Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Walking Harness/Parka for Dogs Helped Me Enjoy the Winter...


I spend a ton of time outdoors and my dog Penny is usually with me. We walk every morning and evening for about an hour each time. We both enjoy this time of bonding and exercise and passing the time with neighbors. We go out in all kinds of weather and during all four seasons. This past winter the need for Penny to have protection from rain, wind, cold and snow become very important.

Since we had much more snow than normal (around 7ft fell in February and March) and exceptionally cold temperatures (in the single digits for an extended period), I wanted to put her in a coat or parka that would not only protect her from the elements but keep me from worrying about her health and safety during the super tough weather we were experiencing. I wanted something reflective since even during daylight visibility was terrible.


Penny is trained to a leash and collar, but I decided to try her with a walking harness for dogs, that is also a parka. My friend Sue and I walk her dog Winston and Penny together on weekends. Not much keeps Sue and Winston in the house during the winter. When the weather is very cold or wet, she dresses Winston in this great parka that is waterproof and has a fleece lining. Sue also turned me on to some rubber booties to protect the Winstons foot pads from road salt and cold slushy snow. Sue told me that when we bundle up against the awful cold, we should protect our pets too. I agreed and bundled Penny up to brave the ferocious winter.

Once Penny had her fashionable parka and rubber booties, we actually enjoyed our wintertime activities much more. We could stay out a little longer, exercise a little more and visit with Sue and Winston.  Last winter was a huge challenge with all that snow and cold. But I felt better knowing Penny was warm enough and safe from the elements. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Translation Service - Family History Revealed...

Years ago, when my Nana died, I was allowed to go through some old things in her attic. I found a lot of cool stuff. There were postcards from all over the world, a box of nothing but cancelled stamps and most importantly, correspondence. The letters I found were written by family and friends from across the globe. I found a letter from Granddad apologising to Nana for upsetting her. I found letters from her brothers when they were away in the war. There were letters from her parents congratulating her on the birth of her sons. But, there was so much, I put some of it away and didn't look at it again for many years.

When I took up that box of correspondence again last year, I found something really exciting. It was a packet of information written in what I assumed was French. I couldn’t tell what kind of documents they were. But it all looked like it had come from a lawyer. There were maps and drawings and some stuff that looked like it came from a bank or an accountant. I showed it around to a couple of people I know who speak Spanish and Portuguese.They couldn’t make heads or tails of it and suggested a translation service. I packed it up and sent it off.

I told my brother what I found. I asked if he thought it could be something important like an old bank account in Canada she had forgotten about. Brother told me he doubted it was anything important. He surmised if it had been, it would not have been found in a box of old letters in the attic. Brother reminded me that as a young married couple, Nana and Granddad traveled around Europe a lot.  Brother decided the documents I found had to be concerned with those travels.

A little time passed and the documents were returned to me. Reading through I was excited to find out that Nana and Granddad once considered relocating to the south of France. The papers and maps were for a very nice little home with a few acres. There were no pictures, but the description suggested comfort and beauty. The pages that looked as though they were from a bank were simply the run down of down payments and mortgages, financial stuff. I wondered what kept them from going through with the deal.  Checking the dates, I found out that these papers were drawn up eight months before the birth of my father. I searched for the letter Granddad had written in apology to Nana. It was dated about a month after the French documents. Reading it over, it made sense to me now. I wondered how different my life would be if Nana and Granddad had actually bought that little house and raised their family there.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm Going to Disney World!

I haven't visited Disney World since 2012 and for me that's a long time.


 So, I have two trips to Disney World planned for 2014. The first will be the end of May and the next the second week of December. Why two trips? Why May and December?

Well, it's simple, I love the parks, I love the rides and the themed resorts. I love that every time I walk into a Disney park, my humdrum life with all its problems just melts away. For that short time, I am spirited away to a place where I don't have to work or do any housework. I love the landscaping, the topiary and the atmosphere. I love that there are no rules about suppertime or bedtime. I love the stage shows and the fireworks and the parades. I love that I can ride a steam train, or a riverboat or even a tram. I can rent a bike to ride around my resort. I can have cake for breakfast.

Thank you Scott Thomas.


There are other reasons too. Right now, I just feel like I have to get away! My sister has conferences in that area in May and we decided to jump over to Disney for a long weekend. I've had the urge to bolt for quite some time, but didn't schedule any time off from work last year. I so want a break, even if it's just for a couple days. I crave a change of pace, some new scenery and a better attitude. I think the quick trip in May is just the thing.


 So, why return in December? I want to see Walt Disney World all dressed up and decked out for Christmas. I've seen the parks decorated for the 25th anniversary, Halloween, and everyday decorations in March and April, but never Christmas. Of course I've looked online at pictures and videos, but it's not enough. I want to see it in person. I want to experience the spectacle firsthand. Over the last few years, Christmas decorations have lost their sparkle for me. Since I work in a little theme park that has a Christmas festival, holiday decorations have become sorta old hat to me.I need to see some new decorations during December, with fresh holiday music, killer fireworks and an enchanted parade. I need to be awed and inspired again.

Thanks Disney

I think this will do it.