Tag Archives: Fun

Hiking-Off the Main Trail

Hiking with Baxter

I have been on my own for the past few days while hubby is away. It was so beautiful today that I couldn’t pass up taking my boys, Baxter, Cassius, and Zekie for a hike. Unfortunately, the girls had to stay home. I cannot handle that many leashes in the woods. It was 73 degrees and sunny, our first spring-like day for the season. And so, we hit the trail. We went to one of our regular areas, but we also ventured onto some of the side trails that we hadn’t been on before. The day was so beautiful that I wanted to go for a long hike to take advantage of it.

Baxter and Zekie being photo bombed by Cassius’ back end!

The first side trail we took involved fording a small stream. I was wearing my waterproof hiking boots and there were rocks in the shallow stream bed, so it wasn’t too bad. We made our way to the end of a little peninsula and found the area to be well used. I even found this chair that someone had left behind, upturned to keep the seat clean. I covered it with a plastic bag since it was damp from a morning rain and sat in it while I ate my lunch. Unfortunately for me, (fortunate for Zekie), I dropped half of my piece of leftover frozen pizza while leaning forward to get a picture of some geese. See below. I couldn’t really blame Zekie, I did drop the pizza on the ground. Since Zekie had a snack, I felt the need to give the other two dog biscuits. I put the chair back as I had found it before we left, so the next hiker can enjoy it too.

Canada geese enjoying the water.

After stopping for lunch and enjoying the water view for a while, it was time to get back to hiking. We headed back toward the main trail. I was going to get a picture of the stream we crossed, but going up the bank, I slipped and got distracted trying to keep track of all the leashes and forgot. Oh, well. This was an area where I picked up some handy walking stick-type branches to help me keep my balance along the way.

West Branch Reservoir

I did get the above photo from the opposite side of the peninsula where we stopped for lunch. Things are still pretty grey looking in the woods but once the trees fill out, you lose the view of the water.

A beautiful Baxter smile!

It didn’t bother Baxter any. He had a wonderful time. He found some nice soft moss to lay on while I ate my lunch. Would you guess Baxter is 13 years old? We don’t know exactly when his birthday is but it’s around now. He showed up as a pup, so we can’t be far off on our estimate.

Back side of WBSP Reservoir

We hiked on the main trail for a bit until we came to an old homestead driveway. The houses aren’t there anymore. They were lost to make way for the reservoir and park. Some foundations and driveways still exist though. We walked back an old driveway and followed a “trail”, more of a deer path with young trees and brush to wander through. It was a bit of a challenge with three leashes to keep track of, but we made it. We passed some old fence posts, remnants of a couple outbuildings, old tires, a couple picnic tables, and an old doghouse. Or maybe a really small chicken coop. We ended up in a clearing under a bunch of pines that ran alongside the water. The photo above is the view we saw. We will definitely be going back to this spot to see the view as things green up.

Cassius enjoying the view.

The dogs enjoyed the view too. You can tell by the big smile on Cassius’ face. Of course, Zekie had to walk on the ice near the shore. Baxter tried it and was surprised when he fell through the ice because he weighs more. Don’t worry, he was only about six inches from shore, and they were all leashed. I have no doubt that Zekie would be the dog to run out onto the ice and fall through. That boy loves water in all forms. In the summer, he drags me to every puddle so he can walk through them and drags me to every stream so he can jump in. Now he walks on every patch of ice and snow that he can find even though the roads and trails are clear.

Cassius is watching the water.

As we headed back to the woods in the direction of the main trail, we found some lush, green beds of moss. There were so beautiful, I had to get a picture. As we navigated our way back out of the area, it became apparent that many people had been there before us. People really should pack out all their waste rather than leaving their stew cans, Gatorade and water bottles, and snack wrappers out in the woods.

Zekie says “This is fun, mom”!

The dogs and I both had a wonderful afternoon. We only went 2.86 miles, but it took us two hours. I guess, fording streams, climbing muddy hills, and wandering through brush does slow you down. I have to say, all the things you notice along the way are well worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Did You Know There Were So Many Kinds of Tea?

Various types of teas
So many types of tea! (Photo is not mine-from Ahmad Tea)

Who knew there were so many types of tea time? Certainly not me! Looking at these British definitions puts tea in a whole new light. In America, we are thirsty, we drink. No occasion, just a mug sitting on my desk, of coffee or tea, and there it stays with me slurping away while working and getting refills as needed. In my working years, I was so often drawn away to attend to other matters that my hot beverages were always stone cold by the time I returned. I learned to drink tea, coffee, and even “hot” chocolate when they were cold. It seemed too much time and trouble to wander down the hallway to the office microwave to reheat all the time. But look at this wonderful list of all the types of teas:

  • Cream Tea-This is what I think of when I think of tea. Tea and scones with toppings.
  • Elevensies-Morning coffee hour. Hmmm, I have this all morning long.
  • Afternoon Tea-Served with little sandwiches, scones, and sweets.
  • Low Tea-As above, using low chairs. So mine would be office chair tea?
  • Royale Tea-Tea¬† with Champaign or sherry. This sounds suspiciously like happy hour.
  • Celebration Tea-Afternoon Tea with cake. Cake does make everything better!
  • High Tea-Served in the late afternoon or early evening with a cooked dish. Sounds like supper to me.

I think the British got it right. These various tea types all sound like fun, making every day into a special occasion. Which sounds like more fun? “Would you like to join me for a slice of cake and a mug of coffee?” Or, “Would you care to attend Celebration Tea with me?” I vote for Celebration Tea. That’s why children don’t have coffee pot parties, they have tea parties. I suggest the next tea you offer a guest a cuppa, you ask them if they would like to attend Cream Tea. Let’s make our worlds a little more fun!

Belly Rub, Please!

This evening was nursing home night for me and the dogs. It didn’t take Shelby long to ask for a belly rub.

Nikki spent part of the time in a chair between two residents. That way two of them can pet her at the same time.

Another resident came and we gave her the chair, so Nikki moved to a lap and was very happy.

I’m never sure who has a better time, me, the dogs, or the people we visit.

The Three Amigos

Since it gets dark so early now, we never made it for a walk today. So, we took the three boys out to the pasture to play and expend some energy. This helps keep them out of trouble and provides entertainment for them and us.

The girls, Nikki and Shelby, wanted to stay inside.

The boys got to frisbee and play with the jolly ball. Zekie wanted to know if I wanted his frisbee. As you can see, frisbees have a short life here. We keep this one for Zekie because he thinks the goal is to disassemble them. He has become a good catcher though.

Baxter takes things very seriously and would never, ever hurt a frisbee. He will let the other dog have it rather than rip his prized frisbee.

Cassius will often catch the frisbee, but his favorite is to chase and chew his jolly ball.

So, although there was no walk, a fun time was had by all.

Just Do It!

So, here is the promised update on the Hounds for Hattie event that the girls and I participated in on Saturday. As you may recall, Hattie Larlham facilities are homes for disabled persons. Above are the girls, Shelby and Nikki, in their Halloween costumes and in “plain clothes”. Yes, there was a costume contest. The Hattie residents voted for the best costume. Alas, Shelby and Nikki did not win although they did get a nice round of applause. They were good sports.

Dogs Ace and Oliver were two other dogs that came to join in the fun. They competed in the costume contest, tricks demonstrations, rally, and obedience. These dogs are actually brothers from the same litter! They are Havanese, the national dog of Cuba.

Gina, a labradoodle, came to participate in the fun and thrill the residents. As well as Griffin on the left. He is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. All of the above dogs are certified therapy dogs, certified by yours truly.

Panzer the Rottweiler did tricks and won the costume contest later. There were a couple other dogs who I didn’t get pictures of, but helped to make the event a success all the same. This event was started by my friend Becky and her daughter Rachel several years ago.

Shelby says if you ever have an opportunity to participate in such an event, do it! You won’t be sorry.

Results Not As Expected!

I’m usually a pretty good cook. I do well with cooking meals although baking is my specialty. Most of what I make is at least edible.

So I was not happy when I had one of those experiences recently where I followed a recipe and the results came out nothing like the picture. I have to admit the difference for actual vs. expected is pretty humorous.

There is soggy liquid around my sliced caramel apples. The apples apparently made liquid which combined with the caramel to form a syrup and slid the caramel right off, rather than having candy coated apples.

I was hoping to take these to my niece’s birthday party. That did not pan out because I didn’t think anyone wanted a bowl of caramel apple soup.

Oh well, good for a laugh!

A Day at the Beach

We may not live near the ocean but we are fortunate to have a Great Lake just over an hour away. So, we spent Monday on the beach. The weather was perfect. Warm with just enough cloud cover to keep us from roasting. And let me tell you, that SPF 50 sunscreen is good stuff! Previous years I used SPF 30 and was burnt for days afterwards. With the 50, I was just nicely tanned.

The day is also special because my husband and I spend it with our grandchildren and our daughter. We have traditions to go with our annual day at Lake Erie. Most revolve around food, especially the ice cream before we hit the road to head back home. I got the Lake Erie Salt Mine again this year-dark chocolate ice cream with swirls of salty caramel and caramel truffles. Yum!

I’m already looking forward to next year!

Starting the New Year Off Right


Zekie has a new friend. He and my mother-in-law’s dog Paisley have become fast friends. They played chase and wrestled until they were both soggy from play biting each other. Turns out Zeke has very good inter-dog skills. They were both exhausted by the time they were done.

This was yesterday, New Year’s Day. Because in our family, as you may remember, dogs are included in family gatherings. Because, well, they are family.

Since it was a holiday and we planned to be gone for a while, we loaded up all five dogs and took them with us to grandma’s for the afternoon. This was somewhat necessary with Zeke’s anxiety issues.

Here are Shelby, Cassius, and Zeke supervising the peeling of the potatoes.

Even Nikki came along with the rest of the crew.

And of course Baxter Puppers!

After a busy day of begging and supervising…

everyone was worn out.

We wish your family a happy and healthy New Year in 2019!

Sheltie Fun

Last evening three of my dogs and I did a Meet and Greet with Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue (NEOSSR) for some Kent State college students. We joined other members of our group and their dogs to visit with students at their apartment complex.

And I am here to tell you two things. It was fun and you can help NEOSSR by saving Acme grocery receipts!

Let me expound on the fun part. I got to hang out with my dogs and talk to lots of people. Mostly about my dogs! And they wanted to hear about them. They didn’t get that glazed look in their eyes and try to make a break for it. It is a good socializing activity for the pups. They get a chance to work around other dogs and people as well. This is a great skill to hone.

Look at Coco Bella. When she first entered rescue, she was very timid and scared around new people and situations, and even known people and situations. She has come a long way with the diligent work and patience of her family.

Now, on to the information about Acme grocery receipts. Acme stores have a program where they give Community Cash Back to eligible nonprofits who submit their receipts. And this is where the college students came in. Our Meet and Greet was a promotional event as well as a thank you, to get them to help us by saving the receipts. It gave them an opportunity to see the dogs they are helping as all dogs there were rescues. And the event was also our way of giving back to the students for what they do for us.

The meeting is fun for the students too. Many of them have dogs at home that they dearly miss so they are happy to spend some time with a furry face. And most people know by now that spending time with dogs can reduce stress and anxiety. So these meetings are a win-win situation.

Other types of dogs are welcome too, not just shelties. Here, Cassius and I are hamming it up during the event. Cassius is a rescue dog too, he just happens to be a greyhound.

Cabin Fever

Dogs get cabin fever too. You would think that the later half of April in Ohio would bring spring weather. We are still waiting.

This was the view out my window this afternoon. Not very “springy”. It has been too cold and blustery, or some days too rainy, to go for walks.

The dogs were down in the dumps for a couple of days. Now they are just impatient and looking for something to get into.

So we resorted to playing “The Indoor Game”. This involves kicking a rubber toy down the long central hallway of the house. Much chasing, barking, jumping, and chasing ensues.

Zeke has been here long enough that he joins right in.

No fighting or growling takes place aside from playing. We are blessed with good natured dogs. But nevertheless, we are eagerly awaiting spring!