Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Mum!

Today is my Mum's Birthday.  I wish that I could be with her more often but Canada is such a big country that I only get home one or two times a year. A few years back my Mum had a stroke and now lives in a nursing home about 40 minutes from their home. My Dad visits twice a week, my brother, who still lives at home, visits her every week as does my brother-in-law's sister who also provides wonderful support and assistance to both my parents.  We are also lucky in that my cousin is the Executive Director at the home and she stops in almost daily for a few minutes to see how Mum is doing. 

I thought I would celebrate her birthday by posting a few photos of her when she was just bit younger.  Thinking of you, Mum, love you lots!!!


Anne (My Mum) with her older brother Terence


Anne with a doll.

Anne with her younger sister, Jeannette.

Mum and Dad on their wedding day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Doldrums

Well, here it is nearly the end of February; the time of year when I get really tired of winter but know that we still have awhile to go before we can really hope to see Spring.

Next month will go quickly though as I have Beckett entered into either a fun trial or an official trial nearly every weekend.  I haven't entered him in anything in April yet other than fun trial but there are two AAC trials that he could do; I'm just waiting to see how we do in the first trial in March. 

I'll also be going home to see my parents at Easter, hopefully since Easter is late, there won't be a snow storm while I'm there like last time.  My parent's health is a concern right now. Dad has lost a lot of weight and has started chemotherapy again.  Mum was lucky and didn't get the flu virus that was going around the Nursing Home but since no one was allowed to visit, she's been rather lonely. 

Sure looking forward to warmer weather, spring flowers and doing agility outdoors.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taste of Toronto

My sister and I travelled to Toronto by train this past Friday to see Billy Elliot.  Tucker and Beckett stayed with their Westie cousin Toby. The train ride was nice; I hadn't been on one here in Canada for years. We had a little delay when a freight train broke down on the tracks in front of us but they got the freight train moved off the line after only about 10 minutes. We arrived in Toronto at about 1:30 pm and made our way to the hotel, the Sheraton Toronto Centre. Across the street was the Toronto City Hall - Nathan Phillips Square, the ice rink and Old City Hall. After checking in we went down to the Eaton Centre grabbed a quick bite to eat and then just wandered around for a while. We went back to the hotel to get freshened up for dinner, then it was off to Big Daddy's Crab Shack.

After dinner, we made our way by the subway to the Canon Theatre where the Toronto run of Billy Elliot is playing. The theatre is very ornate and was originally built as a movie theatre; you won't see them like that any more. The musical was wonderful, too bad you can't take any video. The kids in the play are just fantastic dancers and singers. The boy, who starred as Billy on the night we saw the play comes from Burlington, Ontario and is only 12 years old.


After the play, we went back to our hotel for a couple glasses of wine. The wine was aptly named "Girls Night Out". The next morning we went to a restaurant called Eggspectation for breakfast, then after a bit of window shopping, back to the hotel to check out in time to go back to Union Station in time to get our train home.  We were again delayed, this time by problems with signal lights and arrived back home about half an hour late.  It was, even with the train delays, a great weekend, one to remember.

It was only a taste of Toronto, would have been nice to have another day or two. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Official!

Beckett's Qualifying scores are now recorded on the Agility Association of Canada's trial results web page.


Last weekend, we did another fun trial. We were late due to an accident with injuries that closed the highway. A trip that normally takes about 45 minutes when the traffic is light took nearly two hours trying to get past the part of the highway that was shut down. 

I didn't get any video of Beckett's Standard runs but he did very well except on weaves. He has taken to popping out anywhere between the 6th and 10th poles. He also does not want to do off-side weaves at all.  I can't wait until we can get back outside as there is no room in my basement for 12 weaves with or even without an obstacle. 

The game at this fun trial was Steeplechase. I asked a friend to run the first Steeplechase. I figured it would be a good thing if he would run for someone else; that might come in handy in the future.  Well, we found out Beckett is a Momma's boy. He would only go so far without his Mom before he came racing back. We'll try it again sometime but I'll get a third person to video so I can be in the ring until he gets use to the idea.

On the second Steeplechase run, you can see the issue with the weaves. He also misses the green tunnel, which he had done the first time round too. I probably needed to false turn just to check him in a bit but it seemed like quite a nice line when I walked it. Beckett does read my rear crosses really nicely.


Next month, we have a fun trial, then two official trials so weekends in March will be busy.



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Desiderata of Happiness

A member of the Canine Cancer Yahoo group posted a link to a poem called "A Blessing". It was so beautiful that I wanted to see what else was on the same web site. What I found was a compilation of inspirational poems and photos. This poem either called "A Prayer" or "Desiderata of Happiness" captured my soul. I just had to make a compilation of photos put to music to go with it.  

A Prayer

video


Let me do my work each day;

and if the darkened hours

of despair overcome me, may I

not forget the strength

that comforted me in the

desolation of other times.



May I still remember the bright

hours that found me walking

over the silent hills of my

childhood, or dreaming on the

margin of a quiet river,

when a light glowed within me,

and I promised my early God

to have courage amid the

tempests of the changing years.



Spare me from bitterness

and from the sharp passions of

unguarded moments. May

I not forget that poverty and

riches are of the spirit.

Though the world knows me not,

may my thoughts and actions

be such as shall keep me friendly

with myself.



Lift up my eyes

from the earth, and let me not

forget the uses of the stars.

Forbid that I should judge others

lest I condemn myself.

Let me not follow the clamor of

the world, but walk calmly

in my path.



Give me a few friends

who will love me for what

I am; and keep ever burning

before my vagrant steps

the kindly light of hope.



And though age and infirmity

overtake me, and I come not within

sight of the castle of my dreams,

teach me still to be thankful

for life, and for time's olden

memories that are good and

sweet; and may the evening's

twilight find me gentle still.


~ Max Ehrmann ~

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter Playground and a New Friend

Yesterday, it was sunny and warm; just a beautiful winter day.  My neighbour, Julie is babysitting a six month old female Airedale Terrier named Teddy.  After lunch, I went over and asked if Teddy wanted to come over and play. The dogs had actually met the night before; Tucker was a grumpy old man but Teddy and Beckett seemed to hit it off. 

While we were waiting for them, Beckett and I played with his Frisbee. As usual, Tucker just barked and I think even that tired him out.





video
We were outside for nearly an hour and a half. Funny but I didn't take any pictures of Teddy, only some video of she and Beckett playing together. Things got just a little bit out of hand once or twice but nothing serious. Beckett always ended up on the bottom in the wrestling but it didn't seem he minded much as he always went back for more.  I should have taken pictures of the snowballs on him some were the size of baseballs.


The link above is to the same video on youtube, the quality is much better there. 

I sure wish I had half their energy. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Woe is Me...

Tucker can't or won't climb the stairs any more so at night I carry him up to bed. This is what happens nearly every morning when I go back upstairs to get dressed for work.  If I didn't bring him up to bed at night it would happen at about 2 am as well; it's not so funny at that time of night.

video

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day - Part 2

Well, I wasn't sure I was going to get to my dental appointment; at 3:15 pm my street still hadn't been plowed.  Good thing, it's just a little crescent and once I was on the main streets things were fine.

Took a couple pictures out the back window. Most of the snow, well at least half, came down in the storm we had today. It's still snowing but it's only flurries now.  Before going to my dental appointment, I snowblowed the driveway, shovelled the deck and made trails in the backyard for the dogs. I just finished shovelling the driveway and front walk again. Tomorrow, I'll shovel the deck again.  
The view from my family room window.


Yes, I still have my Christmas lights on this little tree.

Can we come in, it's cold out here?


Snow Day

Well, today is Ground Hog Day and we are having our first real storm of the winter. Hopefully, it will be the only storm of the winter.  I had taken today off work as I had medical and dental appointments booked so we got to sleep in. Later, I'll go out and do the driveway. My street is not plowed but the main street that I can see from the back bedroom windows seems to be alright. Good thing my dentist and doctor's offices aren't that far from home.

Last weekend, I took some pictures in the little park where I go to walk the dogs.  I'm not much of a photographer.  I took a few pictures of Beckett and Tucker and some of the snow on the trees and plants.


Tucker

Beckett
















It's nice to have a park right at the end of my street. It's not an off-leash park but most people with smaller dogs do let them off leash. There is an off-leash park within walking distance of my house but for the most part the people who go there have larger dogs. Beckett has never been there yet as I don't think Tucker would have walked that far any more; it's about a 15 minute walk.

The next pictures are of Tucker and Beckett on the new playground structure the city installed.  It made for a colourful contrast to the white snow and grey sky.



I also took a few pictures of the snow on the plants and trees while my little camera does have a macro focus, I'm not much into composition, shutter and aperture speed but in any case I do like the way some of the pictures turned out.

This is the tree in my front yard. I just liked the way the red of the whirligigs stood out against the white and grey.

The rest of the pictures are taken in the park. I just liked the structure of the tree or plant with the capping of snow.





















I'm not much of a winter person but it is a very beautiful season when it's not too cold.  Not looking forward to going out today but at least the wind is not howling so doing the driveway won't be too bad with the snowblower.

Here's wishing for an early spring.


Happy Ground Hog Day!!!