Saturday, December 29

Back from Brasil

Bom Dia! Wish I had learned a little more Portuguese before the trip. I felt like my kids when I talk to them. Waiting for the few words they understand. Blah, blah, blah, treat, blah, blah, blah, walk... Luckily, my Brazilian coworkers spoke English.
I started at a meeting in Salvador, Bahia in northeast Brazil. Went from cold and dreary at home to the sun beating down at 5 am. On the last night of the meeting, they had a little party. This is a local woman who was making a very traditional Bahian dish called acaraje. It’s deep fried manioc containing shrimp and hot peppers. Darn good. After some caipirinhas (the Brazilian national cocktail), I was actually out on the dance floor doing some samba.

In Sao Paulo (pronounced San Paulo), we ate at churrascaria. Not only do they come around with the meat on skewers, they have a full fledge buffet with everything from salad to sushi. When the guys came around, I tried the chicken hearts and Brahma cow hump meat. Yummy on both counts.
Sao Paulo traffic. What can I say. Just scary. The rain didn’t help. I’m not used to the guys on motorcycles just weaving in and out of traffic.

Traffic is bad pretty much all the time. A city of 11 million people. There is a policy where depending on whether your license plate starts with an even or odd number, you can’t drive from 7-10am and 5-8pm on alternating days.

Jody found out an old high school friend he hadn’t seen in 10 years was going to be in town. Small world. We had dinner with him, and our marketing manager and his wife joined us too. We ate at ‘Badejo’ in the Moema section of town. We had ‘Bobo’ which is a Bahian-style seafood dish. Yummy!

Here is Jody with our Brazilian counterparts. Clockwise left to right is Michele, Roberta, Renata, and Carla. We had to get used to ‘R’s sounding like ‘H’s, so it was ‘Hoberta’ and ‘Henata’.
I spent the weekend in Rio de Janeiro before returning to Sao Paulo. Jody stayed in Rio for the week. We visited the two major tourist attractions: Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) and Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain). It was a very foggy day on Corcovado mountain, so this was the best shot I could get.

A shot of Sugarloaf from the nearby beach.
As impressive at the statue is, I think it gives more perspective to see it from the other side of Rio from Sugarloaf.
Another shot from Sugarloaf. If you enlarge the picture, you can see Cristo in the top right corner.

We headed off to the beaches. Couldn’t go to Rio without at least going to Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. Having a beer at one of the stands on the beach is a great way to wind down the day.

The Samba band which played at the restaurant where we had dinner that night was led by a colorful character. Jody referred to him as ‘Huggy Bear’ (from Starsky and Hutch). After a few beers, Jody felt the need to have a picture with him.
Unlike the States, Brazil has payphones on every block. ‘Oi’ is slang for ‘Hi’.
We loved the little mom and pop beer shops that lined the streets. Catch up with friends over a beer and watch the world go by. I could definitely become a regular. We tried some Brazilian brews: Skol, Itaipava, Brahma. And I quickly learned that 'chopp' means 'draft'. My first time in the Southern Hemisphere. Would definitely visit again. The people are very nice and the food is fabulous. Practicing my Portuguese. Australia is on my list of Southern Hemisphere countries to visit. Don't even have to learn a new language :)

Thursday, December 6

King of the Beds & First Snow

We stacked the beds that we usually keep in front of the tv, because we had to pull it out for repairs. It didn’t seem to bother the kids. They quite enjoyed it. Alex was the first to be king of the beds.
Stanley takes a stab at the new setup.
How about another try.
Wink, wink, daddy. I’ll get the hang of it.
Alex is demoted to the single bed.
Stanley is dethroned. The girls thought this was a silly game, and enjoyed the extra room on the couch.
We took all the kids for the annual Fredericksburg Christmas Parade. It was a tad chilly, so the kids put on coats before we headed out. Parker was in his coat, but decided not to be in the picture. I didn’t get any pics of the actual parade. Had my hands full with three puppies. But everyone had a swell time.
After the parade, the kids were pooped. Stanley and Stella decided to snuggle with their mum.
We had our first snowfall of year this week. The kids huddled together in the yard for warmth.
Alex will be going back to Florida to his forever home in a week. This may be his last encounter with snow.
This is Stanley’s first encounter with snow. Neither the cold nor snow seemed to bother him. As for the girls, they felt the cold dry air gave them a bad hair day, so they decided not to pose for pictures outside.

Well, I'm off to Brazil for two weeks for work. I hope the kids don't forget about their daddy!

Sunday, November 25

Sister, Sun, Squirrel, Steak, Stella

Sister. Winston enjoys having a sister to run around the yard with. Ready! Set! Go!
Sun. A sun and moon mirror on the deck at Winston's house. The people butts (l to r) are Kris and Debbie. The doggie butts are Jaime and Leah.
Squirrel. Not only a word I missed in my 3rd grade spelling bee on stage in front of the entire school. Also the bane of Stanley’s existence. Stanley is very serious about protecting the bird feeders from the squirrels. This one is using his mini-abacus to figure out how long it will take him to get to the fence if I release the hounds.
Steak. A 3 inch thick ribeye on the Big Green Egg getting a nice sear on both sides before cooking through to a nice medium-rare. Yummy!
Stella. So cute how Stella and Jaime snuggle together. Actually, Jaime is laying on top of Stella favorite blankie. Stella was not about to let that get in the way. Oh, Stella!

Monday, November 19

Hey! You! Get Off of My Couch!

It’s all about the couch. Two’s not a crowd. Maybe on a cloud, but not on the couch. The more the merrier. We’ll start off with Stanley and Stella on the couch. Stanley believes in conservation of space, so more hounds can fit on the couch. Stella believes in being covered and sprawling out for maximum use of space. Not sure about the head-butt thing.
The head-butt thing seems to be catching on. Alex is using his head to keep Topsail from sliding off the dog bed.

Stella on the couch doing her impersonation of a greyhound-sharpei mix.

Stella got on the couch first. Then Stanley and Jaime decided to join her. Doesn’t Stella look happy about it? Look how cute they are!

Must be the colder weather. The kids just feel the need to snuggle with each other. Actually, Stella and Stanley were there first. Jaime assessed the situation and was sure she could fit in there, so she shoehorned herself in.
There was plenty of space on the rest of the couch. Parker is looking at them trying to figure out what is going on.

This is how I usually watch tv. They don’t call them Couch Potatoes for nuthin’.

Monday, November 12

The Scooby Experience

I wrote a couple of entries back that Diane and Debbie of VAGA were going to Spain to help out with Galgo rescue. Well, it’s been over a week since they have been back in the States. Check out their adventure on their blog at Scooby Experience. We will be getting a couple of more Galgos in a week, so check back to keep up on their progress. This is a picture of Manola from their blog to pique your curiosity. She so pretty.

Saturday, November 10

Amanda & Kenney tie the knot

Since I’m a bit slower in updating, you’ve probably already read in Trina’s or Amanda’s blog entries that Amanda and Kenney tied the knot last weekend. Here they have their, “We just got married” faces. Here’s to always staying that happy!!!
"What do you mean you ran out of film? Isn't that thing digital?" While off to the side, Kenney is beginning to feel the 'burn' as he realizes he can't pull the ring back off.

Trina and Kris boozing it up before the reception.
At weddings there are pics of family, relatives, friends... Trina, Amanda and Kris at the reception when they called for greyhound mommies.
Stella being a backseat driver. Making sure that daddy really is taking her back home to her comfy couch.
While we were at the wedding, there were thirteen dogs at Trina's. Her dogsitter came by and stayed with them all day. Bet they had fun. The kids were too tired from playing at Trina's to pay any attention to the football game.
Stella and Stanley decide that sleeping on the couch with Jaime is preferable to dog beds on the floor.
Stanley's poor impersonation of a pillow. I can still see you.

Tuesday, October 30

Kids in the House

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted any pics of the kids. Along with the regular crew, we still have Alex, and watched Sabrina over the weekend.
Alex has really come far. He’s still skittish, but now he’s much better with being petted on a dog bed or coming to greet you.
Sabrina stayed with us over the weekend. She’s such a sweetie. Since she’s an only dog, this is like doggie camp. I just got a new bed from Costco, and she had to be the first to check it out.

Stella in her usual spot on the couch. She can keep an eye on everything from there.
Parker and Jaime decided to spend a little snuggling time together on the couch.

Stanley is a boy who truly enjoys sleeping. He’s not afraid to let it all hang out. Ear up, eyes back, tongue out.

On another note, Debbie and Diane of VAGA are in Spain at the Scooby Rescue facility to help out with Galgo Rescue. I was going to link to a blog of their trip, but I think they only have intermittent internet access while there. They should be coming back with two Galgos going to forever homes back in the States. Maybe even a puppy?