Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Just taking the time to wish all of you the very best Christmas ever!  I hope you bake some cookies and hug someone you love.  I hope Christmas day finds you gathered around the dinner table with family and friends and I hope you cherish every moment.  I hope you have a Christmas Tradition that you share every year with loved ones.  I hope you have time to wish our Lord and Savior a Happy Birthday and thank Him for all the blessings that you have received this past year.

Be Safe, Be Happy and Share the Love!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hope Everyone Had a Great Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving Dinner.  I remember when my family was larger and Thanksgiving was a wonderful, sharing occasion.  However, as you get older, your family circle shrinks.  My three older brothers are gone now and their families have scattered to different parts of the country.  They have their own lives to live and  their own traditions to establish and that is how it should be.  Since there were just the three of us this year, and we are not fond enough of turkey to want leftovers for the next month, we decided to eat out this year.

In some parts of the country, this would not be a problem.  However, in our part of the country, restaurants close so that employees can enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.  As we drove through the nearby town that actually has some restaurants, every one we passed was closed except one.  So we celebrated Thanksgiving at the Chinese Buffet!  There was plenty of food to choose from, including turkey, ham, roast leg of pork and all the trimmings as well as the regular Chinese menu.  The important thing was we were together and we still have a lot to be thankful for every day of our lives.

Friday, November 11, 2011

An Early Morning Surprise!

Last Saturday was the first snow of the season for us here in West Virginia.  I hunted up my camera because I always like a few pictures of the first snow, stepped out on the front porch and stopped with my mouth hanging open.  There was a pick-up parked neatly beside the house.  Now I have to explain there is no way you can drive a vehicle larger than a lawn mower into my front yard!  There were no tracks in the snow around the pick-up soooo........maybe a gift from the Great Pumpkin?  I yelled at Homer & Wendy to come see my surprise!




A closer look showed me there was also a section of chain link fence missing!  We all stood there staring at this silly pick-up for a few minutes and then I decided maybe I should go call the sheriff's dept.  Before I could follow-up on this idea, a dump truck pulled up in front of the house and a young man jumped out and came over to talk to us.  He said it was his truck and he must have fallen asleep.   He lives across the road from us.  There is a dirt road leading up to his house. He came down his driveway, across the road, across my driveway, wiped out the chain link fence and drug it all the way to the back of the house.  There is no way to drive back up so he just parked the truck and left.  We slept through the whole thing!  He also ran over the two Tennessee Mountain Fig trees Wendy planted last year and tore up the honeysuckle and rose bushes that were growing on the fence, and my new peony!







The boys left, promising to come back this week to put the fence back up.  The reason we have a fence around this part of the yard is to keep Fred-the-dog at home.  Fred is getting old, but if he manages to escape, he will take off running and will not come back home until he is exhausted and hungry.  The roads around here are narrow and people drive faster than they should, so we worry when he gets loose.  Fred spent several days pouting because he had to be tied up until the fence was repaired.

The boys did come back and put the fence back up, but it was a rather droopy looking job so Homer took it down and redid the whole thing.  Fred is now happy again.  He sits in the chair on the front porch and barks at anyone who dares to get anywhere near his yard!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sometimes I need a good hard push!

Much as I hate to admit it, I have to fess up to a major character flaw.  Sometimes I need a good hard push to do something that I really know I need to do.  I have been hobbling around on a painful arthritic knee for over two months.  I know I should have gone to the doctor sooner, but I just keeping hoping if I ignore it, the pain will go away.  Wishful thinking.....it is never going to happen.  I finally got tired of not being able to get around and do the things I wanted to be doing and made an appointment with the doctor.  After x-rays and a MRI to make sure there was nothing more serious going on, he gave me a shot in my knee.  I got up this morning, no pain.  I can walk, I can sit down without having to call someone to help me get up again.  I even went out and worked in the yard for awhile.  I am filled with energy!  I feel like dancing!  SO WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG!

One thing I don't need a push to do, is work on my business.  I love my products so the rest is easy.  I have to admit, I don't really understand all the technical stuff....I just know it works.  Water is one of the most important elements for good health.  I have to admit, I thought just filtering out the nasty chlorine taste in my tap water was making it more healthy to drink.  Wrong!  How about drinking bottled water?  Not really a very good choice.  Most bottled waters are acidic and add packaging in plastic bottles and you compound the problems.  Plastic contains carcinogens that can leach into your water.  Heat or extreme cold can accelerate the leaching process.  How many of you have put a bottle of water in the freezer so you would have good cold water to take with you someplace?  I know I have.  That was before I became a cancer patient and became more conscience of what I was putting into my body.  One thing I didn't know about water was the importance of the ph level.  Ordinary tap water usually has a ph level of around 7.  That is neutral.
Bottled waters and soft drinks are more acidic and that is not good for you.  Water that is more alkaline with a ph level of 9.5 has some very positive health benefits.  Our water purifier filters the water and then changes the molecular structure and ph levels.  The water is more easily absorbed by our bodies for better hydration.  It is not sold as a medical device.  I only know that my family has more energy.  Homer's blood oxygen level has improved.  He just celebrated his 80th birthday and he can still work circles around men half his age.  Another big plus, better hydration slows the aging process.  Our skin  is smoother and softer.  I have just skimmed the surface of what this wonderful water purification system can do.  Check it out at www.ecobusiness.com/bettyd/products to learn more about the products.  To order these fine products go to:  www.myvollara.com/bettydavis.

Whew!  I started off talking about needing a good hard push at times.  I think that means I am a procrastinator. The reason I don't have any pictures on this blog lately is that I have misplaced my connector that allows me to download my pictures from my camera to the computer.  I probably won't find it until I go down to the store to buy a new one and I have just been putting off that simple chore.  Maybe if I put it in writing.....next week I will go buy a new connector wire.  It is probably still packed up somewhere.  It has only been two months since we left Nevada.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air!

Good Morning!  It is a beautiful morning.  The emergency repairs are all done and my life has returned to as near normal as it ever gets.  Hubby is out working on enclosing our deck with screens and windows.  Sitting out on the deck enjoying our back yard sounded like such a great idea when we built the deck, however the wasps like it as much as we do.  We seem to be located in the midst of a huge colony of wasp nests and no amount of spraying discourages them for long.  So from now on we will be enjoying our deck behind the safety of screen and glass.  Homer has had multiple stings on more than one occasion since he spends more time outdoors than I do.  Wendy has to exercise extreme caution since she is allergic to bee stings and we have to keep an EpiPen handy at all times.  For her a sting means a trip to the emergency room.

Since hubby is occupied out on the deck, doing what he enjoys most...building something, I am free to get busy on my own project creating a home business so we can finally retire to stay home.  We have tried a lot of different businesses over the years but we have never been able to find one that is the right fit for us until now.  I hate going out and trying to recruit people. It is just not me and I am not good at talking to people.  I like working with the computer and selling products I truly believe in and use every day in my own home.  The air purifier is wonderful.  It not only cleans the air, it sanitizes surfaces and kills staph germs, avian flu germs, mold and mildew spores. My chronic sinus infection has complete cleared up and Wendy's allergies are under control for the first time in years.  It is wonderful to wake up in the morning without my head feeling all stuffy. The technology used in the air purifier comes from the space program.  It is based on the technology used to scrub the air in space capsules.  As you can probably tell, I am completely sold on this product.  You can check it out at  www.ecobusiness.com/bettyd  Just click on the product tab to find out just what all it can do!

The other products are awesome too: a water purifier that really works (we have nasty water without some sort of purifier) and believe it or not, a gadget that lets you wash all your clothes in cold water with NO soap or fabric softener! I was extremely skeptical of that, but it really does work. Hubby's work clothes have always been a real chore to get clean because of grease and sweat-- I have always had to wash them twice with extra soap-helpers like Shout, add in-wash fabric softener, plus dryer sheets. Not any more! One wash cycle in cold water gets it done.

Okay, I'll say it upfront-- the products aren't cheap, but they really do pay for themselves in savings on power, water, prescription antihistamines, and wash/dryer products. So, we are all extremely happy with them.

Lol Enough of that, I wasn't planning to make this post an advertisement. But do check them out if you think they might work for you.

Oh my! It looks like it might actually rain today. Wendy has been working for since we bought the house to get some fruit trees, bulbs, and roses started (she's just about ringed the front yard in different colored roses) and this year, for the first time, one of the peach trees has peaches on it! It just really needs extra water for them to develop. We can hardly wait for them to ripen!

We still have 5 roses, a pair of azaleas, a rhododendron, and a few other things yet to plant, but it's been just too hot: upper 90s with the heat index in the 100s and so humid it feels like you're breathing soup. Yuck!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Sweet Home???

We just couldn't wait to get home, but it didn't take long for Home Sweet Home to turn a little sour.  First the air conditioner drain had gotten clogged up and water had seeped between the wall the divides the laundry room and dining room and had also seeped under the carpet in the dining room.  What a mess!  We had to rip out part of the dining room wall and replace it (after Homer had found the source of the trouble and repaired it)  The carpet had to be pulled up and dried out.  It will have to be replaced, but that is for another day.

The chicory weed had taken over most of the property and although the blue flowers are very pretty, I really did not want a whole yard full of them!

Last Sunday we got up to discover that the refrigerator had died during the night.  Yuck!  Fortunately, it was repairable.  The bad news was I did lose some food.  The good news was, it was time for a thorough cleaning anyway and I had been putting it off so that chore is now done.

Sometime during the last couple of weeks in Nevada, I managed to injure my knee.  Not sure just how or when but I have been hobbling around ever since.  I finally decided last week to go and get an x-ray to find out what is going on there.  I haven't received the results on that yet.

Add to that a major heat wave!

I was just about ready to throw myself a first class pity-party but then yesterday was Sunday.  We got our selves ready and made it to church without anything else going wrong.  There, we were greeted with hugs and "welcome home" from out church family.  By the end of the service, our world was right side up again, our priorities back in line and it really was good to be back home.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Packing My Bags!

Two more days to work and then we head for  home!  I love all the friends I've made here, however I am soooo glad to be heading for home.  The boxes we have to ship are all packed and ready to send.  All that I have left to pack is my suitcase, some personal items and our computers.  The computers are always the last to go.  I will probably go into withdrawal on the way home unless I can find someplace to use my laptop.

How did I ever get so addicted to the internet?  It has replaced TV as my principal form of entertainment.  If I am not playing games, chatting with friends or visiting other blogs, I am working on my business.  It is great to be able to work from home.  I can go to work in my pj's, with a cup on coffee and a bagel by my side.  I can take a break whenever I choose and best of all.......NO BOSSES!  Well, almost no bosses.  Sometimes Homer tries to be the boss and that is a bit of a challenge and on a personal level, my critters get bossy at times.

I can't wait to get home so I can hug my daughter, Wendy, and scratch Fred the Dog's ears and, if they will tolerate it, a little cuddle with Rudy and Miss Kitty.  The cats usually turn their backs on us when we first get home, as if to express their disapproval that we dared to leave home in the first place.  They stalk off with their tails in the air and refuse to even look at us.  It takes a bit of coaxing and some kitty treats to get back in their good graces.

Home.  What a small word to encompass so much.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Life is Good!

I apologize for being so lax in writing my blog.  There just hasn't been much time.  I've been working 48hrs  a week and then I spend my days off doing my laundry, grocery shopping, doctor visits and other chores.  But I love my blog and I miss writing.  I think it must be therapeutic.  We only have four more weeks and the tournament will be over and I will have a lot more time.  I took a personal day off today to relax and just enjoy.  We are going to a BBQ this afternoon, the first of the season for us and I am really looking forward to it.

Sometimes I think it would be great to really retire and do nothing but then I think "how boring!"  We have embarked on a new business and I am really excited about it.  Space Age Technology for better health....I love it.  I can stay home and work on this business and the products are ones I use and truly believe in.  I am breathing cleaner air, drinking purer water and I am feeling great!  On June 11, I will be celebrating the anniversary of my 2nd year as a breast cancer survivor.  Life is good!

Check out these wonderful products at     http://www.ecobusiness.com/bettyd

Friday, April 29, 2011

How Precious Are The Memories!

I was reading Pearl's blog this morning and she talked about finding a rock in her purse that her father had given her.  I love Pearl's blog.  She always sees the humorous side of life.  But it also made me think of how precious  are the memories that are attached to the ordinary things that surround us.  We all tend to fill our lives the the latest gadgets, fancy cars and expensive doodads and forget the little things that trigger our special memories. For instance, I can never pick up a spool of thread without remembering my mother.  She was a wonderful seamstress and spent her whole life sewing for other people.  She made all of the clothes for our whole family and they were beautiful and well-made.   When I look through my high school yearbook, there is a picture of the cheerleaders wearing the outfits my Mom made for them.  Growing up we were surrounded by her handiwork,  the pillows on the sofa, the curtains on the windows, the clothes we wore.  Folded away in a box in the top of my closet is the wedding dress she made for me over 50 years ago.  We didn't realize at the time that it was her love that surrounded us in every single stitch.  Priceless and precious.


So be very careful when you clean out your closets, garages or attics.  There will come a time in your life when the memories are all you have left of the special people that touched your life.  So cherish the rock, or the spool of thread or whatever reminds you of those special people.  The memories sustain you and help you to survive the golden years.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hush Up Feet!

I am finally starting to get back into the work routine and I hope I will have more time, or maybe I should say more energy, left for doing other things, like writing this blog.  We are working a 48 hr week again this year and that means standing on my feet at a counter for 9 1/2 hrs a day. We work 4 10's and 1 8hr day.  These old feet have been carrying me around for almost 75 years and some days they let me know they are feeling abused.  I am usually up by 3:30 a.m. because I have to leave for work at 5:30 and I am not one of those annoyingly chipper people who are wide awake and ready for the day 5 minutes after their feet hit the floor in the morning.. I am more the "don't expect anything from me until I am on my second cup of coffee" types.

Many of our bowlers come to the tournament year after year and they are always happy to see a familiar face on the other side of the counter and when they say "I remember you.  You helped me get my teams straightened out last year."  it makes me feel good too. For the most part, I really love my job.  It is interesting to get to talk to people from all over our country and other parts of the world as well. The teams that come to the tournament from Hawaii always bring us boxes of macadamia nut chocolates...mmm so good.  The teams that come from other countries like to exchange pins and we have accumulated quite a collection. Most of the bowlers will leave this year with a smile and a wave and a "see you next year in Baton Rouge".  It makes me have second thoughts about retiring so.... "hush up feet, maybe you can survive one more year."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rewards Mall Here I Come!

Woke up this morning to....guess what?......more snow!  I am going to the Rewards Mall to shop for some new clothes.  I think I will be optimistic and go for the Spring clothes! I am totally and completely tired of winter and if that is redundant ...so be it! Join me for a shopping spree at http://fhtmus.com/homerdavis and click on the Rewards Mall icon.  It is free to sign up.  See you there!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

One Very Impulsive Man!


I would like to go back a few years in time and tell you how we came to own our home in West Virginia.  First I have to tell you my husband is one of the most generous and impulsive men I have ever known.  Both of those qualities sometimes get us into unusual situations as the story below illustrates.  This one has to do with the impulsive side of his nature.

I think I may have confused you a  little about our 5th wheel trailer.  We did live full time in that trailer for about 6 years.  Then we bought a little house in West Virginia.  I do mean little house.  When my daughter came to live with us, it was really a bit too little.  My daughter, Wendy, house sits for us when we are away working at the tournament and assumes guardianship of all the various critters living with us.

After we quit taking the trailer to the tournaments, we bought a GM conversion van and packed everything we needed for a 6 months stay in that.  We shared an apartment with another couple when we got to the host city for the tournament.  This seemed to work out well for all concerned.  The year the tournament was in Knoxville, Tenn we shared an apartment with our friends, Jeanne & Gary.  One day the four of us were out driving around on our day off and spotted a mobile home lot.  Jeanne suggested that, just for the fun of it, we should go check the homes out and so we did.  They really were pretty nice and my husband found one that he decided he just had to have.  Now, keep in mind, we are staying in Knoxville, Tenn but we live in West Virginia.  However, little details like that never stop Homer when he makes up his mind he wants something.  The next day we went back and bought it, completely furnished.  (I told you he was impulsive)


I liked the nice roomy kitchen!  Compared to the fifth-wheel this room seemed enormous.



And a real bathtub! Wow!

Now we own this huge double-wide and guess what?  We don’t have a lot to put it on! Homer called his brother-in-law Doug, in West Virginia and asked him to check out property in the area.  Doug called back and said he had an acre just down the road from his place that we could buy.  And then the fun began.  We bought the trailer in April and it was November before we finally got it back to West Virginia.  About a week after we bought the mobile home (I don’t know why they call it that…there is nothing mobile about it) we got a call from the company.  They had some good news and some bad news!  Ever hear that before?   We said give us the bad news first and maybe the good news would make us feel better.  The bad news was this particular mobile home did not meet West Virginia standards for insulation, it does get a little colder there.  The good news was, the factory was going to build a brand new home for the same price that would pass West Virginia standards.  Ok that wasn’t so bad.  Next the salesman said, bad news is we sold the furniture with the original mobile home.  Good news…you can go to the factory warehouse and pick out the furniture you want.  Ok we can handle this.  Everything seemed to be working out in our favor.

The tournament ended in July and we went back home to start working on our lot to get it ready for our new home.  The weather did not cooperate.  It rained..a lot!  The mobile home company finally got the two sections of the home as far as Harrisburg, Va, where they parked it to wait for more favorable weather.  Now I have to tell you that in rural West Virginia the roads are narrow two lane roads that are either going around a curve or up and down hill, or both.  I could not see how they would ever get to our small town and no way could I see how they would ever get this home on to our lot, which is on  the side of a slope.  (Everything in West Virginia is on the side of a slope)




Homer assured me that these drivers know what they are doing and have put homes in worse places.  Hah!  The weather was still not cooperating and everything was a muddy mess.  They got stuck under a railroad road overpass and tied up traffic for what seemed like hours.  They finally got our new home onto the lot…well almost!  The back half slid off the foundation into the mud and required a bull dozer to get it back into place!  But they finally managed to get it put together and we went out to to local rock quarry and gathered up rocks to build the surrounding foundation.  A couple of old folks with a hugh do-it-yourself project!


 
End of Part 1 of the continuing saga of Our New Home.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Some Very Special People!

On March 2nd and 3rd we had some very special people at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.  For the last 21 years the Special Olympics for Bowling has preceded the opening of the USBC Open Championships Tournament.  Ninety-eight teams bowled in the Special Olympics this year with each team being made up of two Special Olympians and two unified bowlers. These participants traveled from 13 different states to take part in the tournament.  If any of you have ever attended any of the Special Olympic events, you know that we could all learn from these kids.  They are so proud and excited to be a part of this tournment.  Each participant receives a medal and there are enough divisions so there are plenty of other awards and medals to be won.  It doesn't matter whether a bowler knocks down 1 pin or  10.  They clap and cheer for their teammates and there are plenty of high fives exchanged.  It is a heart-warming and humbling experience to watch these kids.  The staff really looks forward to this event every year.


On March 4th, the USBC Open Championships Tournament began.  This is the 108th year for the tournament.  There will be more than 12,600 teams attending from all over the United States, Canada Mexico, Europe and Asia.  The tournament will last for 122 days with the first squad going on the lanes at 7 a.m. and the last squad at 11.30 p.m. seven days a week.  That is more than 63,000 bowlers.  Many of them bring family and friends with them and plan their vacations around the tournament and most of them return year after year.  We had one bowler who has bowled in this tournament for 70 years!  We also have several 50 year plaques to hand out this year.  It is always fun to greet the return bowlers. We have a core group of travelers who work every year and it is like family reunion time when we all get back together at the start of each tournament.  The balance of the employees are hired locally, so it is a great chance to make new friends as well.  Homer and I have been doing this for 12 years and it has been a wonderful experience for us.  I have had a chance to visit parts of the country that I might never have seen otherwise.  Everywhere the tournament is held, there are always new things to see and do.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Don't Give Up On Me!

The first two weeks at work at the tournament are a bit hectic.  I have to work ten straight days before I get a day off.  I work 6am to 4:30 pm, come home, eat dinner and fall into bed.  I promised to tell you more about the Special Olympics Tournament and I will do that tonight but right now I have to fix breakfast and get ready for work.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back to Work!


The new tournament season started Sunday night with a dinner for all of the travelers who come back to work every year. The dinner was at the Copa Bar & Grill at the Sands and the prime rib was excellent.  Yesterday and today are orientation and tomorrow starts the Special Olympics.  Those kids are great.  I will tell you more about the Special Olympics tomorrow.  Got to go get ready for work now.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Guess what? It is Snowing!

I am so ready for spring.  I am sure it is coming soon and it will be much too short.

Yesterday I mentioned how my circle of old friends is shrinking every year, but there are other circles, some interlocking, that are expanding and bring me joy.  My USBC family circle of friends grows with every new city where we work.  My church family circle of friends that I am still getting to know back in West Virginia (West Virginians take a little more work to get to know.  If you weren't born there, you are an outsider.)  New friends that I am meeting through our business are another circle.  I hope there will be a circle of blogging friends as well.

Life is good and there is still so much to look forward to in the days ahead!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For Bob & Marge....You Will Be Remembered!

There is a part of surviving the golden years that I usually don't like to dwell on too much.  We lived for many years in Reno and have friends that we have known for a lot of years.  Every time we return to Reno, we try to look up those old friends for a visit and every time there are fewer of them to visit.  Last year when we were here in Reno, we had dinner with our friends Bob & Marge, and spent several hours reminiscing about the good old days when the guys were trucking together.  A group of the local truckers  had gotten together to form a club, it started out as a CB club.  We had camp outs and BBQs  and had a lot of good times.  Now there are only 4 or 5 couples left.  It is an ever shrinking circle of friends.  Bob & Marge, for all the good times spent together, you will be remembered.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

H Started Work Today!

Homer started back to work today.  I don’t start until the 28th.  The house seems really quiet without him here, but it is also kind of nice.  I love him dearly, but sometimes 24/7 is too many hours to be together.  It happens to a lot of us when we reach retirement age.   We are used to having separate time and suddenly we are always together.  He is always finding things for me to do on the computer and all I really want is to escape somewhere with a good book.  But we make some compromises and work things out because, bottom line, I would rather be with him than without him under any circumstances.

We both had full work schedules up until we retired.  I worked for a CPA, stuck in a back office entering data and running reports and rarely seeing anyone.  I did this for 33 years.  Homer had been a long haul truck driver and for awhile we had our own trucking business.  After that he worked as a heavy equipment mechanic, a hard knuckle-busting job. 

Our dream was to sell our house, buy a fifth-wheel trailer, and just travel around the country.  Well, we sold our house and bought a 30ft fifth-wheel trailer before we handed in our resignations.  This entailed getting rid of almost everything we had accumulated over the previous 35 years.  I had all sorts of junk that I thought I just couldn’t live without, and I shed a few tears over some of it.  But you know what I found out?  They were just things and I didn’t really miss any of them.


Unfortunately, our dream fabric had a big hole in it.  Due to some unforeseen circumstances, which I will not get into, our savings had dwindled.  So when a friend approached us and asked us if we would like to combine work and travel, it was like a godsend.  We immediately turned in our resignations and signed up to work at what was then ABC (American Bowling Congress) at the Open Championships Tournament.  That meant we would be working for 6 months and free to do whatever we wanted for the remaining 6 months.  A perfect solution for us!

 Normally the tournament is held in Reno, Nv at the National Bowling Stadium every third year and the two intervening years are bid out to other cities.  The year we started, 1999, the tournament was held in Syracuse, New York.  We got a phone call asking us to get there ASAP.  They needed someone as an assistant in administration and human resources (me) and Homer could work on construction until the tournament started.  It was December and cold when we hooked up our trailer to Homer’s GMC Top Kick tool truck and headed for Syracuse.

Now you have to understand that people do not normally show up with a travel trailer in Syracuse, New York in December.  They get a lot of snow there!  There are no RV parks open!  We finally found a RV park in Cortland, NY that stayed open all year.  They had a few full-timers there.  It was a very nice park, just had a lot of snow.  We soon learned more than we ever wanted to know about winter RVing.  That is another whole blog.  Just wrapping your pipes and adding heat tapes does not get the job done in that kind of cold.  Cortland is 32 miles from Syracuse and we drove back and forth for the entire month of December, in the cold, in the snow.  Fortunately, one of our fellow tournament travelers found a restaurant in Syracuse that had two RV hook-ups behind it so he took one and we took the other and that is where we stayed for the balance of the tournament.

Once the construction was finished and the tournament started, Homer went to work in the scale room, weighing bowling balls.

We had a great time in Syracuse.    We met a lot of wonderful people.  It was a new experience for me.  I had never been to that part of the country before.  We spent our days off exploring the finger lakes area, visiting Niagara Falls (I loved the Maid of the Mist boat ride) and visiting Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Unfortunately,  when my old computer crashed, I lost all of my pictures from that year.  I am still hoping to recover some of them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

Yesterday back home in West Virginia, it was 74 degrees.  When I woke up this morning in Reno, it was a whole different picture....snow! But it really is a beautiful day.  The sun is shining now and everything is sparkling and fresh. 


 I haven't had much time to think about my blog this week.  We have been busy getting settled in and getting our paperwork finished for work.  It is always fun when our USBC family gets back together every year.  We are all getting together tonight for an all-you-can-eat BBQ Ribs buffet.  All-I-can eat is way more than all I should eat, but it is so good.



Maybe I will just go take a walk and enjoy this beautiful day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We Made It To Reno!

 
We made it to Reno, Nevada with dry roads and sunny skies all the way.  It is 54 degrees, the sun is shinning and it is just a beautiful day.




This is what happens when you are going down the road 70mph and the picture you want is on the wrong side of the road!
The only trouble with being married to a retired truck driver is once he gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he doesn’t want to stop until he reaches his destination. We take turns driving and sleeping and we just keep going.  I keep telling him we are getting too old for this kind of nonsense and he keeps telling me he is not that old!  We travel I-70 to just west of Denver and then take state route 9 to Kremling where it brings you into the Old National Highway, US 40.  We stay on US 40 all the way to Salt Lake City.  This takes you through some beautiful country.  They had a lot of snow up there this year and the mountains are spectacular. 

I am no photographer, but I did get a few pictures that I hope turn out well.  All of these pictures were taken through the window while we were moving since the driver wasn't stopping for anything.  We pick up I-80 near Salt Lake City and that takes us straight to Reno. 





We lived in Reno for almost 40 years and during that time saw a lot of changes.  When I moved to Reno, in 1960 it really was a small town surrounded by the Truckee Meadows.  Now the meadows are gone, replaced with houses and shopping centers.  I know change is necessary, but I can’t help feeling a little sadness and longing for the way it used to be.  

Hubby starts work on the 22nd and I start on the 28th so we have a little time to just kick back and relax and get together with friends before we have to get back into the work routine.  My daughter, Wendy, house sits for us while we are gone and takes care of our animal family.  I miss them already.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Red Faced and Feeling Foolish!

Last night I was talking on the phone to my friend Jeanne and I was telling her about my blog.  As I was explaining to her how to find my blog and how it works, I was just clicking away.  Then I asked her to please follow me because I only have two followers and it looks really pathetic and proceeded to tell her all she had to do was click on the Follow Button.....and I did!  So now I have three followers because I am following myself and I can't figure out how to delete it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Getting Ready for Reno!

It’s time to quit procrastinating and get moving.  We leave to go back to work in Reno Feb 10 and I still have to get my taxes to the accountant.  I need to decide what to pack….no easy task when you have to pack for a 6 months stay.  We need winter and summer clothes, black shoes and slacks for work (USBC furnishes the shirts and vests so that is one thing I don’t need).  We have to get all of our doc tor appointments, tests, prescriptions etc…a major undertaking  at our age.  Hurray for the golden years!  We have doctors for all of our varied parts (at least we haven’t reached the Depends stage yet…just look what we have to look forward to in the future!).

Wow! If that last bit sounds like a pity party, it is not, really.  We are in great shape for the shape we are in.

We look forward to getting back to work and seeing all of our coworkers.  There is a group of us that travel every year to work at the USBC Open Championships Bowling Tournament.  We come from all over the country, Arkansas, New York, Louisiana, Florida, Montana, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia just to mention a few.  One thing we can always count on when we get there are lots of hugs….one of my favorite things.

We also have to pack up the computer, lap top, camera and various chargers and connecting cables, at least 6 pairs of reading glasses (I leave them all over the house!) and our hearing aids.  If I forget the hearing aids, I will have to turn around and go back home.  My hearing loss started when I was still in grade school and has gotten progressively worse over the years so without the hearings aids I will have to read lips. 

Also a priority on the list, cell phones.  I am really not much for talking on the phone (back to the hearing problem) but I will never again travel without one.  One year when we were traveling across the country to get to work our car broke down out in the middle of nowhere.  It was January and freezing cold and dark.  We sat there for what seemed like hours before a truck stopped.  The driver called a tow truck on his cell phone.  He stayed with us and invited us to share his nice warm truck cab until the tow truck got there.  Bless him!

I ordered a new cell phone from our business website and it arrived yesterday.  I really like it but it has a lot of bells and whistles.  Does anyone have a teenager they can loan me to show me how this thing works?  However, this purchase was a win/win situation.  I got a good discount and since I bought from my hubby’s business, he gets a commission every month.  To check this out, go to http://www.fhtmus.com/homerdavis  and click on the icon for the Wireless Shop.  You will find a great selection there.

The picture at the top of the post is from 2001 when USBC (United States Bowling Congress) was still ABC (American Bowling Congress).  How I hated those uniforms that year!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Close the Door.......Were You Born in a Barn?!



I heard that expression a lot when I was a small child.  Like most children, I was always in a hurry and sometimes forgot to “close the door”.  Do you ever wonder where these expressions originate?  “Born in a Barn” usually referred to a lack of manners or proper behavior.

Well, one member of our family really was born in a barn.  Rudy, our boss cat, was born in a barn on a nearby farm.  When he came to live with us, he was our only cat and it didn’t take him long to establish his place in our household.  He was not, however, the most fastidious of cats and never spent much time on his grooming.  He was definitely a little lacking in manners.

Introducing a new pet into a home where there are already animals in residence almost always produces some behavioral changes so it was no surprise when Miss Kitty arrived on the scene that Fred the Dog and Rudy had some issues to overcome.  The first couple of days they ignored Miss Kitty as if they couldn’t even see her.  Maybe they thought she would just disappear.  We all spent extra time loving all of the animals up so they would not feel neglected.

And then the jealousy started.  Anytime Miss Kitty got too close to one of his humans, Fred would squeeze himself in between.  Rudy refused to share his litter box with her so we had to get another box.  Food dishes had to be moved farther apart.  It took a couple of weeks before Miss Kitty began to assert herself and claim her place in the family.   They have finally come to terms with their differences and have accepted each other and peace reigns once more in our home.

However, some new changes have started to manifest themselves.  It just cracked me up when I realized what was happening.  Miss Kitty is a dainty little girl and maybe a bit vain.  She is continually grooming herself.  One day Miss Kitty was sitting in the middle of the living room floor washing her face.  Fred was lying across the room watching her for awhile and then he started washing his feet too!  He was learning from her!  We started paying more attention and sure enough he continued to copy her behavior.  He has even tried washing his face, although he is really not very good at it. Did we dare to hope Rudy might also be influenced by this interest in grooming?

We started watching Rudy more closely and, sure enough, he is definitely spending more time on his appearance!  Today, I looked into Wendy’s room and Miss Kitty and Rudy were curled up on her bed asleep in identical poses… about a foot apart.  Awww sweet!
We are making progress here!

I thought I would add some cute pix of the cats for this blog, however, as you can see from the picture at the top of the blog, Rudy was in no mood to cooperate and Miss Kitty turned her back whenever I came near with the camera.  Oh well, maybe another day.  I may have to resort to hiding under a blanket and creeping up on them.  I tried bribing them with catnip and even that didn't work.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Comfort Food for a Blah Day!


Recently I came across an old recipe I used to fix as a new bride (more years ago than I care to remember).  It was easy enough for an inexperienced cook just starting out, anxious to please and impress a new hubby.  I decided it was time to fix this again, but as it was one of my lazy cook days I went scrounging in the pantry for something to create an easy version.  I am sharing the original recipe and my “happy accident” recipe.
Curried Shrimp - original version

2 cups of medium white sauce
1 pkg of frozen small or med shrimp – 16 oz bag (small or med is a matter of personal preference)
Curry powder
Cooked rice

Medium white sauce:

This is not hard to fix but it does take a little time and attention.  Start your rice cooking while you cook the white sauce. (I prefer the original rice instead of the quick version.  It has a much better texture and flavor)

1.    In a heavy 1 quart sauce pan, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter or margarine.
2.    Add 4 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/4 tsp of paprika
       Stir together over low heat until smooth
3.    Gradually stir in 2 cup of milk or half-and-half stirring constantly until thickened and smooth.
4.    Add curry powder.  I start with ½ tsp. and add ¼ tsp at a time until I get the flavor I want
5.    Rinse 1 pkg. of frozen shrimp under cold water for about 5 min.  Add to the sauce and cook until the shrimp is hot through.

Serve over rice.  Delicious!   


Happy Accident Curried Shrimp!

As I mentioned, I was having one of my lazy cook days so I thought I would substitute a couple of cans of cream of celery soup for the white sauce.  I was sure I had some in the pantry….wrong!  Somehow I had bought broccoli cheese soup instead.  Well nothing ventured!

2 cans of condensed broccoli cheese soup
1 cup of milk
Pepper to taste (leave out the salt, there is enough in the soup)
Curry powder
1 pkg. of frozen shrimp – 16 oz bag

Start your rice first (I like Uncle Ben’s.  It takes 20 min to cook and 5 min to let stand)

Heat soup, milk and pepper in medium sauce pan.
Add curry powder to taste.  I used ¾ teaspoon.
Rinse the frozen shrimp under cold water for about 5 min.  Add to sauce and serve over rice.

This was soooo good!  Everyone went back for seconds.

I usually try to keep a variety of cream soups in the pantry.  They are so versatile so you can experiment to your hearts content.

NOTE: Checking the area in your favorite store where they keep the frozen shrimp can cut way down on the costs. I manage to find the bags of frozen shrimp on sale for about half price (or buy one/get one free) about every other month. You can bet when I find them on sale, I stock up!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Abandoned!

One day last September, I went to let Fred out the front door and Rudy made his escape.  Rudy is an ‘indoor cat’ with good reason.  We live in a rural area where there are wild critters, an occasional feral cat, and crazy drivers who think our road is a race track.  We all try to be careful going in and out the door, but Rudy is a sneaky little guy and very fast.  The magic words are “You want to go see, Fred”.  I’ve heard so called experts say animals don’t understand human speech but as anyone who shares a home with animals knows….. that just isn’t true.

If Wendy says “You want to go see, Fred?” Fred will make a mad dash for the door, while Rudy streaks behind the couch and under the end table to be in position to sneak out!

Fortunately for us, Rudy usually doesn’t go far or stay out long.  He races around hiding and staying out of sight for awhile until he is ready to be coaxed back inside.  “Coaxing” is a routine that involves putting dry food in a bowl and going outside to rattle the food dish and call “kitty, kitty, kitty” in your special coaxing voice.  Since Rudy is a greedy gut, this usually works after a few attempts, however he has to do his coy little approach and run routine a few times first.

Anyway, on this particular day when Rudy made his escape, Wendy was in the back yard near our pick-up truck calling and I had a bowl of dry food ready to start rattling it when this little black and white cat came out from under the truck.  The little cat immediately starting rubbing up against Wendy’s legs.  I took the food dish over and offered it to her and she attacked it like she hadn’t eaten in a long time.  After she had finished off every crumb in the bowl, we took her inside.  When we started petting her, hair started shedding everywhere.  Since it was fall and cool out, this didn’t seem like a normal reaction.  She looked to us like about a half-grown kitten. 

After the usual attempts to find her people failed, we decided she was here to stay.  The first order of business was to get her to a vet for a check up.  Since we had been feeding her for a couple of weeks she had gained some weight but still seemed too small to be full grown.  Imagine our surprise when we found out she was a full grown cat, the vet estimated at least 18 months old, and she had been spayed!  The vet said she was probably just days away from starvation when we found her.  She was used to being cared for and didn’t know how to hunt to survive on her own.  She is a very sweet natured cat and had obviously been well cared for before so why her family abandoned her we will never know.

This sweet little kitty has big green eyes and a little black beauty mark on her face.  We decided she was Miss Kitty (as in Gunsmoke).  The first couple of days, she hid out under the desk, only coming out to eat and use the litter box.  At first Rudy and Fred totally ignored her but then, as Miss Kitty stayed out from under the desk for longer periods of time, Rudy decided to assert himself and started chasing her.  It took a couple of days for Miss Kitty to realize that Rudy is all bluff.  He is a master of the art of shadow boxing and will rear up, swatting with his paws and looking fierce, but he never actually makes contact with those sharp claws.  Now Rudy and Miss Kitty take turns chasing each other and leaping over the ever tolerant Fred while he is trying to nap.

Sadly, many pets like Miss Kitty end up being abandoned every year.  Families split up, move away, or just are unable to care for these animals.  The tragedy is that there are animal shelters and organizations everywhere that could help find them new homes.  Starvation is a terrible way to die.  It just doesn’t need to happen.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Muffin, Muffin, Who's Got The Muffin?

Well, you might, if you read through this post. (Insert wicked giggle here)

As a favor to Mom, since she's got a zillion things going on right now (ok, so she bribed me by making carrot cake!), I offered to tell ya'll a bit about me and share my most favorite muffin recipe. It took me a lot of trial and error before it reached it's current form, and if I do say so myself, it's one of the best recipes I've ever created. So stay tuned for my special "Chocolate Cherry Muffins" at the end of this post.

On to me. I'm Wendy and I seriously hate talking (or writing) about myself. Probably because I get nervous and go on and on until I realize I've suddenly written half a book. (Insert silly grin here)

Okay. First, I admit I'm an adult and I live with Mommy and Daddy. It's been a great benefit for all of us-- when they've been off working the tournament every year, I've been able to housesit for them. And for me, well, it gives me a place to live. I'm the resident lunatic (okay, so my Doc says if I think I'm crazy, I'm not-- crazy people don't know they're crazy.) and disabled by panic/anxiety attacks, agoraphobia, depression, and a couple other little things tossed in. Long boring story that I won't go into, but it's a big part of the "why" I don't have a real job-- just the pittance that Social Security gives me for disability. (Oh, don 't get me on that subject-- I still see red over Social Security's rule about having to file and win a case within a certain time frame. All the years I paid in, and I filed ONE month past the deadline because I didn't want to give in and apply for what I saw as "charity". Again, another boring story. lol)

Let's see... If I were you, what would I want to know about me?

Likes:

Good books in the SF/Fantasy/Mystery/Intrigue genres, but will read anything printed if desperate.

Good movies-- Right now I'm into the "Twilight Saga", but the Shrek movies, Lord of the
Rings movies, and Harry Potter movies are favorites. I like the same sort of movies that I do books.

Games--- Pogo ( http://www.pogo.com/ ) games are good for just kicking back, but my favorites are role-playing type games. I love RuneScape ( http://www.runescape.com/ ), First Age - Avalon ( http://www.firstage.net/ ) the old version not the new one, and Kingdom of Loathing (http://www.kingdomofloathing.com/).

I like to write, never had anything published but have lots of bits and pieces of a book I may finish someday.

Orchids. I'm pretty passionate about orchids. They aren't all that difficult to grow and the blooms are awesome! My collection has diminished in size, but I'll hopefully be slowly adding to it during the warmer months of the year.

Loathes:     

TV. It pretty much blows chunks. I especially hate sitcoms and "reality" shows. I hate movies chopped up every 3 minutes with commercials, and the pay channels never have anything I'd enjoy watching. And those security system ads on evening programming bother the hell out of me.

Hmm, and I really, really, REALLY hate CSPAN, MSNBC, CNN and most of the time FOX news. My blood pressure is better off without them. And frankly, if someone blows up the world, I'll either know it since I'd be dead, or someone will tell me. (Insert wry smile here)

Oooh... "Disease of the Week" movies!!! And poorly made, plotless movies.

Heh, what else?
 
I have the temper that goes along with being a red-haired, green-eyed, Scorpio. Decided on my last birthday that it was time to start reversing the numbers since it's getting difficult to think of creative ways to say my age. So, I'm 25 again as of last October. Although... 25 was a really crappy year, so I may have to go back to saying I'm twenty thirty two. Or thirty twenty two. Or something. Rofl
Let's see, what else? Was married, now I'm not and haven't been for longer than I was. No kids as the Ex (I probably shouldn't give his correct title here, but if you want to guess it's "That Moronic A******") kept convincing me to put it off. So as an only child, I'm an Honorary Auntie to friends' children & grandchildren (another long boring story).

If I get around to having a decent pic taken, I'll let Mom post it. In an earlier pic in a previous post, you can see my hair is long-- well, it was longer than that when Mom was diagnosed with cancer. After they told her she'd be losing her hair to chemo, I had mine cut very short-- they took off a bit more than 24 inches--- and I donated it to Pantene's program that makes wigs for women cancer patients and donates them to the Amercian Cancer Society ( http://www.pantene.com/en-us/beautiful-lengths-cause/Pages/default.aspx ). Even after over a year, I'm still trying to adjust to having short hair since I think it makes me look odd. Vanity, thy name is Wendy!

I have two tattoos, which really freaked Mom out when I told her after I got them. (Insert mischievious grin here) They're really quite pretty. I keep telling her it could have been worse, I might have gotten my tongue pierced or something. Yuck.

Okay, you've been good and put up with my rambling introduction, so here's what you've been waiting for-- the ULTIMATE in Muffins!

CHOCOLATE CHERRY MUFFINS

4 ounces (1/2 package) of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup of cooking oil
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (or more if you want)
Cherry jam or preserves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of sugar until fluffy. Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, & chocolate chips. Mix the egg, milk & oil together, then add to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Batter should be a little lumpy. Put paper baking cups (like for cupcakes) in a muffin pan, and put about 2 tablespoons of batter into each cup. Next, put 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each cup, then about 1/2 teaspoon of jam in each one. Cover each one with the rest of the batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

If you want a REAL sugar high, get some of the pecan-coconut frosting in the can and spread over the top of the muffins. This turns them into BLACK FOREST MUFFINS, like Black Forest Cake. If by some chance you actually have muffins that last longer than one day, I'd suggest refrigerating them because of the cream cheese. We've never had to worry about that though!

Enjoy!

~~ Wendy~~
 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hey, Who’s in Charge here!

Enter Mr. Peeps Poirot, International Bird of Mystery (it's a mystery why anyone would want him lol--- Wendy), the next member to join our family. Mr Peeps is a beautiful, piebald, or parti-colored cockatiel. He was full grown when he was given to us and had never been finger-trained. No attempts by Wendy, Homer, or myself to make friends with him have ever met with much success. He will exchange kissy sounds with you, but the sight of a finger anywhere near his cage will only result in hissing and ruffled feathers. I have just about given up on ever getting any closer to him. Several times a day I stop by his cage to tell him what a handsome fellow he is and he accepts this as his due with a considerable amount of preening and posing. He shows no inclination to talk, but he will warble along with the wild birds outside our window and screech at any tv program he doesn't like--- although I did hear something the other day that sounded suspiciously like "kitty, kitty, kitty"!


Which brings me to Rudy, the next addition to our household. There is a farm not far from us, where Homer and I love to go every summer to buy fresh produce. It is on the banks of the Potomac River and I think that good river bottom soil must account for the exceptional quality of their corn. It is the best corn on the cob to be found anywhere in the country. One day while we were there, we noticed a sign for free
kittens. Now we hadn’t even talked about adopting a kitten, but before long, Homer was scampering around in the barn trying to catch one of the feisty little barn kittens. Homer finally emerged with a little ball of orange fluff , who was spitting & hissing and not the least bit happy with the situation. He was not used to being handled and wanted no part of us. Since we didn’t have a carrier with us, I wrapped him up tightly in a large towel and we made it back home only slightly bloodied. This little guy was so angry, that his nose turned bright red so we dubbed him Rudy, short for Rudolph (yes, like the reindeer!). It didn’t take Rudy long to establish his place in the household. He intended to be boss cat. When Fred bounced over wanting to make friends, Rudy arched his back and hissed. Poor Fred was totally bewildered by this reaction to his friendly advances and retreated to his corner to pout.

That feisty, playful little kitten has since grown and mellowed (well maybe slightly mellowed). Rudy and Fred are now good friends. They seem to have their own secret means of communicating and I feel sure they sometimes plot together to get their humans to perform on cue. Rudy is a very vocal cat and will yowl loudly if he wants his litter box cleaned (Wendy swears he has obsessive/compulsive discorder about it) or his food dish filled. He considers a closed door a challenge and will pry open even the heavy front door if it is not tightly latched.



Our animal family has given us many hours of amusement and pleasure and somehow we have all learned to co-exist in the same household.  Anyone who has ever lived in the same house with a cat knows that you never “own” a cat.  They know they are the superior species and will only tolerate humans as necessary to their comfort.  They will however bestow affection when it suits them.  I cannot imagine life without my family.

It is a blah kind of day outside, and I have a cold and have been coughing all day.  I think I will go start a big pot of chili with plenty of spice to perk things up.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Musings of a lazy cook!

If you were to visit my kitchen, you would find a six foot high bookcase crammed full of cook books.  I love cook books!  If you asked me why, I couldn’t begin to explain it since I am at best an indifferent cook.  I have no patience with recipes that take hours of preparation and all kinds of exotic ingredients, I just like to read about them. (I also admire all those photos that look so good…so how come it never looks like that when I fix it?)  My favorite recipes are the kind that are quick and easy and taste good.  I do occasionally dig into those cook books and try something different, but the results are usually disastrous.

 I also have, thanks to my friend Bill, and endless supply of online cook books.  It will probably take me years to get through them all.  I also like getting recipes from my friends.  I have one I got from my friend, Martha, that fits all of my criteria for a great recipe…it is quick, easy and it tastes good.  This a great recipe for those days when you have been working all day, you are really tired of take out, and you want to impress your family with some home cooking.

Martha’s “I’m too tired to cook”  Baked Chicken Breasts

Place boneless chicken breasts in a large shallow baking dish (how many depends on the size of your family.  I fix 6 because they are great leftovers.)

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Cover with canned diced tomatoes.  (These come in a variety of seasonings…my personal favorite is mild zesty green chiles)  Continue baking for another 30 minutes.
Top with grated cheese and put it back in the oven until the cheese is nicely melted.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hereeeeeee's Freddie!!!

Well, now that you know a little bit about my husband and me, it is time to introduce you to the rest of our family.

My daughter, Wendy, also lives with us and you will be hearing more about her in future posts.

The oldest member of our family is Fred the Dog.  Fred is an affectionate, easygoing, sometimes loyal member of that breed of dog commonly known as Mutt.  According to the people who originally had him, he is part collie.   According to the vet, he looks more like part cocker spaniel, so maybe he is a little of both.  He has long goldish-red hair, a great plume of a tail and eyes that can melt the hardest heart.  He has the rest of the family well trained.  We jump to attention when he wants to go out and hurry to open the door for him.  When he wants a treat of something to eat, he slaps you with a big paw, displays his best grin and gives you his “aren’t I cute” look.  I have never been able to resist this one for more than 5 minutes.

Fred fancies himself to be a fierce watch dog (during the day light hours).  When it turns dark he turns into “Chicken Dog” and goes looking for Wendy to accompany him outside.  She is a good sport and dons her coat to go outside with him to protect him from the BOOGIES even on the coldest winter nights.

Fred loves Christmas.  He always seems to know that stocking hanging on the mantle is his and will make several trips a day to stare longingly at it.  When Christmas morning arrives and he finally gets possession of that stocking, he is just like a little kid who can’t decide what he wants to play with first.

We also have two feline characters in our family and I will tell you more about them in a future post.  Rudy and Miss Kitty delight in racing through the house and leaping over Fred when he is napping.  They also like to hide behind chairs for sneak attacks when he strolls by.  Fred is really good natured and rarely ever gets annoyed with them.

Fred is also possessed of remarkable hearing.  He will start barking when the UPS truck is still way down the road.  That big brown truck is never going to sneak up on us.  On the other hand, let him gain his freedom from our fenced yard, and he suddenly goes stone deaf and no amount of calling and coaxing and offers of treats will reach him.  Last year we had a heavy snowfall, followed by a hard freeze and part of the fence sagged down and Fred jumped the fenced and was off and running.  He stayed out all afternoon before he finally got hungry and decided to come home.  Now I have to tell you, that Fred is no young pup, he just thinks he is sometimes. In dog years, he is probably older than I am.  The next day poor Fred could hardly walk and I realized that dogs can have achy joints the same as people and ibuprofen was probably not the way to go. 

I started looking around and found an organic pet product line called Flying Bassett.  They have a product called Joint Recovery Maintenance Complex--- it's all natural and the company says it would be safe for people to eat it!  Fred’s muzzle may be a little whiter than it used to be, but he moves pretty well for his age.  The vet was very pleased with him at his last check-up--- in fact, the vet says his body is about 11 yrs old, but he's actually about 15. I feel very confident recommending Flying Bassett to any pet lover.  You can find them at the following link:  http://www.fhtmus.com/homerdavis .  Just click on the Flying Bassett icon. They have products for cats too.

Well it’s time to go.  Today is my birthday and my daughter, Wendy, is treating me to a new hairdo.