Saturday, October 26, 2013

Let's Catch Up!

It's been a busy couple of weeks around here and I find I have less time to browse through my favorite blogs lately.  Since it is something I enjoy doing so much, I am going to make time for it because I need to catch up with what's been going on with all my blog friends!

I feel like I'm wearing a lot of different hats these days.

One of my favorite books when I was little!

I get up early most days, grab a cup of coffee, fire up my computer, get my lesson plans ready and do two classes with my Japanese students.  For me it is 6am, for them it is 10pm at night.  I say "good evening" to them, and I'm not mixed up because it's still dark outside here.

I'm loving teaching these classes!  Because these students are adults and motivated, the classes are fun and interesting for me as well as for them.  I learn something new everyday too.  For instance, I didn't know that they drive on the left side of the road in Japan!
Yep.  They do!

After my classes I will somedays have to rush off to take care of a morning client, such as this guy, a sweet terrier mix.

"I didn't like TBL at first, but she won me over with all those treats and her squeaky voice"

His "parents" were gone on vacation for a week so I would visit him twice a day.  The first day I showed up he was standing on top of their bed, teeth bared, barking and growling at me.  I knew he was supposed to be wary of strangers, but I did not expect that.  Fortunately the owners had left some of his favorite treats and I was able to coax him outside.  I worked with him all week, each day getting closer to my goal of being able to scratch his tummy.  Did I reach that goal?
By day seven, we were on good terms.  He would come down stairs, go outside, let me pet him, take the treat from my hand, lay down, roll over and let me scratch his belly.
I felt really good about that!

Most weekdays I have two puppies I visit for mid-day breaks while their owners are at work.

You've already seen my stress therapist, the golden-doodle.  He a little bundle of fluffy energy, but I did manage to catch him in a pensive moment this week.

"I wanna play with the big kids, TBL!"

My other puppy is a female Rhodesian Ridgeback, who is just a sweetheart.  I have an hour visit with her while her dad works, so we go for walks and learn things such as "sit", "come", "leave it".

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful - I'm also a funny goofball!"

She lives in a very nice neighborhood not too far from us and when I first arrived I saw house-filled hills behind her house. 

 I knew I'd have to go up there and take a look one day and this week I did. 

 Lots of winding roads and no pullovers, so I will have to rely on Mr. T to drive me up there so I can take some pictures of the lovely homes and the views.

This week also brought some Hollywood glamour to my day as I found out they were filming a home-improvement show across the street from the Rhodesian Ridgeback.  I leashed her up thinking the crew would be charmed enough to tell me which show.

They were charmed, but not enough to give me any juicy details.  This trailer is still parked there so we will be investigating further during walks next week.

After my mid-day dog duties I usually come home and teach one or two more classes to my Japanese people.  By then it is early morning for them, so they are the ones sipping coffee and trying to wake up.  This week they had an earthquake in Japan with Tsunami warnings.  I always try to have something to chat with the students with at the beginning of the class and I was excited to find out about this earthquake.  None of them even knew about it!!  I told them it was on the evening national news here in the US. "We get them all the time" I was told. They seemed amused that it had made it to our news here.

Look who's visiting!  Dexter!  And there's blurry Bumby trying to look blase in the background.

If I have canines, such as the terrier I mentioned above whose people are on vacation, I start to get ready to go back for my evening visit and tuck them in for the night, usually around 7-8pm.

Of course, with Dexter comes Darcy with her own brand of blase.

And that's been my typical day for the last couple of weeks!  If it is spaced out nicely, it is no problem, but one day I had five dogs to tend to and four classes - that kept me running!

So, I'm enjoying this new phase of life.  It's a big change for me, but a good change that I am finally adapting to.

The Maven is in Orlando visiting her college friends and look who she also saw while she was there:

Reunited again.  Orlando Grandma and The Maven.  
It's good to see that picture of them together.
(I hope one of you ate tuna in my memory!)

And my final thought is about this:

Brussel Sprouts on the stalk.  They are very popular here in Cali. I didn't like them as a kid, but I'm thinking there must be a new, delicious way to cook them that I am just not aware of.  Anyone have any good Brussel Sprout recipes??
Share away please!

Hope your weekend is great!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Three Amigos

Occasionally we have a small flock of parrots arrive in the courtyard here at Boston Manor, but today we had a very large flock and a very loud one.

They are almost impossible to see amongst the green leaves, but I was able to get some pictures of three friends perched together.

These three seemed to be interested in me as I took some pictures of them.

Sitting together, squawking and cleaning each other.

They have been outside making the biggest racket for a few hours now.

These are Magnolia trees (I believe) and they love the seeds - I must get a picture of them, they are bright red, no wonder they attract these funny birds.

Of course I must share with you, my friends....

Apparently we are living in a jungle!!

Happy week ahead!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Best Stress Therapist Ever!

It's been a week of stress for us at Boston Manor.
But each day I met with a great therapist who would greet me enthusiastically, 
go outside, pee and  poop, exactly where he should
 and then come inside and attack me with licks and wags.

And I'm the one who gets paid!

Happy weekend to everyone. 
 I hope to have some time to visit my favorite blogging buddies...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Computers, Canines, Craziness and Glasses

Here's one of my latest "clients".  A Doxie/Beagle mix.
We spent last weekend in each other's company and had lots of fun.
Three month old puppy kind of fun.

After the weekend things really started popping around Boston Manor.

On the not-so-good side, 
The Maven is back in the hospital with a bad stomach ailment.  Doc said she was very dehydrated and needed to have some tests done.

On the it-gets-better side, 
she is doing better and didn't have appendicitis as they suspected she might. One more night and they should release her on Thursday.

Fortunately I did not have canine commitments on Monday and Tuesday so I drove up to LA with my computer.  It was my first experiment in running my Japanese/English classroom from a remote location - The Writer and Sammy's house.  I stayed there so I could dash to the hospital and dash back to their house to hold my classes.  Went off without a hitch.

Which brings me to glasses....
The ones I lost in the move last year.
The ones that I searched for EVERYWHERE.
Including the computer case I packed my computer in when I was up in LA this week.

And no.
I did not find them.
Mr. T did.
When he unpacked said computer case last night when I came back home to Boston Manor.

Do you know how many times I looked in that computer case after the move?

At least I have them back now.
And a spare pair.

And it's only Wednesday as I write this.

Five canines in the next week starting today.
And my classes.
And all my glasses.
And The Maven. Who I hope will be back in ship shape!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Guess What I Found !


Hint:  Lost in the move from O-town to SoCal just over a year ago.

And you won't believe where, how, why it was found.... but I will tell you Thursday!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Good Customer Service is Not Always Easy to Find.... Unless You Live Near Me!

I'm not really interested in promoting one business over another, but when I experience exceptional customer experience, repeatedly, I just have to say something.

This Home Depot is just down the road from me.  Usually, in the past, I have preferred to frequent Lowe's because I found that their staff was easier to find when needing assistance.  However... over the years I have learned that Lowe's associates do not always have a great depth of knowledge in their products.  When I really needed help, I would head to Home Depot, which I always found crowded and help hard to find, but when I did find someone, they knew what they were talking about.

That has all changed for me!  Now I head right for the Home Depot down the road on Katella, here in Orange, CA.  The first time I went was to have keys made for my dog walking clients.  I was greeted upon entering, directed to where the keys were made. Upon getting lost (of course) I was then asked by two associates what could they do for me.  One of them walked me to the key kiosk and then called the "key guy".

The "key guy" kept up a cheerful banter as he quickly made the copies and then suggested which would be the best key rings to use for my purpose. Inexpensive, but sturdy.

I saw the manager on my way out and explained that this was the best Home Depot I had ever been in!  I agreed to fill out an online comment sheet - which I usually don't do, but made a point of this time.

Was it just a good day at Home Depot?  How would they perform over time?

Exactly the same cheerful, prompt, knowledgeable, personal assistance in the half a dozen times I've been back.

This store has a happy staff, which means to me they have an excellent manager who knows how to treat his customers and his employees.

Love it!

Wish our people in Washington would take a page from this store's business protocol!

Where have you experienced exceptional service lately?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Come for a Stroll Around an Old Town Orange Neighborhood

The temperatures are dipping a bit today and Mr Tennis and I decided to pack up the Bostons and make the short drive to Old Town Orange and get a close up view of some of the lovely historical bungalows that line the streets.

Why don't you come with us?

Who can resist this old garage door?  I'm glad they kept it after putting in a modern door.

Attention hog, Sadie.

Don't you just love this curved room with the windows on this house?

I don't know all the architectural terms, but I know what I like and I like these old Craftsman Bungalows.

Most are a hundred years or older and bear plaques stating their "birth dates".

Hard for me to resist a stoop with a lovely feline...

or two.

 This was the era of front porches - of all sizes.

And fancy balustrades.  
These people are ready for Halloween, look at the bats inside the door!

They celebrate the milestones of these lovely houses.

Wide overhangs and lots of wood.

Angles and curves.

And again, those lovely porches.

Love this wreath!

As I said, angles galore.

Lovely restorations.

Beautiful and unique front doors.

And yes, again, those porches.

Looks like Halloween is a big event at this home.

Yes indeed.

Simply elegant.

And, not so simply elegant.

Large shaded areas to lounge in the summer.

Yes, the sky was this glorious blue today!

A pretty arbor over the driveway.

I really want a yellow house, one day. 

With a unique old wooden front door.

Please ignore the shadow monster, just part of the Halloween decor.

Another great door.

And we've come full circle back to the yellow barn door.

Thanks for joining us on our walk!