Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Road Trip!

I'll be the first to admit that we are crazy. We woke up at 3am this past Saturday morning to get on the road to visit my parents in Nevada. We chose that ungodly hour so we wouldn't have to deal with Bay Area traffic on a Friday afternoon, and it really works! So, as I said we woke up at 3am and Ayla looked at us like we were insane. With some prodding we managed to get her up and out of the house, and into the car where she promptly went back to sleep.

We got to Dayton around 8:30am and Ayla walked into Mom & Dad's house like she owned the place. Phantom, their 14-year-old lab, seemed to enjoy having the little whippersnapper around. She adored him, loved running in the back yard, and soaked up all the attention she could. In fact, she was quite spoiled - with 5 people in the house (Chris, me, Mom, Dad, and my brother Clayton) there was always someone willing to play or pet.

It was COLD though (no trips to the river this time)! Ayla got a chance to try out her new red jacket in the cold weather and it was perfect. She was running around in the backyard in the mornings and loving it, not shivering and asking to come back in.

We humans had a good time too. We had good food (Did you know they put security tags on the meat in the local market? Apparently beef theft is a problem there.). We played pool and learned a new card game called 3-13. We laughed... lots. A great time!

Chris, Ayla, and I came home on Monday. Back to work for those of us with jobs (yeah, I'm talking to you, retired-person Dad!). But we are looking forward to visiting again soon. It was very relaxing being there, and I hear there's good fishing to be had next time.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Yesterday we took Ayla to one of her favorite places: Point Isabel. Its an awesome 21-acre off-leash dog haven managed by East Bay Regional Parks. There are trails to walk on, many access points to the Bay for swimming, benches and tables all along, and even Mudpuppy's Sit & Stay Cafe for refreshments and Tub & Scrub for self-service and full-service dog washing. Ayla loves to explore here and went swimming in the water after a ball this time! She's not really afraid of the water at all, and once she got her undercarriage wet she realized water is a really great thing on a hot day. After playing ball, walking around, swimming, and general merriment for a couple hours we headed back home. Ayla got a bath at home and slept the rest of the day. In fact, she's sleeping at my feet as I type this. She loves to sleep.

Its been a quiet weekend otherwise. I've been out bargain shopping and Chris has been doing stuff around the house. By the way, today marks Chris' 5-year anniversary at work. Congrats!

It should be an easy week. We're gearing up to head up to my parents' place in Dayton, NV, next weekend. We hope to take the pup to the river there, and who knows what else we'll be doing. I'll have more news and more pitctures then.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pumpkin Carving

We carved a pumpkin! It was a cold and dreary weekend, spent mostly indoors playing with Ayla, cooking good food, and watching movies. Chris came home from grocery shopping with a gorgeous pumpkin for our Halloween Jack-o-Lantern.

Since we took our dining room table down (we tend not to sit at it and had other uses for the space it was taking) we had to carve the pumpkin on the floor, which means Ayla got to help... at least, that's what she insists she was doing. I drew up a sketch of what we'd carve and Ayla watched intently as Chris transfered it to the pumpkin. She made sure Chris did a good job of cutting of the top and helped clean out the inside. She did her best to help carve the front of the pumpkin too.

Ayla didn't much like the pumpkin on the patio. Whenever she'd see it she'd bark at it. I took it down, let her sniff it, and she tried to eat it. Even then, she still barked at it when I put it back up. Guess she doesn't like Halloween very much.

Update - October 20 - RIP poor pumpkin. We had a heat wave and a patio railing with full afternoon sun is evidently not a great place for a cut squash in 80-degree weather.