Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Rumor has it!!

"GCH CH Lockenhaus' Rumor Has It V Kenlyn".
Best in Show 2017
Rumor in her winning pose with her handler Kent Boyles

The winner of  the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was awarded to "GCH CH Lockenhaus' Rumor Has It V Kenlyn".

Breed: German Shepherd Dogs
Sex:  Bitch
Date of Birth:   11/15/11
Breeder: Pamela McElheney & Kent Boyles

Exactly two weeks ago today, on Valentine's day, Rumor the German Shepherd paraded around the ring at this years 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, stole the hearts of the judges and emerged as the Best in Show for 2017.

She won the title beating out more than 2800 other dogs in the show at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, February 14. 
It was the second time in the history of the show that a German Shepherd had won the coveted top prize.
The last time the breed  had won was back in 1987.

Rumor is five years old and this was her final contest.  She will now retire and concentrate on starting a family.
As her handler and co-owner Kent Boyles aptly put it, she is now destined to be matched with "an appropriate husband".
Owned by Deborah Stern, Pamela Buckles, Patti Dukeman, Pam McElheney and Kent Boyles of Ohio, Rumor was favoured to win the prestigious title last year, but then CJ the German Shorthaired Pointer swept the title from under her feet.
She was set to retire but came back this year for one last time and won BIG!
Rumor has 103 career championships under her collar and she is the 39th win by a female in the show.
Congrats Rumor!!!

The Westminster Dog Show was founded in 1877 and is the largest canine competition in the world.
All images respectfully borrowed from Google Images. 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Crash Bang again!!!

I have been so busy recently that I have not had the time to blog about all that has been happening.....and so much has been happening.
Gosh I don't even know where to start but I will try to fill in the blanks as the days go by.  So many things that I want to make a note of here.

I had planned to change up my grass verge once again due to maintenance upkeep.
I was tired of weeding and watering the asparagus fern that I had planted, plus the prickly fern fronds were trapping all manner of garbage blowing around in the breeze....I knew it was time for it to go.
I weeded it all out and gave the stone pavers to my girlfriend Ann.
The area stood empty until I could decide what to do with it.
A few days after Christmas Day (27th) I spotted a dark damp area outside my front wall where my water meter is located.

Water dampness seeping up the front wall.

I checked the meter and its connections for leaks but did not detect any.

As the days went by the damp area became waterlogged and my concern grew more.
Placed a call to the Water Authority and a work crew came out the same evening and dug around until they found the problem.

The connection for the water supply for my side of the street is located under the steps to my side entrance.  The connection was probably 10 years old and had worn out...it was time to be replaced.
It was already dark when the work crew showed up but thankfully the problem area was located next to the street light.
The dedicated work crew worked hard taking turns at breaking up the concrete stone with a pick ace but at the same time being very careful not to do anymore damage.
Finally they found the worn connection after they had dug down into 3feet of muddy water and debris.

Even though they were dirty and sweaty, water soaked and mud caked, they still were a happy bunch and made me laugh quite a bit with the conversations that we had. 
I held my LED torch for extra light as they made the new underground connection.
I was really impressed how professional they were and they in turn were taken aback that a woman was outside with them in the fray of things.
At one point I may have given up but not these guys, they worked and worked until they fixed the problem. 
Many questions swam around in my mind....Gosh how do they do this kind of back breaking work all the time...how do they manage to get their clothes clean after all that muck...how do they stay so positive in such working conditions....are they paid enough??
It made me realise even more that we the public owe these guys a ton of respect.
I took some cold drinks and water out for all of them....they really appreciated the kind gesture.
It being a cold night, the joker in the group announced, "Misses, you ain't got nothing stronger inside?  That juice going hurt my belly!" 
I laughed and returned inside to take a small portion of something strong for him which he promptly shared with his crew mates.

In about 45 minutes they had finished and tidied up and were on their way promising that the masonry crew would be back to fix back the steps and the small retaining wall.

 Naturally with everything all dug up, the large pieces of concrete debris made the area looked like a construction scrap yard.

A few days afterwards, the supervisor came by to check on the job that needed to be done to fix back the area.  He indicated that materials were at an all time low but would try to source some in order to make the front of my home look proper again.  I thanked him.

A couple of days after his visit (January 11th), the mason came by and did an excellent job at reinstalling the steps and the side areas.

A mason extraordinaire.
The mason was a true gentleman....a nice respectful young man who took great pride in his work....He worked quickly and cleaned up thoroughly as he worked...see the broom above.

No dilly dallying at all....got out of the truck...assessed the job to be done and started pronto.

 His assistant mixing the concrete for the step repairs.

 Laying the steel to strengthen the concrete

 Making sure the consistency is right before casting.
When he was finished, I couldn't even tell where the damage was at all.

I was so impressed with the work and the manner in which he worked that I made a note of his contact number.

I was so happy that everything was looking all nice again because I was now ready to change the look of the verge again.
Just as I was about to begin my new project .....CRASH!!!! BANG!!

Well would you know it...exactly one month after the water main leak along comes more drama.
My neighbour on her way home one Friday afternoon (Jan 27th) drove over the road curb and smashed her car right into the wall area that had just been completed....she narrowly missed the street light by a very slight margin.

Thankfully she was okay....her car and the wall and the gate not so much.

Water was gushing everywhere....the water meter was completely destroyed as it had been knocked off the pipe connection.

A good quantity of soil in the front garden bed was washed away.

 Water meter smashed to smithereens.

Water formed a fast flowing river going down the side of my house.

The car was lodged firmly on to the small gate wall, but with the help of a kind gentleman who had a big truck it was eventually pulled back on to the road....it was still driveable and after the busted tyre was changed by my neighbour down the street, she was able to drive it home.

The small gate was bent and the wall was knocked completely off from its support.  I managed to prop the wall up so the gate could remain closed and so that Brownie would be safe inside.

My poor neighbour was quite distraught over the incident and she promised to fix the damage as soon as possible.
Once again I called the Water Authority...they promised to come by pronto.
The water continued to spew out forming a rushing river flowing down the side of my house.
Thankfully a few guys saw the "water waste" and promptly attached the end connection to stop the flow.
I realised they were my neighbour's workmen and the following Friday evening I took some cold beers out to them as a THANK YOU.
However I was still without water since there was still no connection via the meter to my house.
The following day a water work crew came by and hooked our water line back up to the water supply....yeah I had water again!!
No meter was installed but I was told to go ahead with my water usage and I would be charged the minimum amount until a new meter is installed....I use minimum water anyway so no problem there.

I still could not start my new project because the area outside of my front wall was totally drenched.  I had to wait a few days for it to dry completely out.

In the meanwhile I obtained an estimate for the repairs from the mason (thank goodness I had requested his number...thanks Sean!!) and also a store estimate for the materials and presented them to my neighbour...I don't think she realised how much damage had been done but she assured me that she will honour her commitment to pay for the repairs.
The saga continues.

In case you wondering the first Crash Bang is here.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Bye Bye Bamboo!!

 I thought when I planted the miniature bamboo in the driveway side bed that it wasn't going to cause too many problems...boy was I wrong.
It kept me pretty busy keeping it in order....but it was pretty and I liked having it there.
Alas! pretty wasn't cutting it anymore.  It started to really get out of control....wanting to escape from the bed altogether and the roots began to break up the edge of the bed.....that's when I knew it had to go.

One Sunday morning last month I decided to take on the task of clearing it out.
The night before I had drenched the bed with the hose....really soaking it with tons of water.
That would make it easy to dig out, or so I thought.
Well I thought wrong.
I showed up the next morning and trimmed off the upper portions of the plants.  I armed myself with a large garden fork and proceeded to TRY to dig those brutes out....they didn't even budge.
I could hear them laughing at me.
I figured I'd soak the bed again and try again, but that was an absolute waste of time and proved to be quite futile.
What's a girl to do?
Call in her male reinforcements of course!
My friend Andrew came by and started the ball rolling...with a pick axe he dug out about half of those devils before he had to leave.
My brother Vesta who was visiting the island also passed by to say hello while we were working but we were both so hell bent on getting the job done that we couldn't stop to chat for very long.

Lifting out those tightly wound roots was heavy going but I managed to clear away the section that Andrew had dug out.

The roots had grown together as one thick mass....impossible to break apart.
I think these would make great candidates for areas with soil erosion.

 See that crack in the bed edge that the roots created?
My techie friend Charles decided he wanted to help out too so he also came by and dug out the last remaining section.

It was hard going...my poor friend Charles was sweating profusely and I felt really sorry for him, but he said he was okay and really glad to help.
He dug all of the remaining roots out.
That afternoon after clearing away all the roots, I sat down and carefully made sure that all signs of the bamboo roots were removed from the rock crevices and from every nook and cranny of the bed.
It just takes a very small piece of root for bamboo to replenish itself...after all it is a grass.
When I was satisfied that I got them all out, I felt a sense of relief.
I then repaired the crack with some "Hard as Nails" and left it to dry overnight.

The following day I filled the bed up with some drainage rocks and filled it with new soil.

I planted four Lady Palms to take the place of the bamboo....they will give me the look I am going for and I hope they don't prove too problematic.
I told my girlfriend Dawn that she can come by any time and pot as many offshoots as she wants for her plant shop....after all she was the one who gifted me the Lady Palms....smile.
This process will help to keep the bed in good order....hopefully.
I have a sea rock collection that I will use to decorate the top soil of the bed....these will help to retain the moisture in the soil. 
I'm so happy that I finished this re-landscaping project before the rains start.
The palms will fill in nicely with adequate rainfall.....keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

Friday, 17 February 2017

"An Evening of Kindness"

On Valentine's Day when I delivered the Valentine's goodies to the RSPCA veterinary staff, an invitation was hand delivered to me.
"We'd love to see you there!" they all chimed.
"Uh...okay", I replied.

I've been quite busy recently, but I knew I had to be there.

Yesterday afternoon I attended "An Evening of Kindness" at the RSPCA and it was a lovely event.
To be honest anything that remotely has a "kindness" factor attached to it, I am there.

Arriving early works well for me at most events since it allows me the time to take as many photos as I want unhindered.
The lovely new RSPCA Building

 Well stocked Bar
Guests who love and respect animals were in attendance.

 A special event to say "THANK YOU!" to all the generous sponsors and donors who contributed to the building of two new kennels.
 An event to say "THANK YOU!" to anyone and everyone who has stood by them in any way.
 An event to humbly give back to all who gave to them.....brought tears to my eyes.
I saw a few old faces, including my old School Mistress....it was so good to see her after all these years.

The DJ
Silent Auction 
Lots of lovely items to bid on
THANK YOU in every language says it all.
In the background this was playing...Try a Little kindness

Dr. Huey has a BIGG sense of humour....he always makes me laugh.

 The two new kennels.
The House of Coby
The House of Gracie
 The House of Coby
 Gracie's Journey
Here is Gracie starring in an Adot-A-Shelter-Dog video.

 The House of Gracie

 Donation Table
 Dr. Huey hustling away (as usual) to attend to other guests after planting a big kiss on my cheek.
 Inspector Wayne Norville....without him many animal lives would be lost.
He is The Saving Grace.
 Reception Staff...these ladies always greet you with a warm welcome.

 Friendly catering staff took care of the invitees all evening.
Cocktails and tasty canapés kept the palate entertained.
Every single word of the thought provoking and sincere THANK YOU speech was taken note of by yours truly.
I want to do more.

 These caring and loving folks work very hard with a dedication that is second to none.
It was nice to see them enjoying themselves and being recognised for their hard work.
To all of you, you already know how much I love you all....oh yes and Brownie has tons of love for you too.
Keep up the good work!!!

I must make a special note of the professionalism of the Event Planners...they did an incredible job....their flawless execution of everything...from the decor to the food.... made for a wonderful evening....well done!!

You don't have to worry....YES...a small morsel traveled home with me for you know who.

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see".....Mark Twain. 

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