Posts Tagged 'hiking'

Living for Sundays…..

I think this would sum it up…….

Ice Box Cave

It’s a pack walk

We are up between 6:00 am and 7:00 am every Sunday morning to take part in this get together of like minded folks.  We pick a park, this time it was “The Ledges” at Cuyahoga National Park, we meet up and hike between 2 -4 miles depending on  the weather.  We do this for our dogs, and for us.

For us living in an urban environment can take a toll on the psyche – specially me.  Hiking recharges the batteries, for me it is where I find peace and balance.  This Sunday was a perfect day.  I will be the first one to tell you that it is not easy living in a dying city.  For those who live in this environment and are feeling a little “off”, if possible, get away and go for hike.   There is something about Mother Nature’s healing powers of the spirit.

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Absenteeism, Dog Rehab and Small Projects

I should apologize for my absenteeism but I haven’t been in a real good place and as I would try to write – my words were so negative. So, I have kept silent and just been a voyeur at other blogs where life is happier. I guess I needed some time to sort some stuff out. Not that all is so depressing because a couple of things have been done at the house and well, Stella has been in rehab and by proxy – so have I.

Here is a catch up of what has gone on in the rust belt.

Life is energy….this is our philosophy about life. This works on many different levels from where we live, all the way to a dog named Stella and everything in between.

Stella as a baby….damn cute and was Satan’s spawn.

I made the decision to take Stella to the next step in her rehab, when you’re stuck you’re stuck (I was so stuck) and she was showing interest in some dogs (calm ones only) anxiety with others, and she still wasn’t digging men however. I felt it was finally time and made the call. Scott doesn’t know that when I left our first meeting I cried – I do not recommend when driving. I finally found what I have been looking for, I have hope, I have relief that this dog would finally just be “a dog” over time.

The last 5 weeks have been a journey, for her and for us. For this dog to meet her first dog and to have a positive experience is like watching a child take its first steps. My heart could of burst, but the fact that there were used condoms on our sidewalk rained on our moment. Thank You ghetto people for showing us you know how to use birth control – now how about a trash can?

Stella has been to a pet store which is something we could have never done in the past with her. She was in a room with 8 other dogs off leash and not freaking out. We learned to how to manage her fearful behavior, how to set limits and boundaries with her, claim our home, how to catch her at the start of fixating on men, new commands and was on a treadmill. There is one thing that for the husband and I that stood out the most was participating in a pack walk after only 2 weeks. This is the most spiritual thing I have ever done. There is nothing like 13 dogs and 10 owners hiking and not one single peep out of the dogs – it was heaven!

Stella will continue with socialization with Versatile K9 once a month and we will continue to do the pack walks with them. I would love to get some folks together to do pack walks in our neck of the woods on the offset weeks. Our goal with her is to walk downtown of our city with many people and for her not to have anxiety about it. I should also note that yes you can teach an 11 year old dog new things. Lena has gone along for the ride and has learned a new command or two along the way. We had suspect that she might even be a part of some of the issues that Stella was showing. Needless to say our home is much calmer as a whole. A friend remarked last night that you can really tell that the dogs are being worked with because Stella has so much more confidence. If you are looking for a dog trainer/behaviorist Scott and Kaethe from Versatile K9 I highly recommend.

About the house and small improvements.

We had this old non-closet (the kind where a coat hanger doesn’t fit correctly) in need of some love. After I took out a stud or two and well all the framing stuff we did some drywall and just left it.

We always had other plans for the space but just never got around to it. Rain gardens to build, cold frames to build, fence staining the endless list of stuff. It is only part done for we need to go and do a fabric run but it’s much better than it was. A place for coats, the dogs stuff, hats, shoes and boots.

The other small project we did was to utilize a 50 plus year old shipping crate that is just too cool it sit in the basement. We have no storage in our bathroom. No closet. No place to put a closet. Taking out walls to utilize the room between the studs…not even going to go there.


The closet cost like $40.00 in materials and the bathroom cost pennies for the screws. Not bad!

The holiday's have come and gone and well…. I am glad it is over. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone on New Years and I find it quite an accomplishment when one can tell the difference between fireworks and gunshots. In this hood it was more gunshots accompanied by a couple very nice, colorful firework displays.

The neighborhood is semi silent this week. We had huge hopes of the neighbors across the street had moved but as I have said once before when the bills come in people stay with friends and family and return when they have money. I wonder if Mr. Landlord is still collecting his section 8 monies?

The reality is that our neighborhood is going down the drain faster than you can say home for sale. There are more rentals than owner occupied and due to the city's lack of everything it is a matter of time before it looks like the other really bad sections of the city. You see this is part of my funk, my frustration. I have to be honest I am so close to outing where I live I can almost taste it. When you read in a city official report that no matter how much money you throw at the people problem it will never be solved until you solve the economic problem it begs to wonder why?

So you see where we live is sucking the energy right out of us. I would say more me than the husband. I live, I work within a 1 mile radius. The husband and I will go to different parts of the city and walk the dogs looking for something good about where we live. Every single time we see some major screw up of where bad planning has graced us once again. A nice neighborhood, a developer who ran out of cash and not so nice housing is what is left because it becomes rentals and not the good rentals but the ones with the sheets as curtains. The best sign I read on a persons home was "Smile you’re on camera".

Over 2 miles of Urban Trails

The husband had to work last night. Boo…..

This leaves very limited quality time for us. How did we spend it?

We decided that it was time for us to try out a new-ish trail we had never been on. This trail is an addition to the 4 mile trail of Day’s Dam that stretches from Elyria, Ohio to Lorain, Ohio. The new addition is on the Lorain side and takes you all the way to Route 611.

Since we are suckers for the urban landscape we were eager to see a side of the steel mill we had never seen. Armed with one camera and two dogs – we were off.

We knew that the this trail would be beautiful, I expect nothing less from our Metro Parks here. We will go back in the winter and take more photo’s. This will be an area to watch for as time goes on this trail is going to mature.

Feeling the Pressure.

I’ve been away because I have been hiking again at places like this every chance I get. I love this time of the year in Ohio.

We have been working hard to put some balance back in our life because all work and no play make the people in this house and their pets grumpy.

The husband and I have been working very hard with Stella and her behavioral issues. These issues would be people, other dogs, well you name it. So Stella has been in doggy boot camp so to speak.

When I get home from work I’ve been going to a couple special places I know that are safe for walking dogs and we do at least a good 2 mile walk. When the husband and I are off together we do 3-4 mile hikes with the dogs. This routine has taken the edge off Stella’s behavior and actually for the most part she is doing very well with the occasional slip up. The best tool we use is a dog backpack along with some other knowledge that we used with our other dogs in the past.

I don’t know about you but we have been feeling the pressure to “Getter Done” of late.

Mother Nature has not been on board with us for the last month. All it has done is rain and when it’s not raining its been cold. As I checked the week forecast – part of my morning routine – I saw a temperature of 65 – 70 degrees. Shoot, its been a good month since I’ve seen temps like this. Since I’m on vacation this week – this is a busting ass, gotta a list of shit to get done in the next 7 days – vacation – If one wants to call it that.

When the weather turned to shit we worked on these, interior storm windows.

It was a victory over the English Ivy that had taken over 25′ x 10′ of area in the back forty. We also chipped and shredded an area of the yard we have not seen in 3 years.

Before:

After:

The English Ivy ran from the Burning Bush all the way over to the other side and to the fence. We took care of that last week during one of our light rainy days.

A nice cleaned out canvas for next year. The husband and I will be redoing this whole space. It will no longer be the plant holding pen. Bye the way does anyone want any fountain grass?

We sealed the side door entry on Wednesday, photo’s to come yet.

I did these Thursday. Thank You, Mother Nature!

I forgot to mention that after 4 long years we finally found a cabinet maker who is not going to rip us off. With fingers crossed we will actually have functioning kitchen by Christmas. It has been meetings and phone calls. I have a strange feeling that it will actually take time for us to adjust to having – lets say – a counter top by the sink – a place to actually store kitchen goods. Is it possible for one to forget how a kitchen actually functions?

However, and you knew there would be a however – there are two things that must happen. Here’s a clue, our kitchen is textured, B is loaning us a shop vac and a special sander. Need I say more?

The other one is a kitchen floor that is going to look very familiar to some of you out there. All I have to say about the floor is what the hell were these people thinking.

So now its back in the 50’s as I write this and its starting to rain again, I’m glad I need a rest.

Friday running around list of places to go:
Vets- both dogs need nail trimmed
Lumber Store – find new base moulding
Fabric Store – fabric for couches
Hardware Store – quality latches for new cabinets and knobs for drawers
Take dogs to the park

I am forgetting something I know I am.


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