Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just spent...

15 minutes searching for our waste container.
Yeah, found it, 3 houses down the block.

We have had a few days with some wind, nothing really extreme, had to peddle my bike into worse in the Netherlands, but….

Strong winds aren't an every day thing here, wind in general, isn't an everyday event here.
Thus, nothing here is built or made to be up against a bit of wind.
And as you guessed, neither are our waste containers.
First of all, ours don't have a lid, which means that the empty plastic bottles and all paperwork that you dare putting in the recycling container get blown out just as fast as you threw it in there.
I am guessing that on windy days, it is better for the environment not to recycle, since he neighborhood looks like a dumpster when it is windy.
Don't really have that problem with the other container. Everything is in bags and unless you make a mess yourself, it shouldn't be blown all over the place, even with out a lid on it.
With that one the problem comes later, when it is empty and without any weight to hold it down.
Than the container catches wind and goes on a trip around the neighborhood.

Am still waiting for the day we get new traffic signs here.
Careful, crossing waste containers.

Bit melancholic today

Friday, March 26, 2010

I love green...

in all kinds of ways, but right now, green cards are my favorite.
Today, after a lot of worry from my side, my sons green card arrived also.
It is hard to explain how relieved I am, but the people who went through the whole visa route or are still busy, they do understand.
No more worries for a year and 9 months, than we start the whole thing again.
Yep, that is right, we have to do it again.

Oh, and that green card, it isn't green.
Want to see mine?

Isn't the picture horrible?
Not that I care, those have to be ugly, it fits to the one I have on my passport.

Yesterday we enjoyed another type of green.
The weather was very nice and with colder weather coming, Jack asked if I felt like going for a hike at Pinchot State Park.
It is one of my favorite places over here. Yesterday we tried another trail and found out pretty fast that it was too wet to do an actual hike, still, the temps were great and we enjoyed the budding trees. At some point we saw 3 Kingfishers chasing each other. Not close enough for a picture, but we know where one of them nests now, so we may go back. After that we walked around at the beach a bit and enjoyed all those busy birds. Was amazed to see so many Northern Flickrs, we have one in our garden that I really would like to get on a picture, but they are really shy.
This might have been our last walk, hike, for a few days, the weather changed today and it is cold now.

A down point to this great weather is that a lot of trees are in bloom, way more than I am used to in the Netherlands. But it has a big effect on two members of our family.
Jack has started sneezing and getting trouble for about a week now, but also Cara, our Little White Monster is having problems.
This did confirm that her red, itchy eyes are the result of environmental allergies.
She is getting eyedrops twice a day now to make her eyes less itchy and red.

Monday is my last photography class, I will miss it, it was fun to do and I can't wait until I have my drivers license. Than I can do the follow up class on lighting.
Sunday we will be painting eggs at our neighbors. (Is Easter that close?)
And we have a vet appointment set up for Tex the week after. He is the oldest of the two boys and is in need of a dental and a good look at his joints. I have the feeling he is in pain when getting up. Not good when you are a 12 year old greyhound.

Anyway, that is it for now.
Not much to tell besides every day stuff besides that we will be looking in to plane tickets for my son.

Thats it, see you all later.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who's dunnit?

I used to think Chipmunks, squirrels and bunnies were cute…

Monday, March 22, 2010

Things done

since my last blog:

  • Visited the Antique Auto Museum at Hersey
  • We went to see  Paula Poundstone in York 
  • Enjoyed the gorgeous weather we are having, like over 20 degrees Celsius 
  • Got a tan
  • Took several nice walks
  • Went out to lunch a few times
  • Practiced Photography
  • Went to class and enjoyed it very much
  • Got a new window in the car
  • More golf practice for my son
  • Took long walks
  • Sowed sunflowers and Columbines to plant in the garden later
  • Planted perennials in front of the house
  • Thought through our plans for fencing in the backyard (hopefully up next month)
  • Made a long, long what to do list
  • Bought curtains for my sons bedroom but haven't hanged them yet
  • Went to get my social security number which I could pick up today, but have class tonight
  • Had to get new t-shirts because thanks to, amongst other things, the lunches, my waistline is gone. Waistline? What waistline? Did I ever have a waistline?
  • Decided that selling my pictures might be a good idea
  • Than decided that that last thing is very scary, who would buy them?
  • Am still liking my not so new anymore Dyson
and lots more…….
    Also, for the people who follow it. 
    Last week my Green Card arrived, so from now on I am official a resident of the US.
    But…no word on my sons application yet.
    We got a RFE (request for more evidence) thanks to a slip up I made on one of his papers.
    When writing the date on something, I always have to think twice, since here it is the month first, than the day. I must have missed once….
    In spite of writing it the right way several other times and the fact there was a copy of his passport with all these papers, they wanted a new birth certificate and a translation.
    They must have received those last Friday, so for now we have everything crossed in hope they will send him his card very soon.


    Received an e-mail, minutes ago,  from the  USCIS that my sons card production was ordered!!!

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    With much happiness

    I present to you our newest addition to our household.
    You may remember this blog entry
    Well, this week there came an end to my agony with the arrival of this sweety:
    And believe me, she is what her name says, an Animal.
    She gets anything that is in her way and doesn't need to be lifted onto every carpet but hops on and proceeds her way like it is nothing.
    She will go any way you want her to go, rounds corners like a pro and is able to dive under the couch.
    She doesn't flip over and tries to bite my ankles but keeps herself upright like a real lady.

    And she is even pretty to look at.

    Yep, she is a stayer. We officially adopted her.

    There is one down side to it...
    I have absolutely no excuse anymore for doghair flying all over the place.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    This is it: "Dog Blog"

    Okay, as promised finally a proper introduction of the four legged members of our family.

    Some of you may know that Jack and I met through Greytalk
    Both of us joined several years ago, we both had greyhounds and it is a good way to get some info about the breed, the background of these dogs and for me it was a way to get the word out about the galgo's in Spain. The board has members from all over the world, but most members are American people.
    Anyway, you all know how this contact developed.

    So now we have 4 dogs together.
    Johhny and Tex, both greyhound males and belonged to Jack. Paquita, the lurcher and Cara the galgo, both  females, belonged to me.
    And from the first introduction on in September they get along really well.
    Johnny thought he had to show that he actually was ' the guy'  in the house, but he found out really fast that Cara wasn't impressed by that type of behavior. And since than they all sleep in the same room, on the same couch if there is space, though Paquita prefers her own dogbed.

    Tex is the eldest. He is about 12 years old and an ex-racer. He is a very sweet, gentle dog that loves to have his butt scratched and his ears rubbed. He will make the most funny faces when you do that. He spent a long time at the track and it looks like that left its marks on his back.
    He is the only one who has trouble with our pergo floor, he slips now and than, which makes him scared.
    It took me quite a while to get decent pictures of him, he doesn't like the camera and looks away.
    For the rest, I have the feeling that he rules the roost.  But in a quiet, not in your face way.
    He also has the softest fur I have ever seen on a greyhound.
    For the rest, there isn't much to say about him, he is as I said sweet, quiet and handsome. One of those dogs that is easy and great to have around.

    Johnny is the biggest one of them all, matter of fact is, he is huge, meaning tall. He always is on the skinny side. He is one of those dogs that have a hard time keeping their weight.  He is about 10 years old now and one of those, in your face dogs. Actually, he is a bit spoiled by Jack. If you would ask Johnny, we are here to serve him. Add his size to that and you understand that with him it is important to let him know that we are in charge, not him. He is also very funny and very happy every time you come home.
    He will let you know by running into you, pillow in his mouth and tossing it in the air, pouncing on it and running around.
    He also is a former racer, but wasn't adopted out right away, he ended up as a coyote dog. (used to hunt coyotes) This isn't without danger for the dogs and he when he finally ended up for adoption, he was covered in scars. He was Jack's first greyhound and it turned out he had huge separation anxiety. Which is why Jack adopted Tex.  Johnny is the type of dog that you can tell tons of things about because he isn't the brightest bulb. But he also is very cute and sweet and it is hard not to give into him if he wants something.

    Paquita is a galgo border collie mix (lurcher) which I found at the Scooby shelter in Spain almost 8 years ago when I was there as a volunteer for Greyhounds in Nood Nederland. She was only a few weeks old at the time and she grew up with my son who she bonded with.
    She is one of the sweetest and softest dogs I know if it comes to character. She is also very sensitive and will react to whatever mood there is in the house. She puts herself in lowest place in the group and is comfortable with it. She also loves her people, and the people she meets and the dogs she meets.
    She is also too smart. I took her to three courses and she loved learning the tricks, but don't let her off leash. She will have a great time, will come when called, until the moment her galgo button gets pushed.
    Banana's start growing out of her ears in an instant and she takes off.
    So she rarely gets let off leash.  In a way that is okay, since the others can't be off leash at all. But in the rare occasion  she can be let off leash at a save place, you see how much she adores playing and running around with other dogs. Anyway, even though she now is the oldest of my own dogs, she will always be my baby.

    And last, but certainly not least, we have Cara, aka the Little White Monster. She also comes from the Scoobyshelter in Spain, adopted through Greyhounds in Nood Nederland and I am not really sure what her age is now. I had asked for a steady, quiet, grown up dog to accompany Paquita after my two old dogs past away. What I got was a bit different.
    She was not even a year old and a lot more scared than she looked at first. She had lived in a group of males since she was a puppy and decided she didn't want to bond with any female dog.  She more or less ignores Paquita, but is very happy to have the two big males around now. From the first moment on she choose Johnny to wrap around her paw. They are funny to see together. Where Johnny lies, she lies and usually with her head on his butt. Most of her fears are slowly going, she decided within two weeks after moving here that Jack was ok and will lie on his lap if she feels like it.  This after being scared to death of him every time Jack came over to the Netherlands, he couldn't even pet her. She also is our wild child, she races through the house and has a huge prey drive. Which is fun with all the rabbits and squirrels here. She still has quite the bit of separation anxiety, but is getting better these days.

    Sooo, that is a bit about all of them.
    Off course I could tell a lot more about them all but this is it for today.
    But if it weren't for these guys, Jack and I would have never ended up in this adventure together.
    And that makes them a huge part of our lives.
    Love them all.