The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Relaxing at the Lake

We decided on Wednesday evening to head out to the lake for the weekend. Being that it was already dinner time and our cul-de-sac looked like a Walmart parking lot, we couldn't bring the RV home until Thursday morning. Then the rush to get ready was on. I had to make a trip to the grocery store as the fridge at home was empty and DH didn't want to go to the lake with us. Got rained on at HEB and while unloading the groceries at home. I was on the road about one just stopping long enough to pick the grandkids and Steve up on the way by their house. We got all set up and relaxed before Helen arrived after work with their dog Angus.  Meet a few of our neighbors.

I think the woman a couple RVs down might be taking "feeding the deer" a little too far.

We all got a swim in before dinner and then cooked chicken drummies on the grill. Helen had to go in to work on Friday for a while for a meeting but she is pretty adept at planning ahead and slipped quietly out in the morning.

Friday was more swimming morning and afternoon, basketball playing, hitting the playground, etc. Helen did some telecommuting after she got back. Just call her the energizer bunny. I used to be like that too. The wifi is good here so telecommuting works well. I put beef stew in the crockpot so dinner was real easy.

Angus is on crate rest and short walks due to his heartworm treatment, two weeks down and four to go. He says "if you have to relax and take it easy, this is definitely the way to go."

Harley knows how to relax too.

Gretchen is smart enough to catch a few winks when the grandkids are off playing too.

Willie just says "keep the noise down".

In addition to teaching Angus how to relax, the Traveling Longdogs are teaching him to sit up and clean out his bowl when you get breakfast and dinner unless you want their help. They are always happy to help.

The rest of the gang is down at the pool having a ball.

Birthday Blast

Helen's first birthday since becoming a Texan the end of last summer. Tres Leche cake for a big change....chocolate with chocolate frosting is the usual request from all the guys. I had to take the fruit off their pieces but they were very surprised at how good the cake was.

Now she has an official Texas Gal wine glass and yes, "this isn't her first rodeo" as her glass says.



Helen is the official "Jim Carey" of our family. We usually have to warn her for photos or you never know what kind of "face" will appear in the photo.


I think Helen had a good time but then so did all the rest of us. It is so nice to have her here in Texas.

Girls Night Out

My DIL, Helen, has been talking about a Girl's Night Out for a while so we finally settled on Friday. That meant that there would also be a Boy's Night Out. It all started.......

Steve took Cameron and Morgan to the pool with the slides at Ft Sam Houston. Well, I actually dropped them off and took Steve's truck back to BAMC to visit a friend in the hospital. After I came back and picked them up, we made a stop at the XChange to check out a few things. Steve brought me home about 4:30PM and told his Dad to get ready because they were heading out....destination unknown. He left Morgan with me and when I asked him what the plans were, he said that Helen had the Girl's plans all lined up so I fed the Longdogs and headed on over to their house. Helen is a master planner but he caught her unaware with his last minute bombshell. She wanted to do pedicures but was thinking of doing them in the morning.  No problem, we can adapt.....she called one place where she wanted to go but they closed too early so we headed off to another nearby place I have gone before. They got us right in!  I should have gotten a picture of us all lined up in our massage chairs. Morgan was beaming from ear to ear. Soda, water, wine anyone?  It was a fun time.

Now for some dinner.  Helen's first choice would have been Cheesecake Factory....but we had to consider that it was getting late, it was Friday night, and we would have had an hour's wait once we finally got there....so we headed over to Goomba's Pizza. Steve and Helen have eaten there twice and it was good.....only when we got there, it was now Mattenga's Pizzeria. That's what the little signs pasted over the Goomba's sign said anyway. We were really hungry by then so we decided to chance it anyway.

I was looking out across the restaurant thinking we would get a table when Helen said we needed to order up front at the left. Just then, a young guy who was either training the couple with him OR being trained by them (think it was the first) said "That's why we have the big "order here" sign". Wow, incredibly rude and total lack of customer friendliness. We almost walked out but Morgan was ready for pizza. So we ordered and sat down. The pizza arrived very promptly and it was good. It was very thin New York style so doesn't take long to cook. The friendliness improved when the very young male server walked around asking everyone if they had everything they needed and how we liked the pizza. It was a new summer job for him and he was excited about it.

After pizza, we headed back to Steve and Helen's. The "boys" had obviously stopped by to pick up their overnight needs and headed off to our house. They left us a funny note on the door saying "Boys Rule, Girls Drool" so I strongly suspect that was Cameron. lol.
Morgan was very excited about her promised viewing of "The Princess Diaries" so it was pajamas for all.

I guess I should have brought Gretchen with me but Angus was happy to hang with the girls.

The next morning, we fed Angus and headed back over to make breakfast at our house for everyone. Steve had a nap on the couch while the kids were playing. Do you think he didn't sleep well? Willy was taking his job as guard dog seriously. Then the boys headed out for a trip to Cabela's. Angus got to ride along with them so he was a happy puppy. 

Helen got a call from Steve while we were at Garden Ridge.  As they were driving up to Cabela's, Angus put his front feet up on the console right next to him to show him his pretty nails.

A Great Start to the Summer

Even though it's not officially summer yet, our summer starts when the grandkids get to spend 6 weeks with their Dad. We drove up to Marble Falls to pick them up and, on our way back to San Antonio, we stopped in Blanco Texas for the Lavender Festival.

Blanco is located in Blanco County, Texas on Hwy 281. It's a small town with a population of 1739. Founded way back in the mid 1800's, it was once listed by the New York Times as the worst place to live citing the "crime wave of 1868". Today it is a nice safe little town populated with ranchers and farmers with lots of visitors drawn to the Texas hill country. There are rolling hills of rocky limestone and rivers through the area. The limestone creates a slightly alkaline PH in the soil which makes it a natural agricultural joy. Lavender loves rocky, dry, slightly alkaline soil as so many other plants. Rob Kendrick, a national geographic photographer who lives in the area was shooting a story in Provence, France when he notices that the landscape was similar to his home in the Texas Hill Country. He and his wife Jeannie planted 2000 lavender plants upon their return home. Other lavender farms followed and the first ever lavender festival was held. This year is the 10th Lavender Festival.


There are all kinds of booths located around the county courthouse. The festival is so popular that they have a bus to transport visitors from a distant parking lot because the parking around the courthouse isn't nearly sufficient.

Interesting booth where they make huge crepes that have either sandwich or dessert type fixings in them.

There are lots of items for sale utilizing lavender like soap, essenses, and seeds. And then there are other crafts as well.

You could even find all kinds of cowhides.

Maybe you would like to try some lavender wine or cookies or ice cream?

Just off the squar, a zodeco band was playing cajun music and people were dancing in the shade.

It made for a very interesting break in the drive home. You can also visit the lavender farms in the area so we'll be back to try that another day.

The "Granddog" Gets His CGC

This was a "Grandkids" weekend. I drove all the way up to Brownwood with Steve on Friday to pick Cameron and Morgan up. They had an early release day for their last day of school and their Mom asked Steve to pick them up in Brownwood instead of Marble Falls which is the halfway point. She wanted to pick them up in San Antonio Monday as they were headed to South Padre. The kids had a big day out on Saturday with Steve and Helen's friends at Canyon Lake....swim time is always fun. Sunday was spent with us. Then, later in Sunday afternoon, Helen headed off to a meeting and Steve, the kids, Angus, and I headed up to Austin. It was a big day for Angus as he was scheduled to take his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. He passed his Advanced training a couple of weeks ago but the CGC is much more difficult to pass and a very big deal in the canine world. It lets everyone know that he is just as good a boy as we all think he is.

The test was scheduled for 6:30PM on the north side of Austin so we left plenty early as you just never know about traffic up there. We got there really early as we slid through town with nary a traffic snarl.....highly unusual. We found a restaurant with an outside patio.

Cameron had Japanese noodles, Steve and I settled on Pad Thai, and Morgan went with good old macaroni and cheese. Everything was very good. Angus was happy to relax with us. He and Steve practiced a few maneuvers after supper and then they were off.

And then the waiting began. We knew it would be a long wait as there were going to be 12 dogs taking the exam. First we meandered through a nearby Walmart dragging that out as long as we could. Then I took the kids to a Yogurt place. They had sorbet for Cam since he doesn't eat dairy so that worked out great....a place to sit down for a while. Now it would probably have been easier for me to have stayed at home with the kids where they could have watched a movie but they wanted to come along so we made it work. We sat outside for quite a while after the yogurt was gone. Tic-tac-toe kept them occupied. Then we went for a walk around the area. Finally we walked over near ZoomRoom which is where the exam was going on. They have a lot of big floor to ceiling windows so I didn't want Angus to see us and get distracted but they were through the last item on the test so it was okay when his head perked up.

This test was really rough especially with 12 other dogs and with the added distraction of scents of hundreds of dogs having been trained at Zoom Room. Angus had his "Dad" sweating bullets because if you fail any one of the many items on the exam, you fail the test. It's definitely not an exam that everyone passes on the first or even second go round. Angus got a retake on one area which is allowed and then he "passed" and graduated. Proud "papa" and Angus (can you tell he was worn out?) right after the exam was over.

Angus is headed to "graduate school" for therapy dogs this fall after summer with his family including the kids. You might see him out walking with the Traveling Longdogs.