Summer of Fosters, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And there's this....I've put up about 20 quarts of pickles this year.....
Jack Jack was returned to us right after our trip to the east coast.  But thankfully he went locally and I hope he doesn't come back....:)  He's a good dude, house and crate trained but big enough to knock me down

Matu, a 1-2 year old yellow lab, just arrived in Rhode Island via a transport.
Chloe and I picked him up on the way home around Mother's Day at Levesque.  You
all know I don't pick up dogs because they always find out where I live and work.

Anyway, Save a Lab Rescue, paid for his heartworm treatment and he stayed with us
all summer.  He is my 2nd most favorite foster we've had over the years (Paco was my
tops).  Anyway, he's going to a great family and I'm glad Dr. Boone suggested to email lab
rescues and she was right, they saw this handsome dude and grabbed him right up :)

Matu traveled from Memphis on this semi-truck trailer to Rhode Island
last Thursday night....he got there at noon on Saturday.
Chloe was very impressed with the set up on this transport
We had Pharoah for 2-1/2 years, we pulled this Afghan from the Nashville dog
pound at 11 years old.  He was sick and it was time to euthanize him last week.  It's always
so hard but it was time.  He had a great life in Birdeye
Puddin was a lab mix that showed up in my yard in June.  She's in New Hampshire now living the dream!
This is Dee Dee, yes I know, another pit mix. But this gal was a good, good girl.  She's up in Kennebunkport, Maine living the dream....

Mom and Gary came and spent last weekend with us...They drove their
RV over and parked it in the front yard...Harmon got a call about an RV
in his yard but it was ours...very funny small town.  Mom and Chloe and I
went to Jonesboro to shop for our exchange student who'll be here Aug 15 from
Peru.  Chloe's looking forward to having her.  I'll post about her coming soon

This is Hannah who showed up in May at Birdeye....she went on transport in July to New Hampshire!!!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Oh my, it has been the summer of drop off kittens and dogs.  We haven't had so many like this summer in quite a while.  It's always good to give a drop off a second chance but when it rains strays, it pours.

These are all gone to forever homes thankfully, although, in the back of my mind, I'm preparing for another round soon and probably when we are out of town.  Anyway, I'm so thankful that my father-in-law and Julie helps us with vaccines and spay neuter so these throw-aways can go to a home.  But I gotta say it again, spay neuter people!

Banff and Skoki Lodge, Canada

Lake Moriane in Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Louise, it's around the corner from Lake Moraine.  BEAUTIFUL!

The Via Ferrata, Mount Norquay, Banff National Park

J.Harmon, Chloe and I were on the back of the line of the group of climbers since we'd done a via ferrata already...and for the record, it freaked Chloe out because all the climbers in front of us were so slow and we literally clung to the side of the mountains for minutes on end.  When the Spidell's and Martin took us on the Via Ferrata in Murren, we went along with out stopping and it was so much easier even though it had two tight ropes and an 80 meter free swinging bridge 300  meters up

Group shot at the top of Mount Norquay

Steep Via Ferrata

Riding down from Mount Norquay on the lifts...Jackie took this

Oh Blogger why can't I figure you out?  This was on the hike up to Skoki Lodge.. it was a 6 mile hike from the trail head to the lodge....we saw tons of hikers, marmots and the closer we got, bear poo

This was a cool family from Alberta that all met at Skoki....this is when they were headed out the day after we got there...
Chloe slept in at the lodge until 11 which was amazing because the lodge is so loud (every foot step creaks...)

When it got cloudy on a hike, Chloe used her scarf as a head warmer

On our way up to Skoki

The last day of the Skokie Lodge part of our trip...These three families hiked back with us to the shuttle.  It was nice hiking up and back with others because of the grizzly bear situation.  It was nice to be in a group!

Chloe and John from Warsaw, Poland.  His parents hiked up and back with us to Skoki.
Those two had a great time chatting...he is a tennis player and going into the 9th grade.  He and his family
speak fluent English, Spanish 

Selfie on a bike ride in Banff National Park

Chloe canoeing with Jackie...look at the ELK on the beach just watching them go by....

Vermillion Lake near Banff

Stan's lawn guy killed this rattle snake next door while we were gone...

This was on our mountain bike ride while we were in Banff

A look inside the lodge....The helpers are setting the table for dinner for 20 people...and those two are at the piano...they're from San Fransisco and were staying at Skoki for 8 days....

There were several couches around the lodge....

Jackie had to test my bike out again to fix the's hilarious to see a 6 feet 4 inch man on a 5 foot girls bike...

Mountain biking to the trail....

One of the six bedrooms in the lodge....

Along the hike to Skoki near Lake Louise

We passed the horses going up with supplies to Skoki Lodge....

Banff Music Center had a Sunday afternoon concert while we were there.  We sat on the grass on Chloe's blanket she brought from Birdeye and enjoyed the music

We loved Amelie Patterson....She was wonderful and we couldn't figure out why she isn't in Nashville with a big record deal....She was great!  Chloe and I got her album autographed, she was so nice!
It was a beautiful mild afternoon...look at all the dancing down on the dance floor!!

July 19-27, 2017

Jackie's been earning gold stars since he planned our first international trip in 2011 to Amsterdam.  He's got at least two dozen trip planning gold stars at this point...and this trip to Alberta, Canada gets a triple gold star.

We stayed in Banff National Park at the Banff Park Lodge.  Banff is a neat, little, touristy town surrounded by the Canadian Rockies.  We spent our time mountain biking, touring the lakes, canoeing, hiking the Via Ferrata at Mount Norquay then we hiked into Skoki Lodge for two nights.   We had a treat of going to a concert at the Banff Music Center on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and saw the Banff Independent Movie Finalists at their cinema, it was a very cool way to see the movies made right there in Banff.  We also had a lot of great food and did some shopping while in Banff.

There were lots of highlights on this trip but the biggest would be Skoki Lodge.  It's about 6 miles from the trail head where you park to hike in.  The guide said there was a grizzly around but as long has he'd been there, 25 years, he'd never heard of any trouble with hikers and bears.  Jackie said grizzlies were known to attack mountain bikers when they're startled more than messing with hikers.  The guide just told us to be loud while walking together (it's always recommended to walk in 3's or more) and suggested we loudly say, "hey BEAR...", while we hiked the trail.  Luckily we didn't see any bears, just their poo along the trails.

Once at Skoki, the guide there said to watch out for a porcupine that had been hanging around the nearby campsite eating rubber off shoes at night.  So we kept our shoes inside while there.  Skoki Lodge is a vamped up Le Conte.  We had different meals for dinner and breakfast, all family style.  After breakfast each day, they set out lunch provisions so we could take a sack lunch for hiking during the day.  It was a pretty amazing spread knowing that there wasn't any running water or electricity.

Like I mentioned before, I can cross Skoki Lodge off my list.  Chloe said she's ready to go back, which I loved that.  Impressive.  I was sure glad to get to the Calgary hotel for a shower...Great job Jackie once again on the trip planning!

There are more photos to add on here via Chloe's phone, I'll get them on here soon!

California 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Golden Gate Bridge

Giant Redwoods

Kayleen, Rob, Mark, Charlie and Chloe
Charlie taught Chloe how to surf on the first try!  Amazing.  He's really talented at surfing
and was a great teacher for Chloe to learn how to surf....

At Charlie's favorite coffee shop near Santa Cruz

Sarah, Hattie, Charlie, Chloe and Kayleen (at Mark's on the 4th)

July 1, 2017

Chloe asked to go to California by herself to visit her cousins after her Great Aunt Kayleen was here at Easter.  Kayleen and Mark, her son, came for a week in April and talked Chloe into visiting.  Chloe loved it!  She got to surf, see a wonderful play about Beethoven, a parade with gypsies as well as lots of good food, said by Chloe, "they eat really healthy".  So the minute we picked her up at the Little Rock Airport, she begged to go eat pasta or pizza so that's what we did.

We enjoyed hearing the multiple stories of Charlie, Charlie and Rob, Hattie and Sarah as well as riding with aunt Kayleen on the freeway and losing her car in a parking lot (no shortage of funny stories).  Gina works at a pharmaceutical company and Rob stays at home raising Charlie.  Hattie is in college nearby and Charlie will be in the 11th grade like Chloe.  Rob and Charlie are a funny pair, Chloe loved telling a story about Rob having to take Charlie surfing day in and day out.  When Rob needs a break from Charlie, he goes to the garage to watch the Tour De France.  Chloe cracked up.  Chloe also reported when I told Gina that Charlie and Hattie are welcome in Arkansas anytime, Charlie announced, "I won't be visiting Arkansas unless the sea levels rise", that made Chloe's day.

They all went to Mark's place on the 4th of July and had a great time.  Everyone wanted to watch the fireworks from Mark's roof but someone pulled the plug on that idea.  Mark has a Chesapeake Bay Retriever that's a good hunting dog and Charlie has a spaniel named Winston.

Kayleen took Chloe to see a play about Beethoven, took her to whale watch, see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Redwoods and they toured Stanford and had lots of fun together.  I wrote Kayleen and Rob and Gina thank you notes but I'm not sure that they were long and thankful enough.  That was a special trip for Chloe and we are so thankful for Jeanie's sister and niece.  Chloe went to California on a Saturday to a Saturday and had a great time.  She did say after both her summer trips that she does prefer the East coast to the West coast which I thought was interesting since California weather is so wonderful but I know it was a great experience for Chloe.  Thanks Gayleen, Mark and Rob and Gina!