Pepper’s winter sweater

So, before Christmas 2015 I saw this in the local Target ad.

target dog sweater.jpg

And my first thought was that dog looks like Pepper (our ‘red’ Golden Retriever).  I knew Pepper needed a sweater to keep her warmer when she slept out in the dog house so I went looking the next time I was in the local Target store.

Target was out of the dog sweater that was shown in the ad, but I was able to get Pepper a sweater.

Here she is modeling it.  She definitely doesn’t look as happy as the dog in the ad, but she didn’t complain when we went to put it on her before bedtime.  And I am happy to say that it lasted through the winter and will definitely get more use this coming winter.

pPepper sweater

Pepper modeling her winter sweater

Do you dress up your pet?

Later – H

I am still here and takeaways

The end of January / beginning of February have been an interesting and sometimes stressful time for my family.  Here are some takeaways :

  • Don’t take your health for granted – We abruptly learned that one of our brother-in-laws was having double bypass surgery (with no previous health warnings).  I am so happy to report that he is doing fine and is healing nicely.  (And I can’t wait to give him a hug the next time we see him!)
  • Make sure that both the husband and wife have keys to the mailboxes.  I had to overnight our keys to dear husband since I had been out of town for a while.  Good thing I did since we had a package in the box.
  • Sometimes the ‘kids’ have to become the ‘parents’ to their parents.  My mom has always lived in her own house independently, but it became obvious a few weeks ago that it wasn’t the best idea anymore.  So, the last few weeks I have been trying to help my mom move into a Senior Living place near us.  When she is all settled I will post an update.
  • Dogs (especially Pepper the Golden Retriever) sense when a person is older and needs some company.  My mom has been at our house for the last week and Pepper will bring her toys, sleep at her feet and is very gentle and loving to her.  Now, that doesn’t mean that Pepper still doesn’t love to be hyper and run around, but it means she tries to not do it near my mom.
  • Plan for natural disasters.  We recently had a horrible wind storm.  The worse part was we were out of power for 27+ hours.  We have a well which meant we could not pump water.  I am happy that we had gallon bottles of drinking water in the garage, used the water in the hot tub (which had dirt and leaves blown into it) to flush the toilets and we were able to use our wood stove to heat food and drinks once the wind died down.  We know multiple people that lost part of their roofs (and/or trees).  Do you have an emergency stash  / plan??
  • Keep your mind active – Do you do word puzzles, play Scrabble, etc?  My mom has spent the last few years just watching television by herself (definitely not something that keeps the mind active).  Since she has stayed at our house we have been playing multiple games of Scrabble daily (not keeping score though).  She is amazing (and not even just for her age)!  I have already asked if there is a group of people at the Senior Living place that plays games.  If not, I will go and play it with her.  (She even has been asking me to play it if I don’t suggest it.)
  • Love and appreciate your family since you never know how long anyone will live (this one should be obvious).  I have been having a conversation with my mom this week since she is trying to figure out why she is still alive, but her parents, sister, brother, friends and two husbands have all died (and most of them at a younger age than her).  The only thing I keep saying is ‘God decided a long time ago the number of days you will live.’  I hope I am loving and honoring to my mom for the rest of her days.
  • If you see a problem then take action – I am so glad that I didn’t ignore the signs that my mom was having difficulties (or come home when she just told me to leave her in her house).  After having a doctor evaluate her (and having her eat good food and drink water) we determined that mom needed to be on medicine.  Once she started to take it she remembered that she used to take it ‘years ago’, but for some reason she stopped.  My family is noticing an improvement in my mom since she has arrived.
  • Housecleaning can wait – I am not saying to completely blow it off, but I have realized that my mom needs my attention also while she is here.  So, I have been randomly doing house work and trying to recover from being gone for over a week.

Until next time.  Later – H

 

 

Dead front load washing machine

Well, this was going to be a post about how handy husband and I fixed our 12 year old Kenmore Front load washing machine.  One night a couple of weeks ago when it was near the end of the final spin cycle it abruptly made HORRIBLE sounds (turns out the tub was swinging around and hitting the side of the walls and front of the washer).  When handy husband and I took off the back we found that one of the shocks was broken.

So, I did a Google search on the model number and found out that RepairClinic.com had the shocks and a video that showed it was pretty easy to replace.  So, I ordered the parts and we waited.  While I was gone for a few days handy husband got the old shocks out (he said it was pretty easy) so all we would have to do was put the new ones in and start using it again.

The new shocks went in pretty easy and I tested out the machine by rinsing and spinning out a few towels.  It was semi-louder than I remembered, but we thought it was okay.  So, then I decided to wash the towels and a couple of pairs of jeans.  It sounded fine until it got to the end of the spin cycle.  I heard this HORRIBLE noise from the other end of the house.  I went running for the laundry room to turn it off.  I came upon Pepper (the Golden Retriever) in the dining room with her ears pulled back and running for the hall (which she has never been allowed to go down).

We first thought the washer was somehow unbalanced (which was weird since it was never unbalanced before).  So, we added foam between the tub and the sides, but it still was making horrible noises.  (The way Pepper was acting [ears back and wanting to leave the house] should have told us that it was making horrible noises before we could hear it.)

I did a YouTube search and found a video on how to take apart our washing machine.  They discusses that the ‘spider’ which is inside the tub breaks.  Uh, oh.  Between that video and a comment from a friend we decided that was what was wrong.  Since the spider is part of the drum it is very expensive to fix.

So, I went searching (Consumer Reports, Google, etc) and found out that Home Depot had the LG 4.0 Cu. ft. washer (WM3050CW) on Black Friday sale for $579 ($220 off).  To be safe I ordered the 3 year protection plan for $80 (it says they will replace the unit if it is a Lemon).

So, the washing machine is on back order so we are without a washing machine until December 3rd.  I am hoping we only have a few more trips to the laundry mat before it arrives and right now I am so happy that I don’t live too far from the laundry mat.

What appliance have you had to replace recently?

Later – H

 

Happy 4th of July!

I hope all of you (in the United States at least) had a great 4th of July.  We worked around the yard (fixing sprinklers, etc), taking Pepper (the Golden Retriever) for a swim in the river, eating BBQ’ed ribs and squash and went to see fireworks.  The sad part is the fireworks started a small brush fire.

Hoping we have as much fun during the rest of the weekend.

Later – H

Pepper (the Golden Retriever) Subway art

Hi, all.  Well, I am late, but here is the photo of the Subway art (see previous post on how I created it) I created using words that describe Pepper (the Golden Retriever).

Pepper golden retriever, subway art

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the last couple of weeks taking Pepper to water I realize I should make this again and make the word ‘Swimming’ HUGE!!!

This last weekend we took her to a lake.  The husband planned on shore fishing also.  Well, he did catch three trout, but he would have caught his limit if Pepper hadn’t decided she had to continually swim (and sometimes got into his line – oops).

What is amazing to me is Pepper swims after floating toys, but also will just run back and forth in the shallow water AND will also just start randomly swimming into deeper water (luckily she doesn’t like us getting too far away so if we don’t call her she will turn around and look for us).

Pepper officially turns two years old on Tuesday (1 July) so I will definitely be posting some new photos.

Later – H

Happy Father’s day and Subway art

First I want to wish all the Fathers a Happy Father’s Day!   We hope to spend the day going to church, going out to lunch and then spending the afternoon with Pepper (the Golden Retriever) and family – either hiking or taking her swimming

So, for a present I decided I wanted to make the husband a Subway Art using some of words of his favorite things.  First I was looking at making a Canvas Artwork, but ran into problems getting the words to fit correctly on PicMonkey ( http://www.picmonkey.com/  ).  I use this site to add the Watermark (blog name) to the photos I own and post.

So, then I started doing some Google searching to figure out how else I could make a Subway art.  I found a few references to Wordle ( http://www.wordle.net/ ).  It is a pretty easy site to use (I do suggest you read their FAQs before you start out).  I did save my word list in a document first so it was pretty easy to modify.

I was able to make and print out my personalized Subway art (in black and white) this morning – now I need to put it into a frame so I can give it to him.

Sorry for no pictures this time, but they are currently in the new phone (which I have to figure out to get them posted).  I figured it was better to send out the idea now in case you wanted to make one and post photos next week.

And you add a comment if you get this?  I tried to email a couple of posts to myself to I could forward them to a friend and I realized I never got them.  Not sure if it is our email account with the problem or if the posts are hiding from people.  thanks!

Later – H

Target pick up in store

Did you know that you can place an online Target order and pick it up at your local store?  I didn’t until this afternoon.   (Also, since I was able to order online I went through a reward site also – every little bit helps.)

The husband had asked for new Norelco Shaver Replacement heads as a Father’s Day present, etc.

Well, I went searching and found that Target had them listed for good price and had an instant $5 coupon.  They were not available to order online, but they said they could be picked up in the store.  So, I ordered them at 1:15 PM (received the order email at 1:22 PM) and at 1:34 PM I got a text message that it was ready to be picked up!

Note:  It appears their standard hold time is 2 days after you place the order.  I wish that was a little longer since we have to go to the next town to go to Target.

Luckily, we were going to that town today since Pepper (the Golden Retriever) was going to Social Hour this afternoon.  I popped into the Guest Services area of Target afterwards and picked up my package.

Since I like a smooth-faced husband I gave the replacement heads to him tonight.  Maybe by Father’s Day he will be smoother 🙂

Note:  I wasn’t given anything for this post.  I was just very impressed to see that I can now order online and pickup in the store and how fast it was available.

First hikes of the season

I hope everyone had a great New Year!  The family (including Pepper the Golden Retriever) went for the first two hikes of the year and these didn’t even require a long drive from our house.  The first one was on New Years Day.  We went for a hike in the hills behind our neighborhood.  We forgot to keep track of exactly how long we were gone, but it was about an hour.  Next time I will wear the pedometer / look at a clock before we leave the house.

The second one was a short drive away.  In a normal January we would not have been able to do these hikes without snowshoes or dealing with mud.

The worst part of these hikes was realizing how badly California and Nevada need some rain / snow.  I heard the other day that one of the Cross Country Ski areas near Lake Tahoe closed due to a lack of snow.  Right now they think it is similar to the droughts in the mid-1970s.  I remember those since I was a kid living in the Bay Area of California.  We had  a large trash can in our bathroom to collect the water that was run to warm the bathwater so we could flush the toilet, etc.  I have no idea what it was like in Nevada back then, but I know at least a lot of the houses around here did not exist.

Sierra Nevada Mountains, no snow

Sierra Nevada Mountains in early January 2014

I can’t believe that we are so warm and dry and back East is getting so much snow.

Want to trade?  Later – H

 

Poll – What do you want to see?

I figured it was time for a poll.  I have 30+ draft posts all needing a photo or something and new ones in my head.  So, I am trying to decide what topics you are most interested in (I will always have a little bit of a lot of topics, but trying to figure out which ones to finish first).

So, please vote for the top topics you want to see or add your own topic.  The poll will be open for a week.

Thanks in advance!  – H

Christmas Elf on a Shelf – do you do it?

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  And since Christmas is now over I feel I can ask this:  Does your family do the ‘Elf on a Shelf’?

There are a couple of blogs that have been posting everything their Elf has been doing around the house and to be honest I don’t get it.  Maybe it is since the daughter is in College, but even if we had little ones (other than Pepper the Golden Retriever) I don’t think we would do it.

So, I am curious: Would you do Elf on the Shelf??

 

Later – H