Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Double Sign from Rob's Mom!

Seeing signs from our loved ones that have passed just takes a bit of attention to detail and knowing what they enjoyed in life. Why? Because that's how they identify themselves - and that's exactly what my mom did recently.  
   I went into a CVS store for vitamins, but decided to look at birthday cards even though I didn't need any at the time. The very first card that caught my eye was a dark background with something white sticking up so I pulled it out of the rack and it was a poodle on a birthday card!
  So what? Well, my mom had a poodle named Gigi, that she doted on, loved and cherished. My brothers and I said that Gigi was my mother's favorite child. In fact, Gigi passed in October 1993, and right until the day my mom passed in December 2013 she talked about that beloved dog every day.
  Mom influenced me to pick out that card to let me know that she is around. She also wanted to make sure I realized it.
  Here's where the double confirmation came in. As soon as I picked up the card over the intercom of the store came the opening notes of one of her all time favorite songs, "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac!
  With spirit, there truly is NO such thing as a coincidence. My mom wanted to ensure that I knew she was around me that weekend. I didn't expect a message in a CVS, but that's the point. We never know when our loved ones will be around us so pay attention!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

In the news: Unusual Precipitation Patterns in the U.S.

EarthSky put together an interesting story about how precipitation patterns across the U.S. have been changing recently, and The National Climate Assessment put together a map of the most extreme precipitation (rain and snow) have increased in various regions of the U.S.  (Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a research meteorologist and more whom I admire and respect so much, is quoted here). This is well-worth reading to see how our climate is changing. - Rob

According to the National Climate Assessment, the most extreme precipitation events (those in the 99th percentile of intensity) have increased in every region of the contiguous states since the 1950s. In the U.S., the highest precipitation events seem to be occurring more in the Northeast and across the Midwest. Image via National Climate Assessment

Depending on where you live, you could call 2014 the year of the drought, or the year of the deluge. In early August 2014, we have seen several significant rainfall events occur across the United States. During the week of August 10, for example, a slow moving area of low pressure across the Great Lakes and New England produced widespread showers and storms. Yesterday (August 19), parts of Phoenix (yes, the desert) recorded over four inches of rain in a short time period, thanks to an upper level low pushing into the western United States. Are extreme rainfall events related to climate change, and/or has urban sprawl contributed to flash flooding events due to more concrete and poor sewer systems? The answers to both questions are probably yes. 

Is global warming responsible for the increase in urban flooding in the past few years? As we’ve all heard by now, computer models suggest that, as Earth’s climate warms, we are more than likely to see bigger swings in both rainfall events and droughts. Meanwhile, it’s super important to note that you cannot point to a single event and link it, clearly, to climate change or global warming.
However, after seeing repetitive episodes of extreme flooding – such as the floods in Nashville (2010) or Atlanta (2009) and such as the floods of August, 2014 – you might wonder when we will finally conclude that global warming is responsible. Some climate experts are now beginning to make this connection. According to Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at University of Georgia and host of WxGeeks on the Weather Channel, both humans and climate change do play a role in urban flooding. Shepherd says there is a unique formula that comes to mind regarding extreme rainfall events. That is:
Urban Flooding = Increase in intensity of top 1% rain events + expanding urban impervious land cover + storm water management engineered for rainstorms of “last century”
He explains how most of the flooding events that have occurred over the past 10 years are a result of “extreme meteorological conditions, urbanization, and people.”
One factor, he says, is the sheer size of cities, which are growing and becoming more spread out. As cities continue to expand in size, it’s as if a target has gotten larger and easier to hit. According to Shepherd:
If the bullseye is tripled in size, I probably have a better chance of hitting the bullseye more often. Warming climate is likely increasing the urban flood bullseye, making the probability of such flooding more likely.
Theresa Anderson, whose Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia came from research into hydrometeorology, says heavy rainfall and other extreme weather can severely impact big cities.
These heavy rain events are devastating for cities. Urban areas, which are expanding and
Dr. Marshall Shepherd
aggregating, are not equipped to handle large volumes of water due to outdated storm water management, impervious surfaces, lack of vegetation, etc. Unfortunately, that leads to major flooding over a short period.
Hopefully these events are anomalies, but when considering the predictions of an accelerating water cycle, record rainfall events may be more likely.
Bottom line: Under conditions of a warming climate, a growing population and subsequent urban sprawl mean that extreme precipitation events are affecting cities more now than they did before 1970. Not one extreme weather event can be linked to global warming; however, computer models suggest that accelerating the water cycle via climate change will continue to bring about unusual precipitation events, including drought or flash flooding. Urban planners are beginning to speak of the need to adapt and improve cities’ infrastructures – for example, their drainage systems – to help reduce urban floods.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Negative Energy Can Affect Your Health

Recently, we were out and around a group of people - several we didn't know,

and they were apparently into "not so good" things. When people are into things like ouija boards or dark arts, or if they have anger issues, are depressed or just hateful - bad energy sticks to them like trying to clean peanut butter out of a jar.  
  Why do I bring this up?  Because it affects the people around them, too. Negative energy can affect innocent bystanders. Especially people who are emotionally sensitive or in tune with their own internal energies. 
  Such was the case with me and two other friends who came home and that night and all during the next day - all three of us were sluggish, fuzzy-headed and exhausted.  Even 5 days later I still don't feel 100%. I have to concentrate to speak clearly. 
  So, if you know of a negative person, you may want to avoid them. Many people have relatives and people they care for who are negative. In those cases, protect yourself. Before you see them, picture a shell of positive energy around you, play music that makes you sing, appreciate the simple sights around you, enjoy your favorite coffee or other beverage. Build up the positive so that the negative can't get through. I wasn't prepared, sadly, and I'm still dealing with it days later.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dolly's Surgery - 2 Days Later

Dolly can't wait for the muzzle growth to come off
Our 9 year old Weimaraner, Dolly Loretta had some minor surgery on her nose this past Tuesday to remove a growth. She's doing well now.
   As dogs get older, some develop bumps and fatty deposits - just like people. A small bump developed on Dolly's muzzle last year and she's been scratching it with her paw (despite the ointment I've put on it).
   So, she tore it open and it bled, dried out and just stayed there like a skin tag in her line of sight. It bothered her so we had it surgically removed at the Family Vet Clinic.
Franklin checks out Dolly's surgery area
  The vet, Dr. Varner, did a great job (as usual). Dolly recovers pretty quickly and by 2:30 p.m. on the day of surgery she was "pacing and ready to come home" so I took a late lunch and brought her home.
   She did get a side-effect of the local anesthesia, though - diarrhea. So, she's also on Imodium (yes, you can give a dog imodium after every movement- little dogs get 1/2, bigger dogs get an adult dose).  
   She's so good about not touching things she shouldn't and hasn't once bothered the spot, so she never needs an E-collar.
Dolly after surgery
  By Wednesday evening she no longer needed the pain medication and acted like her normal self, had a good appetite and energy returned. Now, hopefully the tummy trouble will subside. At least she's a lot happier without that nasty skin tag in her line of sight.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Wonderful Gift to a Precious Dog!

Kirby taking it easy
Our friends Lynn and Jeff received shocking news about their boxer named Kirby. They learned that Kirby has cancer and she doesn't have a long time on the physical plane , but they gave her one of the greatest days of her life, letting her know how loved she is by so many. As dog dads, dog rescuers and guys who have lost our dogs Buzz and Sprite our hearts ache for them.
Kirby, Lynn, Jeffrey and Jeff
A great family photo
     MAKING A DOGGONE GREAT CELEBRATION - Lynn and Jeff had an open house for Kirby where friends and family came to say hello to her and cheer her. After a couple of hours Kirby was worn out with hugs, pats, toys and treats. What a wonderful way to show our beloved dogs how much their loved by overwhelming them with love from so many.  So, take it from Lynn and Jeff - if you have a dog or cat (or other pet child) who is failing, help celebrate their lives now by showing them how truly loved they are. We were so honored to drop by and give Kirby hugs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Great Book about a Dog: Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love

I (Rob) just finished the most wonderful book about a dog that was given a second chance. A puppy that was used as a bait dog in dog fights (by some thug) was rescued after his ear was torn off and jaw was damaged. A veterinarian took him under her wing as her own special cause and saved his life, while looking for a family to adopt him.
  The father of the family of four authored the book called "Oogy, the Dog Only a Famliy Could Love." The book is wonderful, and shows how any dog deserves a second chance and immediately becomes part of the family.
  Highly Recommended!!!!

BOOK SUMMARY:Now in paperback, the New York Times-bestselling story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.
   In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms.
   Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fun in Federal Hill, Baltimore

Two weeks ago we finally made it up to Federal Hill to visit our friends Steve and Jane and enjoyed lunch there. Fortunately, the rain held off so we got to walk around Federal Hill and explore a little of the history, the great view of Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Steve got to enjoy the new:)  kids play area. :)

Federal Hill

Baltimore's Inner Harbor

Selfie time! 

What is Federal Hill? it's a neighborhood in Baltimore, MarylandUnited States that lies just to the south of the city's central business district. Many of the structures are included in the Federal Hill Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Steve playing with the kids stuff
On the night of May 12, following the Baltimore riot of 1861, the hill was occupied in the middle of the night by a thousand Union troops and a battery under the command of General Benjamin F. Butler, who had entered the city, under cover of darkness and during a thunderstorm, from Annapolis via theBaltimore & Ohio Railroad.[5] During the night, Butler and his men erected a small fort, with cannon pointing towards the central business district. Their goal was to guarantee the allegiance of the city and the state of Maryland to the Federal Government under threat of force. This fort and the Union occupation persisted for the duration of the Civil War. A large flag, a few cannons, and a small Grand Army of the Republic monument remain to testify to this period of the hill's history.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Super Yawn from Krypto (Dolly)

Super Yawn from Krypto (Dolly)