Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WAHOO! YAHOO! BALLYHOO! HODGEPODGE!



Wednesday's has been Hodgepodge Day for a long time now and I must say, I  love the questions.  Thank you Joyce.  Come and answer them as well.

1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?
Oh Yes, I sat and watched the leaves turn.  I left dishes undone.  It was so worth it.  Now I'm watching the leaves fall on our grass so it's time to get them up.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?
Putting dishes in the dishwasher.  It's just the 2 of us but the dishes end up in the sink rather than 6 inches to the left and into the dishwasher.

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'
Depends on the circumstance and the person.  If someone I love has offended me and it's the first offense, turning the other cheek is easy.  It gets harder as the offenses increase from the same person.

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?
I lose my shoes almost daily because as I come into the house I kick them off and we have a small dog who will walk off with one of them or I'll just forget where I was when I kicked them off.  But I don't usually turn the house upside down, I call on Hubby to find them for me.  He does it often.

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?
Hubby and I often say that we each got the better end of our marriage.  So we think that each of us are on the receiving end of a great spouse.  Of course, I did get the better deal when I married Hubby.

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.
I love the dark colors of fall so it's not easy to pick just one color of fruit but since I need potassium  I'll pick yellow for banana.

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?
 I really don't like Horror films so I never say Halloween and I can't remember October Sky so I will go with The Hunt for Red October.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
A few week ago, our grand girls were over and I showed them some boxes in my office of fall decorations and I asked them to help me decorate.  They took all the decorations in the boxes and placed them into my office.  It took them about 5 minutes to decorate the office.  I suggested that we share the decorations with the rest of the house.  They thought it was a great idea and began to decorate the house.  The girls are so much fun.  Grandchildren are the best!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vacationing With Dogs!



Going on vacation is always lots of fun, being able to bring your furry best friend makes it better and knowing how to make vacation extra special and safe for your older dog makes vacation awesome. Having 2 dogs of very different ages takes some planning, but with planning, the vacation works for everyone! 

If you’ve never taken your older dog out of state on vacation before, here are some tips on what to do.

1.     Visit your vet!  Make sure that the old girl/guy is healthy. It’s easy to miss something in your older dog because change can be very slow and subtle.  Make sure you are up to date on any changes in your old friend.  Ask about any health concerns in the states you are going to visit as that may change plans on where you go.  In our case, there were no outbreaks of Kennel Cough or Parvo Virus in the states we were going to visit so we felt safe taking them to dog parks.

The "kids" at a dog park, in the shade.  Chasing balls and getting some love under the trees.

2.     Make sure if your older friend is on medication that you have enough to cover you while you are away and even a little extra so that you can up the medication if need be (with your vet’s OK)

3.     Bring what your pet is used to. In our case we brought Becke’s orthopedic bed from home as well as her food, treats, harness, leash, and a fan that blows on her face while she is sleeping.  All the things she has at home. We have dog bowls in the car that both dogs have used so we used those rather than bring the bowls from home.
Becke's bed and her fan is in the upper right of the picture.  

4.     For Becke, who is 14 ¾ years old, her eyesight and hearing is going.  So keeping her safe is important.  She stays on a leash and connected to one of us while we walk and we walk slowly so that she can stop and smell the flowers (the nose still works).  We limit how far she can walk and then we stop.  After letting her rest, we can then continue.  We carry water with us for her to either drink or splash over her if she is getting too hot.  She also has some arthritis so she has medication that we give her in her breakfast and can increase it if needed.  At night she got a great hip massage from Hubby which made her feel better and kept her going the next day.

Don’t forget to plan for the younger, more active dog as well!!
5.     For August (who is 3 years old) we had his food, leash, long line, coats, clothes, bed toys, stroller with blanket to lay on, and blanket to put on top of the hotel bed for him to sleep on.  August  sleeps with us but it’s just plain polite to bring a blanket to put on top of the hotel bed to keep shedding and smells down to a minimum.
August all sprawled out on the blanket in the hotel room

6.     While Becke is sitting under a tree with daddy resting, I would walk August at a faster clip around the block or park that we were visiting.  When we all walked together he would be on a long line where he could move out and explore away from us but could still keep moving while Becke, Daddy and I sat and rested.

7.     Letting August play outside with some of his toys at the hotel early in the morning on the long line while Becke lay in the grass and watched allowed August some time to burn off energy while Becke conserved energy for the day ahead.  I drank coffee which made me livable. 

     

8.     Bring medical info in case you need to go to a vet. It will come in handy for the Vet if you will info on your dog’s medical conditions and vaccination’s.  If you have a smart phone, it should all be in there with a current photo of your dog.

Yes, it takes planning to take two dogs of such different ages and needs to have a great vacation, but it’s no different than planning a vacation with kids of different needs I suspect.  After all, the idea is for everyone on vacation to have fun.

Have you ever taken your dog with you on vacation? Do tell

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Arcadia National Park



Part of our vacation was going to Arcadia National Park.  It is a beautiful place where we were able to walk around and tour some of God's beauty.  The picture above is at the peak - Cadillac Mountain.  It was super cold up there and the wind was blowing so bad we left the dogs in the car. August would have become a kite and Becke would have been a tumbleweed.  Hubby had to hold me down and we got someone to take out picture so that we could get back in the car and drive down the mountain.

One of the sights in Arcadia is "Thunder Hole"  where the water hits the rocks just so, the sound is that of Thunder. While we were there we didn't hear it, but boy is it beautiful down there.


 Sand Beach is another beautiful place in the park and at this time of year dogs can go into the water.  The only problem that we didn't know about was that there are only steps to get down to the beach.  Becke would get down, but not up as it was a lot of steps.  So she and daddy stayed up and August and I went down to the water.

August chased the water back out to sea and I do believe that he feft that he was making the water go away as he chased it back out to sea.  He had on a shirt just to keep the wind off him a bit and give him a little bit of protection from the wind.  He really did like it out there and did draw attention to himself as he chased the water away.

Here is just one group that came up to ask "What is that?" as they pointed to August.  August is used to standing behind me or his sister while we explain that he doesn't have a lot of confidentce and how to meet our little man.  They were wonderful as one of the ladies has a Papion and knew to sit on the gorund.  It was wonderful to see someone who understood and August immediately climbed into her lap.


At some point on our tour of Arcadia National Park, August became overwhelmed.  At that point, we placed him in his stroller and although some people looked at us all like we were nuts, August was able to relax and calm down.  The stroller is a wonderful thing and helps him to enjoy all our outings without having to be overwhelmed.  Have you ever seen a dog in a stroller?  


He loves to look out and see the world and not have to be a part of it.   He gets lots of looks but not no touching!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

HUBBA! HUBBA! HUBBY HODGEPODGE!


Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions and thank you Hubby for copying them for me.  Between you both, my day has been great.

1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?
Anytime I get to be with the Hubby and/or the Grand Girls.  I love spending time with them, that's why.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house? 
None on this list.  They all work very well (except the waffle iron because we don't have one.).

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?
When I'm over tired, I get grouchy.  I don't like it but it does happen.

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?
Yes we've been to Canada. Quebec City was beautiful.  We got to see the changing of the guard at the Citadel.  Hubby spoke french growing up and it sure did come in handy a few times.   I've seen Niagara Falls  from the USA side,  I would like to see it from the Canada side.

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?
My mother was not a very good cook but she did make a good American Chop suey.  I still like it but now either myself or Hubby make it.

6. Do you cry easily?
Yes.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?
I haven't started yet, but we will get going on it soon.  We have kids and grandkids on the west coast and we need to get stuff mailed out soon to avoid the rush.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
1/2 way through our vacation, we had a doctor's appointment with the transplant doctor.  It was a 2 hours appointment between the blood tests, talking to his nurse and then meeting with him.  The outcome was that I'm in remission and not sick enough for a stem cell tranplant.  He will see us in 4 months!! That news made the second half of our vacation a real celebration.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More vacation stories - Dog Mountain


The first half of our vacation was spent in Maine. The second half of our vacation was spent in Vermont at a place called Dog Mountain.  It's a private spot on a mountain top in Vermont.  150 acres that are always open to the public and their dogs.  Here the dogs are cherished and there is no leash law so well behaved dogs are encouraged to be off leash and are welcome inside any building who's doors are open.

Picture this, you have 150 acres to walk around in, take pictures of and play in.  There are ponds for the dogs to swim in and while they are still wet, they can then go into the stores and run around and play.  It's an amazing spot and this time of year, it's beautiful!!


We kept August Rush on a leash since he was overwhelmed with all the bigger dogs running around off leash and playing with each other while their owners were talking and tossing a ball for the dogs.  Becke had her leash on and at times we wrapped it around her harness as we walked around but since she has limited sight and hearing we wanted to keep her safe.  
There is Dog Chapel up there where people post photos, and notes about the animals in their lives who have gone on.  
Here is Hubby just outside the doors of the Chapel with Becke and a lot of statues that August was sure were real people and dogs.  It took a while but he finally did go see for himself that they don't move!!
Inside the chapel you will find thousands of notes, letters, photos, and even ashes of dogs who have died. These notes and photo's are never taken down.   It's a place of love, sadness, joy, prayer and reflection.
Can you see the notes and photos in there.

August sat in one of the chairs looking around.

Seats to sit and think, pray, cry or just be still.

All the seats have dog statues either on the side or in the back of them

Stain glass windows are everywhere.

The walls are called Remembrances Walls and there are note pads, pens as well as push pins and tape so you can write and post your message on the walls.  All are invited.

Everywhere you go there are dog statues, hidden in the tall grass, standing along the walk ways, and outside of buildings and ponds.  There are even statues of cats outside the Gallery peeking out from the corner of building.  Pets are truly cherished here and they know it.  The dogs who go there often, know where all the drinking bowls are and each is refilled thoughout the day.

What a magical place to go. We saw lots of dog themed furniture, dressers, mirrors, place mats, and chairs all with dogs on them. 
                                 Even the sink in the bathroom is a dog. Pull down the tail for water!!


Becke and August had a blast and frankly, so did we.  

Is there a magical spot for pets in your neck of the woods?  Do tell!!