Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saying Good-Bye to 2010

The year 2010 is slowly coming to an end and ahead lies a hopefully better 2011 ! Looking back. this year was the year of home improvements. We finally tackled the water problem in garage and basement and it also brought us new tiles for the basement. It was a lot of dirt and inconvenience, but we are very happy with the results. Yours truly had to pick the most expensive tile straight from Italy, but it was well worth the expense. We love the way it looks and the company putting it in for us did a great job.
Also, our old man Walter joined us this year in the late spring and despite a severe heart murmur, dementia and mild neurological problems, he's still with us. It is not easy caring for him, but we all fell in love with the little guy - even Bicalina, who initially hated his guts and bit a hole in his flank as a remembrance. I did finally get her over her hatred by using the method of counter conditioning. This method has turned Walter into a walking liver treat as far as Bica is concerned.
And here they are today:
We also have news from Germany. My niece Sassa gave birth to a healthy boy by the name of Aaron on August 6th:
We haven't met the young man yet and hope he won't grow too fast. No such luck though because according to his mom he has a good appetite. :-)
Alisa, his big sister, started school this year and brothers Lewin (4) and Eldin (11) discovered Beyblade battles which got their great aunt up in arms and out shopping, because that game is nowhere to be found in all of Germany. (That's where they live.)
We didn't travel to Europe this year. Instead we concentrated on the beautification of our house and spending some time together. As you all can see, looking at this blog, we do enjoy walking the dogs in different places and I love taking pictures of them. My cam isn't the greatest, but I am usually walking with three dogs in one hand and the cam in the other and considering the circumstances, I'm not too unhappy about the results. Other people have fancier cameras and fanciers pictures, but I can't see myself rushing through the woods with three dogs and a tripod. :-)
The Budelheimers are on ice at the moment. Since I do all the cartoon drawing with the computer mouse, this puts a lot of strain on my tendons. I just had a cortisone injection into my shoulder and also need to work on issues regarding my spine. Not to worry - they will be back in the new year.

I hope you all had a good year 2010 and may the New Year bring joy and fulfill all your wishes !

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our Advent Walk at Wolftrap

It was a cold morning, but nonetheless - the dogs needed their exercises as much as we did and off we went to this little park which is situated in the midst of a community called "Shouse Village". I believe it is part of Vienna. The air was crisp and the light perfect:First we admired those beautiful reflections in the lake...

Along the way, the dogs encountered some strange bird. Whilst Tessa politely tried to make contact, Mr. Monstermeister told that odd creature what he thought of it by marking it's feet more or less. Never a dull moment with this guy ! *lol*

The asphalted path let us through the woods...

...and along a small creek.

Lots of interesting places to investigate.....

...even a broken bridge, which the Budelheimers found utterly interesting to hop around on.

And where was old man Walter Magoo ?
Patiently waiting for his turn at home in a fluffy and cozy warm bed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Handyman Walter helps to renovate the basement

What can I say ? Leave it to Walter to help renovate the basement.
A little while ago we had to have a drainage system installed into the garage and the basement. In order to get all those pipes into the ground, the workers had to rip out some of the existing floor to dig that ditch and put gravel and sump pump in place.After completion of stage one, that's what the basement looked like, and here's the garage:
After the dust settled, the gravel got covered up with some special (very dusty!) concrete and left us with this view:
Now we had to let it all sit for at least five/six weeks before putting a new floor in. While I was waiting through the drying process, I started removing the old floor, which actually was a pile up of two layers and a pain to remove ! So while the younger part of the furgang enjoyed some quality time in the yard, I grabbed old man Walter, who doesn't fancy the cold outdoors too much, and retreated into the basement. As you can see, I was closely supervised:

Yikes - that floor is sticky !

Quick check on the BOD of the doggy worker's union:

No complaints from that side and so Walter and I could finish laying the floor in the basement in peace and quiet.

We're done ! Yeah !

The floor is done, the walls are painted and we can move on to the next project: Painting the walls and have a ceramic tile floor installed in the basement den. We picked a nice Italian tile and it will look real pretty when it's finished. Once the basement part of the house is all spiffed up, we'll take a short break and then we tackle the bathrooms. For now my canine engineer says good night:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

.....from the furgang to all their friends and their families !

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nottoway Park

Since I missed a couple of days again, I'll put up two postings for today.
On Sunday on our way to Home Depot (we seem to frequent this place very often these days...) we stopped by at Nottoway Park in Vienna to get at least an hour's walk in with the dogs.
Here are some of the impressions along the way:

When we got there, there was still some morning frost on the ground.....

but fall presented us with an awesome display of warm colors:

During the summer there are free concerts right in front of this county owned house every Thursday night. We regularly meet there to train the dogs and sometimes went over there to listen to the music.

It is great to have a park like this one right in the middle of town. No need to drive for hours and be stuck in traffic trying to find a nice place to walk in the countryside. We're lucky. We live close to town with all it's conveniences and yet, just a few miles down the road we have access to a couple of really nice parks where we enjoy nature and walking the dogs.

Walter went shopping

It's getting cooler outside and first signs of frost have been sighted. Our grandpa Walter, who has the tendency to need a potty break in the middle of the night is also seen standing in front of the house shivering, thus forgetting that he really was out there to go potty. I hate to admit it, but crawling out of bed at three thirty I can imagine how he feels, because I stand there shivering too.
Therefore I loaded him up and off we went coat shopping. Try to find a coat for a dachshund. Either they fit around the belly and don't cover the butt, or they cover the butt but are way to big in all other areas of the wienerdog's body. After searching through countless pet stores in the area we finally found a coat that's acceptable for Mr. Magoo:
Doesn't he look like a little elf ?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts

We wanted to go some place different and so we packed up the pack and headed towards Wolf Trap Farm Park in Vienna. ------>
From October until April there are no performances and it's a nice change of scenery. Behind the big stage is a nice park where we took a walk for about an hour. But see for yourselves:

The weather vane indicates where the park's name derives from. It actually got his name from the little creek that runs right through it: Wolf Trap Run.

As you can see, the vane sits right on top of this scenic building.Here's a look at the stage from the lawn.

Inside the building. The seats are being dissembled to be stored for the winter.Moving on and leaving the stage behind, Rui is seen doing some dachshund management. (More or less successful. *lol*)

One last look at the entire complex, and we head towards the woods.

There, nestled between the trees, is the "Theater in the Woods", which houses performances for children during the summer months.

Now let me just show you some impressions from our walk in the park:

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...and at the end of our walk, the familiar weather vane waved a final good bye in our direction as we were heading back towards the parking lot: