Posted by: bree1972 | November 7, 2010

Never a Dull Moment 11/8/2010

You know that old saying – “It never rains that it doesn’t pour?” At our house right now, it is pouring!  Suddenly we have gone from “settlin’ in” to “good grief”!

Here’s what I had planned for each day of the coming week:  8 a.m. – Get up, get coffee, chat with Ted on the sunporch.  9 a.m. – Second cup of coffee, more chatting.  9:30 a.m.  Either walk 4 miles with Dawn or bike 9 miles with Ted.  11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  Make beds, straighten up house (which always includes vacuuming, with Bear the free-shedding monster in the house), and do a load of clothes (if necessary) – then a leisurely lunch.    1-2 p.m.  Read until I fall asleep, which I always do.  2-5 p.m.  Free time – do whatever I want.  

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it – no pressure (except to stay ahead of Bear in the hair department).  No stress (except deciding which coffee mug I want to drink out of each morning). 

Well, that was then, and this is now.  BIG CHANGE!

Last Thursday a contractor spent about two hours with us discussing some renovation work we needed to have done.  Nothing major . . . I thought.  Our old “popcorn” ceilings are beginning to crack and chip off, and they are really looking UGLY.  They had to be fixed before someone having dinner with us ended up with pieces of ceiling plaster in their mashed potatoes.   We also want to do some painting, but the window sills are peeling in several rooms, and that means scraping before painting.  And the wood floor in the sunroom really needs restaining and polyurethaning.  So we called in someone who had been recommended to us, and he dropped by Friday afternoon with his estimate. 

For the next three weeks our master bedroom, our den, our sunporch, and two bathrooms are going to be covered in plastic and therefore unusable.  That leaves the kitchen, dining room, a hall bathroom, and two bedrooms to live in – with two dogs who are used to having the run of the house and a husband who will no longer have his Lazy-Boy to watch TV (no room in either guest bedroom for that chair).  Needless to say, folks – I am going to have PLENTY to blog about from now until Thanksgiving.

Girls Night Out (GNO) at the ri’vah was Thursday evening, and about 15 ladies attended at Becky’s house.  There was enough food to feed an army, and we certainly didn’t want any of that to go to waste!

Take some friends . . .


. . . and a few more friends . . .


. . . add some yummy food, and what do you get?


Me! Glad to be home with ri'vah buddies for the winter!

Ted and I took another bike ride on Friday, and I wanted to show you the pecan trees that are fairly bursting with nuts.  We ride through several pecan groves, and unlike the trees I photographed last year, these haven’t lost their leaves OR their harvest.  I expect any day now to see the mechanical tree shakers in these groves – but they’re not quite ready yet. 

We pass through five or six huge pecan groves like this one on our bike rides. Pecan trees are members of the hickory family and can live 100 years. They start to produce nuts between 6-8 years of age.


A lot of the pecans are still "green" - still held tightly within their soft outer husks. The brown, hard shell forms inside that husk, and the pecan meat is inside that shell.


When the nuts get ripe, the soft husk splits into four pieces, . . .


. . . and the pecans fall out - just in time for Thanksgiving and pecan pie. Yummy!

On Saturday morning, I rose early and was in  Albany (about a 45-minute drive) by 8:30 a.m. to register for the 2-day Delta Society Pet Partners Team Training Course.  Before the dogs are brought in, we two-legged animals have to know a lot of information about the clients we will be serving (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, schools, etc.).  Saturday was a lot of book work and some role playing with two dogs who have already passed the tests.  I’ll have a lot more information on Tuesday’s blog, but for now, here are a few pics from the first session.

The class was taught by Marty and Claire, who are both registered AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) dog handlers and certified instructors. There were 15 of us in the class.


Claire and her AAT partner, Moses.


Happy Jack demonstrates how a therapy dog must remain relaxed while a stranger pets and brushes him.


Marty and her AAT partner, Happy Jack.  Marty’s therapy dog before Happy Jack was a yellow labrador retriever named Hero, who was voted the Pedigree Dog food 2006 Dog of the Year.  She lost Hero to cancer a couple of years ago, and Happy Jack now carries on the work Hero loved so much.


Hero, the 2006 Pedigree Dog Food Dog of the Year.

Hope you check out the new update on the Mackinac Island Blog at

I’ll have more to add on Tuesday about the last day of training, and I’ll also let you know how the first day of  “tearing the house apart” went.   See you then! 

Bear - the cool dude . . . and Maddie, ever watchful.



  1. Oh my, I am enjoying a construction free home after 6 months of bang-bang-bang. Two years ago we had water inside which required painting the entire downstairs and plaster repair. This April was the hail storm, new siding, roof, deck, windows, etc. I am going to pray for you because I know I needed lots of prayers during our construction.

    BTW- Just finished my Krista Kay Mackinac Island book. I miss spending my days as a 10 year old girl on the island 😦 Now I am working on a Women’s fiction, divorced mother living on her last dime trying to support an 8 year old son. Not as much fun as playing on the island but I think it will be a good story.

  2. Sounds, and looks, like you had a fabulous girls night out – what fun! Good luck with your renovating work – it will hopefully be over before you know it. I’m excited to watch and hear about the therapy dog training also. Thank you for the pictures and the info about the pecan trees – and for making me think of Pecan Pie — Yummy!!
    Happy Monday!

  3. WOw-I’m so excited for you that you’ve started the therapy dog training. I look forward to reading all about it.
    Good luck with the construction-we’re about to embark on a few renovations ourselves. We’d like to think theyr’e minor but these things always mushroom into something twice as big and three times as much work!

  4. I LOVE that picture of Bear, with Maddie looking like “how come he always gets to wear the hat”. Too cute. Bear is going to be fantastic as a therapy dog. Just look at him!
    Sorry about all the “rain” coming down but just think how nice it will be when it’s all done. The way time flies, it will be over before you know it even thought it might not seem like it on your end . 😉
    Glad you had a good time for GNO. The food looks delicious.
    See…and you thought you wouldn’t have anything to write about…silly girl. 🙂

  5. lol I love that picture of Bear!

  6. Oh boy….I’m thinking there are going to be some good stories about the construction! Love the pictures, Brenda. I’ve never been to GA, so I am really looking forward to learning about it through your blog! You and Bear are going to do a fantastic job together!!

  7. I’ve been reading your Mackinac Island Blog for awhile now but didn’t think the your ri’vah blog would really interest me – boy was I wrong. I’m truly enjoying it and just had to reply (my first) and tell you that when I pulled up today’s blog, that picture of Bear gave me quite the chuckle – what a nice way to start my Monday! You really have a talent for making your readers feel like family. Although Mackinac is still my fav (Man, I love that Island!) you’ve got me hooked!!

    • Welcome, Kate! The ri’vah isn’t quite as exciting as Mackinac Island, but we usually keep things “stirred up” down here pretty well. When nothing of interest is happening, I just won’t write! I think this “house thing” is going to become a good thing to keep track of – Ted and I are 2 hours into it (the contractor got here at 7:30), and we’re already disagreeing. Should make for an interesting two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving! LOL!

  8. Love the picture of Bear. I’m sure you and Bear will do great with the training.
    I feel for you with the renovations. Our contractor was–you guessed it my husband. I was ready to move to the cottage and it was winter. When we did the bathroom we had to go to a friends to take showers. Hope we never do a bathroom again. Looks great now but didn’t think it would ever end.
    Also, during the bathroom redo we had a major thunder and lightining storm one night. Around 1:00am I heard my husband up and about. He said come in the bathroom. He raised the stool lid and there was a bat in there trying it’s best to get out. In the other bedroom a bat was flying around. After going on line and finding some ways to get bats out we finally got them out. Never saw a bat near the house before or since that night. I have a bat house on the front of the house and never had a bat in it. Go figure.
    We finally figured that the bats came a small hole in the screen covering one of the vents on the points of the house. Then somehow got in the wall of the bathroom and since we had torn the walls down to the lath they came visiting.

  9. Bear & Maddie are so sweet looking!!

    Just think how nice everything will look when ALL of the const. work is done!!

    Glad you were able to start the training…how wonderful it will be for both of you.

  10. Look forward to reading you each day. Can’t wait to let Sam know that I spotted her in your pictures right away!


    Bree I know you went to Charlevoix this summer and I was wondering if you got to read this article about Beever Island. Didn’t want you to miss it.

    Good luck to you and Bear! I know you both will be perfect for the job!!

  12. Hi Bree!

    I love the picture of Bear! He is going to be an awesome therepy dog! Good luck with your construction, I know that can be a pain and a mess to clean up afterwords. Lots of dust! Thanks for the pics and off to check the Mac blog now!

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