Archive for December, 2010

December 18, 2010

Last-Minute Gift Idea for Lake Lovers

by Samantha Shaddock

Yesterday I received an email from the folks at White Rock Paddle Co., a relatively new outfit that rents kayaks on White Rock Lake. It seems they now sell gift certificates in a range of prices.

My husband and I discovered White Rock Paddle Co. this summer whilst riding our bikes. Having only kayaked once together in the Hudson Valley, we were eager to sign up. Our first trip out, we rented sit-on-top kayaks, which we were told are more stable than sit-in models and therefore best for novices. Though the boats were a tad hard to maneuver, we had a blast, and the next weekend we came back for more.

Two sessions was all it took for us to become hooked, and we soon determined that we not only wanted our own kayaks, we had to have them. Right then. After a somewhat perilous hour spent lashing the suckers down to my Jeep (since replaced with a lower-profile compact SUV), our boats journeyed from Dick’s Sporting Goods to their new home in Lakewood, where they have given us much joy — and exercise.

At any rate, if you’re struggling to find a Christmas present for someone you love, or even just like, consider buying one of these packages, and make sure to get one for yourself.

December 17, 2010

POLL: How Many Bottles Are on Your Shower Ledge?

by Samantha Shaddock

Owing to a growing preoccupation with the concept of living lightly in Dallas, I’ve recently become more aware of the number of plastic bottles and tubes that have accumulated in my home. Today, I counted no fewer than eight bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap on my shower ledge. This seems excessive to me, but I wonder if it’s not out of the ordinary. Ergo, I’m asking you to conduct a similar audit of your bathroom.

December 16, 2010

Top Dallas Wine Bars: 3 Lakewood Winners

by Samantha Shaddock

In a rather shocking turn of events, I have transitioned from being a beer person to being a wine person. I’m not sure how this happened, but I suspect it has something to do with moving to New York and meeting my husband. Yes, let’s blame him.

Anyway, I recently had the great pleasure of visiting three wine bars in Lakewood — not in the same evening, I assure you. Here’s my take.

Do you have a favorite wine bar? Let’s hear about it.

December 14, 2010

Cat Boarding in Dallas: Yea, or No Way?

by Samantha Shaddock

The spousal unit and I recently faced a tough decision: whether to board the feline member of our family or ask my parents to commit to a week’s worth of pilling, feeding and coddling.

Up to one day before we were to drop Simon off at the animal hospital (owing to a chronic medical condition, his doctor recommended he stay separate from the general pet population), we were comfortable leaving him in the hands of vets and technicians. However, upon taking a tour of the facility, our confidence in this plan evaporated.

Cats, dogs, and a rooster sat in small cages stacked on top of one another, and we feared that our beloved fellow would be not only stressed out by this proximity to species other than his own, but also exposed to pathogens from the adjoining hospital. In fairness, this particular facility adheres to the pet-boarding guidelines laid out by the American Animal Hospital Association. However, given that Simon takes prednisone daily for his immune mediated hemolytic anemia, we worried he’d be susceptible to whatever diseases his neighbors might have had. Plus, we feared he’d be depressed staying for a week in such a small box.

We begged my parents to look after him instead, and they graciously agreed to do so. They fulfilled this responsibility admirably, and we returned to Dallas to find him healthy and seemingly happy. I will forever be in their debt for keeping him.

So I ask you: Have you ever boarded a cat in Dallas, and if so, how would you rate that experience?