Monday, July 16, 2012

Bear - 1997 to 2012

About 15 years ago, our 12 year old daughter wanted a dog.  I guess one reason was because our family dog, Shasta, has recently passed away.  But more than that, this daughter has always been an animal lover.  All she wanted to do during her teenage years was to move to Africa and save the cheetahs.  But that is another story.  She wanted a dog really bad, in a "Where the Red Fern Grows" kind of way, without really caring what kind of a dog that was.  She would put newspaper clippings for free dogs to a good home on our pillows at night.  This went on for some time.  So when Christmas was getting close we went out to Grantsville and found 'Bear'.  This puppy got it's name because of the shape of her head - kind of like a bear.  She was all black with a spot of white on her chest.  She never did have a tail - I don't remember removing it - so the deed must have been done before we got her.  We brought her home Christmas eve, and then tried to keep her quiet in a box in a closet for a surprise the next morning.

Bear grew up to be a very powerful dog.  She never learned to walk calmly beside you.  She was always pulling.  The kids had her pull them on sleds in the winter and on roller-blades in summer.  She like to herd, but the only thing she ever had to herd was small children.  The more they ran from her, the more she liked it.  She was not good at fetch, in fact she would retrieve ball or frisbee and just lay down on it.  We tried to have her be an inside dog, but it never really worked very well.  She was well house broken, but she was just too big.  She liked to get up on the couch whenever she could.  If we left her in the house, she would be up on the couch until we came through the front door.  She had absolutely no poker face - "what? me?  i wasn't on the couch".  She once had a difference of opinion as to who should eat a chocolate - and one of our sons got a pierced ear over it.

When we moved to Virginia, she traveled the 2,000 miles in a crate in the back of the Suburban.  We let her run free for a while at Adaom-ondi-ahmam, but she came back.  I think my wife's idea of living in Virginia including having all of the animals run free.  That works fine for cats, but dogs, rabbits and turtles - not so much.  I don't know how many times we had to bail Bear out of jail after she was picked up by animal control usually after a thunderstorm.  You will remember that she has a bear shaped head and so her neck was about the thickest part of her and it made it really easy for her to slip out of a collar.  We did what we could to restrain her.  I even put in a invisible fence - complete with a shock collar.  That actually worked for a while, until she decided she would rather run and get shocked than stay in the yard.  And this was not any small yard.  We allowed her about 2 acres.  After that, she spent most of her time on a zip line - a rope stretched between the house and some distant tree with a pulley attached to her leash and collar.

On a Thanksgiving Day, Hobbit showed up and stayed.  The two of them were good friends for the last 7 or so years.  Over the last couple of years, Bear started to show some grey around the muzzle and started to slow down some.  She would still pull, but she got tired easier and towards the end her hind legs would shake.  The day we had to take her to the vet, my wife brushed her for a long time.  She seemed to appreciate that.

Rest in peace Old Bear.  It's lonely without seeing you on the back deck every morning.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finally, the Christmas Present is done

For Christmas, I gave Teresa a pile of boards, with the promise that I would make her a music stand for her harp. I started working on it between Christmas and New Years with my very inadequate skills and my equally inadequate tools. I had a very simple design in mind, one that I thought I could handle. When I went looking for the right sized piece of wood for the top, I discovered Rick Miller of Logs To Lumber in Faber, VA. Rick has this amazing wood shop in this almost falling apart building in Faber (which consists of a Post Office and Rick's shop). Rick knows everything about everthing about wood and how to work it. Not only did Rick supply the piece of wood I was looking for, but transformed the project from a spartan thing I made in my garage, to a work of art. The top started out as a 1" thick oak plank that Rick pulled from a pile. He added so much detail to the stand, while keeping the original concept. So thanks for all your help Rick.

The long bolt sticking out of the side has been replace by a nice brass bolt of the correct length.

The top sitting on the base at the shop. Notice the curved feet. Originally, they were going to be square, but Rick would have nothing of that.

The interesting thing about this picture is not the stand, but the stuff in Rick's shop in the background.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wedding Pictures

A trip to Utah, a wedding and lots of fun.

A trip to Utah, a wedding and lots of fun.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Among the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving day are:





The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
We played soccer. Even Teresa was out there throwing body blocks.

And of course we ate and ate and ate...

A new face you may not recognize is Adam's fiance, Heather.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treaters...

Lily and Hudson came to visit.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ann Hancock Stephenson

My sister, Ann Hancock Stephenson, passed away on Thursday, July 1st, 2010. Her funeral was today, on her 52nd birthday. Ann lived an amazing life and set a marvelous example for us all. Through all of the difficulties MS caused, she never complained. She was faithful to the end.