So much happening, so many decisions to make

When last I sat down my grandson Baby Colton arrived, and a week later my puppy-to-be made an appearance.

Three weeks later and much has happened. My 22-year-old grandson visited us for one week in February.

Sacramento Metropolitan Airport public sculpture. I see my red Samsonite!

I haven’t seen him in two years, and the visit ended with him saying, “Best vacation ever!” Not that he has taken many vacations in his short working life. It seems like for being on his own he is doing well. But there were a few details that needed to be addressed. Haircut, eyeglasses, cell phone upgrade, and work clothes set the stage for a busy week.

One thing I have to say about this guy is that he is a foodie. Straight away he planned to eat his way through Sacramento. Straight from the airport, we head to his favorite Fish and Chips place. Interestingly enough, the owners remember him. I guess he frequented this establishment when he lived close by. For dessert, I visited Icicles. Curled up icecream created right before your eyes.

Delicious. Never knew this existed. I plan to visit again.

After taking care of all those details, we planned a day out of town. At first we wanted to go to San Francisco to meet up wtih my son and family. With everyone having a different schedule this was difficult to arrange, and so we went with plan B. Headed east with Reno being our destination. This is the first February where we didn’t have a drop of rain. Weather is just lovely, but I am starting to hear talk of drought again.

First stop, Donner Summit. Checked out Donner Lake. I tried to imagine the Donner Party stuck here.

It was the end of February and there was no snow around.

My two guys!
Some fishermen getting ready to cast their lines.
Another tourist from the Sacramento area. Love the colorful sari.

Searched for a open restroom. Didn’t know this was a seasonal condition. LOL!

We visited the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center with a very nice restroom.

We continue on to Reno and arrived about lunchtime. Headed for miles of food buffet.

Buffet at the El Dorado Casino

My grandson first took a look at the miles of desserts.

Miles of tempting desserts

He then placed his drink order. He has a unique way of ordering his meal items. But he does it with a pleasant demeanor and the servers try to oblige him.

We walked around Circus Circus, but no performances to view. We checked out the arcade. We needed to walk off that meal!

Tried our hand at 25 cent poker machine, and quick when we were ahead. Winner of $0.55. It was nice sitting and talking while we tried to beat the machine.

Argggh!

Thanksgiving in February with all the trimmings, except pumpkin pie. My grandson requested this holiday meal back in November so I kept a turkey in the freezer for this occasion. He remembered that I usually put walnuts in my stuffing. Not this time. Oh well. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to cook for a couple of days afterward.

Been paying close attention to the upcoming presidential race in November. California moved up the primary vote, and Super Tuesday came and went. No further comment here. I just hope, upon hope that our next president will be someone other that our current ____. You fill in the blank. Decisions, decisions, but not the greatest of choices.

My grandson headed back to Knoxville, and we focused on our upcoming trip to New York City. Then the news of coronavirus ramped up. Decisions, pro/con. After much discussion, we decided that New York City will be there, and we would postpone our trip. Booking.com made it easy to cancel the hotel reservation. I had a harder time with AAA air travel. I purchased travel insurance for my Jet Blue tickets. But I would need to file a claim, and there would be a big hassle. I called Jet Blue and they agreed to give me a 1-year credit for the tickets.

So next up, was opening day of baseball. But it was rained out. Luckily, game was called early. Go figure!

Each day from 1 pm until 7 pm I get to watch puppy television, starring Ginger and her litter of 10. And after 4 weeks they are playing and eating gruel. Next weekend the plan is to drive up north and meet the pups in person. Ginger has 10 puppies. Three girls, and seven boys. I am pretty sure that we will be bringing home a little girl pup, but we will see after we meet all of them next week. We wanted a solid colored pup (only a couple of boys fit that description), but all are so cute and personalities are starting to form. That is more important in the decision process. So excited.

So that is it for the moment. Trying to stay healthy. Relaxing and getting ready for my new adventure.

Waiting is over. And 8-week countdown starts!

The last time I blogged, I was waiting for my grandson to enter the world.

With just one extra 2 a.m. trip to the hospital, we got the word to come to watch the boys while Rachel and Sean headed to Kaiser Roseville. And finally a text, he is here!

Presenting Colton Levi Dennis (photo by Rachel or Sean)

Smooth delivery. Mom and baby are healthy. All the boys were excited to meet their baby brother, Colton Levi. Colton arrived on January 31, 2020, weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches in length. Reaction from everyone, he is so small and cute.

Meeting Baby Colton (photo by Rachel)

One day in the hospital and home. Sean was happy to be home to watch the Super Bowl and not in delivery as I predicted. Thought a February 2, Ground Hog day birthday would be fun. My daughter has a supportive husband in Sean. Good thing too!

Starting on February 2 my pup to be mama Ginger moved to Jo’s house in preparation for her upcoming birth of puppies. After an ultrasound Jo let me know that even though I am 5 or 6th on list Ginger was puppy full. My guess was 9 or 10.

Puppy Full (ultrasound)

Our preference is for a solid colored girl, but I will happily enjoy having a boy. Well On February 7th Ginger’s labor started. Grand total many hours later is 10 puppies – 7 boys and 3 girls.

Good job Ginger! (photographed by Jo)

I thought that I would not be high up on the list for a girl, but now I can get the third girl or a boy. I am so excited. Jo posts many photos of puppy piles. No individual portrait session yet. Pups are so busy nursing and sleeping. Moma Ginger is taking good care. Breeder “litterally” has her hands full. Jo sets up a Nest cam for part of the day, and I can check-in and see how much there is to do with a new litter. Silent tv on the corner of my computer screen.

Pile full of Puppy Love – Day 4 (photo taken by Jo)

Now I wait until I can meet the puppies in person, and then bring our puppy home. That date is April 1st. On March 13 I will meet the individual pups via facetime. Then, on March 22 we will visit the litter. Preparations now start. Decisions, purchases, and organizing the house.

So how will I pass the time? I am signed up for a 9-week beginner quilting class and my local quilting shop. I started last week. Even though there are plenty of tutorials, and answers on the Internet, I learn many tips and tricks from the interactions in class. Some of the blocks I am seeing online will make more sense in 9 weeks time, I hope!

My camera is getting a workout. Last week Colton had his first portrait session. Using my prime 35mm 1.4 lens I captured a perfect sleeping angel for his birth announcement.

Colton – one week old

This week my CTD (Camera Totin’ Days) group went to a familiar place, The Antique Trove. Usually, we find this is our go-to place when it is raining. But, alas the day felt more like Spring has sprung. This sunny day did allow us to spend time in The Antique Trove garden area. My focus here in the garden area was how to improve the decor outside. I have a succulent garden that I want to display attractively. So I am on the hunt for ideas.

My husband reminds me that we have too much stuff. But as long as I have a place for everything, and everything is in its place I disagree. Many items have been accumulated over the past almost 50 years. And I made a point of adding only good memories from my parent’s house. There are a couple of things that need changing in the house, but I will wait till puppy training is over.

While at the Trove I also enjoyed photo opportunities. Here are a few to enjoy.

Where did the time go?
Clown Garbage Can. Scarry looking.
Just liked this one!
Be sure to show some love!

Next week, I plan to go to Capay Valley to experience the almond trees in full bloom. Time to get out with the group. Last week after the baby arrived I thought I might have strep throat and so I kept away from everyone till I could be sure.

For the last week in February, my oldest grandson will be visiting from Knoxville, Tennessee for a week. He has plenty of restaurants he wants to visit, probably a trip to San Francisco and a family day celebrating my granddaughter’s 18th birthday. Time flies.

Traveling to New York City in March for a quick trip. Plan to see a show, eat some great food, and take in the sights.

Then home to ready ourselves for our new addition.

So now you are kind of caught up. Well, there is a VERY important item I skipped over. That is to VOTE on Super Tuesday. I am registered. I received my ballot, and plan to vote. Got to stop the continuous destruction of democracy. Interfering with judges should not be allowed. I just can’t understand the people who can follow this amoral person. Impeached, but not removed. VOTE HIM OUT! Rant done.

Unfocused

Have you ever sat down to do one thing and end up somewhere else? Of course you have. Well that is what I am going through, therefore my ability to blog has been stymied.

It seems like just the other day that I planned to write about my last minute plans to just get in the car and get away from the Sacramento heat. And we did. I just booked a room at Half Moon Bay, and off we went. Coming from 100 degree heat to 65 degrees felt good. Thought I might be cold, and I brought along a sweatshirt, but never felt the need to wear it. The weather was overcast, the air still, and dry.

Lovely Public Art found along Redondo Beach in Half Moon Bay

Beach scenes along the San Mateo coastline.

Wildflowers along the cliff at Redondo Beach
Sam’s Chowder House – Good food, nice views, but no sunsets.

Downtown HMB has an artsy touristy vibe. One art studio is dedicated to the creation of art. Last time we were here it wasn’t open. This time I was able to explore.

Doris Williams, harpist, staging angel, and breath coach posed for this photo Go to her website for more info.
Crochet Graffiti Squid
Mural supported by local city and businesses abound.

Funny, but after a couple of days I was looking for some sunshine. So we headed south to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Lots of sun, carnival games, fast food, and street photo opportunities with my Fuji x100f!

On the way back to HMB we stopped and watched some kite surfing!
Pillar Point Marina

Anyway, back to my thinking being all over the place. Going to HMB I was thinking of exploring the possibility of getting a small vacation home/condo, but after our 5 day stay decided, not for us. Food was good, but I did not get the feeling that I would want to stay long-term. Felt good to return home. My husband met his siblings in Las Vegas for a couple of days. Don’t think Las Vegas will be calling our name soon. He did make it over the New York, New York and I think that an east coast trip is inevitable (if only for the deli delights). Went to AAA and got tour books to the east coast from Washington DC all the way to Maine, from Tennessee (grandson lives in Knoxville) to Indiana (David’s sister lives in Indianapolis). Some air travel, some car time. I haven’t been east in a while, and I haven’t visited the east coast in the fall.

May have to take a trip up the hill to Lake Tahoe, and see if a cabin/condo will be a place for a small vacation home. No ocean though. Close to home for a getaway, cheaper real estate than the coast, and things to do.

Forgetting real estate for now I turned to genealogy. My family tree is growing, but I am not sure what my focus should be. It is said that as a detective you should have “a question” you want answered. My second cousin has concluded his investigation of my father’s paternal side of the family. He has a trunk full of information that I need to transfer to my house. Hence another reason to get to the Long Island. I would at least like to put a photograph with as many family members as I can. All of Lawrence’s work was done without benefit of computer. Amazing. My father’s side both paternal (16 aunts & uncles) and maternal (8) were large families. They lived in Krakow, Poland for centuries. Of course the town of Krakow changed hands many times. I guess I will learn some more European history. One question I have is to what extent did the Holocaust affect the family? I am also looking at how the family member’s earned a living. I have much less information about my mother’s side of the family. I know that her mother had a large family, but I can only trace back to my great grandparents. I would like to fill out more of this side of the family lost. “Never Forget!”

Max, my daughter’s 9 year old Pomeranian stayed with us last weekend. He was an easy visitor. For a small teacup sized dog he has a wonderful temperament. Happy, not yappy, and uncomplicated. Max visited once the previous week for a short while, and remarkably felt right at home both inside and outside. He did watch the door for his family to return but did not seen unduly anxious.

Dogs welsomed in HMB

This time I realized that what I truly missed was having my dog. Libby was my first dog, and she was a wonderful Labrador retriever. But I can see that a small to medium size dog would be a better fit. I searched all the dog breeds, of which there are plenty and thought about what I need. I know I have enough energy to train a puppy. It has been a while so I started to review what that entails. I am sure that I want a trained companion. A dog that I can pick up is necessary. I am looking for a friendly, outgoing dog who likes to accompany me on outings. Looking at a smaller dog brings my list down to the following: Labradoodle (small – medium sized), Cocker Spaniel, French bulldog, Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever. So many choices, so many breeders.

I spoke to my vet, and asked about a Lagotto Romanolo, and a labradoodle. She did not know about a Lagotto, but she has a labradoodle. Just check out breeder. Making a decision about a breeder is now harder with the Internet. All breeders have the same exact rules, information, and policies. No home visits (keep pups safe and healthy), place deposit before pups are born, pups are picked in order of deposit placed. Just get to see puppy place when the pups are 6 weeks, go home date is 8 weeks. Priced the same. So I asked to speak to previous buyers, and get information there.

After much thought I found a Australian Labradoodle breeder about 2 hours away. I spoke to and met some dogs from this breeder, and I feel comfortable connecting with her. To adopt a pup from her will require patience on my part. She doesn’t plan on breeding new pups until early 2020. Another alternative would be to adopt from a breeder nearby. I also spoke to previous buyers, and it looks like that may be a way to go. She will have pups this fall. This breeder is younger, and age may have been a factor when I first spoke to her. So the time may be sooner.

This is a long term commitment. I still have the energy to raise a puppy, and most probably will be my last puppy I will train if I am honest with myself. This is why I don’t plan to rescue a dog this time. I want to understand the temperment, and train the dog from the start. I guess my age is starting to factor in to my plans going forward. I’m practical. That in itself is enough to focus on in an unfocused mind.

But I did manage to blog today. Yeah!

And so the story goes.

Another Birthday. Lots of good wishes, emotions and “70”

I’m probably not alone in being emotional when my birthday comes along. This year was an especially difficult one. Not sure if it was because it was the “Big 70”. When I think about my birthday the next day, it is just one more day! Did I have unrealistic expectations? I don’t think so. Or is it the fact that I feel I need to make some decisions, and I am not sure what I want. Do I want to travel? Really? And time marches on. Faster and faster.

Much can be attributed to the very real loss of my darling Libby. When it was apparent that Liberty would not be getting better the very tough decision was made. This has caused me so much sadness. My very first dog, and Libby was such a good girl. The sadness comes over me at different times of the day and night. We didn’t have enough time together. My wise granddaughter told me that Libby was there for me when I was going through the tough times over the past 9 years. And now the tough times will be followed by good times. Libby did her job! And she did it so well. But I do feel a big void coming into my house these days. It can’t be helped.

My sweet Liberty Love

June is an interesting month to have a birthday. With the start of warm (often hot) weather there is a need to adjust wardrobe, and see what still works after another year. When still in school I can remember having to take finals on my birthday. As a teacher/librarian there was all the rush to conclude the year. Papers to grade, report cards and paperwork to complete, book returns, inventory and budgets. June was a time to end things.

June is also a time to change up the daily schedule. As a mother when June comes around, summer plans all of a sudden must be made. How to keep kids busy. This transition from very busy to leisure time throws me off.

As an adult June can be just another month. Five months into the year so the year 2019 isn’t new any more. Almost halfway through the year.

I noticed more of my contemporaries are talking about “Bucket Lists”. I’m not sure if I ever had one. What do I want to accomplish? Do I need a goal? I know myself, and I am better when I am busy, but not too busy to feel stressed. I think that I will have a plan to do at least one thing daily. This way I won’t let my emotions get the better of me when I have quiet down time to think. Think positive!

I retired in 2005. Fourteen years ago. My husband of 49 years retired in 2009. Ten years ago. I can hardly believe it. With both of us at home it was the right time to add a dog to our home. Best decision for us! Libby was my happy place. Always ready to show us a wag.

Liberty Love

I know that I want to have a dog in my life. So I am already thinking about what puppy breed is in our future. I’m thinking of an English Lab (any color but black), Labradoodle, or Lagotto Romagnolo. If I can clarify this decision and find a reputable breeder I “may” be able to wait until spring.

Good bye my sweet Libby Love