carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

55 Years

Yes, that is how long Ben has been out of high school.  The first weekend in November we went to his high school reunion in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Even though the school was in Norfolk, many reunions ago, the planning committee worked out a deal with The Oceanfront Inn at Virginia Beach to hold the reunion there and there they have stayed.  Why not?  Ocean front rooms at a very good price. Indoor pool.  Good location.  Ben and I have gone to several reunions.  Arranging our trips back to the US around them.  (and The Oceanfront Inn is our stopping place when we are traveling up the east coast)

Ben’s sister, Bea, was in the class behind him.  So she enjoys coming to this reunion too.

IMG_0044

These events have always been a sartorial challenge for me.  Ben’s classmates are older, very well coiffed and pampered women.  And if I am asked to appear in anything but overalls or jeans I go in to a big panic.  But thanks to my good friend, Dinah, I had two very sophisticated silk tops to wear that I think were just the ticket.

IMG_0038 (2)

The beach looked great too.

IMG_0053

 

IMG_0047

 

All in all it was a wonderful weekend.  I will just have to write, that Guppy’s 2 half day and 2 full day stay (or 3 days)  at the dog spa cost the same as our two night stay in an oceanfront room.  I knew she would cost us, but not that much.  Anyway, I think she over partied.  A day after picking her up she is still asleep.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

What’s up

Well, I have finally bought a camera so maybe I will be updating this more often.  Certainly glad that Guppy is keeping up with her guest posts.  She has such a difficult life you know.  So much to complain about.  Yeah, RIGHT!

We haven’t been doing too much.  October was just one appointment after another.  I am glad that is over.  Still warm weather here.  We might, might, have a frost this coming weekend.  I went ahead and pulled flowers out the boxes and dug the elephant ear bulbs.  Quiet a lot of elephant ear bulbs.  We’ll see how many come up next spring.

IMG_0015

For next year, I am thinking of planting the large elephant ears in pots along the ugly fence and putting the darker leaf ones in the planter boxes with caladiums.

Before  one appointment we managed to eat at Mr. Dumpling in Apex.  Hmmmmm, a very good Chinese restaurant.

IMG_0033

Several different dumplings are offered.  And classic Chinese preparations

IMG_0029

Eggplant with chili garlic sauce

IMG_0028

Dried Fried Green Beans

IMG_0031

And one of my all time favs, Beef Chow Fun.  I knew we would over order.  We always do.  I was prepared for left overs which provided us with two more meals.  It was wonderful.  We will be back there this week.   I’m excited about that.

I hope November is calmer……

Leave a comment »

Shew, it was a busy month

Guest Post:  by Guppy, The Lucky Dog 3

 

20181004_193316

I don’t like it when the month starts with all those little yellow notes stuck on the calendar.  Every one of those notes is some sort of appoinment.  That means She and Ben could be wandering off.  I don’t like that you know.

When they wander off I have to sit up here and guard.

20181005_132351

That’s not easy you know.  That old piece of furniture is hard.  And I can’t take a nap.  Oh my!  It just upsets my chi.

But now the month is almost over.  I hope November is better.  They did get me a comfy new chair that I sleep in every night.

oct 18

And I didn’t have to use my allowance to buy it.

Leave a comment »

Such a sweet dog

20181005_132351

Yes, that is our dog lounging on a piece of furniture, like a lioness hunting big game or squirrels.

Before we leave the house, I move things off the wire racks to the left of where she is sitting, so that she can climb up there and look out the front window.  Just minutes before I took this picture, she had just climbed up there and was facing in the opposite direction and wagging her tail looking out at the rest of the room.  I could just see the thought train going through her mind.  “I could jump on the table, then Ben’s chair, then the bed!  I could go from the front to the back without touching the floor!!!!!!”   Yes, that is our sweet dog…..

Leave a comment »

What I did last summer

Guest Post by Guppy, the Lucky Dog 3

She says that I will be going back to school in October.  So I thought I would get ahead and write some thoughts for that back to school tradition, the ‘What I did last summer’ essay.

I was still under my doctor’s care until mid-August.  So I had to be real quiet.  I have watched a whole lot of dog TV

20180803_201558

I have invented a new game.  I throw my toys up in the air.  They land all kinds of fun places.  It makes her laugh when She sees them.

20180908_103954

See the pink and yellow thing on top of papers?  That is the end of one of my knotty bones.  It tosses real well.  I like to see how long it will take for her to see it.

 

A different day I got it up here on the cabinet next to her bed.

20180913_122139

She played a real trick on me.  During the day, when I’m not watching dog TV,  I lounge on her bed.  One day, the bed DISAPPEARED!!!!!!!

20180801_154128

Man Alive!  I was soooo confused.  But She found a bunch of my toys under there so it wasn’t too bad.

It used to be that when they went away (which I don’t like, you know.  But I am gettin better about that.) She would lock the glass door that is part of ‘dog TV’, so I could sit and look out and wait for them to come back.  But She is all worried about it gettin cold.  She says that’s gonna happen.  (Not too soon for me.)  So She rearranged her metal shelves.

20180908_190722

Back when I first came,  before they started leaving the door open, I was already climbing on those shelves even though there was all this stuff there.  Why it took her so long to figure out that if she just rearranged a few things I could have a ‘viewing platform’ and I would be just as  happy as a tick on a hound.  So now,  when they go out, She moves the garbage can and all the stuff on top of the shelves and the shade.  So I use the stool, climb right on up, sit on the piece of furniture and look out the window.  When She first did it, She thought that I would need to be shown how to do that.  Well, my Momma didn’t raise no fool!  I could figure out what to do but sincein She was handing out ham, I played DUMB and let her break it down to little steps, handing out that ham to encourage me.  Anyway, I like my viewing platform.

So mid-August came.  She had made my doctor’s appointment.  Just to make sure I was okay.  And that day the car DIED!.  Really!!!!!! She was so upset she almost cried.  Our sweet young neighbor, Liz, the woman who lives with my friends Emma and Riley, stopped what she was doing and drove us out to the doctor.  She kept apologizing to me about not being able to take me to the dog park that day.  I might have gotten a few extra bones that day.  Anyway, now I go to the dog park.  It’s fun when other dogs are there.  But sometimes there aren’t any other dogs there.  I almost cry when that happens.  But still it is okay because I can walk all over by myself and sniff as long as I want.  Honestly, She gets so impatient when She takes me on a walk and I want to stop and sniff.  Doesn’t She know I’m conducting important DNA analysis on that blade of grass!  I mean REALLY!

And of course we had a hurricane.  I have been a little bit on edge about it all week.  Barking at everyone I see.  But I am going to be brave because I need to look after my Ben and She says that She won’t leave me alone, so that is okay.

20180913_120302

I helped her clean up and get ready.  Not a bad summer.  I think I truly am a LUCKY DOG.

 

Leave a comment »

Getting Ready For Florence

Let me just say.  I would really rather have my Aunt Florence visit than this hurricane…

There has been chatter about this storm for over 10 days now.  It begins to wear on you.  But on the other hand, when we were in Italy, we had very little idea when some major weather event was going to happen.  In Italy, I did learn to keep a collection of empty plastic jugs that I could fill with water if I had a clue that we were going to lose power, which meant losing the pump for the well.  Here in the US, every Spring, I use up the supplies from last year and restock my ‘hurricane kit’.  This is a carryover from looking after my Mom when she lived in Florida.

So since we had adequate supplies, I only had to worry about gas in the car and the always essential, pink fizzy wine and Cheetos! And of course, the always important, trip to the library.  Grocery stores were a ZOO!  Parking lots, don’t even ask!  We live in Cameron Village so I know a few parking places that others might not know of.  And I know the ‘flow’ of the village, the busy times, the slower times.    So it wasn’t too bad to get in and out.

Our neighbors have made sure that we know if we need their help they are there.  They are absolute champs at moving all the flying objects off the deck. (see a picture later) This morning I went out to move everything from our deck.

20180913_095808

20180913_095749

20180913_095901

Not sure how the begonia forest and jungle will fare in the storm.

You know who came out to help me

20180913_120302

And everything is tucked away.

20180913_120336

20180913_120323

It gets to the point when you say “I’ve done all that I can do’.  We just don’t have the space to move things inside.  But those young neighbors did a spectacular job.

20180913_121413

Look at those garbage cans….  such a good job.

So we will see what happens.  I worry the most about this tree.

20180801_185640

It made it through Hazel and Fran and goodness knows how many other storms and has been examined and declared healthy.  So I am sure that it will be fine.  Plus we sleep and live on the ground floor…..  Updates later.

1 Comment »

The Ultimate Garden Compliment

Hummingbirds fighting over your plants….. Yes, that is it.

We have had a good bit of rain this summer.  Some times it comes down as a gully washer, sometimes nice and gentle.  For me it has been a little tricky about when to put out plant food.  One day last week I realized I must have timed it just right when I looked out my kitchen window and saw this.

20180723_115357

Most everything blooming together at the same time.  (Sorry the color is washed out.  Still using my tablet instead of a camera)

20180723_115344

20180723_115405

20180721_125555

And as I went back in there was a hummingbird fight going on over head.  Made me feel good that my plants were such a treat that they were worth fighting over.

The pampered hydrangea still looks good.

20180721_125619

The elephant ears have done so well

20180721_122502

They will definitely go back there next year.  I am thinking that if I can get some bamboo I might make a trellis to help support them.  The lower plants are sort of lost and still have to be watered some times since the big leaves are like umbrellas.  For some reason I have lost my lambs ear plants here and out front.  I don’t know if it is too damp or what.

The begonias are doing well

20180721_122538

Again, the color is not true.  They are a very pretty rosy pink.

I have been going to the State Farmer’s Market.  Managed to get my knives sharpened there too. Only been trying to get that done for MONTHS!  (Becks https://beckscutlery.com/)

I had some time to wait while my knives were being worked on so I looked at plants which I normally do not do.  Of course I had to buy one.

20180721_122557

A very dark, almost black purple vinca.  Real tickled to find this.  It will move into its own pot, if it ever stops raining long enough.  And next to it, a little airplane plant that I pinched from a public planter.  Gotta get that in dirt soon too.

The deck has taken on a nice jungle feel.  Guppy and I brave the mosquitoes and sit out there for a bit most every evening.  And I try to remind her how fortunate we both are.

Leave a comment »

Summer Project

I am not doing much at all this summer.  At the beginning of summer, I decided to put the few projects that I have left that I want to do to our condo on hold and just spend the summer reading.  So that is what I have been doing.  But I did do this.

20180616_135653

See the ugly green phone wiring box in the yard.

20180616_142727

Well I slip covered it with 3 pieces of black foam core board from the Dollar Store.  I think it looks much better and it makes a nice stand for a plant.

Hope you are having a nice summer.  Look for another post soon about the garden.

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Guppy’s Summer Thoughts

Guest Post: By Guppy, the Lucky Dog 3

We are having a calm summer.  I have to be pretty quiet for 60 DAYS after my last heartworm treatment.  She explained that what happens is the heartworms are killed and are supposed to gradually pass out of my body as little bits.  But if I get too excited a big clump might break off and that might make my heart stop.  So even though it has been really hard I have done my best to not run around a lot.  She says we only have to wait until August 14.  Then we can start to go to the dog park and play with other dogs.

20180708_153650

That is the new Asian man that I had to use my allowance to buy. (Remember a month or so ago those other Asian men were bothering me when She and Ben went somewhere and left me alone with them.)   She is all mad about it because it was not what She ordered.  But it would have been okay except for the green.  She decided to live with it for a while.  And just because I am dropping a few hairs, I had to use my allowance to buy a vacuum too.  I don’t like it at all.  It makes a noise that hurts my ears a lot.  She doesn’t use it too much but when she does I try to bite it.  I’ll never get any new toys…..

For my graduation they did buy me a piece of jewelry.

20180620_144129

I wear it all the time.  No one had ever bought me jewelry before.  And I got

20180723_115533

these great bowls and a new table cloth.  She says this can be my china pattern.  The ‘Sainted Siena’ had her own china pattern but I am not allowed to use it.  It is best that I have one all my own.  I think my ‘motif’ must be fish.  What do you think?

Anyway, Ben and I have our own special time together every morning.

20180709_004703

Well, I think that I am having a very good summer.  Hope you are too.

 

 

1 Comment »

A Big Week

Guest Post:  By Guppy, The Lucky Dog 3

Well this second full week in June was certainly a busy one for me.  On Tuesday I went to see my new vet, Dr. Melissa Hudson at Northwoods Animal Hospital in Cary.  Link to Northwoods  She said that She had known Dr. Hudson since she was a pup.  Apparently, She used to come here all the time many years ago, bringing good dogs to see Melissa’s father, Dr. Dan Hudson.  Going all the way back to Bailey, the cocker spaniel.  That was a really long time ago and then there were the two Afghan hounds, Shamir and The Contessa, and then Hawthorn and even the Sainted Siena came here.  I’m guessing that the only dog that She had, that never came here, was Nerone.  (Sometimes Ben calls me Nerone.  That’s okay because he was a pretty good looking dog so I don’t mind being mistaken for him)  Anyway, my Dr. Hudson was pretty nice and didn’t do any thing really awful to me.  So I guess I won’t mind going back to see her again.

That night after we finished at the vet, we went home and got Ben and then it was off to dog school for graduation. Link to Dream Dogs  I think I did pretty well.  I lost a few points on ‘recall, come and sit’.  I got distracted by my friend Grace.  (She’s just so cute and stylish.  And petite.  She reminded me of my puppies)  Otherwise I did real well on all the exercises.  She and Ben were so proud of me.  She said that one of those Afghans, The Contessa, had flunked dog school.  Can you imagine?

guppy graduation

(Photo credit Robina Thornton)

Anyway, She said we are going to work all summer on exercises and then in the fall I can go back for ‘Distraction Dog’.  I’ll learn how to ignore squirrels.  I was going to work on that this summer since some group has opened a day camp for young squirrels in the big tree by the deck.  (Sometimes there must be 15 or 20 of them up there!)  but what happened to me next will keep me from doing that.

On Wednesday, She and Ben took me back to Saving Grace, the rescue place that I came from.  link to Saving Grace  I know that She and Ben hugged me and told me that they would be back.  I didn’t want to go.  It took a whole lot for me to walk through that gate.  I was real upset and depressed.  I was there for a long time.  She said it was only two nights but it felt like a really long time to me.  Anyway, they gave me big ole shots that hurt.  They are for my heartworm.  So now I need to be quiet for 60 DAYS.  The nasty heartworms die and break off.  If I get too excited too many of them might break off at a time and that would be really bad.

I was moping around on Friday, really sad, napping in my little box when one of the nice volunteers came to get me.  The volunteer walked me out and there was She waiting for me.  I was soooooo happy.  And Ben was in the car.  She says that all the papers are signed and they are really my people now.

 

20180615_191715

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am.

 

3 Comments »