Monday, December 28, 2009

Meet Sophie

After a lovely Christmas with the family in Massachusetts, we drove back to Connecticut on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday we drove down to Baltimore, Maryland to pick up our new puppy. We planned to leave home at 8am which would get us to Baltimore by about 1pm. Ah, the best laid plans, eh? In true Brunton/Nelson fashion, we were running a little late getting on the road and we ended up leaving about 8:45 (with Shelby in tow). There was a TON of traffic on the roads and it seemed like we couldn't drive more than 10 miles without hitting another backup. With a couple of stops added in to get gas and food, we didn't arrive in Baltimore until 4pm. Ugh.

We got to Sophie's house and spent a little while meeting her owners and her mummy and daddy. Shelby hit it off with Sophie's dad, who got a little too excited and had to be locked in the other room! After chatting with the breeders for a bit, we let Sophie say goodbye to her sister Roxie and headed back out on the road. Sophie sat up front on Rodney's lap while Shelby lay in the back looking thoroughly ticked off with the whole ordeal. At some point Shelby managed to sneak into the front as well and the two pups slept next to each other the rest of the way home. The drive home was a little better traffic-wise and we got back around 11:30pm.

It took us a while to get everyone settled into their respective beds. Sophie slept in her crate on the bedroom floor and Shelby took up her usual spot under the covers in the bed with us. We woke up a few times to the sound of Sophie crying in her crate but she managed to get back to sleep eventually each time. When the alarm clock went off this morning she started up again with the crying. We tried to ignore her for a bit hoping she would go back to sleep but she kept going and going, getting louder and more frantic until she was yapping like crazy. We figured she would tire herself out and were trying to ignore her so as not to teach her that crying will get us to come to her. Well, then there was a sound from her crate that got our attention. The loud splat of a serious bout of diarrhea all over her new blankie from Grammy. :( I went to her crate with my eyes half closed and as I tried to pick her up to move the dirty blankets out, she fell over (she's a bit wobbly still) and landed in the pile of poo. Don't you just love Monday mornings? So we started our day with a little sponge bath at the sink and our first load of puppy related laundry.

Later in the day, while I was out at work, Sophie had her first photo shoot with Rodney. Here are some of our favorite shots:

"Who me? Poop in my crate? No way. A big boy did it and ran away." We are still dogsitting for Shelby and she is being so good with little Sophie.Sophie started to get frustrated about not being able to get down off the bed and thought she'd let Rodney know of her displeasure by howling.
"You stick with me, kid. I'll show you the ropes."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Storm

We woke up to a snowy landscape on Sunday morning in Boston. A storm had swept up the east coast over night with some areas getting as much as 26" of snow. The drive back to Connecticut was not as treacherous as we anticipated. The plows had been out and most of the roads were actually clear and dry.
Luckily our driveway was already plowed by the time we got home. We got about 12" in Cheshire.

Dog Tired

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We had the pleasure of looking after a little Boston Terrier this weekend. That's Shelby relaxing on the couch. We were at a family gathering that featured a lot of dogs, six in total. Here are five of them. Petra managed to keep herself just out of the shot as we tried to get them all to sit for a photo.
After a nonstop day of chasing the other dogs around Shelby was absolutely exhausted.

Friday, December 18, 2009

How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?

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We have had to ration our use of firewood recently as the supply that the previous owners left behind was dwindling. This morning we had a delivery of a fresh cord of seasoned firewood. This should keep us going through the winter.
As the temperatures were well below freezing we put on some warm layers and started moving the wood behind the garage
It took about an hour and a half to move and stack the wood

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No chestnuts roasting here

There's nothing quite like a toasty warm fire on a cold winter night.
It seems Jen also needed a blanket for extra coziness.So far, Biscuit is the only one that has had time to put up his Christmas tree. He likes to have the lights on so he can see what he's eating.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Friend for Biscuit

We've been talking about getting a dog for a while now. I have wanted one ever since I can remember and now that we're settled in to the house we thought it was about time. Dogsitting Shelby only fueled the fire. Shelby's Daddy, Dave, got her from his sister whose dog had puppies around this time last year. Dave knew we wanted a dog and knew of my near obsession with Boston Terriers. As luck would have it, his sister's dog was having puppies again this year. Yippie! The pups were born on November 12 and will be ready to leave their mummy right around Christmas. We have dibs on one of the girl puppies. This is Sophie.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Basement Door

Owning our own house makes us very aware of how much it costs to heat and where we can improve on efficiency. As the winter approaches and the air gets colder, we've noticed a few places that the breeze manages to infiltrate the house. The old basement door was a particular problem. The previous owners had built a door from 3/4" boards that wasn't sealed and had large gaps. Even though we have an insulated ceiling in the basement it makes sense to try to keep the space as warm as possible, especially since that's where the majority of water pipes are. The new exterior door went in relatively easily and we'll find out tomorrow if it feels any warmer down there. The new dead bolt latch is also a lot more secure than the flimsy sliding latch that the previous door had.


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How does our garden grow? Well the grass could be better. We thought we'd try to give it a nutritional boost with a treatment of winterizing fertilizer. Aparently it will stay in the soil ready for the thaw after winter. This little piece of kit is a handheld broadcaster. It's a very cost effective way to simplify the whole process. Walking around for 20 minutes and we'd spread the entire bag. Fingers crossed for some spectacular grass. Of course the fact that our garden is mostly in the shade through the summer may actually be the biggest issue.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nelsons in New York

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That leaf blowing post has been up here for a long time. We should post something new. My parents spent two weeks in Connecticut recently. It was their first visit to this part of the country. We did a lot of sightseeing around the state but a highlight of the vacation was a trip to New York City. It's quite a contrast from home in the north west of Ireland. We drove down and parked near Columbus Circle. As it was Sunday there was a large public market covering several blocks along Broadway at Times Square.
Waiting for a train at Park Place subway station. We took the train and headed towards the south end of Manhattan. We visited the site of the World Trade towers and walked along the water by World Financial Center. We didn't have time to take a trip out to Liberty Island but we could see the statue in the distance.
Heading back up towards midtown, we decided to visit Rockefeller Center and the "Top of the Rock" observation deck. It was just starting to get dark so we were hoping to make it there in time to see the sunset over the city. It turns out that many others had the same idea. It was very busy on the west side of the tower as everyone watched the city lights brightening and the golden glow of the sun towards Jersey City.
We had dinner and then walked over to Times Square to see the space in it full glowing glory.We had someone else visiting for a few days. We did some dog sitting and this is Shelby. She's a very friendly little dog and goes a little crazy when she gets her teeth in to her squirrel.
There was a lot of leaf blowing that went on and my parents were a big help clearing the yard on about three separate occasions while Jen and I were at work. Even the gutters were cleaned out a couple of times.And why stop there? We had a slightly problematic spot in the yard that was draining rain water towards our foundation wall. In heavy downpours we could see some drops of water in the basement. Our solution was to install a french drain. Here's my dad digging a trench for the piping about 2' deep and 30' long towards a nearby storm drain. So far the drain has worked perfectly in a couple of downpours.What do you do when you're on vacation and you don't have work boots with you? Well you may notice the solution here. Simply take a couple of plastic bags, wear them over your shoes and tie them at the ankles.Disposable work boots now available at a store near you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lots of trees = lots of leaves

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It turns out that it is really useful to have a leaf blower. It's probably ten times faster than an old fashioned rake. Jen was happy to get out there and clear off the garden.
Blowing the leaves away from the house...
...and into the woods

Thursday, September 17, 2009

North Haven Fair

This weekend we spent some time at the North Haven Fair. I haven't seen a tight rope walking act in a long time, and usually they do this sort of thing indoors. They were up about 50 feet with no safety net.
A veritable feast of vegetables.Of course there were plenty of barn yard animals.The youth craft category had some interesting entries. Here is a model of someones chipmunk.Here's an elephant made out of packing tape.A pretty good monkeyIt wouldn't be a fair without some ridesYou either love them or hate them.