Sascha’s First Christmas with Us

So Christmas was really nice.  Santa dropped by the house earlier and left some nice gifts.  I don’t think any of us did too badly this year.  Even Sascha had a good day.

Rick got several Portal 2 items, which should make his year.  Rich got his usual beer t-shirts, a diamond plate mailbox, and some tools.  I got a sash for my Ren Faire outfit in Campbell tartan, a cover for my Nook, and a cooler I can take to Ravinia. 

Rich made dinner.  It has become our tradition to have rib roast rare with Yorkshire pudding.  This year’s offering was no exception.  The roast was great and the pudding (actually more like muffins) were tasty.  Sascha even got a rib bone to chew on.  Poor baby, she had no idea what to do with it.  She wanted to take it to her den and savor the flavor. 

Unfortunately, my sinus condition persists.  The guys went for an afternoon walk with Sascha out at the forest preserve.  Moraine State Park was closed for the holiday.  However, the trail at the preserve runs along the river.  So it was a nice walk, even if Sascha got a little muddy. She seemed to enjoy her time out with the guys.

I posted picture from our day up on Picasa.  You can find these at:  https://picasaweb.google.com/JZurekFamily/Christmas2011#

Rick was setting so that the window was at his back and the camera didn’t flash to fill in enough on some of these so he does appear quite so many times as Rich.  I assure you he did well for Christmas.

Hope your holidays were good and continue to be so through the New Year.

Christmas Eve 2011

So Christmas Eve has finally arrived.  As usual these days, it’s just Rich, Rick, and I celebrating together. Ah, but this year, we have Sascha as well.  This is one of those Polish eating holidays.  There is food all the time.

Christmas time is also Sascha’s birthday.  It’s too bad we don’t know the exact date.  We’ve decided to celebrate on Dec 26.  Sascha was originally named Holly to celebrate her Yuletide birthday.  I just couldn’t call the dog Holly without thinking of my Aunt Holly, also born on Christmas.  I think Sascha fits her. 

Today was kind of slow. I was mostly hanging out. My sinuses are bothering me, so I’m only blowing my nose.  Rich decided to paint the metal beams and poles around the bar area.  He picked out what he thought would be a nice Bavarian blue color.  It’s probably pretty close to Detroit Lions blue as well.  It definitely brightened up the bar.  Rick was in the garage working on a super secret project yesterday and today. 

This afternoon, Rich was watching the Lions and Chargers game.  Sascha decided to sit on the couch and watches as well.  I think it had more to do with the beer he was drinking than the actual game.  I can’t say I believe Sascha is a fan of football or a particular team. I took a couple of neat pictures of them together.  Sascha loves her daddy.

This year, we broke with the fish tradition and decided to have duck for dinner.  Around here, duck goes over very well.  A little wild rice and a few fresh vegetables along with crescent rolls make for a nice dinner.  Of course, Rich had to break out some of the wine.  Today, a nice white wine with the duck.

Tomorrow is Christmas.  It’ll be another quiet day.  Dinner is standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding.  I believe Rich has a nice red wine to compliment the meal.  To space it out, we are doing the typical sausage and pierogi brunch on Monday.  Then I’m taking my wonderful husband out on a date Monday night.  Rick has agreed to make sure we get there and back safely.  It’s Duke O’Brien’s for dinner with their wide selection of craft beers and wines.

I have to say I really hate the program I’m using for my blog.  I’m going to have to find something that allows me more freedom to format!  This is crazy and it sucks!

Merry Christmas all!

Who Almost Took Out Whom?

On Thursday, Rich decided to let Sascha go for a run.  This is her favorite thing to do, after all, besides lay in someone’s lap.  To get her ready, Rich put on the flexible booties that are supposed to protect her feet.  One problem:  the booties won’t stay on.  We’ve tried a couple of different type now with no good results.  About 2 minutes into the run, the booties start to fly off.  Oh well, we will keep trying.

Rich got ready and turned on the helmet cam.  He readjusted this to sit up higher on his helmet.  I think it captured the action much better.  You can at least see Sascha as she is running out in front and the booties are flying off. 

Sascha got excited about going for a run.  She actually barked this time!  She hardly barks or whines or makes a noise.  She is the quietest dog.  Sascha generally pokes you with her nose to get what she wants.

Unfortunately, Rich took Sascha through what we call Squirrel Alley.  This is the back side of the subdivision where the road runs through a heavily wooded area.  The squirrels and other wildlife hang out back there.  Sascha can’t help but find a squirrel in this part of the housing development. 

As Rich almost got through the alley, Sascha decided to stop dead in her tracks.  This almost threw Rich off the scooter as well as to pull Sascha off her feet.  I wasn’t there, but the video tells the story when you see it.  Maybe dog scootering is a dangerous sport after all!

They made it back to the house in one piece and Sascha was good and tired from the run.  She crawled into my lap and slept for a good half an hour.  I was looking for an excuse not to get up and have to do anything anyway.

Rich and Sascha on another run:

http://youtu.be/wzOIIIbw-AE

All the Babies at Home

I knew I was going to have trouble writing a blog too many days in a row.  It’s not that my life isn’t interesting.  It’s just not interesting enough for print.  I knew I wasn’t going to keep up with this like Rose does with her Daisy blog.  Rose does a nice job with her http://www.curiousdaisy.com/wordpress/ blog.  (Insert Zurek family plug here.)  Oh well, once in a while I’ll put something up.  I guess I wait until Rich, Rick, or Sascha do something interesting.

Anyway, Rick was home today starting his Christmas vacation.  I was working at home and keeping very busy.  Rick went out and brought in lunch so I wouldn’t have to stop.  Later in the day, he was watching a cheaply produced movie on SyFy.  I walk through the living room and there he is with Sascha in Dad’s chair.  They looked comfy and cozy.  Sascha didn’t even want me to pet her.  Well, I just had to take a picture of them.

Last Saturday, we invited some people over for a casual evening.  Mostly, this was to get rid of the Pumpkin ale left over from Thanksgiving.  We had appetizers and sat at the bar talking.  It was a nice time.  Our friend, Jay, brought over his dog, Guiness.  This was the first time Sascha had another dog on her territory.  She did well and only tried to herd Guiness a couple of times.  Mostly, Sascha occupied herself going from person to person and hanging in their laps to be petted.  Such an attention getter.  Every time I looked at her, Sascha is hanging on someone.  Once, she was standing up with her front paws and her head laying in Cathy’s lap and the next time she is Diane’s face trying to get attention!  Needless to say, she was very, very tired the next day.

Video Cam of Sascha

Today was a beautiful day outside!  Sascha thought the weather was perfect since she spent most of the day out there.  She was watching for anything that might come into the yard.  Even though I tried to get her to come in several times, she remained on guard out by the trees.  I did catch her lying down on the job a couple of times though.

Later in the afternoon, Rich decided to go for some scootering.  It was his opportunity to try out the helmet cam for its original purpose.  With the camera strapped to the top of his helmet, he went out to prepare the scooter.

Of course, it doesn’t take Sascha very long to figure out that she should be in the garage staging with the scooter.  You can hear her line zip toward the garage and the hear the thunk as her paws hit the door at full force.  Yep, she is looking in the window and telling you to hook her up. 

Rich gets the harness on and hooks her up to the scooter.  Sascha keeps running to the small door so she can go out again.  She doesn’t seem to understand she is leaving by the big door.  The video starts at the point where Rich hits the button for the door.  Sascha is beside herself with excitement, or maybe she’s beside Rich.  Kind of hard to tell.

Anyway, this video is pretty typical of trying to get Sascha out for a run and keeping her on the straight path to continue that run.  Like any child, she is distracted by squirrels, the cat house for the feral cats, and an innocent bystander walking his dog. 

http://youtu.be/XzzS0W6dX1Q

Sascha walking Joy

So I’ve been dying to try out my helmet cam on a walk with Sascha.  I was hoping the video would be cool.  I got a chance a few days back. And yes, the video turned out great.  Then I spent a couple of days under the weather and didn’t get a chance to get the video edited. 

Today, I decided to brave through and got busy on the editing.  I should say I got Rick to help me out and got a product that I could post to my blog site.  Believe me, it needed editing.  I took video of an entire 20 minute walk.  Can you say boring?  Well, the end product is still boring, but it definitely shows the wide angle of the camera. 

Unfortunately, the audio is lowq on this sample.  I forgot to boost it when I rendered out the video.  One of those little things I’ll have to remember to work on.  I do give some commentary on the walk and give Sascha the appropriate commands for her turns and to leave that squirrel alone (on by)!

I said I took Sascha for a walk, but it was more like Sascha tried to take me for a run!

http://youtu.be/BI4t_PorIt8

Sascha and the Christmas Tree

Tis the season.  Started my Christmas cards for this year.  It’s a little harder trying to do them with my right hand.  You can read it, but it’s more like a First Grader wrote them.  Hope my friends and family understand.  My help just wasn’t into helping tonight.  All except for Sascha.  She was lying in under the dining room table while I folded, wrote, and sealed cards.  Good girl.

I was wondering what Sascha thought about the Christmas tree and all the decorations.  She was definitely interested when they went up around the house.  As far as I could tell, she was only sticking her nose into the tree and messing with the ornaments.  Today, Rich began finding ornaments lying in corners and under things.  Sascha has begun to remove ornaments from the tree ans hiding them.  She’s probably saving them to play with later.

Sascha was a Christmas puppy.  The Rescue didn’t have her exact birth date.  With a name like Holly, it couldn’t have been too far from the big day.  We’ve decided to celebrate it on December 26th.  So we’ll have cake and teach her to sing Happy Birthday. 

Now I just have to keep her from stripping the tree clean!

Dog with a View

We had been joking around that we should have a helmet cam for dog scootering.  So guess what I got for my birthday?  A helmet cam!!  I loved it.

I’ve been spending the past few days messing around with the camera.  Today, Rick took me through editing my files.  He’s the video editor in the family.  So I took some film of Sascha and Rich preparing to go for a walk.  Not much to see really, but this is just the start of something bigger.  I hope to capture video of talking Sascha out for a training walk and to get some footage of someone being pulled on the scooter.  I think this should be so cool!

Sascha preparing for a walk:

http://youtu.be/qmuP-8gVdvs