Monday, January 15, 2018


This really should have been my first post of 2018 but since I didn't get my act together to do a Christmas post this one had to wait.

New Year's Day saw the arrival of the first new addition to our family.  My niece and her husband had their second child, a little boy they named Kieran Paul.  A brother for Thexan David who is only 18 months. Boy, will they have their hands full for awhile. Kieran was scheduled to be born on 2 January so it was still a bit of a surprise for the rest of us when we found out he was born on the 1st, turned out Amber had been asked to go in a day early for her C-section.

Kieran is the first of three that we will add to the family in 2018. Another niece is having a little boy in February, it will be her second as well. Also one of my nephews and his wife will be having their first baby in March.

Nothing beats the news of a new baby but we also did our first agility trial of 2018 this past weekend.

This was the really nice set up they had for the photo booth, so how could I resist getting a picture of the boys.

We had a good day, each boy got three runs. Keltic had two advanced standard and one masters Gambler.  Keltic didn't get any Q's but both of his advanced standard runs went well. He only had five faults in the first one, a refusal on  a tunnel (obstacle 7); I was probably crowding his space a bit.

Advanced Standard 1

He had 5.16 faults in his second standard, a refusal on the weaves for 5 faults and the other 0.16 faults were time faults. We had to do the weaves three times to get them done so I'm surprised we weren't even more over time although he was really moving on the rest of the course. I was happy that he did target on both dog walks and there was no going under the tire.

Beckett had two Master Snooker and a Master Jumpers. Beckett got two Snooker Q's; the first one ran beautifully, the second I thought we faulted the weaves in the close but there was no whistle so we must have been outside the refusal zone. In any case, we only needed to get through obstacle 5 to have enough points for the Q and the weaves were part of obstacle 6. In Jumpers, I blew it for Beckett.  I didn't support him well enough to go out to obstacle 4 and he came by the inside of it but other than that it was a beautiful run.

Master Jumper 1

I was very pleased with how the day went. Both Beckett and Keltic ran well given how little training we have done and due to my injured Achilles tendon that we haven't trialled since August 2017 . On that note, my ankle held up, I felt it stretch a few times while running and it is sore today but a good sore if you know what I mean. We don't have another trial until March now so time to practice a bit and for the ankle to heal even more.

So looking forward to more family additions and more trials in 2018.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Holiday Review

Well, Christmas 2017 and New Year's 2018 have both come and gone. I'm on my last day of vacation before returning to work; the weather has warmed up considerably but with the warmer weather came the snow so sometime today I'll be out doing the driveway and making trails for the dogs.  Thankfully with a snowblower and not with a shovel.

I took two weeks off this year; it made for a really relaxing holiday. I didn't do as much as planned but that's okay too.  I did go with some friends to see the light show on Parliament Hill. We lucked out with warm weather. We had dinner at the food court before heading up to the Hill to see the show. It was our last Canada 150 event.

Rideau Centre Christmas tree

Canada 150 Lights Across Canada

I thought I was all prepared for Christmas quite early this year and, the last week before Christmas, was busy in the evenings wrapping gifts; then one day I came home from work to find a strange powder all over the place and empty plastic bags. It took me a moment then I realized that the dogs had eaten a bag of dried pasta and two bags of pasta seasoning that I had brought home from Rome as a gift for my brother-in-law. They had also opened some stocking stuffers.  Now in the last weekend before Christmas I needed another gift.  I also had planned to buy a flower centerpiece for my sister and brother-in-law but had mistakenly thought Christmas was on Tuesday. It really was on Monday so I didn't have enough time left to have an arrangement made up and it turned out the florist, that I used to go to, had closed. Anyway I found another gift for my brother-in-law and bought a Christmas centerpiece at Micheal's where they were all on sale being so close to the holiday.

This year again I joined a Sheltie card exchange as so few of my friends and family send out cards any more.  This way I received many cards from all over the US and Canada as well as some from the UK and Australia.

Sheltie card exchange

Sheltie card display

This year saw changes in how we spent the holiday; in the past most of it was spent at my sister's place but now that her kids are out on their own things changed. My nephew and his wife hosted a Christmas Eve dinner. It was the first time I had been to their place.  We had an enjoyable evening with dinner before they went to Mass while I took my dogs for a walk then started a puzzle until they returned, then we had dessert and opened a few gifts.  Christmas morning was a bit more relaxed too as my niece and nephew planned to have each their own Christmas morning so we were able to sleep in a bit. I got up and let the dogs open their stockings. For two dogs who had opened other people's gifts on their own they certainly weren't in any rush to get their own gifts opened and I had to help quite a bit.

Afterwards I loaded the car and headed over to Juanita and Joe's where we had a late Christmas brunch with just the three of us.  We spent some of the rest of morning doing a puzzle while waiting for the rest of the family to show up. My nephew and his wife were the first to arrive around 1 pm; we knew they didn't have a lot of time before going to her parent's so we started opening gifts then my niece and her family arrived. It worked out rather well, we finished with Dan and Katie's gifts and then continued on with opening gifts for Jessica, Zini and Adrian. And of course some for us too. I had put a little note in with the pasta spoon, all that was left of Joe's pasta gift, to explain what had happened; everyone got a little laugh from that.

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner as always and even the dogs enjoyed their turkey dinner. After dinner, we played a Christmas dice game that Jessica had planned which was quite fun. Keltic couldn't seem to settle for some reason and I had to take him out twice, once he did do his business but the second time he just went up and down the street; because of that we headed home but it was already about 9:30 pm and I had a brunch to prepare for anyway.

Boxing Day, I had a few friends for brunch. I used to do a brunch for family but most all have their own plans now so I hadn't had a brunch in a few years.  It turned out rather well. When I got home on Christmas night, I cooked the potatoes for hash browns so they would be ready in the morning. Brunch was very relaxing and we sat and chatted for a number of hours.

The day after Boxing Day I did a bit of shopping. Most stores had already sold out of much of their Christmas stuff, they put the sales on so early. I did find some stocking stuffers and a couple gifts for next year.  I was looking for a Smart watch for myself; after checking online, I visited the two Best Buy stores near me. Not a single sales person approached me in either store so I decided to order online but at least by going to the stores I was able to pick out which model I liked best. I got the Asus Zenwatch 3; it has 55 different faces you can choose from.

Smartwatch with Starry Sky face

We had an extreme cold snap so the dogs didn't get much time out of doors between Christmas and New Year's, we kind of just hibernated.  I built my Lego.

For a number of years now on New Year's Eve, I've hosted some friends for a pot luck and gift exchange. Last year, we had to cancel because of a snow storm but this year, other than the fact it was so cold that the Canada 150 New Year's Eve on Parliament Hill was cancelled, the weather was clear. We had a nice evening of food, conversation and fun. Finishing up 2017 (Canada 150) with a little Frisky Beaver; it seemed appropriate.

New Years's Day was spent with family; first at my nephew's again for a brunch with both our side of the family and his wife's family too. It was actually traditionally her parents who hosted a family brunch but I guess now my nephew and his wife will make it their tradition. New Year's Day supper was again at my sister's place; some people were a little worse for wear from the previous evening's activities but everyone enjoyed dinner. There was super moon on 1 Jan 2018. The camera in my phone doesn't do it justice; it was huge.

The tree and most of the decorations are down now. The tree will be out at the curb tonight for pick-up tomorrow. I left some decorations and my village up as it seems so bare if I take it all down at once.

Looking forward to 2018 which will be my last full year of work; I retire in 2019, the planned date is 5 June 2019 but with vacation time I could be done in early May 2019.   We start back at agility next weekend, I haven't done any trials since August as my Achilles tendon took so long to heal. Hopefully I'll stay fit this year as Nationals are just an hour away in Maxville, Ontario. It may be Beckett's last and hopefully Keltic's first.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Marshmallow World

The first snows of winter are quite lovely. This picture was taken just last night out my family room window into my backyard.  I like snow until Christmas is over then I'm done with it. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Cards

So we sent out all our Christmas cards, so now I can let people see the designs I selected.

The first card we used for a Sheltie card exchange so I decided that there would be no picture of me on the card.  The second card was for family and close friends so I used the shot of all three of us. 

It's fun playing with all the designs that are available. The price isn't too bad but I wish postage was cheaper as it does get expensive to send out the cards especially the international ones.  I do like receiving cards as well but not many people send cards any more, that's why I joined the Sheltie card exchange last year.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Oh Shoot

A couple weeks ago I made a last minute decision to book a spot at a fall photo shoot. I had planned to get some new Christmas shots done but then I figured we'd already done that.

This week I got the pictures from the photographer. You get 5 images with the photo shoot but I couldn't get it down to just five. I ordered 8 and even that was a tough choice as my original cut was down to 15 of the shots.  I only got a head shot of Keltic, Beckett just looked too solemn and a little sad in his close up shots.

Anyway, here are the shots I selected. I'll be using some of them for our Christmas cards but I won't share those designs just yet.