2013 in review

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 (you notice, I’m only making one ’cause I’m not so hot at keeping resolutions if I make too many) is to blog more often. As an addendum to this resolution, I vow to NOT get another fractured knee – which is why I haven’t been blogging most recently.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Hodgpodge

If you’re reading this in email or on Facebook, click on the title! It will take you directly to the blog (an easier viewing page.) If you’re already in my blog, WELCOME! (One more hint: If you click on any of the photos in the blog, they should open up in a browser window so you can get a better look!)

 

I know that I’ve been away awhile. No, I didn’t drink too many Hot Bourbon Balls. Work can be very cyclical, and this has been our heaviest season. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to a more “normal” blogging schedule.

 

Christmas

The Tree is Up!

Our Tree

We had a nice, quiet Christmas day. That is, until we started getting ready for the family dinner. I got a little smarter this year (amazing, huh?) and started cooking and preparing several days in advance. Our meal was like the title of this post – a hodgepodge. Although there were a few dishes that nodded to our present area (Michigan – land of ice and snow), most of the menu had a distinctly southern bent.

Our Christmas Village

Our Christmas Village

We had Turduckhen (yes, they actually can stuff a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey). We had both Cajun rice and cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes (real potatoes), squash casserole (thanks to my sister-in-law, Deb), cranberry/pineapple/walnut salad, crescents, and pecan pie. While it was a lot of work and I was really bushed by the time it was over, dinner was a great success. Do you like my “tablescape?”

Christmas Table

Christmas Table

 

Some Sad News

Sydney with Her Dad & His Dad

Sydney with Her Dad & His Dad

Sadly, our girl, Sydney, has been diagnosed with DM (Degenerative Myelopathy). Without getting real technical, it’s a condition in which dogs (mainly seen in German Shepherd Dogs) lose the use of their hind quarters. There is no cure.

Sydney in Her Prime

Sydney in Her Prime

At present, we are doing our best to keep Sydney up and active as much as possible. We are using some holistic herbs and vitamins that have helped others who have had this diagnosis for their dogs. It’s not a “fix,” but if it can keep Syd up and moving longer, we’ll try it. There’s absolutely nothing in it that could possibly hurt her, so we’re hopeful that it will help her to be happy and mobile longer.

 

The GREAT News!

Nitro & His Girl

Nitro & His Girl

Now that I’ve given you the sad news, I want to update you on Nitro. He’s a happy boy. He and his girl, Tehya, are best friends. It’s like he’s been meant for her and Nichole his whole life. It’s just sad that he had to go through so much bad to get to his forever home.

Nitro's Put on Weight

Nitro’s Put on Weight

If you haven’t been following Nitro’s story on my blog (newcomer? WELCOME!), you can page back through my posts and find his amazing, miraculous story. Nitro also has a page on Facebook “Nitro’s Journey Home.” It’s a truly unique story – one with a happy ending.

Doesn't He Look Great

Doesn’t He Look Great

Nitro and Nichole went to his new vet a short time ago. They already knew his story and were very much looking forward to meeting this stalwart animal who had been through so much only to find his purpose with two ladies who love him. His weight was up to within only about 10 or 15 pounds from where it should be. His bloodwork came back with all normal levels. He was a perfect gentleman and allowed everyone to fuss over him to their hearts’ content. He even got his PAWdicure without protest. His demeanor, after the years of a neglect, completely amazes me.

He's Still a Frisbee Dog

He’s Still a Frisbee Dog

Wanna Play?

Wanna Play?

Not Takin' it Away!

Not Takin’ it Away!

Here are photos of Nitro with his new Frisbee. If you look back at earlier Nitro posts, you’ll see that Nitro used to be a fabulous Frisbee player. He obviously never lost his love of playing with the flying disk. He’s not capable of the running as fast, nor jumping high, but he can still play. Most importantly, he enjoys the activity.

Happy New Year

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s 2013.

 

This is a “major” year for me. I can’t believe that this much time has gone under my bridge. In retrospect, I’m happy to say that my regrets are few (cue Frank Sinatra and “My Way). I’ve filled a little of my “bucket list,” but there are so many more things I want to see and do. I guess I’m going to have to live as long as my wonderful, great-aunt, Ruth, who lived to be 104.

I hope you will come along with me as I post them on my blog! Until then…

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Would you like to subscribe to my blog? (Oh, yes, it’s free!) Hopefully, you have already clicked on the title and are now directly in my blog page. If you have not gotten to the blog page, click on the title of the Posting and it will take you to the blog. From there, click on “Follow.” I hope you will. You will be notified of each new posting. I also hope you will jump in and comment on my posts.

 

Looking forward to “seeing” you here on Colmel’s Blog!

Auld Lang Syne

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“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?”

Once again, I’m changing horses mid-stream. I’d planned for the next post to be an account of snowshoeing – and how NOT to do it. That changed, the day before yesterday, when I happened upon a website that had wonderful tribute to a very, dear old friend of ours – Dallas Mark Yother. Mark was my mentor in the thoroughbred business back in the 1980s and 1990s. Those were some of the happiest – and heart-wrenching days of my life. I must say, though, that the time spent we spent with Mark and at M&A Acres (named for Mark and his wonderful wife of 51 years, Adelaide) were extraordinary. I started to become the horsewoman I always wanted to be under Mark’s tutelage. Jim and I spent some wonderful times fishing for giant bream in their farm pond. I walked through hilly fields, played with babies (foals), caught up yearlings, rode a special horse named Rocko, learned how to properly bathe a horse, understood the importance of a hoof-pick, figured out the proper way a horse is put on and taken off a hot-walker, and spent hours and hours pouring over stallion directories learning equine bloodlines. I even helped foal our first homebred thoroughbred foal there. To me, it was a magical place – far removed from the everyday.

So, today, in this blog, I want to remember some very special beings – human, canine, feline, and equine– who have either left this life or who are far too far away and terribly missed.

Here’s to you: Daddy (first, foremost, and forever in my heart); Mother Pappas; my dear friend, Peggy (gone too soon); Mummo; Gram; Aunt Jean; Mark;  and members of my family that I haven’t seen in WAY too long – I miss you.

A toast and tears for: Cheyenne, Blizzard, Liesel, Guinevere and Chief. Smiles through tears remembering Sam (the best cat, ever), Chat Chat, Naco, Leila, Takoo, and Cooney. And wishing I could go back to days with Permanent Cut, Untarnished, Rocko, American Prize, Stormy Creek, Biblion, Mr. TriPower, Mr. Kelly and all the wonderful horses at M&A and at Haynes Farm inLexington,Kentucky.

What will 2012 bring? I can only hope that – for all of us – we have moments that will become beautiful memories in years to come. For you, my friends, I wish only happiness, health, and success in whatever you do. Mostly, I wish you all the good things you wish for yourselves. Peace!

“…We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

Up Next: Of Snowshoes and Face Plants

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Happy New Year

If you’re reading this in email or on Facebook, click on the title! It will take you directly to the blog (an easier viewing page.) If you’re already in my blog, WELCOME! (One more hint: If you click on any of the photos in the blog, they should open up in a browser window so you can get a better look!)

 

What do you do for New Year’s Eve? Chez Pappas, we usually stay in with the “kids” (our German Shepherd Dogs for those of you who haven’t been following the blog). One year, we did something extraordinary. We went to Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman, Michigan. Before I go any further, let me state, unequivocally, that this is a totally unsolicited and uncompensated account of our visit. All the photos of the resort in my blog have been shamelessly “borrowed” from their website (http://www.thunderbayresort.com).

Thunder Bay Resort is a resort in the northern, Lower Peninsula. (Remember, Michigan has two peninsulas – the UP (Upper Peninsula) bordered by Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron; and the LP (Lower Peninsula) bordered by Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie). It’s a year-round resort with terrific golf in warm weather, and winter sports when it’s cold. The resort has good food and a really nice bar. They have lots of activities all year, but we really enjoyed their New Year’s Eve celebration.

 

The New Year’s package included really nice accommodations, a horse-drawn ride out to view the elk (they have an elk farm), and a fantastic meal with open bar served in a gorgeous log cabin. All the food is cooked on a huge, old, wood-burning stove. It’s a multi-course meal that anyone would enjoy. They also serve wine from a local winery. Everyone is seated at large round tables. It’s a great opportunity to meet new friends. The entertainment is uproarious. Even if you start out a bit shy, you’ll find yourself drawn into the party.

 

There’s no need to worry about driving after enjoying the open bar. The horse-drawn vehicles return to take everyone back to their rooms by midnight. In the room we found our own bottle of bubbly and two glasses. It sure was nice to be able to thoroughly enjoy ourselves with no worries about being on the roads on “amateur” night.

 

We hope to get back to Thunder Bay Resort within the next couple of years! It’s definitely worth the trip. Next time, we’d love to go with friends or family. It’s a blast.

So, how do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Watch the Times Square ball drop? Perhaps the Big Peach? I’d love to have you share with us. Just click on the Reply button at the bottom.

Up Next: Of Snowshoes and Face Plants

Would you like to subscribe to my blog? (Oh, yes, it’s free!) If you have already clicked on the title and are now directly in my blog page, go to the bottom left hand portion of the page. If you have not gotten to the blog page, click on the title of the Posting and it will take you to the blog. That’s okay, we’ll wait! Below the “Leave a Reply” area, you will see two checkboxes. The “Notify me of new posts via email” will take you through the steps to subscribe.