Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mica's in the ring at MangoMinster!

Mica's going to be twenty years old in February (and I'll be seven!) so we've decided to honor Mica for the whole month! We're sad we're going to miss his actual birthday and have to celebrate it when we get back to New York on March 1, but he's having great fun in New York with his new lodgers. Right now, it's Ben and Ellen who have been administering anti-biotics to treat his runny nose. He's doing much better - those dropperfuls mixed with tunafish seem to do the trick. (Or maybe it's the tuna?) And on Thursday, Willy will be back with his dog Atticus. Apparently, when Atticus tried to give Mica a sniff, Mica just sat on his nose. That cat has never backed down from the most curious dog!

So raise your hat to this elegant elderly gentleman as he purposely prowls the ring at MangoMinster and starting tomorrow, wish him a happy birthday for all the wonderful years he's shared with us.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A discovery and a grey day at the beach

Hey there! It's me, Petey, back at the beach, doing beachy things. But before I get into that, I wanted to share with you a not-so-surprising discovery Mom made this weekend!

She's volunteering with a great organization down here called Heroes on Horseback. They do equine therapy and therapeutic riding with people with disabilities. They even have a new program called Horses for Heroes that will be working with war veterans. It's terrific and Mom is excited to be a volunteer. Here's a photo of Heroes on Horseback in action. Mom will probably be one of the people who walks alongside the horse and rider.

She went to the Volunteer Orientation on Saturday and learned that they have a range of horses of different sizes and temperaments to match up with the riders. Tall horses for older riders, slender horses for younger riders. But there is one horse that's not very big but quite wide and she has a big personality.

Here is her stall... Seems nice and big and roomy, especially for a horse with a big rump, huh?

If you look closely, you'll see the name of this small but wide horse.

Yes. I can't even make this stuff up! Mom had to stifle a snort laugh when she heard this!

Now back to the beach...

Sunday was overcast and warm, but foggy. Everything was in shades of gray and pearl, you could hardly tell where the sky ended and the ocean and beach began.

Check out these plovers, balancing so carefully on a single leg. They'd hop around before they'd put that second foot down.

With apologies to Dian Fossey, Mom calls this photo "Cairn Terrier(s) in the Mist."

Oh just throw the ball already, woman!

I'll drop it when I feel like dropping it. After all, my name's not Petey, it's Disregard!

There were enormous "icebergs" of foam washing in on the waves. Like God had put too much detergent into the wash. Or Lacie was taking a bubble bath.

The cold water temperatures didn't stop me from taking a little dip. Gotta cool off those feet from running so fast...

This must be as much soap suds as Mumsie uses to wash out Lacie's mouth when she's using naughty words. Or just Mango's hourly production.

We thought this barnacle-covered fragment of a horseshoe crab shell looked like a tiara. Maybe Asta will wear it in the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island!

Ahhh, gotta take a break...

There have been loads of sanddollars washing up on the beach. Usually they're broken by the time they make it through the surf onto the sand. In the summertime, you can sometimes feel them under your feet when you're standing in the ocean. It feels like a plate.

There's a legend of the sanddollar about the birth and death of Jesus. The four holes represent the nail holes and the fifth hole is from the Roman spear. In the very center, there is the star of Bethelem, and surrounding it, five petals of an Easter lily. The back of the sanddollar looks like a Christmas poinsettia. When you break the sanddollar open, there are five small white pieces that look like doves of peace. A lovely legend!

This photo made Mom shiver as the water temperatures are just in the upper 40's!
Mango really outdid himself with this batch of foam!

Ahhh, there's nothing quite like running on the beach with an orange rubber ball!
I heartily recommend it!

Decided to leave a message for my pal NSLM and Clive while I was down there. Wonder if this will wash up on a beach in Ireland?

Okay, some of you gentle readers may find this next photo to be squeamish, but Mom thinks these jellyfish are quite beautiful with their translucent colors and iridescent hues. Yeah, whatever you say, Mom!

Next we met Lila - a five month old labrador puppy who was all too happy to abandon her retrieving training to play with me.

Now, you know I'm not a bitey-face or chase-me kinda fellow. I like to play ball and that's about it. Well, Miss Lila had other ideas.

I think she decided she'd retrieve me instead of the ball. She was very interested in it!

Wheeeee! You can't catch me! I'm faster than a speeding lab puppy!
I just kept trying to bring the ball back to Lila's Granny so she'd throw it again and again...and again. Lila got so impatient with me that she'd try to grab my tail to slow me down. I had to say "grrr" to her but I did it with the ball in my mouth so she wasn't scared.

Don't you love her pouncing puppy position? She tried to do one of those "I'm sneaking up on you on my belly" moves and I had to point out to her that she's a coal black dog on a light colored beach. I could disappear more easily!

Just as the sun started to break through the clouds, it was time to say goodbye to my new gal pal Lila. I'll give Buddy her number, they'd have a wild time together!

Okay Mom, just one more little toss before we head home. Okay?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nutty Buddy revisited

Hey Mom! Let's go visit that crazy labradork, Buddy! I swear he and Dexter are brothers by a different mother. Do you like my fancy backseat sling? Mom says it helps prevent me from jumping into the co-pilot seat and keeps all the beach sand from getting into the upholstery. I think it makes it look like I'm riding in my own limo.

What are these crazy things on Buddy's tree? Could he be growing TENNIS BALLS!?!?!

Nah, they're little kumquats. (Mom says that they are excellent in mojitos.)

Ahhh, and here's a pretty camillia that's made it through the cold snap. I think I'll send it to my long-lost wifey Rosie. Not only has she and the Dughallmor pretty much abandoned their blog, they've become Facebook addicts and they've been having internet problems again. I miss them, don't you?

Buddy weighs about 65 pounds to my 20. But he's such a goofball, he doesn't realize it and comes thundering down on me. So I've figured out a little trick! He has to wear a special electric collar outside so he won't cross the invisible fence. And I've figured out where he can—and more importantly—can't go without getting a little shock. Like this dock. I'm just past the fence! "C'mon out here, Buddy, it'll be fun!" ZAP!

This is what Buddy's backyard usually looks like at high tide. Isn't it just beautiful?

But the channel gets full of sledge every few years so they have to dredge. The floating docks are pulled up and a little barge sucks out the sludge. I have to be careful that I don't forget the dock is gone and fall into the mud!

This is the channel at low tide. You can see why it needs to be dredged! All the boats would be stuck in the mud. And if you remember my post from this fall, that is the delicious pluff mud I was telling you about. Doesn't it just look divine?

We get a big tide down here, especially during full moons and the spring and fall equinox.

Yummy, does anyone want some fresh oysters? They're in season right now and Mom swears they are delicious - raw, steamed or roasted!

Anyhow, if you biggify this photo, you can see Buddy waiting for me at the end of the dock. It may sound like I'm being mean, but it's my only chance to get the ball.

Okay - I'll get a little bit closer.
Mom's gotta give me a little advantage because Buddy wants to play with all the balls at the same time, no matter how many we start off with. He can now get 3 balls in his mouth at once! He's got two in there in this photo.

I have to admit, for a goofball, he is awfully sweet and kinda cute. He likes to lean on Mom when she gives him a good scritching.

Oooh, here are some more flowers that made it through the cold snap.

C'mon Mom, throw me the ball before Buddy tackles me, okay?

Because once he gets all the balls, he's just not going to share at all. I just have to hope one will pop out!
Still, he's my good pal and good fun to romp around with on a nice sunny afternoon.

Mom's not entirely convinced that Buddy knows his name. Take a look at this obedience video!

We went over to let Buddy out the other day in the rain. The dredging is almost all done and just look how much water is now in the tidal creek at high tide! It's like a river. If you biggify this photo, you can see a pelican that just flew in.

Ahhh, even a little bit of playtime with Buddy is just exhausting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I go to Historic Beaufort and meet a real Southern Belle(s)

So Mom's been making some side trips without me lately - she went over to Bluffton, SC, a cool, kinda funky artsy village and over to Savannah with Nutty Buddy's Mom to see "Avatar 3-D" (note from Mom: worth seeing in 3-D, fantastic technology, not so much on the storyline. Think "Dances with Wolves" in space.) Ahem...anyhow, as I was saying...I got to go on a roadtrip to Beaufort, SC. Now here's something interesting - there's a "Beaufort" in both North and South Carolina. In NC, it's pronounced like it's French - "Bow-fert" and in SC it's pronounced "Bue-fert."

Mom's good friend that she's known for a million years lives in Beaufort (SC). I've met Nannette when she's come to New York to buy things for her store and when she's come to visit us on the Island. But this was the first time I got to go visit her at her marvelous store - Lulu Burgess!

What a welcome I got!!!

I immediately set off exploring the store, in case there were any errant tennis balls lying around.
If my tail looks blurry in a lot of shots, it was because I was wagging it non-stop the whole time I was in Beaufort.

There are all sorts of wonderful things to buy at Lulu Burgess (—clothes and shoes and jewelry and funny books and candles and handbags and fun things for your house and great gifts. I could go on and on!

Here's Nannette giving me the grand tour. She knows I'm a fashion hound!

Then - OH BOY!!! - she brought out the bestest treats called Bit o' Luv! Well, I bit 'em and I loved'em!
So much so, that I did a bit of shoplifting...and got caught in the act! When no one was looking, I snuck behind the counter and found a whole box of dog cookies. And just as I started to help myself, I was apprehended.

I was afraid I might be sent up to the Big House, since Nannette's husband, Mister Lulu, is a town councilman and he used to be a Deputy! Yikes!!!

But instead, I got some more cookies! Talk about Southern Hospitality!!!

Nannette put me to work, testing some of her dog items in the store. Check out this neat little hatbox. It's really a set of travel bowls. How chic!

I gave it a big "AAAROOOOOHHH!" of approval!

Oh yeah, there's some great stuff for people and dogs at Lulu Burgess!

All those (24) cookies made me thirsty, so I rattled the bowl like I do at home when Mom's not fast enough to refill it.
And sure enough, Nannette took me back to the secret storage room filled with delicious paper that would be soooo much fun to shred and got me a nice cool drink of water.

Now back to my shopping do you like this cute nightshirt? It comes in pink and blue.

Hmmm, all that water made me hungry. Pssst! Hey Lady! When you're through with those pesky customers, how about tossing me a cookie or twelve?

In the meantime, I'm going to get my hair "photo-ready" in front of this fan, like I see the big time fashion models do...
Okay - Lulu Burgess just in an amazing array of fabulous sun hats! I know some of you are up to your bellys in snowdrifts, but it's practically Springtime down here.

She also had lots of funny (and some naughty!) Valentines gifts. Including a frog that turns into a prince! Reminded me of my Halloween costume.

Mom liked these sparkly earrings - even more when she found out they were only $38! (There's still a pair there in black for your Moms!)

This dishtowel made us laugh - ain't it the truth?

For some reason, we couldn't get these next two photos to rotate! This first one sure is true for me...

And I know Mica believes this one!

Here's a huge blown-up old-fashioned photo of Nannette's Mom and Dad, Ned and Trannie, when they were newlyweds. Isn't it a wonderful photograph? Mom knew them both and they were wonderful, lovely people.

I didn't think this tote bag was particularly religious but when Mom saw it she said "Amen to that!"

Ah rats! They've moved the cookies out of reach. Better refluff my hair before lunch.

Hmmm, I love a sale! Ummm - time for lunch!

Since it was so nice and sunny outside, we decided to eat at a casual restaurant named Nippy's so I could join the ladies. There was a nice little Pomeranian named Bear dining there as well. He recommended the fries.

YUMMY! On the left is a Shrimp Dog! No, that's not just a teensy tiny doggie - it's a sausage made of seasoned shrimp, served on a hot dog bun with tartare sauce. It's the house specialty!

Mom had a shrimp roll with delicious fresh-caught local shrimp. Delicious! And lots of crispy cole slaw - a feast! I stayed under the picnic table because Nannette was sneaking me french fries the whole time. Best of all, for a long time, Mom didn't know so she dropped a few fries for me as well.

Ahhh, I've got these two wrapped around my little paw! Doesn't Nippy's look like a swell place to have lunch on a sunny afternoon?

Nannette lives nearby so we walked over so her dog LuluBelle and I could finally meet, nose-to-tail! Mister Lulu found LuluBelle when she was just the fuzziest puppy, abandoned on a construction site. He brought her home, nobody claimed her and she's been defending the Love Compound ever since. She's very protective of her estate, so we met at the end of the driveway.

For awhile all was well, then I asked about her hoopskirt and she called me a Yankee peeing-on-the-carpet bagger and we grrrrrrr'd at each other and snapped our teeth.

So our Moms' put us in time out and we got to sniff each other again. Then things were fine.

Look at the funny face LuluBelle makes when you say "Kitty!" I don't think Mica will be accepting her invitation to come visit anytime soon.

I liked this very official sign posted on the walls of the Love Compound.

Look at LuluBelle's marvelous estate! It used to be just the little house on the right side of the photo, but then Mister Lulu built this huge addition all by himself! It's just beautiful, with antique windows and a tin roof and a fireplace and french doors and dark hardwood floors and a bathtub with feet! It was on the Candlelit Tour of Homes this fall! At least, that's what Mom told me. I was a bit nervous to go inside and see for myself.

LuluBelle sure is a lucky gal, don't you think?

We walked Nannette back to the store, then wandered down Bay Street, the main drag. If you saw "The Big Chill," it was filmed here and this is the street that William Hurt and Kevin Kline walked down early in the morning.

It's very beautiful and historic and peaceful here in Beaufort, overlooking the water.

Nannette and Mister Lulu and LuluBelle live in the historic Old Point area of downtown. It's filled with antebellum homes, some dating back to before the Revolutionary War.

Does this house look familiar? It's Tidalholm, where they filmed "The Big Chill" and "The Great Santini." "Prince of Tides" and "Forrest Gump" were also filmed here. And the author Pat Conroy has written lots of his books about his hometown.

If you ever visit Charleston, Savannah or Hilton Head, you have to drive over to Beaufort and go on a carriage ride through the Old Point and learn all the history that's occurred in this town.

Including "the day Petey came to town!"

Mom couldn't help sharing the temperature --
actually, it had just changed from 70 degrees! In January!

Thanks Nannette and LuluBelle for a swell day!!!