Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Beautiful Weekend!!!

Hello out there!  I want to thank all of you for the get well wishes!  I am happy to report that I am finally feeling good again.  This rotten bug held on and on, as I have heard that it has with so many.  I am still coughing, but feeling so much better!  We had such a beautiful weekend here in Southern California where I live.  It was sunny, and warm with a gentle breeze, the perfect weather for enjoying the outdoors.  On Saturday morning, we both slept in, which we rarely do.  We enjoyed our coffee, and later Greg made us  his breakfast specialty.  Farm fresh eggs with Canadian Bacon and cheddar cheese, with avocado slices on a toasted English Muffin.  I got to work juicing the oranges.
Greg calls this liquid gold.  I can't even describe how good this fresh orange juice is.  The oranges are at their peak now.  We will be able to enjoy them until about May.
Greg got busy on the egg sandwiches.
Right about this time, Drew and Diana showed up.  So I put them to work setting the table and they joined us for breakfast.  It was delicious! 
Do you remember this?
That was the "doggy door" that Dusty made when he came to live with us.  He did the same thing to the screen in our bedroom.  So today, I rescreened this door.  I have never redone these myself.  I always took them to Ace Hardware.  I have been having them rescreened about once a year or so it seems.  Animals are hard on them, and we used to have two labs that would always wind up loosening them.   But none had done what Dusty did, just plow right through as if it wasn't even there.
I will never pay to have this done again.  I bought a roll of screen to size at Walmart for 5.00.  It was easy to do, and I got it every bit as tight as Ace did.  But after 20 years of resisting putting a screen guard on my nice Anderson door, I finally gave in.  Greg put the guard on for me, and I am sure hoping this will solve the problem. 
We spent the rest of the day just puttering around the house, enjoying the day.  In the evening, we went out to dinner to celebrate our nephew Don's 32nd birthday.  We went to a place that our family has gone to for many years.  The owner is from Spain, and will, upon request, make his specialty of Paella.  Oh my gosh, it was so good.  But I didn't bring a camera.  It was fun to visit with my nephew and his wife Kaylen.  They live up in the Bay area now, and we sure do miss them.
On Friday night, Greg and I rode out to PetCo to look into purchasing something that we had heard would help with training and walking the dogs.  Our Wheaten, Ducey, is the awful on leash.  He pulls and tugs, and wears you out!  No amount of working with him as helped.  And he gets pretty regular walking.  Then Dusty came to live with us, and it was apparent right away that he had not had much time on leash either.  He weighs 85 pounds, and is the strongest dog I have ever seen.  When we walk them, I can't even hold onto him.  Since I have been sick, Greg has been taking them both, and sometimes Drew would help Dad with it.  But it is a workout, and certainly not what I would call enjoyable.  Well, we met some folks up in Big Bear who raise Golden Retrievers, and they are all so well behaved on leash.  They suggested we buy the Gentle Leader.  So off we went to find them.
We got one for each of them.  They look a little like a muzzle in the photo, but they are not!  They fit in a very specific way, that allows them to still have complete comfort.  They can pant, eat, drink, play fetch, and are in no way constricted.  But it works on the same principle that works with horses.  There is a piece that is fitted to attach very securely around the back of their heads, right beneath the ears, and then there is a piece that slips up over the bridge of the nose, and is secured to the piece around the back of the neck.  Then the leash is clipped to this.  This prevents them from being able to pull, tug, and behave poorly on leash.  They have to learn to walk at your pace, right next to you.  There is an excellent DVD that comes with it, and in  addition to showing you exactly how to attach the leader, it also offers many tips on how to train them using this tool.  We were so eager to try it out, that we watched the DVD and then fitted them each to their Gentle Leader, and took them out to the driveway to walk them a bit.  They walked next to us, calmly, and without tugging at all.  We were amazed!  We were eager to take them on a walk on Saturday.  When we did, they walked with us, as if they were new dogs!  It was absolutely the most unbelievable thing we have ever seen!!!  We had the most enjoyable walk with them.  It was not difficult at all, and we all enjoyed it.  I cannot recommend this Gentle Leader enough to anyone who is having trouble walking their dog on leash.  You will be amazed!
Sorry for the blurry photo, but you can see how it fits Dusty on this one above.  Ducey did resist when Greg put his on, but he quickly got used to it, and then behaved perfectly on leash.
 Ducey does not look thrilled in the above photo.  But he did just fine with it too.
This morning, we took them both on a long walk.  They are like different dogs!  It is just a miracle!  We had such a beautiful day, both today and yesterday, and we got to get out there and really enjoy it.  We are such believers in this product, and don't know how it took us so long to find out about them.  If you need help training your dog on a leash, or maybe with other behavior problems, I hope you will try this product.  It is the best 50 dollars we have ever spent!!!
After our long walk, I worked in the yard awhile pulling weeds and tidying up the winter yards.  I may have overdone it just a wee bit.
The inside of my right palm is one big blister!  I don't wear gloves like I should.  I need to find a good pair of them.  Any suggestions?
Today I also trimmed all of the flight feathers on my chickens to prevent them from flying over the fence in their run.  I googled it and watched a video on Youtube.  It was very easy to do.  Holding each of them firmly in my lap.  Taking the wing and expanding the flight feathers out into a fan, taking care not to cut too low where there are bones, cut from one end to the other, straight across.  It does not hurt them, as this is just like cutting fingernails.  It is only necessary to cut one wing, as this will prevent them from being able to balance and fly up over a fence.  Cutting both wings could possibly teach them to fly by strengthening their muscles enough to do so.   So, one at a time, I clipped the flight feathers of each one of my girls.
Hammy, then Sammy.  Chickas, Tillie and Blue.  They all had their trim, then went happily on their way, none the worse for wear.  This way, I can let them out of their coop in the morning after the eggs have been collected, and they can roam about under the trees, scratching for bugs, and kept safely within the confines of their run when I am not out there to make sure that no coyotes can come a calling. 
I was so struck by the beauty of the day, that I took my camera and went around snapping some photos.  First, the laundry flapping in the breeze.  It was a perfect day for the clothes on the line.
An orange tree, heavily laden with fruit, against the shining sun.
One of my rose bushes that has just this weekend, begun to display the beautiful first roses of the season.
I trekked across the street to my neighbors house, where I noticed from my kitchen table today while eating breakfast, that their daffies were poking their pretty yellow heads out to say hello.
Although most of the trees are still showing their spiney limbs, sans leaves.  And surely, we are still to have more rain and cold weather ahead.  There are subtle signs that Spring is indeed on the way! 
It was a glorious weekend.  Filled with all of the best things.  Family, celebrations, health, good food, exercise, and some puttering in the yard.  Even sneaking in a trip to see a good movie this afternoon.  Identity Thief.  We loved it!  It was a perfect weekend.  And now, we will snuggle up on the sofa and watch the final episode of Downton Abbey.  The season was way too short!!! 
I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend too!
XO  Kris


Betsy said...

What a nice chatty post. I loved it! So much good information too. We tried the gentle leader with Cloe but she still pulled. Maybe we should try again. Other than that she's the perfect dog.
There was so much in your post I don't even know what to comment on except I'm glad you're better. :-). I think I may be on the mend too.. I've started taking some supplements that I hope strengthen my immune system.

Grammy Staffy said...

What a good weekend you have had. It has been so nice outside. I wish that I'd been out more but I've been in most the the weekend. I'm glad that you are feeling better. That flu bug is awful.

I hope that you have a great week. Hugs, Lura

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Kris, the Gentle Leader leash might be just the thing my daughter is looking for! She has a Staffordshire Terrier and she pulls on the leash so badly no one ewants to walk her. I'll have to tell her baout this leash! Thanks!

I'm glad you're feeling better --the Vitamin C from all those wonderful oranges certainly helped. Love all your photos --your roses are beautiful.

TACIStudio said...

Hi Kris,
I'm sure glad you found something to maker walk with your doggies a bit ore fun :) I understand he frustration as our chocolate lab - Java- does the same. We also bought one of tone gentle leads and it works good, but we r not consistent to use it.
Love yr pictures n the chickens, it must be glorious to have fresh eggs... And the oranges how lucky :)
Did u have time for any crochet or knitting? You sure for a to done on yr yard.
I'm so glad you r feeling better and had a wonderful weekend. :)

by Teresa said...

I'm so glad to hear you're better, now don't over-do and have a relapse! Gads, those egg muffins look out of this world! Too bad you're so far away, I'd invite you to the crab feed if you could come!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Knitting Nix said...

What a beautiful weekend Kris!

Holly said...

That does sound like a great weekend. Sorry about the blister. I was the same way with gloves until I found a pair that I liked at Ace. I wish I knew the brand but I don't. They are pretty heavy duty leather with a canvas cuff. Now I'm off to pic oranges too.

priscilla said...

So glad you are feeling better Kris !
Those oranges look amazing :)
Its been very cold here so no signs of spring !
What a wonderful weekend :)
Have a great week !

Kerri said...

Glad you are feeling better Kris! It sure sounds like a great weekend over at your place. Southern California seems like the most beautiful area to live. I can't imagine having fruit trees in the backyard & flowers this time of the year.

Heather - The Good Life said...

Hi Kris, your post wore me out! You have been busy. Our weather has been too cold yet to do any yard work, but will need a good cleaning once it warms up a bit. The orange juice does in fact look like liquid gold. I wonder if you and your husband planted your trees or if they were on the property when you bought it. Have a wonderful day, and glad to hear you are feeling better. Heather

Mereknits said...

Kris I am so glad you are feeling better. I missed your last post sorry about that. I have been a bit overwhelmed here with parent duty, my parents not parenting my kids. I love the photos, and of course all those beautiful feathers on the ground. I am so glad you like the gentle leader, I could have used one with Max when he was young. Have you tried the Furminator? It combs out their undercoat. It is another pet miracle. Max loves it.
Hugs to you and stay well,

From the Kitchen said...

You trim your chickens? I love it! And, that breakfast certainly puts McDonald's to shame. I envy you that "just from the tree" orange juice. Hope you are 100% soon.


Debbie said...

Oh your right, your week-end sounds just wonderful. You are always soo energetic. Glad your feeling soo well now. That final episode of Downton was a shocker huh? Thanks for all the prayers for Tella!

Nicolle said...

Hi friend! I'm so happy for you that you are feeling better. Yay! Makes me smile for you. Be still my heart when I look at that gorgeous orange tree. Love it. I bet that juice is amazing. The breakfast sandwiches that Greg made also look yummy, especially with the avocado. Take care and enjoy your week!

Cheryl said...

Such a lovely post Kris. So glad you are feeling better. Yummy breakfast your hubs fixed for you..what a guy!! Pretty pictures around your house....wasn't the weather PERFECT?!!!! OUCH for your hand. I'm afriad I don't wear gloves either.

Bethany said...

Charlie is a crappy leash dog too--I'll have to look into that leash for him :)

Jill said...

So glad you are feeling better! That breakfast looks delicious with all that fresh delicious food! Identity Thief is on my list to see with Jerry, it look so funny and how about Downton Abbey! That was a shocker! :-( Can't wait till next season starts up again. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful pictures of the flowers. It is so very cold here I miss Spring and summer!
Have a great week!


Val said...

I love that it is citrus season. Great post.

Pammy Sue said...

Glad you are feeling better finally and had a great weekend! Didn't know about that type of leash. I'll have to look for them. It can be a chore with 5 dogs between the two of us. Hope you continue feeling better through the week. Have a good one. We're having nice weather here too. Back door is standing open now. That sure makes it easier when the dogs can come and go as they please, although I have to sweet up grass and leaves every day.

Eileen said...

Kris, Glad to hear you are feeling so much better. Seems like everyone you talk to has had something this year.
The orange juice looks so good. Wish we lived in an area where we could pick our own fresh citrus.
Winter has been kind to us this year as far as the amount of snow we have had. We just got a few snowfalls of abut 2 inches. Enough to make it beautiful out, but not anything dangerous.
Winter seems to drain my energy with the cloudy days. Can't wait for Spring to have Sprung! Have a good week.
hugs Eileen

Sarah said...

So happy you're feeling better! Well except for your hand, you definitely need some gloves. I have about 5 pair and basically just buy cute ones I see at the garden store that do have some grip to them. Not a true recommendation. I can't believe the story about the gentle leaders! Our boxer boy isn't great on a leash yet, but getting better. Because of his short muzzle I can't use that on him, but have considered something similar, it's a harness that clips and pulls from the front of the chest. With your success I think I'm going to take the leap and try it out. Oh, and those oranges...amazing!!!! It's gloomy and gross here in WI as it normally is in February, it was nice to see some sunny pictures.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, What a fun weekend; so glad you are finally feeling better. I have gone through the screen door thing too-hubby always replaced it when we lived in Ca. We don't have a doggy door here(we finally had one in Ca.)but I would love to get one. I know that Lowe's has screen doors with doggy doors built in-which we may look at. Hunter loves going in and out; if we were going to stay at this house forever, I would definitely put a small permanent one in. Loved hearing about your breakfast and family time. Don't overdo it Kris. Loved how the dogs are behaving with the Gentle Leader. I still wish that Hunter could wear one.
Have a great afternoon..
Hugs, Noreen

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

Another Fab weekend there. So wish I could be outside like that. I'm ready for spring or getting away and seeing some sun. Thanks by the way, for the tips. It's probably due to eating more normal that I'm stuck. But not going back up is the good thing. Stuck at 68, I'll take it.

Denise Z. said...

I'm SO glad you gave the Gentle Leaders a chance! We've had Labs (lots of Chocolates!) for over 35 years, and I firmly believe that the Gentle Leader should be standard-operating equipment--it's like adding power steering. ENJOY those walks now!

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

So happy Kris that you are feeling better. Must be all the citrus and healthy food!

Susanne said...

Nice post Kris. Love the glorious oranges, they are so juicy looking and a healthy drink. It is wonderful that you can walk right out your back door and pick it right from the tree. It doesn't get any fresher than that. My friend in Florida could do the same thing with oranges and grapefruit. here in Ohio about the only thing we could pick off of a tree right now is some pine cones, lol, great for making wreaths though as long as you don't get the sticky sap all over your hands. You sure did put a nice blister on your hand. I always hated wearing gloves, loved to get my hands right in the dirt and they always looked like it too, even after a good hand washing. Your hens look so pretty. Always enjoy your posts.
Susanne :)

Patty said...

Oh my goodness, Kris, what a nice informative post. What a lovely weekend. I learn so much from you about dogs, chickens, cooking, etc. Your pictures really tell the story too. The orange juice looks so delicious!!!

Lynne said...

I honestly cannot believe you have roses already! I haven't even pruned mine yet. The dog leash idea is a good one. I can't walk my lab anymore (90lbs) because he just pulls my shoulder out of it's socket.
And why on earth didn't I trim the wings on my chickens! They might still be alive (neighbor dogs got them) I will certainly try this on my next brood, so they don't leave the coop area.
Great post Kris. I'm jealous of all that yummy orange juice!

TACIStudio said...

Love your new side banner :
I have an award for you. Go check it out when you have some time. :)