Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blog Revival

I’m sure you thought this blog had seen its end. A single post in one year, seriously? Lots of people would have pulled the plug by now, but not me. I hung on to the hope that one day I’d have time to write, amid working, taking care of my now-11-month-old (yes, my last post announced that we were expecting), and moving. I’ve wasted numerous hours on Pinterest and Facebook, gawking at people’s DIY skills and ‘catching up’ with people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and now I’m redirecting my free time to this blog. Writing seems like a better use of my free time, even if my number of readers can be counted in two hands.
So what have we been up to in the last year? The headliner is the baby of course. He went from being totally content being wrapped like a burrito, to never wanting to be on his back, to crawling, to speed-crawling, to standing, to cruising on anything and everything he thinks will hold his weight (really everything for that matter, even things that topple over him). We’re holding our breath for his first independent, unassisted stand. Any time he attempts it, we literally hold our breath. What can I say, we’re suckers for this little guy.
In other news… we’re moving. Farewell Texas. Hello Ohio. My husband’s job is moving our family, 2 Newfoundlands and all, to the land of the Buckeyes. I’m excited, sad, happy, grateful, tentative (and that’s just to name a few of my emotions) all at the same time. I think of it as a new chapter, a new adventure. Best of all, I have a new job. My new boss is young in years, but believes strongly in personal development and growth, rewarding for good performance, and taking afternoon naps. Yes, you read that right. I’ll be reporting to full-time Mommy duty to my son in just a few short weeks.
So lots of things are changing and hopefully more frequent posts are coming. So stay tuned!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

In One Year's Absence...

... we added another Newfie to our family. Ralph is an energetic and sprightly 5 year-old Newfie who we adopted from a family that was giving him up. With lots of love and the great example of his 'anchor' Rosie, he has settled in nicely in our home.

The two Newfies, Rosie and Ralph, enjoying last January's snow

... we shared in my sister-in-law's New Year's Eve wedding.

Brian's sister Carrie with her husband Jason and kids Sabrina and Luke

... Rosie turned the big 8!

Homemade dog-friendly brownies to celebrate Rosie's birthday no. 8

... we traveled to South America to visit our good friends, Matthew and Lanni. We lounged on the beaches of Jose Ignacio, walked the harbors of Punta del Este, Uruguay, and did a whirlwind tour of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Sunset from the beaches of Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

Walking the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina in search of the best Argentinian steak

... we celebrated my 30th birthday with a trip to Switzerland, visiting the alpine towns of Fiesch and Zermatt, the capital Bern, and the beautiful lakeside cities of Geneva, Lucerne, Lausanne, and finally Zurich.

We stopped at London for a day enroute to Geneva, Switzerland

We hiked to Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps, stretching 14 miles

We visited Zermatt and witnessed the Matterhorn, one of the highest peaks in the Alps

... we celebrated my mom's milestone 50th birthday.

Me, my mom Anzelle, and sisters Ashley and Katrina at my mom's surprise 50th birthday party

... and most exciting of all, we are expecting our first child, a baby boy due March 2012.

A view of Baby Kahl from behind at 9 weeks

A close-up of Baby Kahl's facial profile and the upper part of his rib cage at 18 weeks

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Man and His Dog

Brian's moments with the Newf

Oh How We Miss Thee

It's nearly winter, it's cold, it's early Saturday morning and there's no one to serve me fresh mango juice with an umbrella on it. Oh El Nido how I miss thee.

The views from Snake Island

Brian and me on a hobie sailboat

Our beautiful residence at El Nido

Views from Lagen Island

Views from the other side of Lagen Island, we hiked from one end of the island to the other in less than an hour

The pristine clear waters off Miniloc Island

Under the [South China] sea

A snorkeling Brian

A Newf's Antics

Rosie helping the recycling process along

Rosie 'helping me carry the groceries' (i.e. putting her huge noggin in the bag and getting caught in it)

Justice for Rosie

(SeaTac News, November 12, 2010)

By Keith Daigle

On Sunday Noember 7 Des Moines [Seattle] police officers responding to a roaming dog call, chased Rosie, a 200- lb. Newfoundland, into Lora Perry’s backyard where police officers shot and killed the dog.
“It almost seemed like it was a game to them,” Perry said, referring to the four officers, including a police sergeant, who responded to the call. She said the officer who shot Rosie had no remorse, and treated it like a challenge, saying an officer said, ‘I haven’t had one that big before.’
Perry is inviting anyone who wants to place flowers along the fence where Rosie was shot to bring them to 26852 16th Ave. S.
An incident review is being done to determine whether the officer’s actions were justified or not. After the incident review there will be a shooting review. Des Moines Police Sgt. Bob Collins said the officer felt lethal force was justified based on the dog’s previous aggressive actions.
“He believed it was the step he needed to take,” Collins said.
The officers on the scene tried to find the owner of the dog before attempting to apprehend it, Collins said. The dog did not have a collar on, and when neighbors asked a neighbor if they knew the dog they said they did not.
Police were also in touch with Des Moines Animal Control Officer Jan Magnuson, who was off duty, sending her a cell phone picture of the dog to see if she knew the animal and its owners. She said she did not.
According to the police report, when the police tried to capture Rosie with a catch pull, she would charge toward them quickly and retreat, barking and showing her teeth.
Officers then tased Rosie, who then ran away down the street. Officers continued to follow the dog, tasing her again with no effect.
Rosie then ran into Perry’s backyard and hid in the bushes. Perry said Rosie did not move from her position from the moment she noticed her to when police shot her.
Before police arrived Perry said her little dog was running around the large yard, searching for Rosie. Perry said at no point was Rosie aggressive to either Perry or her dog.
“(Rosie) was cornered and frozen and it did not move the entire time,” Perry said. “The dog was a gentle dog, it didn’t do anything wrong.”
Perry said her gate was open for a brief period, allowing Rosie to get in. She said the dog was in her backyard for at least 20 minutes before police showed up. By the time police came to the house the gate was closed, locking Rosie in.
Police officers came to her door asking if she had seen the dog they had been chasing. After officers came into the backyard they asked Lora to stay inside with her kids. Both Perry and Sgt. Collins say no attempt was made at that point to capture Rosie.
Perry said about a minute after police came into her backyard a police officer drew his firearm and shot Rosie four times.
“I could hear the dog crying and whining after the first shot went off,” Perry said. She said after the first shot she closed her eyes. “It was quick, they already had their mind set on what they were going to do,” Perry said. “Their main concern was shooting the dog.”
Perry said after the incident one police officer came into her house giggling about shooting the dog.
“I know without a doubt in my mind this is not what they should have done.”
A shooting review is not automatically conducted after an officer discharges their firearm at an animal, Collins said. Interim Des Moines Police Chief John O’Leary ordered the review, Collins said.
“It is a sad outcome,” Collins said. “We are public servant and we understand that there is going to be public accountability.
“Situations like this can deteriorate public trust.”

* * * * * * * * * *

In point of fact, Rosie was a mere 115 pounds, and the eyewitness account makes absolutely clear that she posed no threat to anyone at the time the cops shot her four times while she cowered in the bushes of a fenced in yard of a neighbor.
A memorial service will be held for Rosie on Sunday, November 14.
Hopefully, the cops and their supervisors will be prosecuted for their barbaric actions.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

California Adventure

A 2nd cousin's wedding in the Northern California town of Aptos was a great excuse for a long weekend getaway. It was my first time driving along the scenic parts of the Pacific Coast Highway where the views were utterly breathtaking.

Views from Pacific Coast Highway just past Carmel-by-the-Sea

Views from Pacific Coast Highway heading toward Big Sur

A view of the Lone Cypress on the 17-mile drive through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach

The Spanish Bay on the 17-mile drive

Brian running down the hills at Carmel Beach

At Carmel Beach with the 18th hole of Pebble Beach golf course in the background

We also visited a couple of California's redwood state parks to witness these magnificent trees. Some of these trees were well over 2,000 years old.

No I'm not in a cave, but in a big redwood tree

In front of the 'Father of the Forest' in Big Basin Redwoods State Park

It's difficult to capture just how grand these redwoods are

It's like putting a coin next to something for size comparison... Brian next to one of the mighty redwoods

We saw plenty of sea otters during our visit. It appears they're a relatively lazy bunch who enjoy napping on boat docks and on the wharf's support beams.
Sea otters at the Santa Cruz wharf

The one good picture I got of a dolphin swimming along the Santa Cruz wharf

We stayed in a bed and breakfast set amid fields of strawberries. They had beautifully maintained grounds, excellent breakfasts, and the warmest hospitality. It was also just a 15 minute walk to the beach.

The house was built in 1871 and is a replica of Abraham Lincoln's Springfield home

The view from the inn's back porch

Fields of strawberries seen from the back porch of the inn

And finally, the reason for our trip... we attended my cousin's wedding which was set in a whimsical tree-lined area of Aptos. They were married in front of a redwood tree.

Their wedding reflected their personalities perfectly... note the adorable bird's nest veil and the Converse shoes

Brian and me all cleaned up for the wedding

The reception setting

The unique dance floor