Autumn Walk

Last Sunday we all went to Nevada City to get some photos of the fall leaves.  As it turned out, most trees had just begun changing so we went for a walk along the NID ditch instead.  What a nice path it is, winding thru the entire Nevada City area.  Charlie got a chance to burn up some of that puppy energy and was good enough to be allowed off his leash for part of the way.  Anyway, here is a little video and a couple photos I took of the day.

Charlie, the White Tornado

On August 25th I had the pleasure of meeting the newest member to our family, Charlie.  A ten month old poodle mix (possibly with Maltese) that Kate brought home while I was camping.  What  a sweet surprise.  When I walked into the bedroom, where she had him stashed, he barked and backed away from me.  Growling a little.  So I just took my shower and changed and went about my business until he felt comfortable enough to say hello.  We have been best buddies ever since.  And Ben, Charlie just adores him.  Follows him everywhere.  And Ben, acts like the protective grandfather to Charlie, so gentle with him.  So sweet to see.  Here are some photos and video before Charlie got his hair cut.  We had to do it because his long hair was a magnet for stickers in the neighborhood and so difficult to get out.  Once the weather changes his longer hair will be perfect.  He is just the sweetest little guy, very loving and a real cuddler, but a real ball of energy, curious about everything he sees.

A Visit with Mom

As always, Kate and I had a wonderful visit with my Mom in August.  A very relaxing time with lots of laughs, good conversation and joy.  We even saw a terrific movie starring Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jennings.  My Mom and I laughed so hard.  It was hilarious and yet very sweet.   I wanted to take some movies of my Mom telling us about her youth, but we managed to only get a little bit of it.  I have a long way to go making any kind of documentary video as you can see from below.

Mom and Louie
Mom and Louie

momandkate

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70th Birthday Event

Kate threw me an amazing party to celebrate another decade gone by.  My 70th birthday.  She had sushi, special cocktails, tons of hordeurvres and just did a fantastic job planning this thing out.  She also got me a new GoPro Hero 4 Silver as a gift which I got to try out all night long.  Below is the resulting video.  Great piece of equipment.
There were eighteen of us, I was told.  A perfect mix of friends.

Biggs Point at Loon Lake

Mr. Biggs
Mr. Biggs

This was our first trip to Loon lake this year and it was extremely sad.  We lost our littlest member of our family, little Mr. Biggs, on 6/23/16, just the day before our trip.  It was good however in that we got to process our grief through reflection on his wonderful life, and all the good times we all  had. Continue reading “Biggs Point at Loon Lake”

Southern California Trip

Last weekend we drove down to see Angela and Jamie in LA.  As expected we had a terrific time with two great hosts.  First day we went to Labrea Tar Pits and the LA County Museum of Art (right next door to the pits).  I wish I could have taken pictures of the art we saw, especially the Netsuke which was amazing, however no photos were allowed.  The next day we went to Joshua Tree National Park with a brief stop off at the Buddhist Temple.  It was a long drive (by Jamie) but well worth it.  The Temple was amazing and I hope to spend more time there on our next visit.  I’d like to sit in on one of the services.  And Joshua Tree was my first visit and definitely beat my expectations.  Amazing rock formations and a full forest of Joshua Tree Cactus.  At night on our way home, we had delicious vegetarian Chinese food and my first taste of Boba Tea, with tapioca balls at the bottom.  The next day I was craving for more.   Here are the photos.

First Snow Shoe in Years

We finally were able to snow shoe on the day after Christmas.  Because of the drought its been several years now, and the snow was amazing.  About a six or seven-foot base.  Plus the added benefit of being able to bring Jamie and Angela along.  Weather was in the low 20’s but we quickly warmed up with the exercise.  We go to our normal spot just near Royal Gorge at Serene Lakes.  The hike was just under three miles.   Check out the photos.

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December Trip to see Mom

I went back to Illinois in December for my annual holiday season visit with  my Mom.   Back to my hometown of Lombard.  No snow this time, in fact, the weather was unseasonably warm.  We were busy the whole time getting lots of things done, tech wise.  Computers, wi-fi, and HD-DVR TV.  Working with Comcast was rather taxing to say the least, encompassing two days … but all is well now and way better than before.  Now my Mom is learning to program her DVR.

Also I got the opportunity to take my Mom shopping for clothes for her Xmas present and we had a ball.  As a side note, I loved the fact we saved over $200 by “smart shopping”.  Foodwise, I cooked her spaghetti dinner, based on Kate’s famous recipe, and I had my fill of Portillos Italian beefs and Pizza.  What I missed was a great Chicago Hot Dog.  Oh well, next time.

Lilac Park had fired up their Xmas lighting that weekend so we took a stroll thru the park after the crowds had left and it was absolutely incredible.  What an amazing job they do lighting that park.  It’s impossible to capture in film but at least you can get an idea.  Only about ten months after her hip replacement my Mom gets around perfectly.  She zipped around the park and the stores with her cane rarely even touching the ground.  And she’s  in such great spirits.  Healthy in mind and body.  Amazing at age 91.  A real inspiration.  I am so blessed to have her and I love her dearly.  I can’t wait to see her again in the spring.