Kira update

Kira is now 6 months old and definitely in her awkward teenager stage where not all of her body is the same or right size.


She loved having my parents here last month and it was a great opportunity to practice not jumping on people.

But it definitely confused her routine and we have been working on that this past month while I’m off of work. She’s getting used to the new routine quickly and now knows the time of day to look out the window waiting for Luke to get home.



She loves the snow even more than she did the fall leaves. She rolls around in it, loves digging for sticks in it, and snacking on it while she runs around. Our first day of snow she wasn’t even surprised by it just took it all in and ran in circles.


Kira has almost all of her adult teeth in, there was a week or two where her back molars hurt so much we had to give her some orajel (which she hates).  She has also a week ago was neutered. She did so well with the procedure and  is healing very quickly.

Kira with post surgery with her favorite soothing toy: leather stuffed animal

She has learned most of her commands well and now we are working on lay (lay down), and shake (shake off when wet). She also has a habit of chasing her tail until dizzy.


All in all she is turning out to be a wonderful, smarty little puppy.

Winter Walk: Stonybrook Park

I know I have written about Stonybrook before, since it is our closest gorge park. For more see posts: Here Comes the Sun!: Stony Brook Park and Kira’s first outing.

This winter we were able to share this wonderful place with my parents. While my parents were here we had settled in, caught up,  eaten many yummy cookies and great meals, and we were ready to walk some of it off. So we took my parents to Stonybrook.


Because of our mild December, we were able to enjoy a winter walk without any rain or snow and mild weather walking down the gorge trail.


We also had the chance to try out one of Kira’s Christmas presents: a fleece camo vest my mom made her for the winter and hunting months.


Again we did not make it through the whole trail (still a goal of mine) but we made it further down the path then we had before and boy was it worth it!


In spite of the dry day we had enough rain and snow recently to still have beautiful falls to discover.


It was the perfect winter walk and picture spot. Afterwards we came home and enjoyed hot coco by the lit fireplace.

What type of outdoor winter activities do you enjoy?

Eastman House: Museum of Photography and Film


On our winter holiday with my parents we went to the Eastman House and International Museum of Photography and Film. The Eastman House was the home of George Eastman the inventor of Kodak, and one of the largest philanthropists of Rochester, establishing the Eastman School of Music, Kodak theatre, a trustee of RIT, and much much more. His home has been turned into a museum and connected to it is an additional museum documenting the history of modern photography and films.

We thought this would be a good place to take my parents since they enjoy home tours and both Luke and my father have an interest in photography.

When we arrived in the late afternoon they informed us the last house tour of the day had just started so we bypassed the photography museum and headed straight for the Eastman house. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the tour was interesting.


George Eastman, like many single philanthropists at the turn of the century, was a little eccentric, he was reserved y and did not want people to know about all of his charitable donations. Still he enjoyed hosting many parties, especially for concerts, and traveling the world.


At the center of the home was the conservatory, the most unique room in my mind with a replica elephant head standing out on the window wall. Eastman had gone on a safari hunt specifically for an elephant, a trip that took him more than 2 years (I believe).


The other prominent feature of the home is the pipe organ which also is in the conservatory. Eastman loved music and always had it playing in the house, the organ at the beginning of the day and at night and radios on in every room otherwise throughout the day. What was unique about this organ was that there was both a north and south organ and pipes in the home so that it created a surround sound. On Sundays the organ is still played during museum tours as well as for concerts throughout the year, something we may do in the future.


There were many other fascinating elements to the house tour and it was great to go during the Christmas season to see old fashion toys and ornaments on the Christmas trees and decorations through out the home.


After the house tour my dad and Luke enjoyed wandering the photography museum. Luke spent a good amount of time exploring one of the touring exhibits about a specific photographer while my dad enjoyed looking at cameras throughout history and photography effect photos.

Overall it was a great outing and perfect Christmas present for my parents.

What holiday outings did you enjoy?


Lamberton Conservatory and Highland Park


While my parents were here for Christmas we took them on several outings. One, during our day in Rochester was to Highland Park, the  largest (150 acres) and probably most well known park in Rochester. It holds many city festivals including the annual BBQ (for more see  Two festival and Korean BBQ) and Lilac Festival, both of which Luke and I have attended in past summers.


The park has many walking paths through well maintained and developed gardens and orchards. It also includes a band shell for summer concerts, amphitheater for summer movies and plays, seasonal ice skating rink, lodges for rent, and Warner Castle home to Rochester’s Civic Garden Center . Parts of the park can also be driven through as well.


Although Luke and I had been to Highland Park several times, we had never gone to the Lamberton Conservatory. We decided to take my parents because at Christmas the conservatory does a poinsettia display.  Also during the Christmas season the conservatory is open late, until 9pm, so you can see colored lights they have hung throughout up against the nature and the glass walls.


We went during the day and their poinsettia display was beautiful and included great variety. We were told as we walked through the separate rooms to watch for quail and tortoises. The conservatory cares for quail, tortoises, and turtles in the different green houses, as well as fish but no worries about stepping on those.


Although these gardens are much smaller than the botanical gardens in Buffalo (for more on this see Buffalo Botanical Gardens) they have done a great job with the smaller space providing a large variety of plants from all over the world.


My parents were entertained by pointing out all of the succulents and cacti they have at home which are so rare and unusual to us here.

Even though it has been unseasonably warm, the conservatory I think is always a great mini-retreat in the winter months, take off your coat and for a short while and imagine you are in another climate on an adventure.

After the conservatory, we drove the scenic way through a good portion of the Highland park on our way out and on to our next adventure. (More on this to come)

How do you escape the winter blues?

Happy New Year 2016!

Last night for new years eve we did fondue (as is our usual tradition). This year we have expanded that tradition to other holidays but they may not always stick. However, New Years will not change.

The menu included a sharp white cheese fondue served with grapes, apples, black olives, bread, salami and prosciutto, and for dessert spiced wine and dark chocolate with strawberries, and cheesecake balls ( Luke favorite I only do once a year).

We played board games, relaxed, and that pattern will continue today as we finish up board games we started last night. After a busy last week with family we are ready for quiet down time.

How do you ring in the new year?