Thursday, May 17, 2012

After an exciting run in the back yard, a quiet evening of TV.

After dinner we took the three Rotts for a run down the back. On the way back we stopped to have a conversation with our neighbor and while we were talking Sassy started to do her howling WOOO WOOO alarm. Then I noticed that another neighbors dog, a German Shepard name Maggie had spotted our boys Ruff and Axl and had come running over for a visit. Maggie lives on the next street about a 1000 feet away so we decided to walk her home. Ruff and Axl always get excited when Maggie comes for a visit and they were both running around playing chase with her. 
When we got back to our house everyone was tired from all the running so we had a very quiet night watching television. 

One quick dinner time picture tells a whole story.

In our house the Rottweilers get fed before we do for the practical purpose of not having to be surrounded by starving hungry dogs while we eat. That doesn't mean it takes their minds off food, it just removes some of the anxiety. Well, last night after they had their dinner I started to put our's on the table and I spotted Ruff and Axl taking up their spots around the table. They were just laying there, quietly waiting for something to happen. I wonder if they dream of me tripping over them and spilling our dinner on the floor? Now that would be exciting.
I can't imagine what life would be like without them because they have a natural ability to fill in all the little empty spaces in our day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ruff's two best friends come for a visit.

We celebrated the completion of the stone wall project yesterday and threw a beer party. Our good friends Bev and her husband Rich came over and Ruff was thrilled to see them both. Acting like he used to when he was much younger, Ruff made repeated attempts to shower his friends with kisses and face licks. He then tried to get what he wanted by jumping up on the back of the chair that Rich was sitting in. Well, that called for the old Nikon and I managed to record some memorable shots before it was over. The pictures that follow are posted in sequence from the first one I took when I walked back in the room.
Click the pictures for a larger view.
I think it is fairly obvious that Rich was enjoying his buddy Ruff as much Ruff was enjoying his friend Rich. And Bev holds the distinction of being Ruff's "Auntie Bev" and as the last shot taken a few years ago shows, Ruff has a fond affection for his Auntie.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Now, the new wall is finished.

The crew of masons from Don Moore's Masonry who rebuilt my stone walls by the swimming pool came by after work tonight and installed the slabs I made for the caps. Now I can begin getting the backyard ready for Summer. Take a look.
These guys worked fast and finished up at 8 PM just as the Sun was setting. Now I have to get some flowers to plant where those weeds are.
And this is how it looked the next day in the morning sunlight.
It took about 5 weeks to make the 11 wall cap slabs I needed but it saved a bundle of money. I went to a stone company to price limestone and they wanted $300 for each piece cut to the size I made (3x14x34).


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ruff and his family watched the Kentucky Derby.

As soon as I turned on the TV tonight to watch the Kentucky Derby, Ruff took up his spot right in front as soon as he saw the first horses. The local favorite from Northern Kentucky, a horse named Hanson, started out strong but fell way back after the last turn. Here are some pictures.
Number 19 won.


Friday, May 4, 2012

We're almost back to normal.

Well, I finished making the cap stone slabs for the new wall and because they came in to weigh 110 lbs each I hired the same crew who rebuilt the wall to come in next week and lay them on the wall with mortar. It took me six weeks to make them and everyone thinks they look pretty good. I used two kinds of Portland cement, the common gray and two 100 lb bags of white along with some brown cement dye to give them a tint. The idea I had was to simulate cut sandstone which was way too expensive. The caps I made are 14" x 3" x 34" and it would have been more than $200 each from a quarry. I spent about $20 each for my material and made 16 of them. Here are two pictures.
During the time I was working on this project we did manage to take the happy crew out for a few runs in the back yard. The weather here has been really strange with daytime temperatures running as high as 88 degrees (which would be normal for August) and many night-time temperatures dropping below freezing. In fact, I managed to propagate seven Montauk Daisies last year from seeds that came from a plant I brought down to Kentucky 20 years ago and this year have had to cover them at night to several times to protect them from the cold. The early Spring has has them growing like crazy along with everything else. In fact I did get some frost damage on the top leaves of our Japanese Maples.

Any way, here are a few pictures of the three Rottweilers enjoying the nice weather. In spite of the warm temperatures my wife was still wearing her hat and coat, but that is a different matter.
Sassy doing her upside down excercises.
Ruff and Axl exploring.
And Ruff watching Vanna on Wheel of Fortune after dinner. He does this every night.
I'll post some news pictures next week after the wall is completely finished.