Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Very "HAPPY" Ending!


This afternoon at lunchtime I received a phone call from Mrs. Lee. She owns the local dry cleaner business, and we've been trying to help find her dog, a Cocker Spaniel named "Happy" who wandered away from the store this past Saturday. Mrs. Lee told me that a married couple brought HAPPY back to the store today!!! They found the dog wandering around the neighborhood and kept her until they saw one of the signs Mrs. Lee posted in the neighborhood. Tom and I are elated that little "Happy" has been found. - Now I need to contact the rescues, shelters and remove the ad from Craigslist. An ad is still going to appear in tomorrow's local newspaper, though - I missed the deadline, but I'm SO happy that "Happy" has come home.
I told Mrs. Lee she needs to get Happy MICROCHIPPED! - I urge everyone to do that for their dog. Microchipping puts a tiny computer chip in the back of a dog's neck that contains the owner's name, address, phone and even email.

What Causes Fall Leaf Colors


You may have heard before what causes leaves to turn colors, but I thought it appropriate as leaves are turning already in the northern U.S. States, and starting in the mid-Atlantic. Here's a good reminder (from Livescience.com):
The green color of leaves during the spring and summer is a result of the presence of the pigment chlorophyll, which allows plants to capture sunlight and produce energy by the process of photosynthesis.
When the weather begins to turn cool in the fall, chlorophyll, which is sensitive to the cold, stops being produced. As the green fades, yellow and orange pigments called carotenoids (also responsible for the orange color of carrots) take over. These pigments were always present in the background of the leaves' color, but can finally shine through as the green diminishes.
The red color comes from anthocyanins, which unlike carotenoids are produced only in the fall. These red pigments act as sunscreen for the trees by blocking out harmful radiation and preventing overexposure to light. They also act as an antifreeze, preventing leaf cells from freezing easily in the autumn chill. Some scientists have even suggested that the red colors ward off pests.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Quest to Find a Local Lost Dog

I guess this is the week for helping dogs and their owners. Tom and I go to a dry cleaning business locally, and on Sunday, saw a photocopied 8x11 pierce of paper with a photo of our dry cleaner's (Mrs. Lee's) dog "Happy" on it!
On Sept. 26th, Mrs. Lee's cocker spaniel "Happy" wandered away from her business in Bowie, Maryland (off route 450 and Highbridge Road), and Mrs. Lee has been frantically searching for her. The owners are from either Vietnam or China, and don't speak English very well, so I'm trying to assist them. SO, I've contacted the two Animal Shelters, both local/regional Cocker Spaniel Rescues, wrote and posted an ad on Craigslist (Mrs. Lee isn't computer literate); and just took out a "Lost and Found" ad in the local newspaper.
I'm hoping that all of this will somehow pay off and Happy will be reunited with Mrs. Lee. When I went to the shop on Monday to tell her about the shelters, she broke down in tears. My heart aches for her. **PLEASE MICROCHIP YOUR DOG!**
HERE'S THE AD I put out: Desperately seeking lost, golden Cocker Spaniel. Female, 4-5 years old. Answers to "Happy." Lost from the DRY CLEANING STATION @ 6129 High Bridge RD Bowie,MD 20720 on September 26th. ***Reward offered*** Please call the store at 301-262-2121 OR 301-642-6730.- Resembles the dog in the attached image.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Baltimore Book Festival & Baltimore's Washington Monument


Tom and I drove up to the Baltimore Book Festival on Sunday, and met our friend Douglas there. We had a great time walking around and checking out all of the vendors, authors and book sales. I was looking for a potential publisher for my book on Ghosts and Spirits, but failed to find one (I'm about 1/2 way through the second round of edits on it now). I did manage to find comic books for sale through the Baltimore Book Exchange - and at a great price, so I was happy! :)
We also took the opportunity to check out Baltimore's Washington Monument. Neither Tom nor I have ever been in there. The employee was really enthusiastic and encouraging, getting people to do "George Washington's Aerobic Workout." What he meant was climbing the 228 stone stairs to the top of it. Tom, Doug and I were up to it, and managed to do it. Although, if you go, be warned! The stairways are VERY SLIM... and some wider people that go up may force you to go all the way back down, because you can't squeeze past.

Here's a photo of Doug in shadow with the view of Baltimore (facing North) from the top of the tower.

Here's goofy close up of Doug, Rob and Tom after climbing to the top and going back to the first floor of the building!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Transporting a Rescue Dog!

Because we adopted Dolly from the Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue in Lenoir City, Tennessee back in March 2005, we help them out by either doing local home inspections for potential adopting parents, or we help transport Weims to homes in the Mid-Atlantic or the Northeast.
Two years ago, we transported a Weim from Maryland to Rhode Island to his new dad. This weekend, we drove to Culpeper, Virginia to get "BUDDY" and bring him to meet his new mom in White Marsh, Maryland. The transport took the work of 4 different groups: Amber at the rescue who coordinated the transports; Sonya who drove from TN to Lynchburg, VA; Tracy who drove from Culpeper to Lynchburg back to Culpeper, VA- where she met us!
- It was quite a trip. In total, it took us exactly 8 hours.
Of course, we had our kids, Dolly (the Weimaraner) and Franklin (the dachshund) with us in the truck, too, so we were all together!
**ALL PHOTOS ARE OF BUDDY, OR OF BUDDY AND HIS NEW MOM, CATHY**

Traffic around DC was a challenge, but we beat the jams. Our way down was good, because there was no rain. On the way back, the DC Beltway going our way was shut down from multiple accidents, so we wound up going south around the beltway, swinging around and going north past Baltimore to White Marsh, Maryland.

He is such a good boy, and so incredibly handsome, too. In fact, we thought he resembled our Dolly- same facial and body structure. He rode very well, and was excited to be in the truck, even with Dolly (our Weim) and Franklin (our Dachshund)! We gave him one of Dolly's favorite dental chews- Nylabone dinosaurs and like Dolly and Franklin, he loved it! (You can buy 'em for your weims and other powerful chewers cheapest here: http://www.jbpet.com/Dental-Chew-Dinosaur,1475.html - if you get them, buy the hard plastic white ones).

We took these photos while he was riding in the truck and one with his new Mom, Cathy. Cathy sent her thanks to all who helped transport Buddy (especially in the rain!). Buddy looked so happy- in fact, when he saw Cathy and her daughter, he jumped up and gave Cathy's daughter a hug!

It was a perfect way to end a long drive! We are so happy that Buddy is now in a happy and loving home, and Cathy promised to shower him with lots of love.

One thing I find is ironic, is that my dad passed one year and one month ago, and his nickname was BUDDY. I know he was watching over us today.








Saturday, September 26, 2009

Franklin the Bunny Killer

MARYLAND -- September 25, 2009
It was a cool, dark evening around 10:30 p.m. EDT, when Franklin the dachshund and his sister, Dolly the Weimaraner were let out in the backyard of their home to patrol the grounds before bed, and do their business. That's when the incident occurred.

From inside the house, daddies Tom and Rob heard a squealing and screaming like a little girl on a rollercoaster. They knew that was Franklin squealing with delight that he had found an evil bunny in the backyard. One that was eating Daddy Tom's flowers and Daddy Rob's green peppers. So, acting on instinct, it is reported that Franklin chased the rabbit around the yard. The rabbit was apparently caught off-guard and didn't know how to get out of the yard. Franklin cornered the bunny near two lawn chairs and pounced.

Dolly, who doesn't have that instinct, but was curious, walked over to the area of the incident. The bunny lay still. Franklin walked away with grin on his little furry face, and a big sense of protecting the yard. Daddy Rob was horrified. Now there would be a bunny ghost hopping around in the backyard.

Word in the bunny community is that they're all looking out for Franklin. When interviewed, Franklin said about the incident, "I was just protecting the flowers and doing my job. Further, for anyone that thinks I'm still overweight, do you think a fat dog can catch a wild jackrabbit? I don't think so!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dolly's Trick for Treats

Dolly (our Weimaraner) is getting ready for Halloween
- she's doing tricks for treats. :) Actually, she's perfected
jumping up for them... and she even sneaks in hugs and
kisses to us when we're giving the treats to here. Here's
a video from tonight when Tom was tossing Dolly treats.
, the dachshund hasn't perfected this talent, so he lets the
treats hit him on the head whenever we toss them!


Animal Odd Couples: Unlikely Duos Find Friendship - ABC News

VIDEO: Animal Odd Couples: Unlikely Duos Find Friendship - ABC News

Animal Kingdom's Odd Couples

Three-month-old Asian camel Ldinka bends over a fence to nuzzle an adult Vietnamese miniature pig at the Royev Ruchey Zoo in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, June 2, 2009.
(Ilya Naymushin/Reuters )
Shared via AddThis

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dog Foster Homes Needed NOW / Tom's Eye update and more

Coast To Coast Dachshund Rescue Needs foster homes for rescued Dachshunds!
  Whether you live in Maryland, Penn., New Jersey or Delaware doesn't matter- what matters is if you can foster a homeless dachshund.  For more info, go to:www.c2cdr.org, yo  or contact the Maryland Representative at marcey789@yahoo.com
Tom's Eye update - Tom returned to work today, although his eye is still giving him blurred vision. The doc said it wouldn't be until Friday (tomorrow) that it would finally feel more like normal- but Tom's working a huge project (architecture) so he needed to go to work.  
Still Needing Educational Funding - My friend Fran's classroom in Baltimore is still needing funds to buy musical instruments for her class. You can donate at: http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=312882&utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=project&utm_campaign=TellAFriend
A New Dolly Parton Boxed CD Collection - Now available!  cool- lots of unreleased stuff, too: 
http://dollyparton.skyroo.com/se/view/music/index.html?&affcode=dpafa1

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tom's Cataract Surgery Update /festival photos/ reminder

Tom's cataract surgery was yesterday, and he's having a tough time with it. Turns out, the center of his pupil has a scar on it, as it dried out, and his eyelid pulled off the cells that were trying to develop over it, and heal it. So, this morning we went back to the eye surgeon (regular follow up appt.), and the surgeon gave him a lubricating gel to put in his eye, to keep it moist. He said it's felt like sand or something under his eyelid, and it's painful. His eye is all red from the irritation, and he's been unable to read. - Quite a difference from his other eye experience. Of course, dry eye will cause problems. It should be better tomorrow (we hope)... as he has to go back to work.
- More Photos from Baltimore's Federal Hill Street Beat Festival- (where we went on Sunday) can be seen here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=109548&id=50902848550&l=5cf6474b3c  (we're even in a couple of them).
- REMINDER - Halloween is only 5 weeks away, so start planning now!  - Tom told me "no superheroes this year!" He said he wants me to do something really different. I told him I don't want to be anything other than a superhero. Would you?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Great Doggy Weekend Out!


This weekend, the weather was perfect, so we took advantage of it with the dogs. Sunshine with temperatures in the mid-70s made for perfect dog walking time, and outdoor adventures.
2 HOUR DOG WALK - On Saturday, we took Dolly the weimararner and Franklin the dachshund on a  walk for almost 2 hours! Close to our home is a walking trail that leads to a park with a pond. It was all once part of the Belair Mansion estate (back in the 1800s). The pond is now separated from the mansion (run by the state as a museum where events are held) from a neighborhood of homes built in the 1960s.  We walked around the neighborhood and to the mansion on the way back.    (PHOTO: Doggy Vendor Banner at the Federal Hill Festival on Sunday)
 GHOST CHILD OF THE BELAIR MANSION - I (Rob) always manage to find ghosts somewhere, and when we had visited the Belair Mansion last year, I sensed the ghost of a little girl running around in what used to be her nursery.
  I told Tom about her, and he insisted that it wasn't the mansion that I sensed the little girl in, so he bet me five dollars!  

  Well, when we went to the mansion with the dogs, and explored the backyard, we found the family cemetery in the back, where the little girl, Anna Ogle, was buried. I sensed her on the grounds (headache started), and Tom lost his bet!  I told him, when it comes to ghosts, don't bet with me! :)
(PHOTO: Steve, Tom and Franklin at the Federal Hill Street Beat Festival on Sunday)

(PHOTOS: We had lunch at Panera Bread and here Franklin is sniffing Rob's coffee, and then Franklin and Dolly are sitting pretty hoping for scraps from the table) .
 

ALAN JACKSON CONCERT! - On Saturday night, we saw Alan Jackson (one of Rob's favorite country music artists) in concert. He was FANTASTIC!  It was a great concert- and Tom enjoyed himself, too. Alan writes a lot of his own songs, and has a nice, reserved personality - very warm and inviting. Tom and I were singing along through much of the concert, too. During the concert, Alan had large screens behind him, showing videos to his songs and showing live footage of him while he sang them. Sometimes, the cameras would take shots of people in the audience singing or dancing. During Alan's hit "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" the camera panned into the audience and caught a larger woman jumping up and down, um, shaking everything like jelly, and Tom and the women sitting next to him all burst out laughing! - New artists Kelly Pickler opened for Alan Jackson, and not only could we not understand her singing over the bass of her band, but she sounded like she was screeching over them.

SUNDAY DOG ADVENTURES! 
Our friend Jeff joined us for our second dog's day out.
Baltimore's Federal Hill Street Beat Festival was in full-swing, so we went up to check it out. Rob helped conceive a "Dog Day" part of it, and worked with his friend Jane (who does the marketing for the neighborhood). Rob gave his ideas to Jane, who worked with a woman named Vanessa- who followed through and organized the event.
 Vanessa works at the Federal Hill sign company and made the "DOGGY VENDORS" Banner using a photo of Dolly as a puppy, with her siblings (Taken 4 years ago at the Weimaraner Rescue that we adopted her from).

Federal Hill Street Beat Festival!



The Federal Hill Street Beat Festival on Sunday in Baltimore was a lot of fun for us, our friend Jeff, and our dogs Franklin (the dachshund) and Dolly (the Weimaraner).
(PHOTO RIGHT: Tom and Franklin, Rob and Dolly take a break in the new doggy vendor area of the Street Beat Festival).

PHOTO: Our friend Jeff (left) stands with Dolly  (the weimaraner) who is telling him that HER photo is on that "Dog Vendors" sign. It's a picture of Dolly and her sisters and brother from when she was a pup at the rescue in Tennessee. The Federal Hill Festival used this picture to advertise the new dog vendor part of the festival. We were so proud! Tom and Franklin stand on the right side of the sign. Notice Franklin smiling  and looking up at the sign!


PHOTO: Dolly (left) and Franklin (right) meet a beagle at the Street Beat Festival's dog area. Look at the beagle's wagging tail. They were happy to meet.  There were a good number of dogs at the festival, too. Dolly and Franklin managed to get a big bag full of treats from daddies Rob and Tom by the time they left. Franklin also got a brand new leash.


PHOTO: Steve (left) and Jane (right) working the festival. They posed here with Dolly (the inspiration for the advertising). Steve was taking photos of people at the festival for Federal Hill's Historically Hip Blog (http://historicallyhipfederalhill.blogspot.com/) Jane works for the entire community, and organized the festival (and all of the others). Federal Hill Main Street, Inc., is a Maryland corporation, is one of the seven nonprofit urban revitalization programs created in Baltimore City in October of 2000. Modeled after the National Main Street program, (created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1977), Federal Hill Main Street's purpose is to revitalize this urban business community in ways that will meet the needs of the community and support the small businesses while preserving the neighborhood's unique and historic character.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2 Great Charities Needing Immediate HELP!!


  Tom and I (Rob) support many dog-related charities, but when it comes to our friend Fran, who has been an elemetary school teacher for over 30 years in Baltimore City, we try to help out. I've spoken at Fran's school on science topics a number of times.  The abject poverty that the kids attending face when they go home is horrendous. Most are too poor to afford clothing (so Fran uses her salary to buy them necessities), and most live with single parents or grandparents. The school is in a tough part of town, and has little funding, so Fran writes proposals to get grants to get things for her students. Here's one that needs EVERYONE'S help, too:

  1)  Fran's school needs donations for projects at school #98. They desperately need some musical instruments for PreK through 2 grade. Help at: classroom project "Let The Walls Ring ": http://www.d...onorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=312882&utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=project&utm_campaign=TellAFriend
This and all other projects at DonorsChoose.org have been submitted by public school teachers who seek resources that will help their students learn. Contributions are tax-deductible and donors hear back from the classroom they choose to support.

2)  Local Animal Shelter in DESPERATE need of dog beds! The Prince George's County Animal Shelter moved to a larger facility in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and the economy has forced MANY families to abandon their pets (as stupid and tragic as that is). Kuranda Beds, a local Md. company  builds comfy kennel beds, and provides the ability to DONATE BEDS DIRECTLY (no administrative costs) to the Shelter! Beds are only $52 each (including tax and shipping). Go to www.kurandabeds.com (http://kuranda.com/donate/2645/) click on "Donate a Bed" and Select "Prince George's County Animal Management Group," then from the From the Drop Down Menu, click on "MEDIUM SIZED BED" - The shelter is in DIRE NEED of them.  Thanks!

 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nap Time!

Tom and I say often that when we come back to Earth the next time, we want to come back as dogs that have the same life our dogs have. :)  In the evenings, we usually spend one hour or so winding down and watch TV (or reading a book) after laundry, dinner, dog walks, etc.  Here are a couple of pictures from Thursday night of the dogs relaxing. Dolly (the Weimaraner) always waits for one of us to get our of a chair so she can get up and curl up to nap.Franklin jumped into Tom's lap while he was sitting in one of the two TV watching chairs, and promptly fell asleep!

Susan Boyle Returns with Amazing Version of "Wild Horses" (old Rolling Stones' song) -

Jeff sent me the link to the video of Susan Boyle's first U.S. performance "Wild Horses." It's apparently an old Rolling Stones song (I don't remember it), but her version choked me (Rob) up! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Doggone GREAT Mystery!

Rob just finished reading a GREAT mystery called "DOG ON IT" by Spencer Quinn. It's told from the perspective of his Dog, who helps him solve mysteries! EXCELLENT book!
SUMMARY From Publisher's Weekly: Set in the Valley of an unnamed Western state, Quinn's winning debut introduces one smart canine detective and his partner, PI Bernie Little of the Little Detective Agency, who's pretty quick on the uptake himself. Chet, a lively mongrel with one white ear and one black ear, serves as the book's narrator, communicating with Bert via doggy methods that verge on the telepathic (I wagged my tail, that quick one-two wag meaning yes, not the over-the-top one that wags itself and can mean lots of things). Wealthy divorcée Cynthia Chambliss hires Bernie, a former cop, to find her missing 15-year-old daughter, Madison, whose father is a real estate developer who smells suspiciously of cat. (Chet's keen sense of smell comes in handy.) When Madison reappears and disappears again, her dad says she's just a runaway, though Bernie thinks otherwise. Chet must use all his superdog tricks to extricate Bernie from a mighty tight fix in a climax that fans of classic mysteries are sure to appreciate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Experience with Dr. Samuel Mudd's Ghost Haunting His House in Md.

Here's the latest adventure in my (Rob) encounters with ghosts and spirits. This one took me awhile to write up, and I've been meaning to post it since this past weekend.  Tom and I took our friend Laureen to the Samuel Mudd House on September 6, 2009 when she was visiting us from New Hampshire. - Rob

PHOTO: Laureen, Tom, Rob
   Samuel A. Mudd was a Maryland physician who was accused and imprisoned for conspiring with and helping John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln. Booth killed Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 by firing a bullet into the back of Lincoln's head. Booth, an actor and southern sympathizer, broke his left leg while fleeing the theatre. Booth met David Herold after the assassination and they fled together through southern Maryland enroute to their destination in Virginia. They stopped at Mudd's house around 4 a.m. ET on April 15 where a reluctant Dr. Mudd set, splinted and bandaged Booth's broken leg. Further, Mudd arranged for John Best, a local carpenter, to make crutches for Booth.

PHOTO: Front side of the Dr. Samuel Mudd House, Waldorf, Maryland. 

   Henry Lowe Mudd, gave his Samuel 218 acres of farmland as a wedding present, where he built a new house for Samuel.
  Dr. Mudd's house still stands today as a museum at 3725 Dr. Samuel Mudd Road, Waldorf, Maryland 20601. Property consists of the House Museum, Gift Shop, Kitchen, Exhibit Building and some outbuildings located on 10 acres. Tours are given and there are some stories of paranormal activity.
  Tom and I took our friend Laureen to the Samuel Mudd House on September 6, 2009. The previous week, we had seen an episode of the Sci Fi Channel "Ghost Hunters" that featured their work in the Samuel Mudd House. During their investigation, they picked up an EVP, or electronic voice phenomena of a man's voice saying "I am innocent." Obviously, this was Dr. Mudd letting the Ghost Hunters know that he was not a co-conspirator with John Wilkes Booth in President Lincoln's assassination. The other incredible piece of evidence the Ghost Hunters found was the shape of a hooded figure crossing in front of them on their infrared camera while they were walking around outside of one side of the Mudd House!
   On September 6, when Tom, Laureen and I pulled into the driveway of the Mudd House, I instantly developed a headache. That told me there were ghosts around, and they were also outside (just as the Ghost Hunters confirmed in their investigation). I didn't sense any specific ghosts outside, so we went inside and took the tour. Our guide was an older woman named Georgiana. She was extremely knowledgeable of the history of the Mudd family and all of the artifacts in the house, and she had a good sense of humor. She would also confirm some paranormal happenings.
   The tour began on the first floor of the house. We walked in the front door which opened to a small hallway. The first door on the left went into the front parlor, but we walked past that and entered the second (and last) room on the left, the dining room. Tom, Laureen and I stood at the far wall of the dining room and my back was against the wall. No one was behind me.
    Meanwhile, Georgiana, our tour guide, stood in the parlor and explained that Booth came to Mudd's house at 4 a.m. on that fateful morning in a disguise, and gave a different name, explaining that he fell off his horse and broke his leg. The doctor brought him into the front parlor and set him on a couch under the front windows, where Mudd set Booth's leg.
   During Georgiana's talk I whispered to the entity that I was sensing "I know you're here, please give me a sign." Moments later, I felt two fingers tap my right shoulder! I turned and looked behind me and there was a bare wall, about four inches from my back. No one was behind me. I sensed that there was a male presence there with me, and the ghost had confirmed it through tapping me. I felt it was Dr. Mudd himself. I then asked the ghost to do it again to make sure I actually felt what I did. I waited for the confirmation, but it didn't take long.
  The tour guide then brought us upstairs, through a small hallway that connected to two bedrooms, the doctor's office and a door to the attic. We entered the front bedroom and learned Booth recovered in that room. I didn't feel anything there. We then moved into the hallway and I leaned against the banister that faced open air over the stairway that we climbed to the second floor. It was there that I received the second sign by way of a tap once in the middle of my back!
  The confirmation of tactile experiences in the house came immediately. When Georgiana took us into the second bedroom she asked "Has anyone been touched on the hand, here?" I told her about being touched on the shoulder on the first floor, and again being touched in the center of my back in the hallway. She said it has occurred numerous times in the house. In fact, she said that in that hallway where I was tapped, another tour guide was explaining about the house when the nearby door to the attic swung open and the guide felt a burst of cold air sweep past him. It was obviously a ghost, between the action of opening door and the cold air (ghosts draw heat and energy out of the atmosphere to manifest themselves).
PHOTO: Outside of Dr. Mudd's office where I was touched again, this time on the elbow. 
The last room upstairs that we entered was the small doctor's office. I took five steps inside the office and was at the doctor's desk next to a window facing the back of the house. There, I was touched on the elbow! When I walked back into the hallway, Georgiana asked me if I was touched again, and I told her I was touched on the elbow!
  We then exited the house and walked around the backyard, where Dr. Mudd's tombstone was located in a small wooden shed. However, I didn't sense any ghosts in the backyard, nor did I receive any further touches before we departed.

Have Something to Look Forward to: Comic Books and Ghost Whisperer

I always look forward to comic book day on Wednesdays  to get me through the week. I think that we all need something to look forward to mid-week, whether its going out to dinner on Wednesdays, or getting comic books. :)
COMICS AND SUPERHEROES- I still collect them, and they're written for adults. (there are separate ones for kids). It lLooks like another awesome week - with Blackest Night #3!! - Cap #3, Batman and Robin #4 and Batgirl #2 look great.   There's a new comic book coming out this week from Darkhorse comics called  "Beasts of Burden" - and the premise is dogs with intelligence solving spooky mysteries. Sounds right up my alley.  Speaking of, our dogs, Dolly and Franklin are all healthy again.   
GHOST WHISPERER - We got into the habit now of watching GHOST Whisperer reruns on the ION network at 8pm EDT Mon, Tues and Wednesday. LOVE that show (can't you tell?) 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home Needed for Lilly- a sweet Blue Tick Hound

HELLO!  My name is LILLY and I hope that YOU would like for ME to come and take care of YOU! Even though I am only three years old, I am very, very good at loving and giving lots and lots of affection. I will teach you how to get the BEST ear rubbing ever. I'm very good at helping around the house too. I will follow you everywhere and keep you company. If you are chilly, I will sit next to you and lay my head in your lap for warmth. You'll get nothing but compliments on your cooking because I truly enjoy my meals. Shopping for fun girly things is one of my favorite things to do...or we could just go for walks. Meeting people is another especially fun thing I like to do I hope that you have a car...because there is nothing like going for a ride and letting the wind flap my soft, adorable ears. So if you are looking for someone to love you...love you and love you even more...I am your girl. Oh, just one other little minor detail. I am blind (or very farsighted)...but if YOU don't mind...I surely don't. I am very, very smart and I will learn my way around your house and fenced yard very quickly. If you help me learn your stairs, I will remember them and pretty quickly I'll be able to go up and down them all on my own. Children adore me and I love children too. Maybe you have another puppy dog in your family that will be my friend and like to play with me. I have the best time playing. Well, I guess that about says it all. I hope that YOU need ME to take care of you and love you. If you will be my eyes, I will be your heart!

For more information, please contact Sarah Noone Scheele at snscheele@verizon.net

Joke of the Week: Think Twice Before Making a Hard-Sell

Here's a great joke from Mom F. in Maine. She has the best ones ever!:
A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, only to be
confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner. 'Good
morning,' said the young man. 'If I could take a couple of minutes of your time,
I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners.'
'Go away!' said the old lady. 'I'm broke and haven't got any money!' and she
proceeded to close the door. Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in
the door and pushed it wide open.
'Don't be too hasty!' he said..'Not until you have at least seen my demonstration.' And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure onto her hallway carpet. 'If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder.'
The old lady stepped back and said, 'Well let me get you a fork, 'cause they cut off my electricity this morning.'

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Annapolis Sightseeing Cruise -" EGGCELENCE" in Annapolis

Our friend Jeff's mom and dad are visiting this week from Maine, and we got together with them this afternoon for a great lunch at "EGGCELENCE" in Annapolis, Md. It's a really nice restaurant, with a friendly and great waitstaff and management, and OUTSTANDING food! http://www.eggcellencebrunchery.com/. Tom's mom met us there, too (his step dad was on travel), so we had a nice group for lunch. We highly recommend the restaurant!

After lunch, we drove to downtown Annapolis and took a 40 minute cruise of the Severn River listening to a narrated tour on the Harbor Queen.

The day was overcast and around 70F with a good breeze, especially on the open water. This is a picture Rob took of the Severn River looking to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

This is our group! Front L to R: Tom and Rob/ Back L to R: Jeff, his Dad and his Mom.
It was a really enjoyable cruise and just long enough with some interesting tidbits of info about Annapolis, the Naval Academy (there in downtown Annapolis) and the Chesapeake Bay.

This is a nice profile pic of Jeff that we took on the boat.

The Naval Academy midshipmen practice sailing and other things on the bay. They were out practicing their sailing skills when our tour boat cruised past them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our Reception - Part 5- A Great Cake...and the Challenge


One thing about organizing our wedding reception, was that it involved a caterer, string quartet , singer, and music organization. It also involved ordering the right amount of chairs and tables, linens, chair covers, and working with a florist. All of this took months. One that that was interesting to me, was the cake. I'm a cake-a-holic anyway. I LOVE cake. -BUT... I'm lactose intolerant.
While looking for a cake, I went to about 5 or 6 big, expensive cake shops around the Baltimore-Washington area, and there are a number of them. One of them is even featured on a Cable-TV program. However, the answer was always the same: "We use butter cream frosting on the cakes, and won't make anything non-dairy. PERIOD."
I was stunned. Didn't they want more business? Especially in THIS tough economy?
Couldn't they make an exception, or TRY to please a customer? NO.
Further, a CNN story came out this week and stated as many as 60% of caucasian Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance, about 80% African-American, and 100% of Native Americans are lactose intolerant. That's a Lot of lost business.
After all of the expensive places, I tried our local Giant Food supermarket, and wound up ordering it from the lead baker, Cindy. She accommodated us with 'no dairy' whereas other places refused. The cake had a white and yellow theme for our wedding, and raspberry filling, too. Cindy helped us decide about a border, and suggested we put our initials on the top of the cake- and we agreed.
The bottom line is that businesses need to be more accommodating if they want to stay in business. I would recommend Cindy and Giant Food's bakery in a heartbeat. I wouldn't give you two cents for all of the haughty, snooty bakeries I contacted though, and to be nice, I won't name 'em.
Next time I want a great tasting cake I can eat without getting sick (bloating, etc.), I'm going to Giant Food's Bakery.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our Local Wedding Reception - Part 4

Here's another installment of some of the pics from this past weekend's wedding reception in our backyard!
Rob's brother Doug gave the most wonderful toast ever- he talked about how he and Rob grew up as best friends, and are still best friends. It choked us up, and a number of friends said it was truly a wonderful toast.
Also pictured is Rob's NASA friends, from Left to Right: Rob (aka Superboy); Rob; Lynn; Ed and Cynthia.


Finished Great Mystery Novel: "Damage Control" by JA Jance

Author J.A. Jance is my (Rob) favorite author, and I just finished reading her 2008 novel "Damage Control" featuring the on-going character Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County, Arizona. This is yet another fantastic mystery in the series. In fact, I've read all of them (and there are many), and they're all great!
SUMMARY: Sheriff Joanna Brady and her staff face a host of challenges while her husband, Butch, tends their infant son in bestseller Jance's solid 13th novel to feature the Cochise County, Ariz., cop (after Dead Wrong). A woman shoots a home intruder, an elderly couple drive their car off a cliff and a mysterious fire kills an older man and leaves three homeless. Were these accidents or something more sinister? When Det. Jaime Carbajal's nephew discovers a body in the desert, the investigation leads to a shady organization that operates halfway houses for troubled and disabled persons. Meanwhile, Joanna must deal with her interfering mother, who exhibits a sudden personality change, and the discovery of family secrets about her late father and late first husband. As usual, Jance beautifully evokes the desert and towns of her belovedsouthwest as well as the strong individuals who live there.
Of course it helps to read them in order, so here's the order: http://www.jajance.com/jajance.com/Books_In_Order_List.html

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

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.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14