorite, Teacher
K: Kids: 2 boys - 24 & 27. Three fuzzy kids; two dogs and one cat.
L: Live: in Parker, CO
M: Mom’s name: Allene
N: Nicknames: Many years ago I was called, "Boing"... my hair was very curly!
O: Overnight hospital stays: two for C sections and the birth of my boys, 1 to correct my uterus so I could have children....obviously, that worked! Oh, and a one-night stay after gall bladder surgery.
P: Pet peeve: poor service at stores, phone calls from people/organizations who have no right to call me.
Q: Quirk: I must have a glass of milk if I eat pancakes.
R: Righty or lefty: righty
S: Sibling: 2, both older.  A sister and a brother
T: Time you wake up: at daylight. (For years I had to be at work at 7 AM. I really did not like getting up in the dark!)
U: Underwear: most definitely, yes - but my bra must be comfortable!
V: Vegetables you dislike: Brussels sprouts
W: What makes you run late: I get distracted and end up doing a dozen things that don't really need to be done right that minute... but...
X: X-rays: recently only teeth. But I did have a CAT scan and a mammogram - does that count?
Y: Yummy food you make: evidently I consider too many things to be yummy, as I've gained a bunch of weight! Today I made a great quiche. Yesterday I served a baked French toast casserole that was  yummy. Last week I did a rack of lamb. Mmmmm... I am learning to love cooking and eating!
Z: Zoo favorite animal: elephants...especially baby elephants. I can watch them for hours.

What about your ABC's? If you care to, complete your own list and post it on your blog. I set this up as a blog hop, so you can click below to connect your blog to this one so folks can hop from post to post. Check out responses from a few other bloggers, leave a comment. How are you alike and different?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Angel Watch

A new Angel has joined the realm of Heaven. Our sweet Blogging friend, Leontien, lost her battle with melanoma yesterday. My thoughts have been on Leontien since reading the news on her Facebook page early this morning. Recalling Leontien's blog posts today brought smiles to my face as I shared stories that Leontien shared with her readers, with my family, yet my heart is heavy. My emotions have taken a roller coaster ride all day. 
I have never met Leontien, yet I feel like I know her well.  I feel like we were best friends. She inspired me.  She made me laugh.  She made me cry. She made me think differently about the world. Isn' it amazing how this can happen?
God bless you, Leontien. You will be remembered by many. I am thankful to have known you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Parking It

We found a special play place for Tucker and Gypsy. The local humane association has a fabulous dog park. We purchased a short term membership, so that Tucker and Gypsy can come play. Gypsy isn't sure about playing, but Tucker goes full bore from the minute we arrive until we take him out when his tongue is dragging on the ground.

The park has three areas, a big dog area, with at least an acre for the dogs to romp, a small dog area and a training area with some agility equipment. They also have 4 dog bath stations, with warm water. Hmm.... we may just have to test that out before we move on! There are dog balls and dog ball tossers, rope tug toys, chairs and benches for the two-legged folks (although I have seen a Vizsla who preferred to get away from the dog ruckus by climbing up on the chairs) and a pool! The pool is shaped like a dog biscuit. Each of the bulbous ends is about 12" deep, and the center is about 4' deep, allowing swimmers a chance to have some fun. Trust me, neither Tucker nor Gypsy are swimmers. In fact, Tucker made the mistake of following some labs into the shallow area of the pool the first day he was there. He didn't realize it was water until he was in it. He has not gone in since. Some dogs have even figured out that they can escape his enthusiastic play by jumping in the pool! In the picture above, Tucker had just chased the other Tucker, a Portuguese Water Dog, into the pool. The "Other Tucker" jumped out and resumed his play with our Tucker. They are good friends and a good energy match. In fact, all three dogs up near the pool with Tucker, in this picture, enjoy the same type of play. They enjoy chasing each other, trying to herd the dog in the lead one way or the other. Tucker did anger another patron. He had a cute yellow lab youngster and was throwing the ball for his pup. Whenever anyone throws a ball for his dog, and the dog goes flying after the ball, Tucker delights in flying after the dog (the heck with the ball) and tries to redirect the dog's action. The owner didn't care for this activity. He told Tucker, "Stop that!".  Heck, that's as useless as trying to tell him to stop breathing!

Gypsy and Tucker have learned to play their own games together at home. She'll play with Tucker when there are no other dogs around them, but generally just stands near us at the park. She really doesn't know how to be social with the other dogs, and shows a bit of a protective streak when dogs come near us. We still have a few more weeks of play time. Maybe she'll find a special new friend and learn to play.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tucker Talks: IJAR

IJAR: It Just Ain't Right! 

Last night Gypsy got a possum. All I got was caught up in a baby Oak tree. You see, it all started when the man and that lady took us for our "pee before bedtime" walk. The lady had Gypsy and the man had me. We were on our detested leashes. Suddenly we smelled a strange smell. Gypsy lunged first, and took the lady by surprise.  Gypsy, weighing in at a measly 40 or so pounds, managed to pull the leash handle out of the lady's hand, and raced into a stand of trees here at Fort Clinch State Park in Florida. I tried to follow her, but the man pulled me back. I lunged again, and that's how my leash got wrapped around the tiny tree. When the lady got into the woods, there was Gypsy standing over a very big, very dead possum. Gypsy looked up at the lady, who looked in disbelief at the possum. The possum lay in an awkward position, its head hanging back, mouth gaping open, and the jaw askew. 

This isn't Gypsy's possum...
but it looked similar to this.

Gypsy was really full of herself for the rest of the walk. That girl has an attitude, I'm telling ya! She was pretty sassy. I was tired of her bragging about the possum. But, then, on our way back to the house on wheels the lady pointed the flashlight at the dead possum.  You guessed it - that old possum pulled one over on Gypsy- he wasn't dead at all! He played possum and fooled that silly dog. I won't let her forget about it any time soon - trust me!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Scene Along the Road

We Dreamers have seen some interesting things along the road on our travels, or rather I should say that Mr. Dreamy has seen some great things. I usually have my nose in the iPad, checking our mileage, looking for gas stations, writing blog posts, looking up interesting facts about places we pass or researching  campgrounds.  In addition to my "window on the world" I also consult a few campground directories and my favorite travel book, "The Next Exit". I know I mentioned this bible book in a post long ago, but for those of you who are new followers, and have not read each and every one of my 845 posts, I'll give the book another plug. This has been my seat-side companion for a number of years. The book lists every gas station, restaurant, hotel and and more, that can be found at every exit of every Interstate highway. If you travel on Interstates, especially in areas you are not familiar with, I can't recommend this book enough. It has saved us on more than a few occasions!

Anyway, I digress... The title of this post indicates I was going to write about scenes, or things seen.  I apologize for the dearth of pictures (reread the first paragraph for an explanation!) 

Of course, we saw a lot of animals, dead and alive. 
We were surprised to see Nutrias (also called Coypus) in Louisiana, the victims of hit and run accidents. These cute little critters, looking like a cross between a guinea pig and a beaver, are pests. They were introduced by fur farmers many years ago and escaped captivity. They thrived and have outgrown their welcome in the marshy areas of the Gulf states. The Nutrias dig tunnels along waterways and eat vegetation, consuming only 10-15% of what they mow down.

As we traveled through the middle-of-nowhere Texas, where all we could find on the radio was one Gospel station, and one Country station (God and god-awful?? I'm just joking, really!), we found a herd of javelinas, also called peccaries, searching for food along the side of the Intersate. I was glad they stayed on their side of the white line!

And we saw cattle. From huge herds of Holsteins in feed lots to Longhorns out in the scrub. We saw black, brown, and brindle colored  beef on the hoof. In addition to the commonly seen breeds, we also drove by unusual breeds. It was amazing to drive mile after mile past open grazing desert scrub spotting small groups of cattle here and there. 

In contrast to the occasional hawk perched on a utility pole, we saw hundreds upon hundreds of Canada geese. One rancher's field was almost covered solidly by the birds, I wondered what may have been planted to attract them, or whether it was just a good location. At one point a small flock flew alongside the RV - of course, I was daydreaming (afterall, that's my name, right?) and didn't get a picture until they turned.

The Pronghorn antelope are having a convention in New Mexico. If you see any in your area, be sure to let them know where everyone is meeting. Oh, and don't tell the hunters! We missed seeing the camels that we've seen in pastures along our usual route in Texas!

I like to watch houses along the way. I daydream (there I go, dreaming again) about who lives there, what they do, how the home might be decorated inside. I enjoy looking at the yard and seeing if there are interesting objets d'art around the house. Some folks have such a way with things like that. Our favorite house was one we saw in the middle-of-nowhere, Texas. We had driven miles and miles seeing nothing but desert lands and barbed wire fences. Occasionally we saw a large irrigated circle and a dirt track or small dirt road going... somewhere? A frontage road ran along the highway, and then we saw a single home. It was a nice ranch home, with a few trees in the yard and a small outbuilding. It was built close to the highway, and next to it was a sign that stated, "What Was I Thinking?", with an arrow pointing at the house!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Texas Two-Step

At the end of day 2 of travel, Dreamy, Mr. Dreamy (hereinafter referred to as "The Dreamers") and the two dogs found themselves in Van Horn, TX, looking for a grocery store. Since the RV was still winterized, and since temperatures below freezing were expected that evening... even in southern Texas,  we needed additional fresh water.  We remain puzzled as to how the 2050 residents (US Census Bureau, 2011) of Van Horn acquire food. We discovered no less than 18 hotels, 3 campgrounds, 6 gas stations, and finally, we found what seemed to be the only grocery store in town. They have a captive audience, for sure!

Our third day of driving took us through the Texas mountain region and into hill country. We looked for the mountains. They may make things bigger in Texas, but that apparently doesn't apply to landforms. We ended our day in Boerne, TX, perched precariously on the side of a hill. The view was lovely, or maybe I should say it would have been lovely if it weren't for the mist and clouds...and the rain.  The rain made a pleasant sound on the roof. The next morning the sound was no longer pleasant - it had grown irritating through the night, and the prospect of driving through the rain was less than pleasant. The rain turned on and off, so most of the trip through the the central and southeastern portion of Texas was merely gray. We folks from Colorado don't have much familiarity with gray days, but having spent most of our lives elsewhere, we Dreamers knew it would be OK, and that some time in the future we would actually see the sun again. (As I write this, we are still waiting.)

The Dreamers ended the fourth day of their journey to the south driving through pouring rain, which, judging by the fields along the road which were all under water, had been falling for quite some time. We had finally made it through Texas. We travelled 880.5 miles in the state. At an average of 60 miles per hour, our total time in Texas was...  oh, heck, do you expect me, the former Middle School Math teacher, to actually give you the answer? I will give you a clue, it took as long to drive through Texas as it would probably take me to learn how to dance the Texas Two-Step!

And, Sew it Begins!

No sewing! Sewing had to come to an end, for now!  The last few weeks have been rather hectic preparing for our annual trek west to visit wi...