Thursday, April 9, 2015

Yoo 662 - Greg Might Even Be Allergic To These Pictures














But seriously. That poor man has ALLERGIES. All caps. He's been hacking up a lung and near-dead all week. Of course the same thing happens every time the pollen stirs and he lets it go all the way to sinus infection. Because do we learn? I "strongly suggested" he go to the doctor on Tuesday for meds and what do you know...he did. And he's on the mend.

In honor of his allergies, I felt inspired to take pictures of the thriving plant life along the jogging trail. Pups and I frequent this trail together and it usually isn't this pretty. Though I'd take it with a few less poisonous serpents, thanks. We've seen two rattlesnakes already this year.

My previous manager at work has never, EVER, been camping, and one of the reasons he gives for that is that he doesn't want to encounter any snakes. And I'm like, I get that, I really do, but I'm positive I have seen more snakes in town than I've ever seen while camping.

KNOCK ON WOOD.

Too much snake talk.

I ordered a foam sleeping pad and some Darn Tough socks from backcountry.com earlier this week and the package came today. With free samples! It's really exciting to open that box and not only get your gear but see some extras floating around. More companies should take note of this.

That's all the important talk for now.

Have a great day :-)


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Yoo 661 - McKinney Falls and Bluebonnets



Greg went to bed early with allergies. Roscoe's curled up on the couch next to me trying to catch up on all the naps he missed. And I'm trying to hold on to the tiniest bit of Sunday night that remains.

We were free from work and church responsibilities this weekend so it was a good one. Spent outside and together.

McKinney Falls State Park was the main destination but we had two lengthy sidetracks at Zilker Park in Austin. I never get over loving that park.

And yes, the bluebonnet pictures are a joke. This is how Roscoe really felt about them.


Favorites from the weekend include:








Roscoe at Zilker Park. There's a great off-leash dog park with access to the lake. He has finally recognized his roots and developed a love for swimming...and he'll fetch in the water! We can't get him to dock jump like the cool dogs, instead he carefully eases himself into the water, but he's always determined to get that stick. Even if he loses sight of it and swims in confused circles.

Blah blah he's the most fun dog on the planet and we love him times a thousand.

You might even say he's "the ideal beautiful" if you were a random chick walking past us on the sidewalk.

Don't worry, my head's still inflated.




McKinney Falls was rainy but pleasant. We hiked around while listening to General Conference. I tested a new backpack that I really really like and Greg tested new shoes. Roscoe tested our patience.

Just kidding! He was a really good dog. Even handled being in the super tiny tent (imagine a two-person bivvy sack but subtract some breathing room) with good graces. There was a moment at six in the morning when he threw up on my sleeping bag but he cleaned it right up.

Greg pretended to be asleep during that.

Two minutes later though, he decided he'd had enough of sleeping on a deflated sleeping pad and took Roscoe out for some fresh air on his way to the car.

Why was his sleeping pad deflated? Well, it got a small hole in it sometime last year. He successfully patched it but it needs a touch-up. Actually, it needed a touch up about 4 camping trips ago and he's never remembered. I'm thinking it will get remembered this time judging by his comments that morning.

Or maybe I'll do it. He does have a birthday coming up...





We threw our camping food together with no plans and only one impromptu trip to HEB. Whilst roaming the aisles we decided to throw together a pepperoni pizza with French bread and broil it in the Dutch oven. Definitely going on the good idea list. We also bought cereal for breakfast before realizing we had no bowls.

Except we did and ended up using a collapsible dog bowl. BUT DON'T BE DISGUSTED. It was brand new, never used, and we washed it first.


Roscoe's kind of miffed he doesn't get as many table scraps nowadays.


He even stole my spot at the picnic table when I got up to check on the coals. If he wasn't so cute...

Also favorite, we were camped next to a food truck. It wasn't open for business but the owner was friendly and gave us a big bag of leftover kettle corn. We would have offered him some pizza but weren't super confident in it's quality and he did introduce himself as a "chef".

We'll have to give his truck a try the next time we see it. Chef's Roadshow.

Also also, Cadbury mini eggs.


And this dog all the way home.

Have a great day :-)


Friday, March 27, 2015

Yoo 660 - Disneyland for Dogs


There's a place in southeast Texas that is actually the happiest place on earth. Disneyland doesn't want to know this but it's true. The Congressman Bill Archer dog park is amazing. I don't know much about Bill Archer or his politics but bravo on getting a dog park named after you.

So this dog park has a bone-shaped swimming pool. An almost mile-long hiking track. Fake fire hydrants. A million dogs. And mud puddles. Mud puddles as far as the eye can see.

Also, it's free and there are dog-washing stations.

I'm really struggling to imagine something it's missing. Besides my name. I want a dog park this cool named after me.

Greg's sister told us about this place last year and we stop by every time we're in Houston. Roscoe loves loves loves it. And we love love love it. Watching pups be a dog and roll in all the mud puddles and wrestle with all the friends and fetch the tennis ball from the pool over and over again is extremely satisfying. I'm basically boiling over with happiness when I'm there. And we could spend hours there, walking around the trail and dodging wet dogs. Eventually we do have to leave because we can tell Roscoe is exhausted but still throwing himself 1,000 percent into his play and probably close to keeling over dead with pure puppy euphoria.

He's always asleep in the back of the car by the time we pull out of the parking lot. And really fluffy from his bath.

Dogs are awesome.








Have a great day :-)


Monday, March 23, 2015

Yoo 659 - The Canoe Trip That Never Was


For our second anniversary last July, we had a three-day canoe trip down the Neches river in East Texas planned. Because nothing is as romantic as three days without showers while camping in snake and alligator-infested swamp forests! Seriously though, we were looking forward to this. I'd spent two evenings packing up our supplies and putting together food and everything was ready to go. That Friday morning we got up before the sun and drove five hours to get to the canoe outfitters. Unfortunately, our arrival there coincided with the moment that a flash-flood warning screeched from my phone. All trips were cancelled.

We were bitter, though we did get to spend an evening with family and take Roscoe to the Disneyland of dog parks on our way back to San Antonio. But instead of paddling down a rare pristine stretch of Texas river, our third year of marriage began in our house, watching a documentary on the Pacific Crest Trail while making cinnamon rolls. It fueled our desire to thru-hike the PCT but was otherwise anti-climactic.

And I still wanted to do that canoe trip.

Fast-forward to spring break a couple weeks ago. Perfect time to try the trip again! The weather wouldn't be as blazing hot and we had a three-day weekend. So I got everything ready to go, Greg drove five hours, and there we were.

Same story, second verse.

River was flooding and all the trips were cancelled.

We spent an hour being really bitter and complaining to each other while parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot. It was a low moment. But while in that parking lot I found a state park in the somewhat nearby vicinity that miraculously still had campsites available during a busy spring break weekend. We booked a site and headed for Huntsville State Park in hopes of salvaging the trip.

And salvage the trip we did.

I just love camping. Even if it's with a million other people at a designated site with flush-toilets and hot showers nearby.


I also just love this dog. He's so funny in the tent. Can't figure out where his "spot" is so he just stretches his dog body wherever it may go...and it's usually squarely on Greg's sleeping bag with a few limbs crossing over to mine. We have so much fun camping with him.


He's super impressed with the camera. And being in the tiny tent with us.



We did get to do a bit of canoeing while there. Even paddling right up to our campsite for lunch one day! That was fun. Rule number one about the canoe was "Roscoe can NOT jump in the water". Pups and I reviewed this frequently because the park rangers warned us about alligators and how they "lose handfuls of dogs every year to the gators".

That would be tragic times ten.

I don't know if it's true or false but Roscoe settled into the canoe just fine and we didn't have any problems. Or see any alligators.

Also, he wears a life jacket so he has handles, not because he needs it to swim. Plus he looks cool in it.



I'm including a picture of the fire to remind me about all the effort that went into getting this fire. We'd scavenged some leftover firewood from another site that turned out to be quite damp. Fun thing about camping is you usually don't have anything better to do than try your hand at dumb challenges, like starting a fire, sans lighter fluid, with damp wood. So we grabbed our tinder of choice and gathered kindling and alternated donating lung-fulls of oxygen for two hours and, voila! Fire.

It was really pathetic compared to the fires of nearby campers but they had GALLONS of lighter fluid. Cheaters.

(I love lighter fluid and yes I was jealous).


The sunsets were beautiful each night, as sunsets usually are.




We bought THE nerdiest sun hats. Bought as in, yes, we actually paid money to wear those things. Eight dollars even. We basically broke the scale of dorkiness the moment we put on them on but they work and I stand by my decision. I mean, my dad owns a sun hat that is at least somewhat respectable and then there's us.

At least they can hide our faces!

Roscoe pulls the hat off a little better.




We hiked over seven miles in our sandals one afternoon...again, hadn't packed the hiking shoes because we were expecting to be sitting in a boat all weekend.


Good morning to you too, pups!


This picture makes me want to pet my dog forever. He has the softest ears. Also he's the cutest thing on the planet.


He decided he was tired of waiting for us to set breakfast in front of him.


I'm so happy when I'm spending time outside, away from cities and hordes of people, just talking with Greg and watching my dog explore. It's a good reset button. And there are always stories. I'm still a bit bummed we didn't get to go on the canoe trip, and we'll probably never try again, despite the "third time's a charm" saying. But I can't complain about what we came up with instead.

(Even though I did for a bit...)

Have a great day :-)