November 08, 2008

Sam & Lo's in the Fall

This morning Lolies, Sampson, and I went for a nice long walk to the creek.  As the days have grown shorter, our walkies schedule has totally flip flopped.  Instead of going after work at 5:30(dark), we have to go in the early morning 3 days a week and on the weekends.  Anyway, here are a few photos from our walk this morning, Saturday the 10th of December.

Sam licking his chops:

Lola in her spastic sprint:


Sam posing:






And that's it!  I'm going to get back into blogging big time here as Ashley and I have finally received our fantastic good news!  She's pregnant.  So, we're in a blogging war, which she'll ultimately win, but I'm going to give it my best as I'm lobbying for a baby name of Sergio for a boy and Wilma for a girl!  ha!

The goober:


June 11, 2008

Who is Lola?

Name: Lola Bonita Ayres

Age: She just turned 4.  We've had her since September of 2004.  I found a post I'd made about her a couple weeks ago from my old blog.

Breed: Border Collie Mix.  We think the "mix" part contains Chesapeake Bay Retriever or  Weimaraner.


Background: She's been with us since she was a puppy and has possibly the most stubborn personality of any dog I've known.  Lola is your typical border collie breed.  She's a very loving and social but needs her exercise(lots!).  She's definitely the problem child between her and Sampson as she always seems to seek out trouble.  Her recklessness at the creek has caused her more than a few trips to the vet(broken nails, cut webbing between her toes, and rabies shots).

Hobbies: Lola loves shoes.  They are comfort to her.  It's more of the working dog mentality associated with Border Collies I guess, but if she takes your shoes she won't chew them.  I've come home to 4 or 5 shoes and she just rests her head on them.  Chasing squirrels, cats, deer, and terrorizing Sampson are her some of her favorites.  Swimming is #1.  She yearns to run as fast as she can and jump into the water after a stick.  When we're in Front Royal, she herds the ATV.  She was clocked chasing the ATV at 35 mph(give or take a few mph), so she's quick.  Eating is not one of her favorite things!  Total tomboy.

God Awful Fears: Lightening, Thunder, the Vacuum, Food(ha ha), and doors that get blown by the wind in the spring or fall.  Meredith's "err-whoop-whoop" noise.

Fun Facts: Running 35mph chasing the ATV.

Nicknames: Lo's, Lowes, Lolita, Terror, Munchkin, monster, Karen Carpenter.

Summary: Lola is a wonderfully energetic dog but settles like a teddy bear at the end of the day.  She's an unbelievably agile girl and amazes each day on our walks.  She's intelligent yet stubborn.  We consider ourselves lucky for finding her as well.  Her and Sam are the best of friends even though their personalities are complete opposites.

June 10, 2008

Who is Sampson?

Name: Sampson Leonardo Ayres

Age: Depends who you ask.  But we believe he's 7 to 7 1/2 years of age. We got him when he was 4 1/2...or so they estimated.

Breed: We suspect Sampson is a Labrador mixed with a hound. 

Background: We are Sampson's 3rd home.  For some strange reason, he didn't work out too well in his other environments.  Based on his first few months with us, I'm not sure those two environments were exactly ideal.  He was skittish and hid when we ate dinner or human food of any type was around.  He was well trained and scared of males with facial hair when he came to us.  He's adapted very well.

Hobbies: Sam enjoys chewings sticks, pooping, peeing on everything(occasionally Lola, by accident), and eating as much as he can.  He was trim when we got him, and then he got a bit porky.  He's since dropped 15 lbs which makes it easier for him to frolic around with our energetic Ms. Lola.  He's also been known to eat a little dirt from time to time.  Pushing his head between the wooden beams out on the deck(as the picture shows) and waiting for dogs to stroll by is never out of the question.   

God awful Fears: Thunder, Lightening, heavy rain, and Fireworks.

Fun Facts: Sam "moo's" like a cow when you talk to him.  He will also jump up to your face and give you a kiss if you ask him to. 

Nicknames: Fancy Feet, Sam, Samuel, Mr. S, and Weenie. 

Summary: Sampson will melt your heart if you're not careful, whether it be by him raising his paw at you asking for more attention or the continuous "moo" sounds he makes as if he's trying to communicate with you.  He's an extremely intelligent but goofy boy, and Ash and I consider ourselves very lucky to have found him.  He compliments our other terror(Lola) perfectly.   

June 09, 2008

Charles Town Races....Fern Digger

On Saturday we went to Charles Town Races & Slots for Carolyn's birthday.  A fantastic time was had by all, thought no one really hit it big.  Ash hit a nice win/place/show bet on the horses and I was hitting the occasional slot for $40 but then dumping it right back in the machine!

Photos before the festivities began. Dinner.

Carolyn & Ash at the slots, a 5 cent slot machine, and Carolyn and Dan assessing the machine. 


This was our 2nd time at Charles Town in the past month, and I definitely recommend going if you're sitting around on a Saturday and have nothing to do.  It's about an hour and 10 minutes from Fairfax County, so plan accordingly, but nothing can beat sitting around trying your luck out on the slots and throwing a few bets on the races! 

We were celebrating Carolyn's b-day a couple days early for this occasion, her b-day falls on the 9th, which is today!  Happy Birthday Carolyn!

And yesterday Ash & I headed down to the creek to grab a couple of ferns.  This was right as the temperature was reaching it's peak, but it wasn't too bad under the cover of trees.  I forgot to upload the photos of the ferns I actually dug up, but they weren't exactly what we were looking for. I still potted them and left them out in the back, but they looked a bit "wild."  Haha.  The dogs were a mess afterwards, so it was bath time. 

And that's it!  I think we're caught up now!

June 05, 2008

A River Runs Through It?

So yesterday we had quite a few storms.  At about 2:45 the rain just began pouring down while I was at work.  As usual, I discovered my drivers side window agape after the worst of it had passed.  Stupid rain.

Anyway, since the little monsters hate thunderstorms, they were worked up quite a bit when I got home.  But the sun was starting to shine, so I decided a quick investigation of the creek was the best way to let them forget about that.  We don't usually go down after heavy storms, but yesterday was an exception as I wanted to check out the damage.  Here's a few of the pics.

The creek was more like a river.  We'd never been down there when it was that high, and I was a bit worried I'd see Lola scooped up and swept away(she's the only one crazy enough to try and swim in it).

I dumped four photos into one frame of the damage around our area.  There wasn't anything crazy, just limbs broken from trees here and there.  The one entire tree on the top right of that photo must have come down stream 'cause it wasn't there yesterday.  Pretty powerful stuff when water gets moving.

Also, on a fairly entertaining side note, I made cup cakes from scratch!  Pretty interesting.  As I said to Ash, "they definitely look like boy cup cakes," as the icing was a bit rough around the edges.  Chantal is the expert cup cake maker, and if you haven't seen her post about the ones she made for Mothers Day, check it out.  They were out of this world.  Overall, for my first try, they were an oustanding success. 

I'll have photos tomorrow from the Gnats game.  I'm in section 119 with Fitzy.  So, if you happen to see us on the TV, we'll likely be the ones passed out and drooling all over ourselves.  Unfortunately, the game coincides with the first day of our CSA!  Arghh!  Pictures and all will be posted tomorrow.  Very exciting, everywhere, all over the world.

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."

-Sir Winston Churchill

June 01, 2008

Lola's B-day....Sunday

So last weekend we celebrated Lola's 4th birthday on Memorial day.  Hard to believe it, but we've had her for four years now.  We picked her up some gourmet treats in Middleburg at some really cool dog bakery.  The treats were iced with a yogurt of some type, so she didn't have any issues with her tummy afterwards.  Here's a few of the photos:


And here's breakfast this morning.  We still had a few Polyface eggs left that Chantal was kind enough to bring to us a couple of weeks ago, so I cooked them over easy, and dumped them on an english muffin with veggie sausages.  The color of these eggs - and taste - is way awesome. 


Our CSA starts this week and we're both very excited for the first delivery.  I will make sure to post all about it on Thursday evening.  And my Tomatoes are doing pretty good so far.  I transplanted them out back, and the only mistake a made when growing them was transplanting them to a pot that was a little too big, which meant they got a bit "leggy."  That means that their root system can't hold their weight just yet.  In a couple of weeks, they'll be set. 

And how's this for starting a day?  Friday morning for me:

7:20 - Go downstairs to find a pile of poop from Lola.  She'd stolen sweetpeas food twice on Thursday night, causing her tummy to erupt in the middle of the night.

7:21 - Walk into kitchen, realize coffee wasn't set up the night before.  Begin making coffee.

7:21:10 - Realize sink is full of dishes, make room to discard coffee from yesterday.  Turn around, sweetpea wants to be fed.  "Meow" 

7:21:30 - Shit.  Forgot to defrost dog food.  Run downstairs, pull food from freezer and begin defrosting.  Run past sweetpea again.  "Meow"

7:22 - Clean up poop.

7:27 - Take dogs out. 

7:30 - Pick up Sam's crap with a bag, the bag has a hole in it.  My finger grabs poop.  

7:35 - Come inside.  Wash hand.  Feed dogs.  "Meow." 

May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Ash and I had a rather eventful weekend and enjoyed the lovely weather.  On Friday night we met Chantal, Chris, and Mom at "Sunflower" in Vienna for dinner.  If you haven't been there, I highly suggest you try it out.  Personally, I advise that you get General Tso's Tofu your first time there.  I forgot what I ordered, but it was delicious.  I think it was the "Sunflower Surprise."  And if you love Mushrooms, they have a fantastic "Mushroom Palate" dish which is unbelivable.  Sometimes I think I'm going to turn into a mushroom, that's how often I eat them.

So since Chris and Chantal were up in Maryland for a wedding the entire weekend, they were kind enough to let me borrow their Wii Fit and a couple of other games.  First off, the Wii fit is hilarious.  I was pretty sore on Saturday after doing a few of the workouts.  It's funny as hell.  What a great concept that system is as a whole.  First you weigh in, then it calculates your BMI and assigns you a category.  I was assigned overweight, which I guess isn't much of a surprise.  Then you workout doing a variety of exercises.  Aerobic, Strength, Yoga, and Athletics are your choices. 

Saturday morning I took a few pics of the dogs and planted my Tomatoes.


Fortunately, the keg was empty.  Here's Sam being photogenic and Lo's on the lookout post:

On Sunday we had a wedding and helped out our family friend Karly take some photos before the reception.  I'm not going to post any of those though because we took like 300 photos and still need to go through them all.  The light was awesome, and here's an awesome one with my Ash at Green Springs Garden and then the both of us at the reception.

And finally, before the wedding I began what I'm calling "Creek Cleanup."  Since the dogs and I are down there every day that the weather permits, I decided it was time to start picking up trash.  What really made me notice the amount of it down there was when we had 6 inches of rain a couple of weeks ago.  The amount of glass(broken shards) it pushed up to the path was unbelievable, and obviously we can't have Sam & Lola splitting open their paws on that stuff.  Anyway, I collected a black bag full of glass, plastic, and.......well, trash.  All in all, there were 39 bottles and cans, a flower pot, the blade of a plastic hockey stick, and all sorts of other junk.  They've been placed in recycling. 

The coolest find was this Lipton can!  I have no clue how old it was, but it was one of the peel back tops. 

May 16, 2008

ELPH Charger captured early this morning!

Ok, so Ash & I had managed to lose not one, but both of our digital camera chargers.  We have the ELPH for portability and the Digital SLR for special occasions.  About two years ago we lost the Digital SLR charger.  $40 later we had a new one.  Yes, $40.  You could build the thing for $10, probably cheaper.  As recently as this morning, both chargers were still missing.  Anyway, to the point. 

The charger for the ELPH was found this morning hiding inside a duffel bag!  The last sighting for charger #CB-2LB G was in the living area and there were rumors it was in a backpack.  I had checked both but no luck.  But upon peeking underneath a moutain of clothes I spotted the duffel bag.  Unzipped it and wallah!  The charger tried to get away again but tripped on - get this - an extension cord.

I got to work and charged it up and thought I had some new photos of my Tomatoes and all sorts of other things, but no such luck.  These are all I could find. 


I just transplanted a couple of them and they are much bigger than what you see here. 


The plants are reaching 12" and look great.  I plan on dumping them in the garden on the 1st of June, weather permitting.  Anyway, my excitement has been contained because the photos on the ELPH are pretty boring.  But, since we haven't been posting for the past week, here's a couple of other ones I pulled from the dogs at the creek and my beard shaving! 


And as crazy as this sounds folks, my head did hurt the next morning.

It is Ash and I's anniversary this weekend.  How crazy is that?  We've been married one year on Monday!  We'll post pictures from the weekend.  And now that I'm in charge of the chargers, we're 75% guaranteed to be posting in no time!

April 21, 2008

"Το αύριο είναι επόμενο"

Ash and I began work on the upstairs bathroom on Sunday.  As much as I dreaded the thought of the mess that would follow, the feeling of pulling things apart in there was well worth it.  This bathroom/shower has been out of use for the better half of three years.  It's caused us ceiling damage and sorthing things out from the ground up is exciting.  (1) BC and I assessing, (2) Tile removal begins, (3) Sink and camode , (4) tiles gone, (5) Walls removed:

We hope to have running water by the end of May.....2009

And here a couple of fun photos.  On Saturday evening I snapped this of Sam as he heard a firework go off in the distance.  Then Ash tried to coax him through his drool riddled anxiousness.  With thunderstorms taking up the better half of Sunday afternoon/evening, Ash & I also got stuck with the job of keeping him calm(basically, if you don't keep him busy, he crawls on top of you and drools incessantly).  

And finally sweetpea.......we just got back from the vet(her favorite, she puked when we got back after being poked, prodded, and tossed about in the car for two hours).  Good news - she gained 2 lbs, meaning her thyroid and the medicine made a deal, and they're working together.  I wasn't sure, I thought the meds were going to hold out a little longer, but they got a fantastic deal and both sides seem to be happy.

Enough NFL draft talk.  The medicine got the better of the deal, sweetpea's a great cat! 

Caps also just came back from a 3-1 series defecit and beat the Flyers 4-2.  The series is now even 3-3 and back in Washington tomorrow night.  I haven't posted about this in about a week, but it's been an unbelievable series.  Whatever team wins tomorrow night goes on to the next lose because they've beaten the shit out of each other for 7 games.

Updates on our bathroom as they come. 

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

February 15, 2008

Valentine's with Ice.....

Ash & I had good fun last night.  First, I got home and made homemade Potato chips for Ash(Thoughts from whoever is reading this: "What the F#$! was he thinking?").  Just trying to find ways to the pregnant womans heart!

Second, I couldn't find a damn vase for her roses, so I hung them upside down on the Chandelier. Quite artsy fartsy huh?  And finally I ordered Thai from our favorite joint and downloaded some Van Morrison tunes to our Ipod.  Our first married Valentine's together and our very last by ourselves.  Weird.


The past couple of days have been cold, so here's some photos from my morning walk on Wednesday with the dogs.  As you can see, our maniac Lola on most mornings - regardless of the weather - fancies a swim.  She then parades around on the rest of her walk with ice clinging to her frizzy hair.


I never realized how pointy my nose looked.  To the weekend! 

February 10, 2008

Making dog food.....

The next few months are likely to be trying times in regards to making the dog food.  With smells and such beginning to bother Ashley's little nose, I'm having a bit of a difficult time figuring out when to make Sam & Lola's food.  We've been doing it for about 4 months - thanks to Chantal's recipe recommendation - and the results are fantastic.  Lola is about the most finicky eater I've ever come across and she has only missed one meal since I started making it(and that was due to too much of Sweet Peas food this past weekend). Here's a couple of photos from Sunday's batch:

6 cans of vegetables(no salt), 6 hard boiled eggs, 3lbs of well cooked ground meat(Turkey, Beef, Chicken), a tub of chicken liver, brown rice, salmon, garlic, and a few other secret ingredients.  You then freeze the containers and defrost them when needed. 

It's comforting knowing what exactly is going into your dogs belly and the oils are fantastic for their coat.  Looks yummy, right?

The total cost this past weekend was $19.42.  This cost varies based on ingredients you have on hand, and this past weekend was a little more expensive than usual.  It makes 14 cans of food at 13.2 Ozs......the containers above are 750ml.

February 09, 2008

Friday night, silly people.....

A couple of ducks hanging out in the stream running by the area where I was testing for work.  I didn't win the Mega Millions last night, which was a complete surprise.  Ash & I met our neighbors and friends at the Marrakesh in DC for some Morrocan food and belly dancing.....very neat!  We then cruised over to the Brickskeller in DC, which has over 1,000 beers on hand.  The menu was daunting to say the least!

Here's Sam & Lo's at the creek today...from left to right, Lola in full speed, Sam watching minnows and Lola about to hop on Sam's head(click link for full size).

And finally, Lola waiting for Sweetpea to share her food.  This likely explains the reasoning behind Lola's funny tummy this morning as she's very dilligent and always seems to smell of cat food upon her return from the basement.


Ash & I are both reading books pertaining to pregnancy.  I, "The Expectant Father" and she "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books."  Mine is quite good.  I also just finshed a book called "Stiff" and "Eats, Shoots & Leaves."  I'll be linking all of this stuff up quite shortly.   

And Happy Birthday Mr.'re 30 today.  Pictures from tonight to be posted tomorrow!