Monday dawned clear and a bit chilly and we were up and outside in our usual noisy fashion to greet the morn. After Stephanie served our breakfast, Mary got a call asking if Baxter and Nala could come for a Bonus Day this week and she agreed that this would be loads of fun since they are such great friends. Gracie was also here with us for the day and as usual she and Tali conspired to begin the Beach Trip crusade. Those two only come here for two reasons - the beach hikes and liver treats. The rest of us are just collateral irritants who steal the orange balls and get far too many of those liver treats. We don't really care if they want to ignore us cause we know how much fun they're missing and we kind of get a kick out of annoying them by occasionally pestering them to play with us.
We waited for Karter to be picked up by his human and for Stephanie to go to her dental appointment before we got ourselves ready to accompany Angel to the beach. Once there we explored all of the piled-up sand and seaweed looking for any yummy treats that might have been washed up overnight. Angel threw lots of balls for us and we enjoyed our swims and once we were wet and sandy and tired, we headed back to the house. Mary was busy making a Turkey Pot Pie and we settled down for a relaxing nap while Angel gave the cabana floor a good cleaning and then returned to the house for lunch. Then it was another beach hike, this time for Winston and Maya and they invited Gracie and Tali to go along for a second tour of beach heaven which was a real treat as they add lots of excitement to the outing.
Kelsea arrived for her afternoon shift so that Angel could depart and she and Mary went over to the barn to install a second link lift part on the Mower deck so Kelsea could get out and cut some grass. Unfortunately, the poor old mower is giving up, one part at a time, and this time it was a idler pully that broke and the tractor was returned to the barn. Mary has to give some thought to getting a new machine as this one has been in service for nine years but we think she's waiting for some kind of divine directive telling her it's time.
Soon it was time to say goodbye to Baxter, Nala and Gracie and have our dinner so that Kelsea could head home and we could settle down for a long nap while Mary had some Turkey Pot Pie for dinner and looked at the new offerings in the retail world of Garden Tractors. Just as the sun was slipping toward the western horizon, a magnificent rainbow appeared to the East and that prompted a dash to capture the image before it became just a memory. Could this be the celestial communique Mary was waiting for?
Here it is for you to enjoy.
After that very wordy DogBlog post done on Friday by C J, we're going to keep it short for the weekend news. First, the new guy, C J, is having a lot of fun and fitting in like an old shoe. His new BFF is Benson and they enjoy hanging out together.
On Saturday morning, three of our buddies returned home with their humans so there was lots of excitement at the gate as the reunions for Nokia, Kali and Roxy got played out. We also got to welcome back our little friends, Zig and Zag, who got busy checking out everything in sight, particularly if it smells like food. It was Stephanie's birthday so she was on duty until noon when Kelsea took over and a beach hike was on the agenda. We had lots of fun and enjoyed the abundance of kelp piled up which is getting very smelly the longer it hangs around. Joe, the Handyman, was on hand today to continue work on the demolished fence so it can get replaced as soon as possible. After Joe had some Turkey Soup for lunch, Mary drove him home and before long it was time for our dinner. After we all got fed, we went looking for a good napping spot and we didn't even bother to get up and bark when Lily got picked up by her human. We also didn't stir our stumps when Toller Tali arrived for a short vacation and I think she was kind of miffed that she didn't get a noisy welcome.
We had a few showers overnight Saturday and it was still kind of drizzly on Sunday morning so we slept later than usual and Kelsea arrived before we even got outside which upset our routine. Mary got us into our usual queue and things eventually got back on track but she had to postpone her own breakfast until we got fed and chased outside with Kelsea to do a Poop Patrol. The rain took another swipe at us so we headed inside and Kelsea and Mary got a big bucket of rosehips out of the fridge and started getting them prepared to make Rose Hip Jam. Now, if you've ever made Rose Hip Jam, you'll be able to appreciate just how much work is needed to clean each Rose Hip, removing all of the seeds packed tightly inside, which probably explains why it is so scarce. The original plan was to prepare the pound of rose hips but after a couple of hours there was only a quarter of the pound of hips ready so it was agreed that they would cook that and if the jam was super tasty, they might return to the tedious prep work.
It had started to get sunny so Kelsea was able to escape the Rose Hip ordeal by organizing a beach hike so Mary cooked the hips and ended up with one bottle of jam and after tasting that, neither Kelsea or Mary sat down to prepare the remaining hips. No big surprise! After having her lunch, Kelsea took Winston, Maya and Lupin for their own beach walk and Oliver was picked up by his human and the return of Kelsea and her three companions, was getting very close to the dinner hour. After we ate, Stephanie came by to saddle up the horse and take him to the beach for a little workout. We aso said goodbye to Pinot and Benny as they were both at the gate to greet their humans and ready to head to their respective homes.
Tonight, we are all very tired and once this posting is done, we're going to take our late walk and go directly to bed.
Hello, I'm C J and this is my first visit and apparently some guy called Cocoa made up a DogBlog rule many moons ago. He declared that the critter, who was the last to arrive on a given day, had to compose that day's post and since I was the only overnight arrival on Friday, the honour fell to me. Now, I also am given to understand that I do bear some resemblance to this guy Cocoa who was also referred to as 'The Boss' and who pretty much ran this operation for fourteen years which is why his picture is displayed all over the place and he still has his own office. Personally I think I'm much better looking but I do feel this strong urge to carry out The Boss's wishes, if I'm to fit in, so here goes.
When I arrived at noon there were a whole bunch of critters that I had to be introduced to, big and small, which was a little intimidating. The two guys who live here all the time are Owen and Arthur, then there were three that arrived earlier this morning but just to spend the day, Baxter, Nala and Shelby. The other overnight guests include, Benny, Pinot, Roxy, Hunter, Nokia, Oliver, Kali, Lily, Ellie, Cricket, Parker, Karter, Lupin, Benson, Maya and Winston. I didn't figure I would ever be able to keep them all straight but they didn't hesitate to sniff me from stem to stern and I guess I was supposed to be suitably impressed but instead I was somewhat overwhelmed. I decided to ignore them and just do my own thing which garnered me some unflattering comments.
I investigated to yards and checked the perimeter fence just in case there was some kind of escape route I could take if things got ugly but Mary was watching me very carefully so I knew that the chances of making a break for it were slim to none. Shortly after I arrived there was a big fuss and lots of barking as Stephanie prepared to take a group of critters somewhere.
I was given a bunch of photos and instructed to include them so here there are.
Mary took me into the house with her while they went to 'the beach' and I checked out the accommodations and amenities which were okay. About an hour later, the beach gang returned and they were all wet and smelly and looking for a cold drink which made them slobbery as well. I figured it would be best if I stayed under Mary's chair to avoid getting my hair mussed. I did strike up a conversation with Benson, a Havanese, and he volunteered to show me some of the hot spots, so we did a few circuits around the fields and had a few games of 'CHASE ME' which turned out to be fun. There were a few moments of concern for Mary and Stephanie when they couldn't find Nala and it turned out that she had found her way into the crawl space under the sunroom. She ended up under the veranda in the front of the house and she was not making a sound, just watching events unfold until Stephanie spied her. A section of lattice work had to be removed to make a gap big enough for that Golden Retriever to crawl through, lured by a cookie, and Nala continued on her way, unfazed by her adventure.
There was a flurry of human activity between three and four o'clock as a guy called 'The Blacksmith' arrived to look after the hooves of the horse, Tallen and then some neighbours from across the road stopped by for a visit and then the day-visiting dogs got picked up by their humans. Benson and I stayed inside while all this coming and going went on and when things quieted down, I found out we were going to have our dinner. I wasn't sure whether I should eat since I have a reputation for being a 'fussy eater' but when I smelled all those delicious meals being prepared and saw Benson rushing to get to the head of the line, I found myself suddenly very hungry and I ate two bowls of food.
So, the long and short of it is that I soon fit in with this gang of critters and started having a good time and if you're wondering what that yellow thing is, around my neck, I'll give you the story. Apparently, there used to be an old guy who stayed here by the name of Clifford and he was a totally black dog so that at night it was very difficult to see him wandering around the property. His human had a special collar for Clifford that could be switched on and it blinked a bunch of bright green lights so it was easy to spot him out in the fields at night. After Clifford passed on, his human donated his blinking night collar and tonight Mary put it on me before we went out for the late walk under the full moon. I must say I felt very special to be out trotting around with my new friends and blinking green lights everywhere I went. Turns out this is kind of a neat place after all.
Okay, now we'll stop talking about Dorian and the aftermath and get back to our usual pastimes like the Thursday gang of day visitors, Baxter, Luke, Angel (the dog) and Finnigan. They arrived within minutes of Parker, who will stay overnight and Benny, who usually only comes for day visits but this time he's going to stay for a few days.
Baxter's arrival meant that the Oodle club had a quorum so they arranged a secret meeting in the sunroom to talk about whatever it is that Doodles talk about. Stephanie was able to get a photo of the meeting but none of them was happy about the breach of security. Just for the record, from left to right, that's Baxter R, Roxy and Pinot.
Nokia, the Toller was dropped off for a short stay and Angel ( the human) arrived to do the house cleaning so we cleared out and went to play in the cabana with Stephanie. Mary got a start on putting all of the extra emergency items away now that we have full power and we had a busy photo session with Stephanie while we were waiting for Ellie and Cricket to get here so they could go to the beach with us.
Kelsey reported for duty once her classes were done for the day and when Ellie ( the dog) and Cricket got here off we went to enjoy the beach. Stephanie went to pick up her daughter Ellie at the bus stop since she had to return to school today and they came down to the beach to enjoy it along with the rest of us. Angel ( the human) got the house cleaning finished and she was ready to go and pick up her daughter from the school bus right around the time that Karter was dropped off for a weekend stay.
We had a great time chasing balls and swimming and when we started to get tired, we climbed back up the hill and enjoyed the fresh buckets of water while we waited for the daycare critters to get picked up. Once Luke and Finnigan departed, we had our dinner and then Baxter and Angel (the dog) were picked up and Stephanie, Ellie and Kelsea made their way home too. The early evening brought Lily and Oliver for short stays and we had a quiet evening before retiring for the night.
Wow, where did summer go?
Very suddenly it feels and smells like Fall. We don’t mind so much because that means those pesky mosquitoes will not be bothering us as much. Stephanie was excited to see a big crew from NSPower arrive this morning to fix the pole down on the road that snapped off during the Hurricane. Both she and Mary were cautiously optimistic about the power finally being restored today.
We only had one daycare friend join us after breakfast, Marlea the Russian Spaniel. Once Stephanie and Ellie ( who got to miss out on yet another school day) got us all fed , we dashed over to the Cabana to hang out with Angel while the handyman, Randy was here again to chop down and chip up some more of the fallen trees. Today would normally be house cleaning day, but since the power still hadn’t been restored, Angel figured she couldn’t get much done without the vacuum so it was decided to postpone.
We did get to meet a new friend, Sammie, who would like to come and stay for a few days. She is nine years old but you would never think it as she was very playful and full of beans and she ran circles around us. This wild and crazy gal will really liven things up around here next week. Then we had a super long beach hike today. Remi, Kali, Marlea and LaVie were the champion ball fetchers, while Benson and Pinot chose to have a leisurely stroll instead. Ellie was keen to show Angel her new fort that the water had washed up on Saturday. It just looked like a bunch of driftwood , sand and trees to us, but she was going on about the front door and movie theatre and basement etc… what an imagination. On the way back LaVie and Benson just couldn’t resist a long exuberant roll in the now rotting kelp mounds that had also washed up with the storm waters. Stephanie added ‘baths for smelly dogs’ to her list of things to do upon their return to the house.
Back at the house Mary had been busy preparing lunch, when her neighbour Michael came up the driveway and reported that according to the NSP supervisor down on the road, the power would in fact be back on in a few hours. Mary was happy to share the news with Stephanie and Angel, but everyone agreed the generator would stay outside for the day and Stephanie would still go fill up some gas cans for it, just in case that didn’t happen. The humans ate lunch while they listened to the smelly dogs complain about being left outside to air out and as soon as they were done eating, the bathing commenced. It was during this bath time that we noticed some lights were on, that hadn’t been on before and the fridge in the mudroom was running, how exciting…well that feeling only lasted about ten minutes when everything went off again, for about an hour. Then it all came back on again and Mary even got a call from NSPower to tell her the power had been restored. YAY!!
Marlea went home just before Stephanie returned from the gas station and soon we were all fed and content. Since we are all such gentle and well-behaved dogs, Ellie took us for our after dinner walk-a-bout around the fields while Mary was very happy to sit and relax. It was a relief to not have to worry about going up and down those d$#& basement stairs so many times to refuel the generator or turn one breaker off while the pumps run and another on to heat the water. As convenient as it is to have a generator, it comes with its own load of extra work and strategic management.
After our busy day we were very tired and, after our late walk, we all wanted to go right to bed, so we did and we all said a prayer that the clock radio would wake us in the morning telling us that the power was still on and things would soon be back to normal.
Now we know what you’re all thinking, why would it make any difference to a bunch of dogs if we do or don’t have power. Well how in heck do you propose we write the DOGBLOG and then post it to the website without electrical stuff? Mary is fortunate to have a generator to keep the important things running but on top of the power lines being down, the internet and phone lines keep going out, so it’s been a rather frustrating time for the humans.
It was a cool, sunny morning but we could tell by the intensity of the sun, it would warm up a lot by the afternoon. We had the early arrival of our Brittany buddy, Remington, and Hunter was very happy to see one of his kin. Stephanie, Ellie ( school still closed) and their dog Chloe got here and hot on their trail was Baxter R. Soon after breakfast was served and as usual Hunter was first in line, but since the number of overnight guests is so low right now, we all got to eat together. When we finished eating we went outside to wait for our daycare friends, Shelby, Oliver, Drake, Baxter W and Nala to get here.
Mary sure has been getting a work-out the last few days going up and down the basement stairs to fill the generator with gas, and turn it off and on throughout the day. Today she got one of her neighbours, an electrician, to come over and install a new breaker on the generator panel and rewire the hot water heater so it can run on generator power. He didn’t have the exact breaker, so Mary had to make a dash to the local hardware store. They just had their power restored this morning and as long as you had cash , they were in business. It wasn’t long before she was back with the breaker, it was installed and Mary didn’t have to keep boiling large pots of water on the propane cooker to wash the dishes. Best of all, she could finally get a hot shower.
We had our beach walk in the morning and Ellie just couldn’t resist the surf so she ended up swimming with all her clothes on. The rest of us had a great time chasing the balls Angel threw for us and investigating all the new seaweed and other beach renovations Dorian did on Saturday. There were lots of interesting birds we had never seen there before, along with our friend the Great Blue Heron.
When we got back to the house Angel took all of us over to the cabana and Stephanie started lunch preparations, which she delivered to Angel over at the cabana. We all had relaxing afternoon and Stephanie and Ellie decided to do a second beach trip with Maya, Winston and Arthur. They got back just in time for Stephanie to send all our daycare friends home. That was pretty much it for today, other than when Christopher, Stephanie’s husband, arrived at the gate with four, full, gas cans for the generator. It would be nice if she didn’t need to use it all, but the estimated restoration time is Thursday at 11 pm, so she will probably need them filled once more before the power is restored.
Yes, here we are on Monday and still no electricity so that generator is getting a good workout. There are about four hundred thousand people without electricity in Nova Scotia which is almost half the population. In addition to the loss of power, the cell phone service is failing as well as the land lines and of course, there is no Internet access for a lot of people. Listening on a battery radio, it is really getting under people's skin to hear the power company spokesperson, tell them to either phone their call centre or logon to their web site. There they can report their household power outage and get an estimate for when power will be restored. Oh, what irony.
None of that matters to us as we are getting our meals and pats and walks and most important of all, we get the beach. Kelsea and Angel were working today and we didn't have any day-care buddies arrive, so we left for the beach after Stephanie rode down on the horse to see if there were any washed up things that might get us into trouble. The only thing she reported when she got back were two deceased seagulls so Kelsea took two bags with her to gather up the remains before we made a meal of them.
So off we went, Benson, Pinot, Roxy, Kali, Lupin, LaVie, Owen and Arthur. The beach was totally rearranged with tons of sand and seaweed thrown up on the shore by the big waves along with driftwood and the deceased birds. We enjoyed checking out all the new stuff and having our swims and once we got tired of trying to run in that deep sand, we headed back to the house. We then got to meet a new friend by the name of Mac, a two year old Yellow Lab, who would like to come and stay with us for a few days. Mac was lots of fun and he really enjoyed playing chase with Roxy and it looks like he'll be back. It was just after this that Hali's human came to pick her up and she was whisked away to her grooming salon for the full treatment.
The afternoon was quiet except that Angel did take Winston and Maya down to the shore for some fun while Kelsea kept the rest of us distracted so we wouldn't think we were making a second trip today. Dinner time rolled around and still no power except what comes from the red Honda parked out back and Mary is down to her last can of gas until tomorrow. We went for our late walk under a bright moon and then, once the generator was turned off, we relished the sudden quiet and fell fast asleep.
Well, here he is folks, the bad boy himself. He blew in here on Saturday and he didn't run out of steam until Sunday.
Dorian huffed and puffed until he managed to blow down trees and some sections of the fence and none of us were too interested in going out to sniff his bum. He didn't keep those surfer dude's from taking their wind surfers and kites out on Saturday morning but eventually the heavy rain made it just too tricky and when the willow trees blew down, it was time to retreat.
The morning brought the arrival of Pinot and we said goodbye to Sam and Scamp before the heavy rain and wind started. Just a little before two o'clock, the power went out and as of five pm on Monday, it still hasn't returned. We mostly slept through the afternoon and around four pm., two forty foot-high Poplar trees were toppling, tearing up the ground below with their huge roots. At six pm. Mary fired up the generator as it was getting very dark so we waited for the Dorian's eye to reach us and things suddenly got quiet. It was kind of eerie after listening to that Easterly wind beat against the house all day because we could sense that he was just getting ready to change his direction. We went outside with Mary and she locked the barn up and gave Tallen a big bag of hay and none of us were brave enough to stay outside and we raced back inside.
We're going to have to cut this short since our internet service is very unreliable and right now we are using Mary's cell phone as a Hotspot which is painfully slow and expensive.
Saturday night, we went to bed and felt the house shudder and shake as Dorian whipped around and threw everything he had left from the westerly direction. The winds were strong enough to blow the trees that had fallen over back up again but they will have to be cut down as they are not very stable. In the morning, the sun came out and it turned into a lovely day, though there was still a lot of wind.
Randy, the Handyman, arrived early to clear that big poplar which had fallen across the driveway and after a few hours it was possible to drive through the gate again. Randy also cut down the other big poplar which had been uprooted and he will return later to do some more clean up.
We mostly played in the north field while all this business with chain saws was going on and we couldn't go to the beach because the surf was still too rough so we just enjoyed the day. Stephanie and her husband, Christopher, took Mary's empty gas cans and went in search of a gas station that could pump some gas which are as scarce as hen's teeth today, School will be cancelled tomorrow due to the fact that over four hundred thousand people still have no power.
As long as we get our beach walk tomorrow, that's all that matters to us.
Another relatively quiet day around here with the exception of the increasing chatter about Hurricane Dorian which is supposed to visit us tomorrow. We had Shelby, Parker and Baxter R here for daycare and Sam, the Shih Tzu, came for a sleepover. Kelsea dropped LaVie off for the day while she went in for her first full day of school. Once they were all settled in, Stephanie decided to take advantage of the pleasant weather and the low tide by saddling Tallen up and taking him for a jaunt along the beach out to Cape Antrim. They had a great time and on their return, an hour later, Tallen was all hot and sweaty from picking his way across all those beach rocks. He was lucky enough to also get a bath, not just hosed off, a full bubble bath and a deep conditioning treatment of his mane and tail. Boy, that horse sure has a good life!
Mary decided she had better get to Porters Lake Shopping center and get a few things she needed before Dorian hit. Although she has lots of gas for the generator, she thought she had better get one more can filled up, but upon her arrival at the gas station and seeing the flurry of activity and line ups at the pumps, she decided to just make do with what she has at home. While Mary was gone, we had a nice relaxing walk with Stephanie and she, as usual, took our pictures. She also discovered a huge wasp nest in the middle of the Stephanandra hedge in the front yard. She also noticed that we were all being very smart and staying well away from it since those wasps make a lot of noise in there and we don’t like the sounds of it.
Mary returned from the store and she had our neighbour, Mike, from across the road with her as she invited him to come for lunch. On the menu was a yummy broccoli quiche made earlier in the day. For dessert, a nice butterscotch pudding. Most of us napped while the humans ate, but Benson felt it was his duty to hide behind the gate and ward off any dogs who dared to cross over into the dining room.
Kelsea arrived to spend some time with us and she and Stephanie decided to take us to the beach. They were talking about it being a very pleasant and relaxing beach trip as we, Scamp, Baxter, Kali, Hali, Benson, LaVie and Owen are all some of the best-behaved critters that they know. Stephanie got some great pictures and Kelsea was able to relax after a bit of a hectic day at school.
When we got back Kelsea, Stephanie and Mary started to put away or tie down, the last few items that, if airborne, could cause a problem or blow away. Once that task was complete, it was dinnertime, which didn’t take very long due to our reduced numbers. Kelsea and LaVie were sent on their way early and once Baxter was collected by his human, Stephanie also departed for the day. Later in the evening Parker’s humans arrived at the gate to collect him and the rest of us went back to enjoying our naps. Come on, Dorian, let's see what you're made of.
Today, there was more chatter about this Dorian character today and no one knows when he's going to arrive or if he'll arrive at all. We have more interesting things to focus on today so we'll leave Dorian to the humans. Today was also the first day of school for Ellie which meant she had to get up early to catch the bus.
Four of our day-care buddies arrived to play, Baxter, Nala, Finnigan and Marlea so there was a big rush outside to get the bum sniffing done so we could get organized for the beach. It was another sunny day with a nice breeze out of the North and so much blue sky with puffy clouds, you could get lost in it.
Stephanie grabbed her trusty camera and Kelsea took the beach bag and chucker and off we raced down the hill to the surf where we had some great photo opportunities.
When we returned to the house, we relaxed while Mary, Stephanie and Kelsea started getting some outside items put away in advance of the forecasted strong winds. Hunter arrived for his long vacation and he did his usual inspection of all the hot spots before wanting to say hello to any of us. Later, Stephanie went to meet Ellie's bus and Ellie was hungry and tired when she got back here. Our day visitors got picked up by their humans and we had our dinner. More 'Dorian' noise but it sounds like he won't get here till Saturday.