Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You know what?

It really sucks having to wait months before being together again.
Work, dogs and the value of the dollar are keeping us apart.

Not fair, I say!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

For now it hurts...

more than I ever could imagine.

Someone told me once, dogs are only capable of hurting you once. That is when they die.
And when you have to say goodbye to two at once, it hurts twice as much.

My house feels empty when I come home, and I haven't got enough leashes in my hands when walking. Isa will never again win people over for the breed that she was such a wonderful ambassador for. Tom will never again tell other dogs to stay away from his girls and he will never greet me again by putting his front paws on my shoulders.
And Isa will never again rub her face against my legs.

Right now there is a big gap in my life and my heart.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm Involved With One of Them? LOL

It is odd that for awhile after you quit smoking every time someone near you lights up you have those feelings that you want one but over time then you turn into "one of them" LOL.

I may be wrong but I think Europe is still much more a smoking continent than we are here, at least in many parts of the US. Here in Pennsylvania most every public building and resturaunt is smoke free and just south of us in the state of Maryland even bars and taverns are smoke free now. There is nothing worse than sitting down to a meal in a resturaunt and having the people at the next table all light up. Yuck.

I think Petra will have a harder time getting me to give up having some red wine in the evening but since we are finding that we want a long, long time to enjoy life together, unhealthy habits like smoking only made good sense. Oh, and we still seem to have a problem with eating too much good food also. LOL

Thursday, April 10, 2008

turned in to one of 'them'

Yup, today it became pretty clear, I turned into one of them.
The ex-smokers who have absolutely no patience with smokers.

About 20 months ago I finally did it, I stopped smoking, after years and years of not having the courage, I decided to just do it while I was in the middle of a nerve wrecking period of my life. The next day Jack also stopped.
Being able to support each other, we got it done. Both of us are still smoke free and even though we both gained some weight, it was one of the best decisions ever.

The first and only previous attempt to stop smoking I lived in a house where my partner smoked, so I really never got out of the smell. So as long as no-one smoked in the same room as the baby, I was ok with someone smoking close to me, in my house or any place.
Only during my pregnancy I thought it really smelled bad, but hey, I also couldn't handle perfume or other stuff at that time.
This time it is different.

I moved out of the house that was smoked in and moved in here, no one ever smoked in this house. The walls are white, there is no smell.
And this time I started realizing how the stench gets into every thing, your clothes, your pores, your hair, your curtains and even your clean laundry.

For some time now I decided to allow no one smoking in my house. There is an ashtray in the shed. When my son comes home after the weekend, his clothes go into the laundry and he has to take a shower.
Until now still pretty ok in my book, since I do this in my own house.

But today I turned into one of 'those', one of the people who will make nasty remarks even outside their own home.
Today I told the guy that was cycling in front of me that I hated to have to breath his smoke since this took away all the fun of being outside in the spring while the weather was nice.

Yup, I am one of 'them' now.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Caverns, camera's and cold feet

Can't no longer hide it from you all, but since this is going to be the last entry about our February visit to Jack, it is time to tell you how I ended up on US television.
Have to, since Jack threatened to write about it. And who knows what happens than.
Anyway, the one day it really rained we went to the Indian echo caverns close to Hershey.
It really poured that day, so it was a wise decision to find something indoors even though it turned out to be quite wet inside also. The caverns were interesting for my son to see because he never had been into one. The part you visit isn't really big, but the girl guiding us had many interesting stories about the people visiting the caverns a long, long time ago. We saw beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and other structures. The most beautiful to me was the little crystal clear lake.
While we were inside a camera crew came in to do some filming for a regional show and our guide got wired up so she could tell her story also in front of the camera.
When the tour was done and we were on the way outside the question came if someone was willing to tell a little about the experience. Since we were a very small group, only two other people accompanied us, my remark that I would do it if I could do it in Dutch wasn't overheard. So that is how I ended up in front of the camera.
When I later asked my son if he wasn't too embarrassed (he is at that age you aren't supposed to show as a mom) he laughed and said he was getting used to it.
Which was a relief, I didn't have to put a bag over my head the rest of the week ;-)

Later that week the weather got a lot better, it stopped raining and the sun came out. Before we came over we had hoped there would be a lot of snow, so we could do fun stuff in the snow. But it never looked like it would get real winter and we didn't know what to expect when we drove up to the ski slopes.
The plan was to go see if we could go tubing. Turned out it was actually pretty busy there.
Jack and my son got tickets and a tube and had them selves pulled up to the top of a small hill and than had fun like little kids.
Jack must even had a flashback to his childhood since he decided to go butt up on the tube instead of sitting in it. He than found out there was a very good reason for all the other people to sit. The rest of the day he had a headache after bumping his head to the sides of the slide.
Some people never grow up.

I guess this is about it. We packed a lot into that week again and had a lot of fun doing all kinds of stuff.
It was over too soon, as usual.

Which leaves us counting down to the summer...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Howling Wolves

Petra's description of our visit to the wolf sanctuary is just how I saw it also. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and when we drove back into the place past buildings in disrepair and really just some junk, I was thinking to myself...oh oh. I sort of had in my mind that the wolves would be in large fenced in natural areas that maybe we had to drive through in a guided jeep or something. Instead there were several large fenced in pens that groups of wolves lived in. I guess now looking back on my question to him on the phone as to whether there was a good chance that we would see any wolves was sort of silly. They were all there in front of us. LOL The neat thing about having them all together was that shortly after we arrived we were treated to a group howling of the wolves.

As Petra said, the caretaker of the wolves started out a little guarded and slow but as he saw that we were really interested he warmed up and shared a lot of things with us and made it very interesting. He does need to study his world geography a little bit though. On the phone I told him that I had guests from the Netherlands. When we arrived I introduced Petra and her son as my friends from Holland. He said, I thought you told me they were from the Netherlands. LOL But once he warmed up to us he made the trip well worth it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

About wolves and their relatives

As the most of you know, Jack and I met because of our mutual love for greyhounds.
So it won't come as a surprise that I wasn't only looking forward to be back with Jack, but also finally meeting his rescued ex racers.
How someone interacts with his or her dogs always tells a lot about the person and I was very happy to see that I wouldn't get disappointed.
The way these two dogs adore Jack is so much fun to see, on the other hand is is hilarious to see how, mostly Johnny has Jack wrapped around his paw.
Where Jack is, are the dogs, if Jack moves to another room, the dogs will follow.
This lead to a funny situation the first night when, much to their shock both dog found out they had to share the bed with another human.
LOL, I love dogs, but I also like being able to breath.
It took some getting used to, but some soft blankets on the floor worked miracles.
....and no, it wasn't any humans sleeping on the floor.

I hope one day they will forgive me.

One of the other trips that we made was to a wolf sanctuary.
It normally isn't open during the week, but since we had to leave on saturday again we were welcome during the week for a guided tour. We had to be there early in the morning and it was freezing cold. After wondering if we were at the right place first, we had to drive way back, we saw a fenced in area and yes, a few wolves, one of them a tripod, limping around.
To be honest, at that moment I didn't think much of the place, it looked old and neglected.
The feeling got worse when Jack stepped out of the car trying to find some one which took him quite some time.
A man, long gray hair in a ponytail, old clothes and his hands folded around a cup of coffee came out, looking not too happy. He would be with us in a few minutes, we were too early.
When he finally returned Jack introduced us as his visitors from Holland.
Which made the guy look up and ask if we didn't come from Europe than. You could see him think that he would never have gotten up this early if he had known.
We were quick to tell him that we did come all the way from Europe.

Oh boy, I had little hope for the rest of the morning while we followed him in the freezing cold.

We walked to the back where he set him self in front of the fence and started to tell his normal lines. It started to look like we would be out there soon, but the whole trip was set up because all three of us are really interested. To get some real information for my son, I started asking questions with in the back of my mind the things I learned about wolves in Europe and the things I had seen in Scooby, where at that time huge groups of Spanish greyhounds lived together.
When he found out we were really interested we got response, he started talking about the hybrids, wolf/dog mixes. Why they ended up there, the dangers of keeping animals like that in the house. He showed us the separate wolves, told their stories and finally showed how much work they did there and ,most of all how much he loved doing the work.
The rest of the time went faster than we liked and it got so interesting that we almost forgot how cold it was.

What I saw in him was what you see more with people who have to deal with people in order to rescue animals, they need the money people spend, but in the meantime realize more and more it is the same humans that make this work necessary.
It takes them time to warm up to people.
Once you give them that time, you are sure to hear the best stories and get the most information.
After all, it was a morning more than well spent and I can only recommend a visit to the wolves of Speedwell