Monday, July 30, 2012

More fun than you can shake a stick at!

If you've ever wondered how much fun you can pack into a mere 48 hours, the answer is a TON! We started Friday night off with a bang in the form of a wedding of my former teacher partner Laura. It was sweet and non-traditional and 100% Laura. I wish her and Dan a long and happy life together.

Saturday morning came early after a late night at the wedding. Luckily, we had plans to run the first annual "Huff & Ruff" downtown. It was Annie's first event and we didn't know what to expect. Foolish us. She was amazing. She not only loved every single person, she was great with all the other dogs as well. We thought it was just a fun event. There wasn't any numbers or official timing so we just jogged our way through and finished in 4th place. Unfortunately the first 3 places actually won bottles of wine. Who knew. The 3rd place winner passed us while Annie was playing at the water station. If we would have actually tried we could have easily placed much higher. No worries, an excellent time was had by all!

Sunday was our 23rd wedding anniversary. I'm still trying to figure out how in the world it is possible that I've been married for 23 years. We've had a wonderful life and I wouldn't trade a thing. For Sean's birthday I got myself a motorcycle helmet and gloves and for our anniversary he got me a riding jacket. Armed with my new outfit it was time to prove to him how much I trust him and face my fear and get on the bike with him. Boy am I glad I did. It wasn't the most comfortable ride but that's the bike's fault, not his. The rest of it was a blast. Who knew I could actually love being a passenger. So much fun. We went to Alsea Falls and I'm so glad we went for it. It was beautiful.

When we got home we went to Luc for dinner. We've been wanting to go there for a couple of years now. It was well worth the wait. The atmosphere is romantic, the portions are nice and small and great prices. It will go on our favorite list for sure. I even got to try chocolate souffle for the first time. So delicious, especially once it is paired with a 10 year old white port. Perfection!

Thanks Sean for 23 years of a life I couldn't have custom ordered for myself. I adore you with every ounce of my being. Here's to the next 23!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recovery in Style

Teachers can get sick a lot working with germ factories in the form of many, many children. My first couple of years I was constantly sick. The last several however have been much better.

However, I have spent the summer avoiding children so imagine my surprise when yesterday I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst stomach ache I've had in years. As the morning progressed it was clear that this wasn't just a bad dinner. Somewhere I had landed the stomach flu. Ick. I can't fathom where I got it unless it was from the water in the Dirty Dash we participated in on Saturday. I did ingest loads of mud and other gunk. However, no matter where I got it, it was painfully obvious I wouldn't be leaving the couch any time soon. Luckily I have the worlds best nurse!

Between the saltines and 7-up Mom brought and the gentle all day snuggles I got from Annie, I expect I'll be back to normal in a couple more days. I feel better already today. Not normal, but better.

Thanks wonderful family for taking such good care of me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Is that the Prize Patrol?

No, that's not Ed McMahon's crew on our door step. This is Miss Annabelle Ross. She is a two year old border collie from Border Collie Rescue. As of 1:15pm yesterday she is the light of our lives.  So far she has all the traits we have longed for in a BC.
She matches the decor, so no need to change up the kitchen this year.

She's more than willing to hang out on the couch with me for an episode of "Perry Mason." Although perhaps I see a leather couch in our future.

She likes toys and is very appreciative of gifts from new friends.  She's also a great running partner, I've already done 3 miles with her this morning.

She's a professional snuggle bunny. It's clear this is her specialty. She can't get enough lap time with her new Dad. He hasn't had that in years and my heart literally melted as I was trying to get this shot.  It's hard to focus a camera through tears of joy. 

The final test: Dad's favorite hangout. She passed with flying colors. Annie spent a good hour hanging out at the Brew Station, chill, taking in the scenery without as much as a peep. Well, except to get the cute blond boy dog to come sniff noses with her.

I keep waiting for the gigantic tranquilizer she must have been given at the rescue to wear off, because otherwise we are the LUCKIEST couple on the planet to have landed this gem. Truly, as my friend Melinda says about us, but I think it is much more about Annie, the lottery has been won.

Welcome Home Miss Annabelle. Welcome Home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

Vacation is over and Sean has gone back to work. I have a million house projects to get started on. Funny how you can ignore the little things when one is so busy and can't deal with them and then one day you turn around and bam, there they all are right in your face.

So I wander from room to room taking stock and adding to the to-do list. The one thing that continues to strike me is the silence in the house. It's been almost six months since Rogue died and longer even than that since he would freely follow me from room to room. I miss the companionship he gave me, the calm I got petting him. I miss my sense of purpose being there for him. There are countless things I don't miss too. The stress, the financial expenses, the pain of not being able to fix him. But at the end of the day, my home, my family is not complete anymore.

During the school year it was easy to push these thoughts aside. I was busy, it was too soon, we weren't ready. All of those arguments still hold true yet, the longing does not subside. I want a dog, our family needs a dog. Ultimately, we may not be ready. There are fears. Real fears. What if we end up with another dog like Rogue? What if inspite of all our efforts this time, we find another needy, genetic misfit? Could we live through that again?

When I think back on what we gave Rogue and what he gave us in return, I can't help but think that fate is what caused us to be matched up. He needed us. Yes, we all made some mistakes along the way but isn't that really what life is? A series of learning events? How many of us make mistakes in our human relationships? There are no guarantees in life, no certainties except eventually death. It's what happens in between the birth and the death that really makes the life.

So am I ready for a new dog? No, and Yes. What I know is that it's a leap of faith. As little Susan learned in Miracle on 34th Street- "Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to."

There are no guarantees in life. Human parents don't get one and neither do pet parents. However, I've lived my life with fur kids and I'm living it right now without and there is no doubt in my mind it's a leap of faith I'm willing to take.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Final Chapter-Vacay 2012

When we last saw our vacationers they had just finished the Avalanche Trail hike. Let's see what happens next:

Heaven's Peak (Um, I'd say so)
More beauty. Does it ever stop?
Jackson Glacier
That's Jackson Glacier. It's one of the last big ones and not expected to last past 2020. We will have to return before then.

Totem Pole at the McDonald Lake Lodge. Great place to stop, put your feet up and drink a huckleberry margarita in the big rocking chairs on the porch.  Just sayin'

Lake McDonald from cruise
This is the view from Lake McDonald. We took a great little cruise around the lake on a boat from 1930.  Come on, you didn't really think I could spend this much time at a lake zone and not make it onto a boat did you?
Creepy taxidermy collection in the lodge

This is my favorite picture from the entire trip. I saw it with my own eyes, I wanted to stay forever. I hope that I can permanantely imprint this onto my brain.
Lake McDonald from Apgar Ranger Station

Loving it so much I wanted a couples picture to mark the occasion too. In my bliss from the beauty I had forgotten that I was married to the zombie. Small children and those with weak hearts, please look away.
Someday we'll look at this and laugh. 
We finished our trip by heading back down to Bend, OR for a couple of days. In the state, that's one of our favorite spots and it didn't disappoint this time either. We accidentally ended up in the middle of town during the freedom ride. We spent an entire day walking the Bend Ale Trail and visited 9 breweries. A fantastic little end to our trip.

Great stop with markings for all the Mts. around us.
Sweet Glory in the Bi-Mart parking lot!
We finished our perfect vacation (well sans the shingles of course) with a stop at the Metolious. Come on, you knew we would do it. Nearly all Ross vacations end up with a Bridge 99 shot. It's expected.

My favorite guy in my favorite Metolious spot.
See, he's looking better already! Actually now that we are home except for the deepest scabs on his forehead and around his eye, Sean is pretty much back to his normal stunningly handsome self. 14 days and 2000+ miles on the car. I can't believe it's over so quickly. It was an amazing vacation and I'm so sorry we can't keep it on the road for longer. So much fun.

Guess I'll have to put all my energy into begging for the new fur kid now. Leap of faith Sean, leap of faith.

Happy Summer !

Part Deux

On the Road to the Sun
Back in Glacier on day 2. We drove the Road to the Sun and enjoyed the stunning views along the way. This worked out really well because Sean wasn't feeling to hot this day so the drive and stop for pictures was a perfect way to spend the day.

Here are some of the stunning views.

This last one is a great 4 mile hike we did to a little lake called Avalanche Lake. It was an amazing hike in and although I kept making Sean do our bear clap (in honor of Leslie Mack the OSU gymnast) we managed to make it nearly without incident.

Unless you count the thunderstorm that happened about a mile or so back down the trail. By the time we got back to the car I was completely soaked. I've never been that wet in my life. Caught on a glacier trail in a thunderstorm. So Much Fun! Who knew?

Whirlwind Tour-Part I

We just got back from our vacation. We started with one week in Leavenworth, WA, at the Blackbird Lodge which is where I took this picture. Great little Inn with a room on the top floor complete with french doors that remained open most of the trip looking right out on the Washington Cascades.

The trip started out great. There was a little island across from our hotel that we got up and ran around on the first day. The second day we got more brave and did this little climb.

It was a 2000 foot climb over 4 miles and totally worth it. The rest of the time in Leavenworth we spent enjoying the scenery of the crazy little German town.

Sean developed what we though was poison oak from the hike. When he woke up with an eye swollen shut and in severe pain I drug him across the street to the immediate care center where he learned he had not poison oak, but rather shingles. Good times! We filled a pain killer Rx and hit the road.

We made a quick detour to Grand Coulee Dam along the way. Wow, impressive. I wish we had time to stay for the tour, but we had hours more to go.

From there we took a quickly zombie looking guy and piled into the car and headed off towards Whitefish MT. Our next stop for 4 nights. It was a long day, but well worth the trip.

From here on out Sean will be sunglasses and hat clad to avoid horrifying you with his zombie like presence.

While our little spot at the Duck Inn in Whitefish was beautiful in it's own right, I could not be dragged out of Glacier National Park for more than a few hours at at time. I could have stayed there forever. Stunning beauty. I teared up nearly every time we drove through. Emotion overload. I hope I'm not pregnant.

This was the Hidden Lake Trail at Logan's Pass. Clearly we couldn't travel it yet. Lots of snow this year. The Road to the Sun had only been open a week when we arrived.

This was a little hike in to a spot called "The Gorge"

My computer has decided that this is clearly enough images for one posting. I will pick up later on. Until then...enjoy your day!