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Thursday, January 31, 2013

End of the month

Will someone please explain to me how it's the end of January already?  I feel like the other day it was New Years Eve!

A great deal has happened this month:
  • My struggle with weight has begun anew. Though this is the third time, so I'm hoping it will be the last time I have to fight with it.  Once I get to where I want to be, it will be a question of maintenance.
  • I'm the sole breadwinner again as Mike was laid off. Sucks, but we keep moving forward.
  • We're on puppy watch again. Gimli's breeder is going to mate her female dog.  Hopefully the mating is successful and we'll have a puppy in the house this year.
  • I went on a vacation that wasn't really a vacation, because I had to deal with family stuff - ie coming to terms with my sick Grandmother and the realization that this was the last time I'll see her.
  • I returned home last Saturday and have been in a crummy mood since then. Am slowly getting better.  I kind of feel like it's the lite version of the stages of grief. I think I've resigned myself to it.  We all know our grandparents will die, but there's always that feeling that it's not going to happen for a long time. This time, I think it's different.
On that note, here's a nice picture for you:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sigh

It's Thursday and I'm pretty sure Gimli's in this pose.  His favorite person isn't there to sneak him bits of what she's eating or randomly pounce for a bout of kisses and cuddles.

Mike's there, but he's not the same.



What he doesn't know is that I'll be back home on Saturday :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kassel - Hercules Monument & Lowenburg

After we left Schloss Waldeck, we headed to the city of Kassel, located in the Hesse region of Germany.

While there, we first visited the Herkules monument. It is a copper statue built between 1701 and 1717 in recognition of the Greek demigod Hercules.  The monument resides in a large park, the Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark.  Hercules sits atop a pyramid and then an octagon structure.  At the base of the structure begins the large water feature.

 
It's a family site ya know!
 

When we visited, the water feature was turned off because of ongoing construction of the structure.  However, I have found Youtube video of the water running and I'm sure it's amazing to see in real life.


Credit to CHWHF for this video

Most of the tour was dropped off at the top of the monument and we made our way down.  Mike and a few of our companions opted to remain in the bus to meet up with us later.  This was a good idea on Mike's part because I didn't see a ramp for him to use.

We did, however, manage to snag this picture.  Far off in the background is the museum.



Here's a picture at the base of the monument.



At the base of the monument we walked a bit further through a small wood, which really made me feel like a character in one of Grimm's fairy tales, to Schloss Lowenburg.



 See what I mean?

Schloss Lowenburg was constructed by Wilhelm IX between 1793 and 1800. He constructed this castle to look like it had sustained battles and fighting, even though it never did.  He wanted it to look like other castles throughout Germany, but without the nasty business of catapults and battering rams.  On the outside it looks like a castle, but on the inside, it is decorated with fine Baroque details fitting with the custom of the time.




The castle keep and dungeon was partially destroyed during WWII fly overs.  Over the years since then, portions of the structure have been rebuilt, but the keep remains in ruin.

We were given a tour of the rooms, which now hold armor from the time as well as furnishings and decorations from the era.  Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures to prevent against theft.  Apparently some scoundrels took pictures of items, then delivered them to thieves who broke in and stole said item.

The nerd in me wants to mention that while walking the grounds, I was struck at how much this castle reminded me of the fictional castle of Ostagar from the Dragon Age: Origins video game.

Next up on our tour - the city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Long Leash walking

Around Christmas, I took Gimli out to the nearby park with our 30ft leash in tow.  I need to work on his recall and this is one good way for me to let my guard down and relax, yet allow him the flexibility to be far away from me and safe.

The first time we went to the park, it was the middle of the afternoon and it was quite deserted.  I think it was the Sunday before Christmas and people were all scrambling to complete their shopping.  Gimli had a blast being able to stretch our and investigate all the strange smells in the park without me forcing him to be beside me all the time.

The first thing he did was roll around:



Then we played: let's-walk-around-and-see-how-far-you-can-get-before-I-call-you-back.

We did this for a while and played hide and seek behind some trees.  Gimli became very scared at that point when he thought he had lost me.  His ears perked up and he was looking around.  I whistled and eventually he found me.  He got plenty of praise for that!

When we returned home, Gimli was decidedly lumpy and sleepy for the rest of the afternoon.  I think we'll be venturing out to the park again soon.


Looking very smug that he found me.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Apple

Woman, would you stop trying to be all artsy and give me the apple?

Sheesh, don't you know I haven't eaten anything since lunch time, which was an hour ago!



Some days I'm glad Gimli can't talk.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Things to do for 2013

1. Complete the first two levels of Rosetta Stone - German - I started this last year in anticipation of our trip to Germany. I didn't learn as much as I wanted by the time we left for Germany and I feel disappointed in myself.  I do want to finish all of the classes and this is something I want to accomplish this year.  I have since found online resources to help me with the grammar, which will make it easier for me.  I've always struggled with the grammar portion and hopefully the resources will help.

2. Read 20 books - Last year, I read 9 books, so I was 1 short of my goal. This year I've upped it to 20.

3. Spend less time on the computer in my non-working hours - I'd rather fall asleep with a book in my hand than be sleepy sitting at the computer and unable/unwilling to leave it.  I find I'm always tired and hopefully this will help.

4. Maintain the blog with regular posts - I've come up with a tentative schedule for postings. I do find that every time we return from vacation, the posts slack off and it's a struggle for me to come back.  That's something I need to work on.

5. Brush Gimli's teeth 5 times a week - If I can get a schedule, then it will be easier to maintain.

6. Continue to photograph Gimli and all of his antics.

7. Lose 20 lbs. - Last year, I struggled with this and am struggling with it again as the year begins. I was doing well, then I stopped exercising and all the progress I did was lost.

8. Finish painting our house - We have 2 bathrooms to complete and 3 bedrooms to paint this year.

9. Frame and put up our pictures.

10. Go to The Arboretum at least once a month - weather permitting.

11. Discover local restaurants/bistros etc in my city or in the surrounding areas.

12. Make a snow animal of some kind. - Weather permitting.  We had so little snow last year that I couldn't scrape together enough to make one.  This year, the sticking snow arrived and then promptly disappeared.  I am hopeful, but we'll see if Mother Nature cooperates.

13. Take more pictures of Mike and me.

14. Return to the Church. Something is missing in my life and that might be it.

15. Enjoy our backyard.

16. Surprise someone.

17. Make a pie.

18. Corgi #2 - As mentioned, the last pregnancy was not viable, so we are back to waiting. We are still on the list, so we are hopeful.

19. Put in more flowers/shrubs etc in the yard - The ones we put in last year are doing well and now I want to put in more.

20. Zombie walk.

21. Photography course.

22. Move off of "Medium" on the drums in Rock Band and to "Hard".

23. Start cooking more Trinidad type food.

24. Work on Gimli's recall at the Dog Park.

25. Take Gimli to the play class at Bold Canine.

26. Continue work on Gimli's possessiveness.

27. Complete the Minas Tirith 3D puzzle - Started the puzzle.

28. Go to Woofstock.

29. Scan in our baby pictures.

30. Start putting together our Disney album.

31.... More to come as the year goes on.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What was 2012?


It was:

- the beginning of my weight loss annoyances
- the year where I was sick about 7 times
- the year I started to learn German
- I made a special Valentine's day present for Mike



- Gimli was the calendar boy for March



- Gimli ate a plum pit and gave me a mini-heart attack
- Gimli and I went to the Dog Jog event
- Mike and I started our ongoing battle with the weeds in the yard
- I became Gimli's favorite person
- Gimli obsessed over ribs


- We had the bacon turtle!



- We celebrated Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee


 - We went to High Tea at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto


- Gimli chose many incorrect teams for the Euro Cup
- I survived an 8 hour flight without a nervous breakdown
- Mike and I went to Germany
- Gimli was the calendar boy for July, showing off his big smile



- Gimli celebrated his 4th birthday


 - Gimli escaped, but our neighbor brought him back
- Mike and I went to Disneyland!



- Mike and I attended 2 weddings this year!






- I rented an amazing dress for wedding #1



- Gimli completed his first 5k walk



 - For Halloween, Gimli was a gnome


- I decorated our first set of pumpkins, more next year!



- Mike hurt his leg again and continues to be sidelined
- We started waiting for puppies and are still waiting
- Gimli photobombed one of my pictures
- I completed 74% of my list of objectives for the year, which is way up from the 41% from 2010.  My new list for 2013 will be up on the blog soon.

Here's hoping we can make the best of this year!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Project: Photo365


If you've visited the blog, you know I take plenty of pictures.  If you could see the contents of my hard drive, you'd see a large directory devoted to pictures - some of which make it onto the blog and others that don't.

My main subject is Gimli, but lately I find there's so much more that I miss because I'm peeking through the lens at a certain corgi.

This is why when I came across the photo365 project over at Chookooloonks.com, I decided I'd give it a try.

I want to be able to take a picture each day of something, whatever it is. Both as a reminder of the day and as a way to develop my focus and my eye.

I'm going to place the pictures onto a Tumblr site to give it a home separate from this blog.

Check it out here: Corgified Candy Photo365 project.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Toy laundry

What's this? What's this?  My toys are all in there!


What's this?  What's this? I'm going to kiss a bear!


I recently washed all of Gimli's soft toys in anticipation of patching them up and replacing squeakers.  The entire time they were in the machines, he hovered around the laundry room and made sure nothing happened to his precious toys.

ps, virtual cookie if you can name the song reference.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Year of Gimli

Last year, I had a Groupon for printing services at Vistaprint. The only thing we could use from the site was to create a new calendar for 2013.

Behold, I give you the Year of Gimli!


January: