Friday, December 30, 2011

A leg up on the holiday season

Each holiday season someone goes to the trouble of spreading a little extra Christmas cheer - not the wet variety, just a little whimsical ambience - by decorating a Charlie Brown evergreen somewhere, out of the way, near one of our favorite trails.

This year we were happy to see this annual tradition continue. And even without a blanket of snow, this tiny conifer would likely be a welcome Christmas landmark at any trailhead.

But let's not get carried away. While this particular pee break might not qualify as an enough already declaration, Casey just might be trying to tell us it's time to bring on the New Year. Right, kid?  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lead the ways, Casey

A simple hike, beginning on the Interurban Trail near Old Fairhaven Parkway frequently turns into a sniff quest for Casey, with multiple off-trail mini-treks. Three miles of aerobics for me, four to five miles for the trailblazer, with no sign of a let-up. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh yeah

There is absolutely nothing more secure in this collie's world than a rubdown, an ear massage, on the couch - with what's left of a favorite stuffed, raggedy toy in your mouth.

And nothing more sleep inducing for an opportunist like Casey.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Through a glass luminescent

Rain on a window pain, whether drop by drop or rivulets, can be mood altering, a calming influence best experienced in the morning with that first cup of coffee.

This seasonal nighttime version on this peaceful day after Christmas not too shabby either and has to be our favorite photo of the week – particularly with the curious onlooker. 


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Blustery Christmas morning

Waking up this morning was a far cry from last year, windy and rainy, downright blustery, nothing like the Currier and Ives setting of 2010. Casey didn’t seem near as perplexed as Stella, who’s been zoning in on every tumbling twig and shaking branch since we began stirring this morning.

But you know what, it’s still Christmas.

And however you celebrate this occasion, Casey and family wish everyone – and especially Border Collie lovers – the best of the spirit of this season and a peaceful holiday.

Christmas morning from 22,000 feet

Merry Christmas!   

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Staking out Santa

Stella usually keeps her distance from the Christmas tree. She must know something.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Festivus for the restivus

Just couldn't resist this, afterall it is December 23rd.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nipply outside

Just one step outside this morning and it was so apparent why the furnace was running all night long. Temperatures in the area hovered around the mid and high 20s and the glaze of ice looks like it will be hanging around for a while.

The biting cold doesn’t seem to bother the kid a bit and probably wonders why I want to hustle back inside for another cup of coffee.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas dreams

The best present under the tree so far

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guilty Christmas pleasure

Vic and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of our lifetimes yesterday, sort of. The Pickford Film Center was screening an HD version of It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen. So a popcorn lunch, in the dark, in Bedford Falls, lipsyncing our favorite lines was how we spent our afternoon. Could you blame us?

I couldn’t even begin to estimate how many times Vic and I have watched network, VHS, Netflix and DVD versions of this 1946 Christmas classic, including a colorized release years ago. But the Pickford showing on Sunday to a full house was something special, and just like our Greatest Generation relatives saw it in January 1947.

Too bad Casey had to wait out in the car, but he did catch tonight’s YouTube screening at home (below). He'll - OK, we'll - just have to finish it up tomorrow's getting late, at least in this time zone.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas countdown

Outside Village Books just hit us. There's just a week to go until Christmas Eve. Fairhaven is starting to show signs of a frantic Yuletime windup, but we still found quiet corners here and there tonight where Christmas has not yet started to wear on passersby. Give it a couple of days.

Two Border Collies and one treat bowl in Paws Awhile

Village green stage and outdoor theater

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Move over Food Channel

Not even a finalist

Well, the long awaited Garden Street Pre-School Gingerbread class took place today while Casey and the proud grandparents paced the floor in anticipation of 3-year-old grandson Silas’ creation this afternoon.

Ta dah!

As you can see, we weren’t disappointed. And of all the graham cracker confection creations like this we ever seen, Silas’ was the
absolute best.

But if we would have taken our eyes off the offspring or collie for more than a minute or two, they would have made family Christmas history with a sugar overload worse than a double helping of Fruit Loops.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Goodbye, Rose

Rose of Bedlam Farm

We couldn’t let this week pass without focussing attention on the passing last weekend of one of our favorite dogs, Rose of Bedlam Farms (see Dec 6th post).  We've followed, chapter by chapter, author Jon Katz and The Dogs of Bedlam Farm for years. Of course the hooks for us were his Border Collies, Rose being the class act of that lot. She was special in the ways a reader can identify with a protagonist in a novel, but even more so.  Rosie always reminded us of Molly, our first Border Collie, not so much in appearance, but temperament.

Victoria and Molly (2000)

Like Rosie, Molly always set the agenda and was never one to show any interest in a hug or an ear rub. ..unlike our love junkie, Casey.  But just like Casey, in virtually every interaction, Rosie and Molly spoke volumes with their eyes, clear down to their souls.

I’ve been following Jon Katz’ journal this week as he has been reminiscing and celebrating Rosie’s life.  One particular entry resonates:

My life is about moving forward and I will surely grieve for Rose, but I will move forward to. There is a lot of life around here, and a lot of love, and I will be on that train. Grief is not the absence of life. It is an affirmation of it.


Yeah, but it’s still hard.  And we’ll miss you Rose.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Morning Snooze

Shhh...Casey's just conserving energy with a morning nap.

(What? I was just resting my eyes.)


Kennel Coziness

Casey got caught a little bit off guard tonight...and it was really fun watching him do a double take on his kennel at bed-time. After all it had been a while since we'd replaced his mat and we were wondering how he was going to take to this version from the Organic Pet Boutique. This replacement actually looked sanitary, and made from.... 
*100% organic cotton/bamboo fabric using all natural vegetable dyes, providing a soft feel and durability

**Generously filled with all natural kapok from the cotton tree

I guess that pretty much answers that question.

So much for the trauma of getting rid of the kid's favorite ratty crate mate.

How can you miss with natural kapok anyway?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

LED garish

This is not necessarily the best Christmas pose, but Casey was asking to go outside and he just happened to be near the final stage of the Christmas tree decoration.

It's kind of an lighting overkill this year for a skinny little fake evergreen, but what the heck. Most of the lights are LEDs anyway.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New top of the heap

Another new front runner has emerged from the seasonal ales sampled so far, Boundary Bay's Cabin Fever. The rankings seem to change every week, I know, but this year's batch from Bellingham's favorite brew pub is especially memorable. 

A strong ale or "Winter Warmer" with dark red-brown color and a very rich malty flavor, this seasonal hit the stores earlier than usual in 2011, right around Thanksgiving. And this year, it's the full package, whether in the pub or off the shelf - full bodied, smooth, and just spicy enough.
With this batch it's time to start stocking up, on this new number one in the rankings, for those long winter nights.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Lennon October 1940 - December 8,1980*

I'm not claiming divinity. I've never claimed purity of soul. I've never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can. But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.
                           John Lennon

Peace dog

Casey and Whatcom Peace and Justice ED Janet Marino
Every Wednesday Bellingham's Veterans For Peace chapter vigils with banners and flies the VFP flag at busy intersections in town during peak commuter traffic as part of VFP's How Is the War Economy Working for You? campaign. The message is always the same, that the US fights senseless, illegal wars that result in collateral damage that includes an economic spiral eventually costing the country trillions.

Gene, Casey and Janet

The commuters, regardless of politics, always seem to get a kick out of the Peace Dog in Veterans For peace colors.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Birthday pawsin'

December 7th might conjure up a remembrance of a different sort to most American families, but to us it’s simply Casey’s special day, his birthday – and this year, it’s the big number 4.

Like most days our guy is the center of attention, but today, well, we took a trip down to Fairhaven and his favorite shop Paws Awhile. How cool is that.

This Whatcom Humane Society consignment store just happens to be our guy’s preferred stopover, and it is more than obvious that it’s because of the free doggie handouts. The ear rubs and compliments dished out by the volunteer staff are great, but that treat bowl by the entrance…now that’s a nice touch no matter whose birthday it is.

And on a special occasion like today Casey might even get away with a second helping. OK, go ahead, birthday boy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the same wavelength

One of our favorite Border Collies, Rose of Bedlam Farm, photographed while in a familiar pose for the squirrel-obsessed.

This little lady is also the courageous protaganist of a great canine read for 2010, Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz.

And this photo of Casey was taken over a week ago, within hours of Rose’s, almost a continent away. How’s that for a coincidence?

Monday, December 5, 2011

A work in progress

The Christmas tree went up yesterday. The lights were hung last night, and the first ornaments started gracing the branches this afternoon. After all, what’s the hurry…the only kids around here are the 4-legged variety. And even Casey’s not that impressed.

Who knows though, it just might be totally dressed, an O Tannenbaum beauty, before New Year's Eve rolls around.