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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Castaway Cay 5k

One of the things Mike and I have committed to accomplish in the next year is a 5k and 10k run at one of the RunDisney events.  It's a great goal... except when you're two couch potatoes like us and you have to start training.

I cannot say I've ever liked running.  For me, running was a race among my cousins, it was never long distance running. Perhaps that's why I have to resist the urge to run like a bat out of hell and instead run at a slower pace. Did I ever think I'd be sitting here registered for an actual run? Nope.

All the Disney cruises in the Caribbean stop at Castaway Cay - Disney's private island. Early in the morning on these days, RunDisney sponsors a 5k run/walk on the island. Now, we aren't runners yet, but we signed up anyway in the hopes of beating our last 5k time of roughly 50 minutes of walking.

I won't go into the ins and outs of the time as I'm sure you're not interested.

We learned a few things after this race:

  1. I need better shoes. I have flat feet and I need shoes that provide the support and cushioning to my arches. About halfway through the race, my arches started to hurt. It was so bad, that I ended up limping around for a couple days afterward.
  2. We have a great deal of training to do. I know the RunDisney races for which we signed up allows you to walk, but I don't want to walk it. I want to run it! The only way that's going to happen is if I start running. I downloaded the Couch to 5k app and I'm going to use that as my coach.
  3. I need to focus on me. Forget about everyone else, Mike included, and focus on me. I know I can do this, just as I have done all these other things I never thought I could do. It's all one day at a time, ready, GO!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordy Wednesday - Stacks at night

Disney Fantasy smokestacks lit up

I was playing around with taking night pictures on my point and shoot camera and managed to take this one. I'm sure it's not great in terms of composition or lighting or anything, but I'm pleased with it.

It's the first time I've ever been able to take a picture at night, without the flash, and without a shaking arm to make everything blurry.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Woofstock 2014

This past weekend the four of us attended Woofstock. We hadn't attended the past couple years because the previous venue was too crowded and it was a nightmare to navigate with Mike's wheelchair and Gimli in such close quarters with other festival attendees, their dogs and random people walking through the festival. Yes, friends, the last Woofstock used to be held on city streets that were roped off to cars, but not people. This year, however, they moved the venue to a large park near Lake Ontario.

I was up early on Saturday to walk the dogs and make breakfast. We left around 8.45 and I was convinced we'd be stuck in traffic on account of the intense construction happening on the major arteries heading into downtown Toronto. We arrived just after 10, (when the festival opened), and we were lucky to secure a parking spot, only because it was an accessible spot. In the parking lot, there were no other spots available.

In retrospect, this was a major problem plaguing Woofstock this year. According to Google maps, there were two lots available this year for patron parking. However, by the time we arrived the lots were either near or at capacity. Patrons were parking on the street and possibly parking on side streets further away and walking. For a festival that expects large throngs of people, this didn't work out too well. I don't know if the venue will change again next year to accommodate the parking situation.

We first went to the picnic area to sit and let the dogs sniff around and absorb the atmosphere. We've found that if we can let them slowly acclimate to the area, they are less hyper and less crazy. After a few minutes, we were off!

We started going up and down the rows, looking at each booth. Mike had Gimli and I had Merida. Gimli handled Woofstock better than years past. He was much calmer when meeting dogs, sniffing snouts and butts like nothing! He also pulled off his signature "pray and wave my front feet", which earned him plenty of "Awwws" and cookies. He knows how to work a room, that's for sure!

Merida was struck with sensory overload. She was calm and happy to meet everyone, but everywhere she turned there was someone or something or a dog that she had to meet. I had to keep her on track else we'd still be there standing in the park meeting everyone and everything!

Another reason we went to Woofstock was to finally join the local corgi meet up. We've wanted to attend other meetups, but our schedules always clashed. We turned the corner and spotted a group of corgs in the distance and we bee-lined for them. It was neat to see our corgis interact with the other ones. It was almost a feeling of, "hey, you're my size and you look like me!".

At one point, one of the corgis decided she'd had enough and snuck under Mike's chair to escape the heat.

Gimli, as you can see was not impressed by this behavior. As soon as the dog left, Gimli planted himself firmly under the chair.

After the corgi meetup, the four of us roamed around a bit more then decided to head home. We didn't make out with much loot this time around. Even just after opening, the lines to take pictures and get free items were too long, so it wasn't worth standing around.

By the time we arrived home, we had two tired corgis. This picture was taken about 10 minutes after we came home. Both are still wearing bandanas and they don't care.

While at Woofstock, we were asked a multitude of questions about corgis. I'm afraid I didn't do the "Lesser Corgi Society" much good, but it's hard to extoll only the bad things about these dogs. Of course these two put on their cute faces and smiled and wiggled and hammed it up for everyone they met. If I even tried to state the truth about corgis, they'd have called me out as a liar.

All in all, a good day. The jury is still out on if we'll attend the Winter Woofstock this year.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Smiler - Natural

Corgis have expression filled faces. Gimli is quite good at closing his mouth and giving you a smile, but Merida is much better at it.

She's a little reserved and because of that, keeps her smiles for times when she really needs to look cute.

Instead, she'll close her mouth, look up at you with tilted head and a shy smirk will shine through.

Much like this picture here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 things going on in this house - May

Where did May go?

1. We are back from our vacation. We did the 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy. I ate too much, got too much sun - damn you Banana Boat sunscreen! and missed my corgis.

The laundry is finally done and folded... but not yet put away. The suitcases have been "Lysol-ed" and while one was airing out, Gimli decided it would be a good idea to sleep in the suitcase. Maybe he's trying to tell us something.

2. While on the subject of our vacation, last Friday Mike and I completed a 5k walk on Castaway Cay. Suffice it to say, I have a great deal of work to do before our 5 and 10k races in January.

I also have to get a new pair of sneakers. I have flat feet and after that 5k, my feet were ready to fall off. It's now Tuesday and I'm just able to take the dogs for a walk without much pain. I pretty much limped all Saturday and Sunday.

3. While we were away last week, the weather at home was rainy. It was nice to come home to a greener lawn, buds on the trees and leaves sprouted on our shrubs. I did have to pull some weeds though on Sunday.

This year, we are taking an active stance on the weeds and so long as we can pull them out quickly, I'm hoping it will stem the tide.  Don't know if it will actually work, but that's my plan.

We are still in a deadlock on the subject of flowers. One day I'm just going to go out and buy some and plant them and be done with it.

4. While on the subject of weeds, I'm unsure if Gimli's allergies are acting up this season. Usually he presents with little itchy spots on his belly and I've not seen any yet, but he's been rubbing his face on the carpet a bit more than usual.

We brushed and Furminated him and gave him an under-carriage wash over the weekend and he's a little bit better. I cannot tell if Merida is going to have the same allergies too. She's been a little itchy, but it could be just dirty feet.

We'll continue to monitor.

5. In an attempt to give back to the neighborhood birdies, we've been leaving out tufts of corgi hair in the backyard. I hope the birds use the hair to make their nests.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Asleep

Today's Throwback Thursday is of puppy Gimli and I sleeping on the couch.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Merida or Mickey?

The other day I had the Mickey Mouse club song in my head when I realized the name "Merida" has the same amount of letters as the name "Mickey".  This got me thinking...

Sing to the tune of the Mickey Mouse club song.

Who's a member of the house that's got 2 corgis
Hey there, Hi there, Ho there you're as feisty as can be
Merida! (Gim-li!)
Merida! (Giml-i!)
Forever let us hold our noses high
High, high, high

Come along and sing a song and join the jamboree
Merida - a!
Merida - a!

We'll eat food
We'll meet new faces
We'll do things and we'll go places
All around the park we're frapping


Yes, as I type this, I'm sure I've lost my mind.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do you even know me?

The other day, Mike was making bacon and eggs for lunch.  Here's the dialogue that followed:

Mike: I'm making bacon and eggs for lunch.

Candy: Can you make me some?

Mike: Sure, did you want bacon?


I had no words. Though, I think Gimli's face said it perfectly:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the 4th

We interrupt our regular Sunday broadcast to bring you coverage for Star Wars day.

May the fourth be with you.

No Flat Gimli, you cannot herd an AT-AT.

If I smile nicely, do you think Vader will give me some cookies?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flat Corgi Friday - Pluto!

This was at Chef Mickey's restaurant for my birthday :)

It's a shame Goofy didn't come around at the same time as I could have gotten all 4 dogs together.  Oh well, another time perhaps.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dog days

We had a strange dog related day today.

It all started this morning when I took the corgis for a walk. The rain was threatening... again... and so I just wanted to go on a long enough walk to drain some of their energy, but not go too far that we'd be caught in a downpour, and that we'd be back in time for me to put out the trash!

We started out and after some marking, we turned down a street.  Across the street from us was a parent and her two kids standing at the curb. I presume waiting for the bus.  When the older one saw us walking, he ran into the street to pet the dogs. (WTF!) Thankfully the corgis did not see him and we were far enough along that he couldn't have caught us.  But seriously! Do children not know about NOT RUNNING INTO THE STREET?

That side street is not that busy, but at that hour there were people starting to leave for work. The parent didn't yell or scream for him to stop or anything like that.  He made it halfway into the street before she nonchalantly said for him to get out of the street.

I don't get it. I would not have been surprised if this kid also came running up and got into the dog's faces instead of asking if he could pet them. This is a large pet peeve of mine. It is foolhardy for anyone to assume all dogs are friendly and it's ok to come running up to them, tower over them and then expect them not to be scared of you. Especially if the dog is unfamiliar with you or is unwell or in pain. This is how people are bitten.

Please, please, please instruct the people in your life to ask before petting a strange dog.

After that, our walk was uneventful until we came up behind a lady heading to the bus stop.  We were walking a bit faster than her, but I wanted to see if I could get the corgis to behave and keep their distance even though they really wanted to play with her. They did quite well and we went almost a full block with a few feet between us until we got to the park and I needed the garbage bin.

We continued on through the park and started to head home. Then, I hear Merida bark once. I look up to see a dog run across the street and straight for us. This was the same dog that saw us the other day and he was clawing at the ground to come over and meet us. I was a little apprehensive on account of that and because I've had crummy experiences with that owner in the past and because his older dog snapped at our neighbor's dog. As a result, I go out of my way to avoid him.

Anyway, apparently they now have two dogs. The one that came running up to us is the new one and he's a puppy... albeit a large puppy. Possibly a Siberian Husky mix. The dog reaches us and the corgis are going crazy. I was hesitant and pulled back on the leash because the dog stiffened as my two were excitedly sniffing, but I eased up and let the dogs do their thing.

During this time, the owner came across the street with a leash and was able to get his dog under control. This encounter ended on a good note and I was glad a) there were no cars coming, b) we were able to distract the dog long enough that he didn't think to run off and have the owner have to go look for him, and c) my two, especially Gimli were so well behaved with the puppy.

Note, not the dog we met this morning

What does tomorrow have in store? We will see.