Dogwood Festival and Orienteering

This past weekend was our local city Dansville’s spring festival. Unlike the larger cities the local festivals are more children and family oriented. Most events for the Dogwood festival centered around children’s performances, magic shows, choir or choral performances, and city softball or baseball games. There was also a small carnival being held at a local park. For more on Dansville’s Dogwood Days click the link: Dansville Dogwood Days


We were not interested in much of this but did get out of the house early to explore the many yard sales happening around town. Some of the sales were posted in the local penny savers. After driving and walking around many yards we came home with a kitchen table for only 5$. It needs a little TLC  some children’s paint and stains removed but it works perfectly as extra work space in the kitchen or as a kitchen eating area.


We also went to our second ever Orienteering event (it was a busy weekend) at Powder Mills Park in Pittsford outside of Henrietta. We decided this time to do the yellow course and jogged parts of the trail. The park was beautiful, green and shaded.



Trails winded around and through the trees and a creek. This course was a more hilly and we had to make decisions on navigation making short cuts or taking the longer less strenuous routes.

We finished in 42 minutes and as of the time we finished we were in first place for our course.


It was just as much fun if not more so then last month’s course. The park is more spread out, and diverse but had just as well kept shelters, bathrooms, and meeting lodges.

For more on Powder Mills Park Click here: powder mills park

Rochester Lilac Festival

It is finally and truly spring here. Once spring comes so do the festival, one or two every weekend.

This past weekend Luke and I celebrated another semester of teaching over by going to the Rochester Lilac Festival.


This is the largest Rochester city festival lasting two full weeks and weekends. It takes place at Highland Park with food tents, many concerts from various local bands, a home and garden show, children’s shows and more. During the week they also have a Lilac run, wine and chocolate and craft beer tasting events.


Fortunately Luke and I had heard that MCC provides parking for 2$ and a round trip shuttle back and forth to the festival. We were happy to not have to struggle to find a parking spot or fight the crowd.


Once we were dropped off at the festival sight we briefly walked around the most crowded area where the food vendors and concerts were. Crossing the street into the larger park area we enjoyed strolling through the lilac trees which are in full bloom with purple and pink flowers and a strong fragrance.


We passed many acoustic musicians in the park and families taking pictures or resting under the trees and shade. We came down the hill from the lilac bushes to the annual pansy bed and found several food trucks.


We decided to try a dish from Brick N Motor, a local seasonal menu food truck. We shared a small plate of bim bap: rice, korean beef,  and kimchi topped with carrots, thai basil, sesame seeds and a poached egg. It was delicious.


After our rest we continued back up the hill toward the reservoir through the azaleas. Past the reservoir at the top of the park hill art vendors were selling their pottery, wood vases, lilac oils and candles, clothes, photography etc. alongside with a few other food vendors.


Passing the conservatory we decided to make our way back down the hill and finish off our tour of the festival looking at larger food tents and vendors while listening to a little music.


It was a warm day and crowded but it was a fun festival, with free entertainment and great food.

To find out more about the festival click: Lilac Festival

Goodbye Sienna Update

First of all I want to thank everyone who has expressed their apologies and sadness for what has happened in the past week with our lab puppy mix Sienna.

We buried her yesterday out on our property below a white flowering plum tree.

Also, we have been in contact with the foster who as of today sadly informed us Sienna was not the only victim of this virus. Two of her litter mates have also died from Parvo as well as one of the others is in critical condition as of right now.

Only two of the six puppies have survived this without problems or complications. We feel terrible for the other families who have gone through this same situation as us, some of whom I am sure had to explain the whole situation to their children.

On the positive side, the foster let us know that the adoption agency is no longer working with the southern shelter where these puppies were probably exposed to the virus.

They also informed us that we can have our money back or when we are ready; can adopt a new puppy without additional fees.

We appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers. We would be grateful if you would pray for:

the other families who have suffered the same situation as us

the puppy struggling to survive at the vet right now

the shelter to get it’s act together so animals are no longer infected

for us as we process, grieve, and prepare our hearts for the joy of another puppy in the future

Thank you everyone

Goodbye Sienna

Sienna our little lab mix puppy left us a week from the day we picked her up and brought her home.

She was full of energy, curiosity, and life when last Tuesday she started showing symptoms of what we thought was a parasite or difficulties with transitioning to new food.

She had diarrhea and vomiting but was better by Tuesday night and Wednesday morning; eating again and wanting to play.

By Thursday morning we knew she needed to go to the vet. She had no energy, had not eaten or drunken anything for half a day.

I called the foster whom we got her from to get information about our 30-day pet insurance. She told me she left a message with my husband: 3 of Sia’s other litter mates had been found sick with Parvo.

If you do not know, as I didn’t know a few weeks ago, Parvo is a highly infectious dog virus that can be transmitted easily especially in certain breeds such as labs. It takes 7-10 days from infection to begin to show symptoms. She was sick before she arrived in upstate New York, before we took her home.

I took her in Thursday morning through the back entrance because she was infectious. They put her on an IV drip and tried to treat the symptoms. Because it is a virus there is no cure only ways to ease symptoms and hope the body fights off the virus.

All we could do is wait and pray she would fight it off. Her siblings did well after several days of hospitalization. But she was skinny, small, and hadn’t eaten. She had already fought off so much before we even got her.

Friday morning she was worse; the infection had reached her lungs. Saturday morning we heard she was in the fetal position and unresponsive. That is when we knew she was waiting to let go. We prepared ourselves to say goodbye, then got the news that night she didn’t make it.

Today we will bury her in our yard and plant perennial spring blooming flowers where she rests. We are grateful to have had her for the week that we did. She brought us joy and we hope that her time with us was a blessing to her as it was to us.

Meet Sienna

Here she is: Meet the newest member of our household: Sienna (Sia for short) IMG_4634 A week ago our application with East Coast Adoption Agency, a rescue that takes litters from high kill shelters in the southern states and transports them to foster homes in the central New York, went through to adopt. We then waited anxiously  the foster homes to intake new puppies. On Thursday we saw one foster home had lab/retriever mixes. We called that night to make an appointment for Saturday. IMG_4629   When we got to the foster home we were directed to the basement where the litter had been set up in a play pin.  We had the option of 2 females and one male all chocolate labs. I was unsure on how to pick, there were all adorable. So we watched the dogs interact, saw the male was docile and both females dominated over him fast. Sienna was playful but not as aggressive as the larger female, she was also not easily distracted. She sat and calmed down when I rubbed her chest-that was when I knew we’d take her home. IMG_4627 She slept fitfully on the long drive back but did not shiver. She was hesitant around Luke but followed me around the house as she explored her new surroundings. IMG_4651     Sienna is intelligent, emotionally intuitive, playful, loves being outside, and a quick learner.  We’ve gotten her into a pattern already: play outside with us, play independently inside, nap, take her back outside repeat. Yesterday she got the whole day with Luke while I was at work so she’s now comfortable with him. IMG_4645 Sienna has already learned to sit by a door to show she wants to go out and if she has to go inside she’s only gone on newspaper. IMG_4635 There’s been a lot of progress in sleep too. First night we tried to put her in a tall plastic packing container as a temporary crate, although it was taller then her she found a way to get out. So plan B we put her in the upstairs bathroom next to our bedroom with newspaper. That worked until three in the morning when I ended up sleeping in a sleeping bag next to her on the floor. IMG_4642 Last night we had Sienna spent her second night in her crate in our bedroom. She slept or played quietly without problems until 5:30!! Anytime she whined and didn’t calm down on her own we were able to call her name and remind her we were still there. Luke took her out this morning and she settled in again until he got ready for work, we are still getting used to the morning routine. IMG_4668 At first I worried if we chose correctly, or could handle the responsibilities but there are no worries now she is a wonderful puppy and a great addition to our home.

Rochester Box Lacrosse

I had never watched a lacrosse game before, never known anybody who even played lacrosse until moving to the East Coast.


Now that we have been here for two and a half years we thought it was time I experienced this sport.  So we bought a groupon for a local match between Rochester’s Knighthawks and the New England Black Wolves at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.


Luke had been to a box lacrosse game while living in Colorado but this was my first encounter with the sport. A box lacrosse game is indoors usually played on artificial turf put down over a hockey rink. It lasts for four 15 minute quarters.

I asked a lot of questions and learned as we as we watched.


The teams have 5 players each and a goaltender (keeper). Unlike soccer all players, minus the goalie can move around freely, even behind the goal. The ball can roll, bounce, be passed, or carried in the net of the lacrosse stick almost anywhere on the field.


This game was very fast paced and the announcers kept popular music playing throughout the game pausing only to announce penalties and scores. Also, players were traded-out,  almost anytime during the game, not only at quarters. This was done often as the game requires a lot of sprinting.


The arena itself was clean, and the environment mostly family-friendly in-spite of the several fights on the playing field throughout the game. (From what we got this was mostly instigated by the guest team). At each quarter a different activity happened on the field:


First quarter the cheerleaders did a routine on the floor. Half time local girls and boys lacrosse teams held scrimmages at either end of the field. Then a local kids dance team did a floor routine. During the last break they did a hot dog race, three people dressed as hot dogs racing around the field, and a chance for kids to win prices by scoring goals.


I learned later that night that Box Lacrosse became popular in the 1930’s over field lacrosse, which has larger teams and is played outside, because of weather and to keep track of the small ball. The NLL, National Lacrosse League was started for box lacrosse specifically and includes teams mostly on the east coast although there are some on the west coast and Colorado. We found out that this year the Knighthawks will be going to the playoffs for NLL.


It was clear that our local team was well loved by fans, knew how to play by the books, and knew how to score. The final numbers: Knighthawks 12 Black Wolves 5.

We thoroughly enjoyed the game. So much so that we bought another Groupon for a field Lacrosse game later this summer!