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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Christmas in April

I really try my best not to bring this sort of thing onto the blog, but I really cannot hold this one back any longer.  I see this every day when Gimli and I walk past the mailbox.

As we know, this past December was Christmas.  At Christmas time, some people decide to decorate a Christmas tree.  Of these people, some use an artificial tree and some use a real tree.  The issue with the real trees is that once Christmas is over, one has to get rid of the tree.

In years past, our city would schedule a special pick up of the real trees to be taken to the dump for en masse disposal.  This year though, the city decided they were not going to spend the money to pick up the trees.  Instead, those who had a real tree were told to take it to the dump themselves.  This information was posted in the local newspaper - in each printing a few weeks leading up to Christmas.  I know, because I remember reading it.

I would like to note that we are about 7 minutes away from the entrance to the dump.  I've been there, it's not that far.

The garbage day after Christmas, the carcass of a real Christmas tree appeared on the curb of a particular house in my neighborhood.  Naturally, because the city stopped picking up the trees, the tree remained on the curb for a week.  Then, the magical tree elves came and moved the tree a few feet up the curb so it was sitting next to the light pole as seen in the picture below.  Garbage day came again and the tree remained.

During this time, a local service decided they would do everyone a favor and go around to pick up the trees. All you had to do call them to add your house to the list.  I imagine the service stopped when they stopped receiving phone calls... makes sense.

But, back to the curb.

A few weeks passed and the magical tree elves came again and moved the tree so it's now lying next to the communal mailbox.

It's now the end of March.  Christmas has been over for 3 months and the tree is still there, sitting next to the mailbox.

I wouldn't be surprised if the tree is still there come June.

Note, this picture was taken in February, but I assure you, it's still there.  It's less green and a bit brown, but it's still there.

Monday, March 25, 2013

5 things going on - March

I missed out on February's and March is almost over, but here it is.

1. Mike's finally received an answer for his leg issues.  He's been given a regimen of exercises to do so he can regain his mobility and leg strength.

2. Gimli has been a bratty little monster of late. We've returned to square one - no privileges, rules for everything.  It seems we have to do this every few months or so when he forgets who is in charge.

3. I am glad to be home.  I was feeling down before we went on vacation and I feel much better now.

4. Somehow, I got it into my head that March was going to be the month that I posted something every. single. day. There's 6 more days to go and I think I'll be able to do it! Is this sustainable long term? I don't know. This was an unexpected experiment, though it didn't hurt that I had a wealth of pictures and ideas to go along with it.  Is that the secret? Who knows. We'll keep moving forward and see what happens next month.

5. We received some hopeful news this month and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things go smoothly for us. I'll have more news in April.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I have a small Canon point and shoot camera.  I've had it for about 4 and a half years.  You'd think I'd have read the manual by now and that I'd know about all the features the camera has to offer.

You'd be wrong.  The most I can do is to adjust for light... and even that is suspect at times.  At least I don't use the"Automatic" setting anymore.

After our trip on the open seas, I regretted that I didn't know all the features on the camera.

Looking at the pictures we took from our trip, you could tell all the ones taken on the rough sea days.  Nearly every one is blurry.  Not, the really bad, hand jarring blurry, but the slight blurriness that you cannot see from the display, but is painfully obvious when viewed on a monitor. I thought I had gotten around it by using the timer and then keeping my hand and body as steady as I could, but alas, I was wrong.

I find myself wondering if it would have done any good had I taken a photography course and knew the mechanics of the camera.  Was there a setting that I should have chosen instead.

I have a feeling that the next time we are on a cruise in rough seas, that I'll be better prepared.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Spring?

Yes, it's a Wordless Wednesday on Friday, hence the words.

Wednesday was the first day of Spring.  This is what our backyard looks like on today... Friday.  We had a few centimeters of snow last night.  Luckily the sun melted the majority of it from the driveway and sidewalk, but there's still a great deal of snow left.

I am so ready for Spring.

Flat Gimli Friday - Floating Head

A display at the Steiff museum.  Flat Gimli feels right at home.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blame Gimli

So, I was going to post a makeup for Wordless Wednesday yesterday and a post for today, but as I sat at the computer, something caught my attention.

A cute little corgi sat behind my chair and called me to come play with him.

I turned around and he scurried out the doorway and stood in the hallway with an irresistibly lovable face and so, I am to go play with him.

He's a hard taskmaster :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I was born on an island in the Caribbean. For the first 9 years of my life I knew constant warmth from the heat and the sun.  My recesses at school were spent running around in the sun with nary a thought about sunscreen. The only time I received a sunburn, I was a child who spent hours in the sun at the beach.  But, did I bother with sunscreen the next time I went to the beach? Nope.

Fast forward to my adult years when I've heard all the things about how the sun is bad for you and you must always wear sunscreen.  My mindset changes and I'm always looking for shade and avoiding the sun.

While on the cruise, it was interesting to see the sun worshiping dynamic shift as you move from children to adults.

The children are covered in those sunscreen suits or sunscreen itself.

Everyone else is a mixed bag - some are roasting in the sun and others are hanging in the shade.

Older guests are hiding in the shade.

Funny how things can come full circle.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Is that your dog?

As you might expect, we took Flat Gimli with us on our vacation last week.  I haven't processed the pictures yet, I'll get to them later in the week.

Flat Gimli went back to the Disney parks, on a bus, onto a cruise ship and into the Caribbean.  Here are some of his adventures.

On the Disney bus, he fell out of the backpack and we almost lost him.  I was watching though and was able to run back to grab him.

At Epcot, I saved him from a bratty little girl with gooey chocolate fingers.  She was reaching for him and I said, in my most Evil Queen of voices, "Uh uh, don't touch!" The look of shock on her face was priceless.  She gave me a weak smile, but I didn't smile back.  She then scurried away.

At the buffet lunch on embarkation day, he was perched in the backpack with his little head showing. He met a male server who has a German Shepherd dog that's his princess. He met a female server who said he was cute and every time she saw us she asked about him. The children that saw him first stared, then you could see the wonder on their faces.  One even walked around to see if it was a real dog. Sigh, if only.

We ran into a family from Arizona that was obsessed with corgis, but didn't actually have one.

We ran into plenty of people who felt the Flat Gimli idea was an "adorable" one because they all missed their doggies at home. This one lady even has a stuffed animal Pluto that she carries around when she travels.

This one guy asked, "Is that your dog?" Cuz, um, yes I carry around a stock corgi picture.

By the end of the cruise, people started recognizing him. We received quite a few, "hi Gimli" greetings.  They didn't know us, they knew him.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What the...

I think something is wrong with me.

Last week, we were on a Disney cruise - we sailed the Disney Fantasy on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary.  The 3 days before that, we walked around the Disney parks.  While on the cruise, we ate as sensibly as we could - ie no over indulging, no multiple desserts.  We did laps on one of the decks and even a 5k walk while on Castaway Cay.

We returned home yesterday and today, I was itching to work out.  Not as a, "man, I need to work off all this food", but more of a "I missed working out".

Before we left, I was down 2 lbs and it was becoming easier for me to do my stomach exercises.  We did the 5k and I didn't feel like giving up partway through the walk.  In fact, I was surprised at how good I felt when we got to the end!

I'm starting to feel like this little guy:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Guess what?

Hey Gimli, guess what?

Candy comes home today!

You better not be lying to me...

It's true!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shorter table?

Gimli in a most dignified voice: Being the cutest member of the family, I hereby submit a petition to shrink this counter to a manageable level so that I can partake in meals with you and Mike.  I promise not to steal food from your plates.

What say you?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dwarf on the mountain

Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold

- The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien



Monday, March 11, 2013

Steiff Bear Museum

After we left Rothenburg, we headed to Munich.

On the way, we stopped in the little town of Geingen, which is the home of the Steiff Bear Museum.  The Steiff stuffed animals were created by Margaret Steiff in 1880.  The first stuffed animal was an elephant and not a bear. In fact, the bear wasn't produced by Steiff until 1902.

As you enter the museum, there are displays of all the stuffed animals Steiff has produced.  There's a short play that provides a short history of the Steiff company, then you're taken to the displays.

On the bottom floor, there's the store and I wanted to buy so many stuffed animals, but I settled on a moose.  One, because it was made for the province of Ontario, where we live, and two because had Gimli stayed with his breeder, she was going to name him "Moose".

Next on the tour - Munich!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Snow is yummy

Gimli is in love with snow.  We've had so much of it this winter and he's been able to romp around so much in the park that I'm sure he thinks the snow is here for good.

One thing he loves to do is eat it.  Right when the snow has been sitting for a while and there's a nice crust of ice on it, that's his favorite.  He eats it as if it was a cookie... crunch crunch.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


It's fun to look at different tracks in the snow to see who made them:

I'd hate to see the dog that made this track, yikes!

My feet

Our neighborhood rabbit!

Corgi feet!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I saw a small flock of birds on the weekend, taking roost in leafless branches.  Today I saw a small flock of geese fly over the house and head in the opposite direction.

Spring is on its way, but until then, here's some of what winter left this year.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

After we left the Kassel, we headed to the city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rothenburg ob der Tauber means "Red fortress above the Tauber" river.

While in Rothenburg, we visited St. Jakob's Church.  This Church has two altars, one on the main floor and a 2nd one on the upper floor. The altar on the second floor is a wood carving by Tilman Riemenschneider.  The wood is quite thin and so very detailed, it is awe inspiring.

We were fortunate enough to visit the Bakerei Striffler where we made pretzels.

Later that day, we donned our Medieval dress in the basement of an armor shop. The basement dates back to the 1300s.

That evening, I and the rest of the tour went on the Nightwatchman tour.  Mike, unfortunately, stayed at the hotel as his leg was bothering him.

My regret in Rothenburg was that we didn't have enough time to walk around the town.  There is the town wall with a walkway built into it that enables you to walk around parts of the city. I would have loved to have done that.

Oh well, next time.

Next on the tour - The Steiff Bear Museum.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snow run

Gimli's recall is slowly and I mean sllloooowwwwwllly getting better.

Here he comes one evening after he decided not to bark at the crazy dogs behind the fence.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Smiler: Winning Smile

About a month ago, Petzlife, sent an e-mail looking for submissions for their Best Smile contest.  As February is Pet Dental month, they were looking to capitalize on spreading that information and showcasing a great smile for their ad.

On a whim, I entered Gimli.

Looking back at the submissions, there were some amazing entries!

A couple weeks ago, the finalist listing was released and Gimli made the cut!  I had an inkling he would make at least the finalists because, I mean, with his smile, come on!  I spread the word out as best I could - Twitter, Facebook and so on, but I really did not think we'd get as many votes as we did.

Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call on Friday afternoon telling me that Gimli had won the contest!  As part of his winnings, he will be in the Petzlife ad that's run in Cesar's Way magazine as well as a care package with some of Petzlife products.

We are huge fans of their gel toothpaste so it will be neat to try out some of the other items too!