Posts tagged ‘Willa Reynolds’

Early Christmas with my kids

LJ and dad on their way out for a walk

LJ and dad on their way out for a walk

This year I won’t be able to spend Christmas with my family so my kids and I had an early Christmas.  We gathered at my daughter Heather and family’s home in Lynnwood.  Heathers dad, brother Ben and wife Wendy and their grandson Mason all came.

Mason and LJ playing in the tunnel

Mason and LJ playing in the tunnel

It was fun watching the boys play!

Ben and Wendy enjoying the day

Ben and Wendy enjoying the day

After a nice brunch everyone started opening their presents.

Mason like his Rescue Bots!

Mason likes his Rescue Bots!

LJ playing with his zoo

LJ playing with his zoo

DSC08006We all had a really nice time visiting but the mountain passes were bad and all too soon it was time for Ben and his family to make their way back to Wenatchee.

After they left we all got bundled up and took a walk.

LJ warm and cozy in his new "bear" snowsuit from Ben & Wendy

LJ warm and cozy in his new “bear” snowsuit from Ben & Wendy

After our walk and LJ’s nap, guess which “toy” he decided he liked the best?


Here’s hoping all of you have a wonderful Christmas this year and are able to spend it with the ones you love.


December 24, 2012 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

New Years Eve 2011

I spent New Year’s Eve with Luna and Reilly again this year.  It’s becoming a tradition.  This is my third year that I’ve come down to Portland to ring in the New Year with these sweet little Iggy’s.  It’s a tradition that I like a lot.  I guess I’m past needing to ring in the New Year out partying and celebrating.  I’ve had lots of those years.  These days I enjoy reflecting on the years past and looking forward to what’s ahead.  There are many New Years Eve’s that I will never forget, here are just a few.

When I was a young adult, several friends and family would gather up the kids and head to a place we called “the flats”.  It was a big field close to our house that had the perfect sledding hill.  Someone would build a huge bonfire and we would all go sledding, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, drinking hot chocolate and giving rides on the four-wheelers until wee hours of the night.  What fun!

I will never forget the last time my dad “rang the bell” as the clock struck 12.  Dad had gone back to Minnesota years before and got the bell from his old school house.  He put it on the roof of his shop and every year we would all go out so he could literally ring in the New Year.  Dad had Alzheimer’s at the end so that last year was really special.  My son Ben now has the bell.  I know he remembers his Grandpa ringing that bell and hopefully he will give it a ring every now and then.

And how can I forget the year my daughter Heather and I went to New York City to welcome the New Year in Times Square.  Wow, was that an experience I’ll never forget!  We were corralled in the fenced in areas for hours with thousands of other people from all over the world waiting for the ball to drop.  It was an experience of a lifetime!

It’s nice to look back on all the years that I’ve had with friends and family.  And I’m looking forward to another wonderful year of adventure.  Who knows what is in store for me in 2012.  Bring it on!!!

January 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Willapalooza! Day 1

This October I turned 60. This is quite a milestone in a person’s life and I had been feeling kind of funky about the thought of it.  As much as I don’t feel old (other than that darn arthritis that keeps reminding me of my age) I kept thinking that as much as I hate to admit it, my youth is gone.   But instead of dreading it, I decided to embrace it and just have fun.  So I planned a three-day birthday extravaganza with a theme of “recapturing your youth”!  My son-in-law Joe called it Willapalooza which I loved so we were off to a great start!

My sisters Kathy, Bonnie, Susie and Me


Beautiful quilt from LaWanda


Emily with my great-grandson Mason

The first day of Willapalooza started at my sister Kathys house with a good old-fashioned birthday party.  Lots of family and friends came, some I haven’t seen for quite some time.  My friend Karen from Colorado even came to join me in the celebration.  The funniest part of this picture is that Karen doesn’t even drink, he he!

Karen with my daughter in law Wendy

LaWanda, Me & Barb

My grandson Christian

The weather was beautiful, the conversation was great and the food and drinks kept coming!

Enjoying the beautiful weather

Catching up with old friends

My daughter Heather & son Ben

We got lots of good pictures of lots of good friends, and even took advantage of most of the family being here and got a family photo.

Barb with niece Christi


Brent, Pete & Brian

Family photo

As soon as the party ended a few of us girls headed up to a friend’s place for a bonfire party!  I haven’t been to one of these for a long time!  The fire was huge.  There was no fear of getting cold here J.  The evening ended with fireworks.  How cool is that?

Huge bonfire!

Hanging out by the fire

Reminder - don't drink and drive when you go to the bonfire!

Big crowd


Next, Willapalooza day 2!



November 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Greta’s Story

This is the story of Greta, a German Shorthair Pointer that I have the privilege of caring for.  This story is told by her owner.

This is not my story, but it certainly begins with me. I was
born into a dog-less household and despite 20 years of pleading for a pup, my
effort fell on deaf ears. When I graduated college, I had a traveling job and
was never able to fill the need for a four-legged companion in my life. My next
stop was New York City, hardly the place to raise
an active dog so the opportunity was delayed further. When Jenn and I got
engaged and agreed to move west, it was the first time I knew I would have a
dog in my life; after all, Jenn came from a long family dog tradition.

Jenn and I agreed that we would get two dogs, and my first would be a puppy.
Jenn wanted me to go through that experience. We were waiting for Tyr, our
younger GSP, to enter the world when we learned about Greta. Greta came to us
through the Jackson Hole Animal Shelter and her
life prior to our adopting her was not one filled with love.


If you believe the limited documentation on Greta, today she would be at least
13 years old. The earliest records we have of her are from 2001. We adopted her
in 2006, meaning there are at least seven years unaccounted for. While we would
like to believe her first four years were happy ones, wh know the three years
prior to our adoption were down right tragic involving two owners, a foster, a
shotgun and a very benevolent veterinarian.

Despite her breed, Greta is not an optimal hunting dog. She was likely a litter
runt as evidenced by her much lower and stockier build than a standard GSP,
despite appearing to be a pure bloodlines. She has a great nose but her prey
instinct is incredible, meaning she has periods where her ability to listen are
mitigated by her desire to hunt small animals on her own. It was possibly this
combination of personality traits that led to Greta being shot and abandoned in
2004, potentially after a bad day in the field coupled with too much alcohol,
but this is merely speculation (save for the shotgun part). Luckily for Greta
her owner had wayward aim and the scared and wounded dog was able to escape
into the backwoods of Star Valley, Wyoming.

While it is unclear how long Greta lived as a stray, what is known is that a
good Samaritan scooped up the starving and wounded GSP and delivered her to a
veterinarian in Star Valley. The vet removed the majority of the buckshot from
Greta’s torso, legs and abdomen, some of the pellets remain in her today and
are readily identifiable. She was turned over to the Jackson Hole Animal
Shelter for foster and adoption. Unfortunately for Greta a scared, untrusting,
and injured dog is not a top candidate for adoption.

After a foster period during which Greta fully healed, she was finally adopted
by a local man and the team at the shelter could not have been happier.
Unfortunately, a year later that same man returned Greta proffering some
unfathomable excuse why he could not longer keep her; the shelter team was
devastated. Greta went back out on foster and waited for her luck to again
turn, but her age and circumstance continued to make her a tough case.

When Jenn found out about Greta’s situation, we immediately knew we wanted to
adopt her. We knew we were the right people to restore this dogs faith in
humanity and enable her to realize her potential. There were a number of
hurdles between our decision and the time we were able to make her part of our
family, but the wait was well worth it.

Greta’s transformation was slow and involved a lot of time, love and patience,
but today she is one of the most remarkable dogs anyone has ever met. Most
people put her age at 7 – 8 based on her appearance, strength and energy. In
short everyone loves Greta, and in turn Greta loves everyone. The addition of
Tyr was of great value to Greta, as Tyr had only experienced love all her life.
Tyr taught Greta how to play, manipulate her owners into feeding her more (I
didn’t say it was all good), and gave her a partner to chase furry rodents
with. With a partner in crime, so to speak, Greta reached even greater heights.

Tyr & Greta

I can’t image our lives without Greta and making her happy is one of the
greatest achievements of our lives to date.

July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm Leave a comment