Friday, November 24, 2017

31 Parks in 31 Days

We have now lived in Indiana for almost two months, the house is almost done, I started a new job this week and I'm meeting and making new friends.     I have a large yard and want Scarlett and Zak to enjoy it without fear of getting into the street or my neighbor's lot so I put in an underground dog fence, which is wonderful.

At Indiana Dunes State Park

During the month of October, to get a little break from unpacking, we visited '31 parks in 31 days'.    Despite rather disappointing weather (we had over 10 inches of rain in October), we managed to stay on track.   There were several 'all day rains' so we doubled up a few times - but not too many.    We never got to the local dog park because it is a membership only park (and quite expensive) but we found plenty of places to run off leash and just play.   I also found several gorgeous gardens, and several large county parks.   We went to Indiana Dunes Lakeshore one day, and the end of the month we got to "Corgis in the Park" - a corgi meet up event at Rivershore Park in Grand Rapids that attracts up to 300 dogs and their owners each year.   That happened to be one of the "all day rains" and we didn't get there until afternoon but still had a lot of fun.   We'll go again next year for sure, and hope to catch the one in Indianapolis too.   I have a running list of at least 31 more parks to visit next Spring and Summer.    We can hardly wait!

Here are some of our favorite photos from "31 parks in 31 days"! 

A fun day with my friend Patti from North Carolina
S&Z at Krider Gardens

Krider Gardens in Middlebury

Corgis in the Park - Grand Rapids, MI

We needed our corgi umbrella and Lands End rain slickers this day!

I took Scarlett and Zak to Huizinga Park
in Zeeland - adjoining Royal Park Place
where my parents spent their retirement
years.    This was the last place my Mom
ever went -and we took  Princess, Dee Dee
 and Elvis there many times.   Good memories.

Pulaski Park in Elkhart was one of my favorites

Fidler Pond is a great little walk in Goshen.  My
biggest problem was keeping Scarlett from
rolling in the goose poop. 

Indiana Dunes State Park

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Zak and his little friends in MN
With great sadness and yet great excitement,  we drove across the Minnesota state line, late at night on September 26, heading for our new home in Goshen, Indiana.   Although I lived in four different cities in Minnesota over my 48 year residency there, it was the state that I truly embraced as 'home'.  And 'home' it will always be.    The past 29 of those years were in Moorhead, and the goodbyes there were difficult - for many reasons.  What comforts me is that so many of my Moorhead friends are planning to come and visit me in Goshen.   Two already have!   And I am just one long day's drive away from the Twin Cities, where so many of my friends make their home.   I will definitely be going back to visit.

At home in Goshen, Indiana
It WAS a big rig!! 
I still can't quite get my head wrapped around the reality that I pulled this huge, long distance move off - pretty much by myself.   Moving is not for the faint of heart, and the financial hemorrhage, though slowing down, hasn't stopped yet.   There is always 'one more thing' that I need for our new house or one more unexpected expense.   Still, all things considered, it went well.    Material Damage was limited to one broken piece of glass, a chipped piece of Delft and a crushed lamp shade.   Personal damage included two broken toes (it would really help if I would just wear shoes!) and a flare up of carpal tunnel syndrome which is already signficantly improved.   Three months of lifting heavy boxes, painting walls and long, long hours of packing takes a toll.   After two and a half weeks, I have the two main levels of the house unpacked and settled.    The basement needs to be painted before I can unpack down there, and right now the weather is too nice to spend time in a basement!   So that will wait.   I am enjoying time working in the yard, organizing the garage and shed and raking leaves out to the curb where the city picks them up!   (In MN we had to bag them; blahhhh!!)    I've met our neighbors, we're getting to know the town and we love it here.   As much as I miss Minnesota, I have never, in my life, had such a strong sense that I am 'where I need to be'.   I was led here; of that, I have no doubt.

But wait!   This is CORGI TALES!   What about Scarlett and Zak?   How are they doing? 

It's been an adjustment for all of us, and Scarlett has had the hardest time with it.   Her kennel was the very first thing I unpacked and I put 'their room' (which is one side of the walk-in pantry) together right away.   She has found refuge there, amidst the chaos of boxes and nails being pounded into the walls and things banging around.    Now that two floors are settled, she is doing much better.   She kept her distance as I was unpacking.

Feeling at Home
Zak, by contrast, was my constant shadow.   He has dealt with his little corgi anxiety by being a friend that 'sticketh closer than a brother'.   If I go upstairs, he is bounding up right behind me.   He snuggles up beside me whenever possible and is never far away.   He is learning to love our new, large yard.   I am hating the fact that his lead gets tangled in the shrubs almost every time he goes out, and am trying to find a way around that.   Overall, Zak is doing very well.    Both dogs have their favorite places in the house to rest.   Zak has taken a liking to one of the guest rooms (the one with the new, plush carpet, of course) and I can usually find him there, if he's not right next to me.

Tim with Scarlett and Zak at Au Train Beach
The week after we moved, we went to the cabin for a long weekend with Tim.    That was a ton of fun for all of us.    And during the month of October, we're doing something really special.   "31 parks in 31 days" I've been calling it.    I will write more about that in my next post. 
Upper Peninsula - October Color

Kayaking our favorite place  - the Au Train River

It was nice to go from THIS ....

To THIS ... finally

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Much Needed Break

A sweet treat at a frozen yogurt
 shop and Zak and Scarlett,
as usual, steal the show.
I have been working at a frenetic pace at home, preparing for the 'big move' to Indiana which is now less than a month away. 
A stop at Canal Park in Duluth.   I'll miss
this place so much and hope to get back there
once in a while.
Sorting, packing, holding a garage sale, taking care of endless details such as getting new flooring installed, lining up utilities, and listing my current home led to 16-20 hour work days with just a couple of short breaks to walk the dogs and grab a few hours of sleep.    I didn't dare get away until I had the basement fully sorted and packed and I finished that up last week.   The night before we left for the cabin at Au Train, I had a last minute showing which meant leaving the lawnmower in the middle of the back yard and taking the dogs to the park on short notice.   Ninety minutes later, I returned home, thinking the realtor must have forgotten to notify me that she was done, but lo and behold, they were still there!    I figured that was a good sign - and it was.  I got the call on Saturday morning as I was driving across the upper peninsula of Michigan that I had an offer. It was a good one for several reasons, and an hour and a half later, I pulled into a McDonalds parking lot, and signed the documents electronically.   It was a great way to start my week of vacation.


We've been having a very relaxing week here. kayaking on the Au Train River and swimming with the dogs.   Tim plays with the Falling Rock Jammers at the Falling Rock Cafe on Monday and Wednesday evenings and that's always a lot of fun too. Tomorrow we'll head up to his property at Grand Marais, MI in hopes of finding some raspberries.   They are pretty sparse this year  - almost non-existent, to be honest -so I don't expect to find enough to make jam but hopefully we'll be able to pick enough to put on ice cream when we get back.

On Sunday we'll return home to MN for the last  time,  and I'll have just three weeks to finish packing things up there before the big move. 
After some initial panic, Scarlett and
Zak settled in to the kayaks and did
very well. 
Kayaking on the Au Train River

Sunset at Au Train

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A New Home

The best word to describe my life right now is 'fluid'.  In my last post I mentioned a big camping trip to the West Coast.    I was all packed and we were set to leave on Friday, July 7.   I'd been watching the very fast moving housing market in northern Indiana for three weeks, when on Wednesday, July 5th, I happened to see a house 'for sale by owner' that looked like the house of my dreams at a price I could afford.  What to do?    It was a tough call, but I made the decision to scratch the vacation and fly out to Indiana last week where I saw the house, made an offer which was accepted - all in the space of 36 hours!   I am excited, and nervous at the same time.   It's a beautiful home in a newer development, but old enough to have wonderful trees and sidewalks and parks nearby.  My brother went with me and it was so helpful to have another set of eyes (not to mention another brain) asking questions and helping me think things through.    It wasn't until I saw two other homes in a similar price range, that I knew that this was too good an opportunity to pass by.    One of the things that this house has, that Scarlett and Zak are going to LOVE, is a patio door that they will be able to look out of and see the back yard!    We are moving from a house on the busiest street in town to the second to the last house on a dead end street in a quiet neighborhood!   That, alone, will be quite a change!
A new home for a fresh start

I am now back in Minnesota where I have worked hard this week to get my house staged and start the long process of packing.    Since I have plenty of time (closing isn't until the end of September and my house here isn't even being listed for another week or so), it is kind of fun because I have time to sort and downsize my 'stuff'.   There will be a gigantic garage sale in a couple weeks.     My biggest challenge is pacing myself, since I tend to be a 'full steam ahead' kind of person.    My brothers and close friends are afraid I'll be all packed by Labor Day and then sit around for a month with nothing to do!   So I'm intentionally building in some breaks - getting together with friends,  day trips to the lake, and this week, taking in the Fargo Street Fair this week for the last time.  As usual, Scarlett and Zak got plenty of attention and drank it up.   Zak is good for anyone's self esteem and the lady pictured here, new to our community, said "Zak made my day" after he snuggled up to her for 30 minutes.

While I'm busy sorting, packing and carrying boxes, Scarlett and Zak are living the good life.    They enjoy having me home all day,  Scarlett spends a lot of time on the hardwood floor of the guest room (it's cooler there) and Zak is outdoors almost all day (sometimes up to twelve hours.)   He just loves to watch the traffic and the people walking by.   Lately we've had a black cat stalking the neighborhood.    That crazy cat LOVES to taunt Zak and Scarlett.   It hides in the shrubs next door, waits for Scarlett and/or Zak to come out, sticks its head out and once they notice it and start barking madly, it arches its back and hisses, which sends Scarlett and Zak into an absolute frenzy!   Crazy cat. And a black one too!  Zak doesn't mind the heat, and will often nap on the hot pavement of the driveway.   I make sure I bring him cool water every hour or two.  But now and then, I make him come inside for a while.   His favorite place to nap IN the house, is just under the bed where it is cool and dark.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Season of Change

This week I resigned my job of 29 years and am beginning the transition to move closer to family in Michigan.   I decided to take one more big camping trip to the Western US.  Scarlett. Zak and I are leaving July 7 for Bozeman, the Sawtooth Mts of Idaho (my favorite place in the continental US), the San Francisco Bay area, Sequoia National Park, Crater Lake,  Priest Lake,  Idaho and Glacier National Park!   We'll be gone three weeks; mostly tenting, but spending a few days with friends in California too.    I've taken some big trips with the dogs before but never one this long.   Am I crazy?   Stay tuned for the answer.

We'll be home about a week and then leave for the North Shore of Lake Superior, drive the loop all the way around the lake and spend about ten days at the cabin at Au Train.    By the time I get home, summer will be winding down and I will start seriously looking for a new place to live and work.    It will become my retirement home in a few years, so I'm more focused on finding the right house than the right job.   I love my home here so much that it will be hard to let it go.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Yesterday on Good Morning America they shared a clip of a corgi puppy running across the floor and sliding into a perfect sploot. Corgi puppies are SO stinkin' cute, and that clip brought back memories of when Zak was a puppy.    Living on a busy street, I would take him outside regularly and on more than one occasion, a perfect stranger drove by, turned onto the frontage road and stopped to admire him.   One time I caught a cab driver, between calls, sitting in front of my house watching Scarlett and Zak play in the yard.   

Urban Dictionary defines 'sploot' as "The position a corgi takes, lying flat on its belly with his/her legs spread out." Of my four corgis, only Dee Dee did a classic sploot. Before I knew the word, I called it her 'flying squirrel' pose.

Scarlett lies with her back legs off to one side - sort of a modified sploot.    Tim's dog, Elvis, often took this same position. 

Zaccheaus does an inverted sploot!   His legs are tucked underneath him, facing forward.   This boy LOVES to be outdoors and will spend the entire day resting in the grass or watching the cars go by if I let him.

Princess usually took this position - one back leg straight out and the other was often tucked underneath her.  I suspect this was her position in the womb because it was natural to her. 

And THIS is a PERFECT sploot.   Doesn't get any better than this.   Dee Dee had broad hips so the sploot was even wider.  This picture brings back memories!   I adore Scarlett and Zak and they have brought me great joy, but I still miss my girls.    Just like children, no two corgis are alike.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

Life is full of uncertainties and one never knows if this day may be their last.   In honor of the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom and in memory of loved ones who  have gone before us and in gratitude for the days spent upon this earth.   Happy Memorial Day.