Monday, March 30, 2015

Where There is Smoke -- 3/14/2015

Besides the friendship we enjoy at the Laguna Madre Yacht Club socials, we are privileged to have members who share their knowledge and experience in boating at the monthly meetings.

This month Commodore Chris gives a talk on using fire extinguishers, showing here a small one only as a prop. 

After an overview of different kinds of extinguishers, he makes a point that each month we should tap it on the floor to shake up the baking soda.

Materials gathered are diesel to burn, gasoline to ignite and an appropriate size fire extinguisher.  Oh, and the metal tub to contain the fire!  First, Chris shows us how to put out a fire on our boats.

Setting up again, he invites Caren to try.

Instantly Out!

Next, Lillian....

When my turn comes, I am amazed at how heavy this fire extinguisher is.  It looks so easy when others pick it up.

Success! and I put that heavy thing down quickly!

Now Herb's turn -- 

David waits for a big blaze.

Herb makes a point of why you must check your equipment regularly and know what you are buying.  The one in his demo does not extinguish the fire.

Still Burning

Erica shows her skill....

After that workout, we are ready for colorful and delicious paella Raul has prepared for the group.


Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday, March 14, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Two Golden Retrievers and a Yellow Lab -- 2/26/2015

Pets like a walk in the morning, so David heads out early with puppy Trapper and is joined by Herb walking Annie, the older yellow Lab.  As they return, Herb takes pictures of 'our house' next door with the new snow from yesterday.

When we lived there the newspaper was always thrown to the area at the left of the photo, and Dr. Jake retrieved it each morning.  He had been known to retrieve the neighbors' newspapers when he found them.

We also had a Shih Tzu mix named Dr. Pepe LePew MD., who went out with Jake and usually returned without being chased.  

So many happy times in this neighborhood.

Herb next gets a photo of David and Patti's house with the roof and yard blanketed in the still pristine snow.  It has begun to melt on the driveway, leaving some icy patches.  At this point little Trapper is leading and is not seen in front of David.

He then takes a walk down the driveway behind their house to see the lake and fountain in the distant background.

While Longview is 'home,' we have many memories farther to the northeast in Texas, and take a drive today to enjoy the rare snow scenes along a hilly highway.

Over the river and through the woods....

The end to a perfect day is a visit by Randy and Dee, owners of a beautiful female Golden Retriever, Molly.  She was Doctor Jake's girlfriend, although she may not have known it.

The six of us enjoy recalling when we first got our puppies.  David got Gunner, a yellow Lab, Dee got Molly, and Herb got Dr. Jake C. Harleton MD.  As soon as the pups were old enough, all went to a group obedience school.  

The owners were trained.

It was hilarious.  Patti, Randy and I sat on the sidelines and very quietly giggled.  After each weekly training session, we had lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant.  When the six week class ended and all dogs were as perfectly obedient as they would ever be, we held graduation exercises in the circle driveway between our houses.  

Each owner demonstrated the commands learned in obedience school, and Bob and Myrna (neighbors up the hill) were invited to judge.  We were pleased to learn that Dr. Jake won "Best Male Golden Retriever;"  Gunner won "Best Male Yellow Lab;" and Molly won "Best Female Golden Retriever."  Bob presented them with certificates that we framed.  Our Dr. Pepe LePew MD received a "Purple Heart" certificate for putting up the puppy antics while they were in training.

Tonight, recalling our memories and thinking Italian, we make reservations at Uncle Joe's, and are seated in a private dining room.  Do they expect we would have too much fun to be in the main dining room?

Uncle Joe's is a BYOB, so we grab a couple of bottles as we leave David and Patti's.  We brought Secreto from Port Isabel, which has an interesting label. Sometimes I choose a wine beginning with the label.

Secreto - label - check!    Variety - Malbec - check!    Origin - Chile - Check!

After opening the bottle, I was especially happy to see Dee pass it on down the table to share with others!!!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Of Puppies and Snow -- 2/25/2015

We hear it is snowing in Longview TX -- surely not!  It hardly ever snows in Northeast Texas -- ice? Yes!  Systems leave the Rockies to swoop down on Dallas and tap Longview, then head up toward Boston.  

As luck would have it, Herb and I are en route to Longview to the home of our former neighbors, David and Patti, and opt to travel in the truck rather than the motor home due to rain all along the route.

When they invite us to come, they warn us that they have a nine week old black Lab named Trapper.  Forewarned.

As we travel along, we begin to see snow in the shadows of trees along the highway in Deep East Texas.  Uh, oh, it could get worse.

With an ETA of 6P, we get a text at 4:30 from David, who says we should not hurry.  They have just gotten home from their lake cabin and found the electricity off.  They will start a fire in the fireplace.  Not to worry.

When we arrive, cocktails and a nice wood burning fire are waiting.  

Oh, yes, Trapper welcomes us!    He is let out of his kennel now and then to socialize.  The puppy is hilarious.  Annie is the older yellow Lab.  Trapper will begin his obedience training soon, and will be a faithful hunting companion for David.  He has a beautiful black coat and captivating eyes, and brings much joy to the household.

Hold still, Trapper.

Good Boy!

Herb:  "Don't chew my shoe, Trapper!"

Trapper, don't tear my vest!!!

Suddenly we hear a siren, which startles me, but is music to David's ears.  It tells him the power has been restored.  All is well!

My camera captures Patti in front of her back door leading to a snow covered patio table.

As I walk upstairs to the guest room, I pass a photo of Patti in her wedding dress.  The wedding had a Medieval theme and was a very beautiful and spiritual service.  I was invited to be one of the Ladies in Waiting.  Oh, but, this would be another story. ...

We are soon joined by Jack and Ava, neighbors across the street.  How wonderful to be together again.  With so much to catch up on, we forget the passing time until hunger reminds us. 

David calls his favorite restaurant to see if they are still open, and learns they are closed due to the weather.  He calls his second choice only to find they will not seat any more guests at this 'late' hour.  Oh, my!  Is anyone else open tonight?  Yes, we do find a restaurant to welcome us.

The Hood of Centenary Circle, Huntington Park

Together Again
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday, February 25, 2015