Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

A very special day!

Are you familiar with Danny Elfman or Tim Burton? Elfman writes a lot of the music for Tim Burton’s films, like Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland and lots more. They frequently work with the gorgeously talented, gorgeously beautiful Johnny Depp (did I mention he’s gorgeous??), as well as the lovely Helena Bonham Carter, one of my favorite contemporary actresses. In fact, Depp wrote a large introduction in the playbill for this concert. All four are beautifully eccentric, and I just love them and admire their freedom to be who they are.

Anyway, we were fortunate enough to snag tickets to a once-in-a-lifetime show of Danny Elfman’s music for Tim Burton’s films at Lincoln Center in New York. It was only there six days after a round-the-world tour.

Big screen over the orchestra.

Big screen over the orchestra.

As soon as I heard about it, I jumped online and got tickets – center orchestra! Couldn’t have been more perfect.

New York Philharmonic

View from our seats of the New York Philharmonic

The lighting changed to match the film they were playing music from, and clips from the films as well as concept art you never get to see accompanied the music.

There was a most amazing young woman violinist who just blew our minds. She soloed in a few pieces – dressed in Burtonesque style – you’d think she’d been playing for decades to be that good! There were also two incredibly talented young boys who were soprano soloists for a couple of pieces.

THEN – Danny Elfman came out and performed some of the most loved pieces from Nightmare Before Christmas – we LOVE that film and know all the words to his songs. He was the voice talent for several of the characters, and even though that film has been around a while, he performed them just like he did in the film, with very few variations (just to let us know he was doing it live!). What a wonderful personality and sense of humor! He came out afterwards with his cell phone and shot videos of the audience and the orchestra LOL!!

Every show was completely sold out – understandably – it was phenomenal! The audience went wild. I doubt if anything will ever top it for us. (Except running into Johnny Depp in person – yeah, that would be the end-all for me!)

Before the show, we went to a really cool Chinese restaurant near Lincoln Center called Shun Lee West. Look at the amazing decor!

Huge dragons surround the dining area, which had a sunken center.

Huge dragons surround the dining area, which had a sunken center.

A dragon coming right for me! :)

A dragon with glowing red eyes coming right for me! :)

Really cool floor-to-ceiling dragon in the lobby.

Really cool floor-to-ceiling dragon in the lobby.

A crystal sculpture with colorful origami inside. Very cool!

A crystal sculpture with colorful origami-like crystals inside. Very cool!

It was a fabulous day filled with sunny skies, great food, and amazing music. I don’t know how we’ll ever top this, but if we do, I’ll post about it!

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Back at long last! :)

I know, I know. I’m ashamed of myself. I knew I wouldn’t be able to blog for a couple weeks, but that turned into many weeks. :(

But I have good reason for my absence – besides my regular work, I was finishing a book I started writing some time ago! It’s a cozy mystery with a twist – it’s got a special appeal for dog lovers. I’ll reveal more as soon as it’s published, hopefully this fall. (Emphasis on “hopefully”!) :) I’m going through my second round of edits, then I’ll send it off to my editor in August.

We’ve only been able to visit a few blogs here and there, but we’ve missed everyone tremendously. We haven’t gone on vacation, but we’ve been busy with lots of things.

I haven’t done too much outdoorsy stuff – it’s been way too hot and humid. Summer is my least favorite time of year and my countdown to fall is well underway! (You can throw tomatoes at me for disliking summer – I’ll just put them into a salad LOL)

It's so hot, this squirrel flattened himself out under our patio table!

It’s so hot, this squirrel flattened himself out under our patio table!

He can't get any flatter than that! LOL

He can’t get any flatter than that! LOL

But at least we’ve gotten some wonderful rainbow chard from our garden:

Fresh rainbow chard!

Fresh rainbow chard! Garden to table in half an hour. :)

And our flowers are blooming beautifully as long as I water them twice a day:

summer flowers

summer flowers

And we’ve had a steady stream of flying visitors:

Hummingbirds!

Hummingbirds!

A rare instance where one hummingbird actually stopped flitting at warp speed!

A rare instance where one hummingbird actually stopped flitting at warp speed!

Daisy’s been pretty patient, though she does want to know how her blog buddies are. She doesn’t like the hot weather at all and wants to come in as soon as she takes care of business outside.

I'm so DONE with this heat! I'm pooped!

I’m so DONE with this heat! I’m pooped!

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Spring Pairings

I just couldn’t resist posting pictures of some of my favorite spring pairings. This lovely couple comes to the feeder every day – he gallantly stays underneath the feeder, pecking at seed on the ground and watching for trouble, while his little lady feeds heartily at the feeder. In this picture, he’s looking up at her as if to say, “You okay up there?” :)

Hey, babe! How you doin'?

Hey, babe! How you doin’ up there?

And this mourning dove couple visits every morning and always stay close together on the ground, going for the easy pickin’s. :)

Always together, in all kinds of weather

Always together, in all kinds of weather

And then there are the confirmed bachelors…

I stand alone, thank you.

I stand alone, thank you.

I think we can see why this guy is a bachelor:

Look, I'm a bird pretzel!

Look, I’m a bird pretzel! Hey, my feet taste good!

I love this tree pairing–

SO pretty!

SO pretty!

And how about this fun pairing of cat lovers and dog lovers pastas? :)

cat and dog pasta

And then there’s Miss Daisy, who’s always paired up with one of us. :)

Daisy and DD phone time

Happy spring! :D

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Daisy Loves Herbert!

I fell behind with my blog visits this week – ACK!! Fortunately it’s all work related and nothing negative. Hopefully I can do more visiting today. :) Meanwhile…

Even though Daisy had done some of her famous microsurgery on Herbert, the two of them are still thick as thieves.

We have no idea how this happened.

We have no idea how this happened.

But once they’re together, there’s no separating them.

We're settling in for the evening - you find your own place to relax.

We’re settling in for the evening – you find your own place to relax.

And we sure don’t want to come between a dog and her snake!

You couldn't come between us even if you wanted to...

You couldn’t come between us even if you wanted to…

I can’t say I understand how Herbert ended up riding Daisy like a horse, but that’s how I found them and I just had to take pictures!

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Daisy the Nursemaid

One of the many comforting things about having a pet is how empathetic they can be when we’re feeling sick or low.

Daisy’s quite the little nursemaid. Recently when DD was sick, she decided to lie on the sleeping bag on the floor – Daisy immediately snuggled up behind her and didn’t move until DD did. Part of her always has to be touching the person she’s with.

I won't leave DD until she feels all better!

I won’t leave DD until she feels all better!

If DD moved, Daisy checked on her and moved right along with her.

Daisy’s sympathetic expression coupled with the way she curls up with us and won’t leave our side always helps us smile, even during the most miserable times.

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

 

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Daisy’s Self-Imprisonment

Well this is taking things to a new level, even for Daisy!

Our little pup loves being in small places, especially under our beds.

Like playing hide-and-seek under DD's bed

Playing hide-and-seek under DD’s bed

Or playing you-can't-see-me under my bed

Or playing you-can’t-see-me under my bed, one way…

...or the other.

…or the other.

But one day I discovered that the bed had a few sharp protrusions and I was concerned that Daisy might cut her back while army-crawling under there, so I put some storage bins underneath to block her. Oh yeah, that worked real well…

You can't outsmart me!

You can’t outsmart me!

Apparently the bins brought out the interior designer in her, and she’d shoved them around to make just enough space for herself in one corner at the end of the bed. There are no sharp protrusions there, but I didn’t know if she could make a pathway even farther back.

So I brought out the big guns, my final resort – the dreaded gate. Daisy’s been somewhat afraid of the gate since I took my fall over it; I think the loud sound it made when it hit the floor coupled with the loud scream I made when I hit the floor frightened her.

I placed the gate at the end of the bed to cover the open area she’d made, and it worked…for about three days…

The gate and I have struck a deal...you can't keep me out of here!

The gate and I have struck a deal. You can’t keep me out of here!

I surrender. Daisy can have her corner, even if it means she looks like she’s in prison. :)

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Two Gals and a Dream Cottage

DD and I have taken a girls’ weekend getaway vacation twice a year for the last couple years, and this past weekend was our first four-day getaway for 2015. I thought my blogging buddies might like to come along for the ride. :D

Two years ago we found an immaculate Victorian cottage for rent that’s only half an hour away and within walking distance of the beach. We were thrilled, especially because it’s clean, cozy, and its ambiance has become a sort of muse that inspires our writing (we’re both writers).

Nothing promotes creativity like inspirational new surroundings where we can shut off our phones and focus on writing…and a bit of fun…okay, way more than a bit of fun…

We’ve been going there for two years now – it’s like our own home away from home (without all the work!).

How charming is this?!

How charming is this?!

It may not be far, but it’s a whole other world, and our four-day break is incredibly refreshing.

A small section of the living room, where we spend most of our writing time snuggled on the couch. :D

A small section of the living room, where we spend most of our writing time snuggled on the couch. :D

One corner of the bright, homey kitchen.

One corner of the bright, homey kitchen.

Dining room complete with china and crystal in case a formal dinner party should suddenly erupt... ;)

Dining room complete with china and crystal in case a formal dinner party should suddenly erupt… ;)

Plus three bedrooms upstairs: one in blues, one in pinks, and the other in deep rich red, all with coordinated quilts, period accessories and lovely furniture. The upstairs bathroom is done in lavender and white and still has is claw-foot tub and pedestal sink. So sweet.

Lovely.

Lovely.

The town is filled with Victorian beauties and has a LOT of history behind it.

Look at this beauty just a couple of blocks away!

Look at this incredible beauty just a couple of blocks away!

 They call these the "Painted Ladies" of the town - two facing rows of gorgeous Victorian homes right across the street from the beach. Prices? A cool $1.5 million (for those needing repairs) and UP. Beautiful, yes, but location is everything!

They call these the “Painted Ladies” of the town – two rows of gorgeous Victorian homes facing a central parkland and right across the street from the beach. Prices? A cool $1.5 million (for those needing repairs) and UP…way up. Most of the oceanfront homes are Grand Dames that make these look like little sisters. Beautiful, yes, but location is everything!

This is a single family home with a beautiful breezy view from every level.

This is a single family home with a beautiful breezy view from every level.

Some of the town’s most interesting history is still visible today. There were religious Camp Meetings during the 19th century at the church on a large lot of land capping off the end of the Painted Ladies’ street…

The church/auditorium that is the centerpiece of the Tent Colony.

The church/auditorium that is the centerpiece of the Tent Colony.

…and families would stake claims to land on the same lot where they put up actual tents in the summer to be close to where the religious services were held. There were originally 600 tents, now there are 114 permanent “tents”.

More permanent “Tent Colony” structures of today. Furnishings and rugs are removed for the winter and brought back in spring/summer, and a canvas tent is erected over the wooden frame in front of the wood structure you see – the wood structure is only storage. There’s no real privacy. As tiny as they are, “tenters” have made them quite homey and cozy inside!

These “tents” are passed down from generation to generation; one couple has rented their tent for the past 75 years. “Tenters” love the simplicity of their little homes and usually spend all summer there. Quite the juxtaposition against the neighboring Painted Ladies.

Gorgeous Victorian gingerbread, but definitely more difficult to maintain than the tent homes!

Gorgeous Victorian gingerbread, but definitely more difficult to maintain than the tent homes!

I'd love to see that room!

I’d love to see that room!

Imagine the ocean view from that top balcony!

Imagine the ocean view from that top balcony!

No two are exactly alike, from color to gingerbread design.

No two are exactly alike, from color to gingerbread design.

Details, details everywhere.

Details, details everywhere.

Four blocks from our cottage is the town center with NO chain stores, just small, independent shops, indie restaurants, bakeries, etc. Just a few blocks farther is the ocean.

I love the beach during the off season, you wouldn't find me anywhere near it during summer with the crazy crowds!

I love the beach during the off season, you wouldn’t find me anywhere near it during summer with the crazy crowds!

It’s a walker’s paradise and the people are all so friendly. And so many people have dogs that a lot of the shop owners leave bowls of water outside for passing pups! :) In fact, one shop has several bulletin boards with pictures of the pups who visit. :D

Unfortunately, Daisy couldn’t come along with us, but I don’t think she was too upset – she had Daddy all to herself!

I love Daddy time!

I love Daddy time!

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Snowy Spring, or Winter’s PS

Look what happened on the first day of spring!

We woke up to a good 6-8 inches of snow on the ground!

We woke up to a good 6-8 inches of snow on the ground!

Which drew birds by the dozens again, including some of my winter favorites:

I love how these little beauties nestle into the snowy branches.

I love how these little beauties nestle into the snowy branches.

Later in the day, a brilliant blue sky let us know spring was keeping an eye on the untimely snowfall…

spring snow

And a wonderful thing happened – Daisy suddenly started enjoying the snow! She didn’t avoid it like usual, she went right into the thick of it, and after I stopped taking pictures (of course) she romped into the deepest snow in the middle of the yard – chest-high on her!

Hey, this snow isn't so bad after all! It's kinda fun!

Hey, this snow isn’t so bad after all! It’s kinda fun! Now let’s go for the deep stuff!

Of course we paid the inevitable price – 20 minutes of blow-drying ice balls off her feet, legs, chest and stomach. But it was well worth it! I hope she takes to the snow much sooner next winter.

Our daffodils – the four-inch stems that had managed to push through after the ice, snow, and a flooded flower garden – took it well and now that the snow is gone, they’re giving it their all. What hardy little troopers!

And given the “all clear”, a few of our purple crocuses hurried to show their beauty before the next storm could shut them down – there are about four buds in this picture, two of which are just waiting to burst open (you can see that the garden hasn’t been cleaned up yet after winter – there are still some small snow deposits around).

spring crocus

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bites blog hop! Join in and see what everyone else has been up to!

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Do you think Daisy looks like…

I think Daisy’s looking for a new career – lately she’s been doing her best impressions of an old-time movie star:

That’s Veronica Lake with her famous sultry wave-over-the-eye look.

And there’s Miss Daisy, doing her own now-famous ear-over-the-eye look!

Veronica Lake starred in primarily black-and-white movies, and Daisy is already gray and white, with touches of black. She fits right in! :D

What do you think? Does Daisy have a future as a canine film noire star?

We’re part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop!

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Happy Birthday Daisy!!

Yep, it’s official – Daisy turned FIVE on Friday! Yes, it was Friday the 13th, but for us, it’s a good luck day because that’s the day that our little sweetie was born. :D

Daisy the Furry Caterpillar at 2.6 months old.

Daisy the Furry Caterpillar at 2.6 months old.

Daisy got big “good morning” greetings, and she actually seemed extra excited, as if she knew it was a special day. She jumped higher, romped, and did little ram-like jumps over absolutely nothing. :D

Daisy loves over-the-shoulder hugs!

Daisy loves over-the-shoulder hugs!

We started celebrating early with an extra long morning excursion out and about, despite the muddy grounds.

Daffodils should be shooting up in our flower garden, but instead we just have a muddy pool.

Daffodils should be shooting up in our flower garden, but instead we just have a muddy pool.

We couldn’t wait to give her her present – she de-stuffed poor Pinkie last week, but she loved him so much that we got her Pinkie’s little brother, Baby Blue.

Meet Baby Blue, Pinky's little brother and Daisy's new favorite toy.

Meet Baby Blue, Pinky’s little brother and Daisy’s new favorite toy.

I love my Baby Blue!

I love my Baby Blue!

This is Baby Blue, Pinky's little brother and Daisy's birthday present. :)

Daisy didn’t let go of Baby Blue all day.

Since one of Daisy’s favorite things is paper bags, we put Baby Blue into a long paper bag, scrunched up the end, and turned her present-opening into a homemade “mental exercise” toy. She had a blast and it took her a little while to figure it out.

Daisy’s day was full of kisses, cuddles and mushies. I think she’s already looking forward to her next birthday!

Daisy gives lovies too!

Daisy gave lots of lovies too!

 

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