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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

ELSA 10-27-18

Elsa or the Bug Eyed Assassin

There is a new addition to my family!

Elsa is a gentle little rescue dog who was “meant to be” ours and has been with us for three days now.

But my son wants us to rename her B.E.A. – the Bug Eyed Assassin. 

I found Elsa on the same day Mackenzie, my grandgirl, brought her own dog for a visit.  Kota is beautiful, graceful, gentle, and sweet.  But Kota never stops moving.  And Kota moves FAST.

Also at home on the pup’s move-in day were Bill and our son and daughter-in-law.

It was love at first sight when my daughter-in-law and I spotted Elsa.  She (the dog, not my daughter-in-law) met all my stringent criteria and she slurped my fingers ever so gently.  So I quickly became a doggie pawrent and began mentally listing all the “things” the poor little thing would require.

Elsa shook and shivered in the car all the way home and was obviously frightened and confused about meeting a bunch of  strangers when we got there but she seemed to take it all in stride.

Then it happened.  Kota (the ever moving speed demon) kept dashing around and around and around and came whizzing by Elsa once too often.

Elsa then used her secret weapon (her evil eye) and began a campaign to stop the whirling dervish in his tracks.  You could say that sweet Elsa revealed another submerged personality that emerged as Alpha Dog B.E.A. (The Bug Eyed Assassin).

As the object of growling, and threatening shows of teeth, poor Kota actually stopped mid-stride and leaped to the safety of her mistress on a chair that was inaccessible to the short little crazed attacker.

Meanwhile The Assassin then patiently waited “on guard” for an opportunity to punctuate her message and stop the monster from any thought of advancing.

Kota n Killer Elsa

Kota Under Siege by Bug Eyed Assassin

Thereafter, if Kota thought about coming down from her safe place for a high-speed run, there was Elsa/BEA casting her “evil eye” at the twice-her-size new friend.

Laugh?  Suffice to say I couldn’t breathe from laughing.  We were all practically rolling on the floor.

It is quiet here now and the Assassin has gone back to being Sweet Little Elsa, the perfect pup.

She is 6 years old by the way, totally house trained, seems to love her two elderly new caregivers, sleeps at the foot of our bed on her Serta Sleeper Dog Mattress, and revels in tummy and ear rubs.

It must seem pretty boring here now though, with all the family gone home.

But do you suppose she misses Kota?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cheese shop candy

What do dogs, health food and beer have in common?

A day in the outside world with son and youngest grandgirl.   (Two more grandgirls are also  expected here this week).

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Knowing how much Bill and I wish for a four-legged friend, our son and grandgirl took us on a dog search at PetSmart in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Every Saturday from 10AM to 2:00PM various foster people bring available rescue dogs there for open air viewing and visitations.

How exciting and sometimes sad it was to meet and greet all the homeless canines available.  Many were being adopted quickly and of course I fell in love with one.

“Paddy” is a big dog in a 20 pound body – an Aussie/Sheltie mix with the most intelligent adorable face.  He seemed as calm as could be in the face of maniacal barking all around him and sat by my feet allowing me to stroke his sweet head.

Even so, I was advised that Australian Shepherds are extremely high energy and difficult and I took the handler at her word. The message was that Paddy needs a young family to take him home and of course he was snatched up immediately.

I still have regrets and miss Paddy even though I only knew him for a few minutes.  I hope he is happy in his new digs.

Healthy Eating?

Next Stop:  The Cheese Shop in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia.  This is where you can get old fashioned candies (healthy?), magnificent cheeses, and all sorts of nuts, jams, jellies, and spices!

The Cheese Shop has been on my favorites list for over 20 years and it just keeps getting better as well as more and more expensive than it was way back then.  We wound up with peanut butter pretzel pillows, several varieties of candies like caramel creams, chocolate covered coffee beans, elderberry jam, beef sticks, muenster and farmer cheese, and more!

Bound for Beer

Next was the Devil’s Backbone Outpost for dinner.

It’s a brewery just north of Lexington, Virginia that has recently opened a “kitchen” in addition to their well established beer bar/tap room.  A great big dining area was bustling when we arrived and there was even musical entertainment brought in from Lynchburg, Virginia.

We wound up sitting outside with a stellar view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a cool, delicious evening of beer tasting, happy talk and uniquely tasty grub.

It was a grand day.

And even though we returned home with no dog to cuddle, I am grateful for a grand family, good times, and all that candy on my “no/no” list.

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Day Dreaming in the Sunshine

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Camping

The problem with blogging is people begin to know all your weaknesses and character flaws.

Most cyberspace friends already know this country girl’slady’s flaws:

  • A devout shopper,
  • a worrier,
  • guilt ridden
  • a planner,
  • and a neat freak.

My hope is that all in all, you all (y’all in Virginia-ese) find these combined traits to be endearing.

But did you know that the BigFoot whiner was once an outdoorsy camping enthusiast?

Here are some FAQS you may have missed:

  • Once, at 3 AM, I threw an air mattress across the pup tent at my devoted spouse.

Why?

Because I kept sliding off and onto the cold lumpy ground.

  • And another time, I ran with a coat around my ankles to get back to the tent.

Why?

Because it was deer hunting season and it occurred to me that a beige suede coat whilst relieving oneself in the woods would conjure up images of a white-tailed deer!

  • And how about the time I had to wear a black patch over my eye to a party.  And it wasn’t Halloween and it wasn’t a costume to make me look like a Pirate either.

Why?

Because a giant gnat bit me near the eye and it swelled up to a frightening countenance.

  • And then there was the time we were six minutes into the Appalachian Trail.  Bravely carrying a 30 pound back pack I was moaning and lagging in line behind husband, our 8 year old son, and Tinker, the dog.  That’s when I sat down in the middle of the trail and cried.  

Why?

Because Y’All,

I hate camping!

More FAQs?

  • How about the tent that blew away?
  • Or having to sit under a tarp until a deluge of rain lets up?
  • Or trying to sleep listening to something or things crashing through the forest?
  • And wondering if we will be attacked by wolves or bears or angry deer.
  • Or being “Nose Cold” (and I don’t mean a head cold).  I mean a nose that’s almost frozen along with toes.

And now you have another character flaw to add to the list!

And Thank you Andrew for inspiring this post!

 

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The relationship between peanuts and baseball goes all the way back to when a peanut company bought ad space on the back of scorecards in 1898.  The snack was a big hit in stadiums, and only a few years later, in 1908, the song, “Take Me Out to the Ball game” featured the line, “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks”, which has forever united the two American traditions in the public mind.”   From WRAL.com

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I can still hear the peanut man calling!

When I was a young girl my family went to evening baseball games at a local park.  There was always a man climbing the bleachers and calling out in a singsong voice.  He had a carrier full of warm delicious peanuts. The aroma alone was to swoon for.  And twenty-five cents would buy a little brown bag.

Years later I discovered I could roast my own peanuts and duplicate the flavor.

If you are a new guest at our house, you might mistake the peanuts for garden variety supermarket Ho- Hums, but if you politely taste one, guaranteed you will be asking questions.

Apologies if you are allergic though!

The recipe is simple but start with shelled, blanched, raw peanuts.  I get mine at a place called “The Cheese Shop” in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.  You have probably guessed they carry a lot more than cheese.   xslider-1140x460.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ADbx5syzP8Cheese Shop_0

And Bill and I are going there tomorrow to stock up!

Recipe for Dor’s Home Roasted Peanuts  Ingredients:  1-2 lbs shelled, raw, blanched peanuts; 1 tsp butter (or I use coconut oil); Salt to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spread all the peanuts in a rimmed pan (I use the bottom of my oven broiler pan).
  3. Bake on middle rack for about 6 minutes and then stir everything around. 
  4. Bake 6 minutes more and stir again. 
  5. Repeat #4 two more times. 
  6. Peanuts are done when they are a deep golden brown color. 
  7. While still hot add the butter (don’t be tempted to add more than a teaspoon or they will be too greasy).  The purpose of the butter is to provide a coating the salt can stick to. 
  8. Salt to taste. 
  9. I freeze mine and bring them out in small quantities as needed. 

 

 

 

 

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Years ago I created a collage

of favorite photographs.

I glued them in a haphazard way on top of a big old ugly $15 dime store print that once hung over our couch.

Even now I think it was a great idea and I remember pasting away and thinking, “How artistic if I do say so myself!”

I loved it so much that I eventually had the collage framed and was assured the priceless photographs were safely under protective glass.

“This collage of family and friends will live on through generations,” I thought.

And yes, that inventive impressive self indulgent collage is over the desk in Bill’s “office.”

And every now and then I look once again at a dimming past.

Literally!

Some of the photos are not only dimming,

they are disappearing!  

Many of those faded fotos in my collage were taken with an early Polaroid camera in the 1960’s or maybe even earlier.  The miracle was that the camera itself would process a picture and spit it out for at you.  Then you waved it in the air and blew on it to “set” things – or at least I did.

I suppose being under glass and exposed to sunlight would “unset” or affect images.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have shaken the photo to hurry things along.

Is there a Polaroid camera now with a re-set button?

I want to hit RE-SET!

The fading fotos from yesteryear are following my life cycle and we will all fade away together.

Are you watching your life fade away too?

If you are wondering if they even make Polaroid cameras anymore, the answer is Yes!  Instant film is coming back into popularity!

From Polaroid’s Comeback, by Mark Rogers, Photographer: “Polaroid cameras have recently been coming out of storage. …With instant film so popular, there are now once again hundreds of these small, square-shaped photographs around — and your favorites should be preserved and displayed the right way. Just like standard photographs and prints, instant film can suffer the same damage as standard film. However, a little more care should be taken when handling the still-developing film — according to Polaroid, the more closely the photographer followed the instructions, the longer the photo will last. Tip: Shaking the photo does not help a Polaroid develop faster. In fact, it could actually damage the developing photograph!…Standard photography preservation practices apply: keep the photos away from light, heat and moisture; most organizations maintain that Polaroids will fade in as just as much time as conventional photographs…”  

 

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Last week the son came.

Then one of the three granddaughters arrived with Kota the dog.

Followed by the middle grandgirl.

And finally, the oldest who lives the farthest away.

It was her (Jessica’s) birthday!

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A day and a night and a day.  Some left and returned and the son stayed.

What did we all do?

A whole lot of talking.

The girls made stir fry vegetables.

We ate out.

And there was  a whole lot of talking and catching up to do since “the kids” have all grown up.

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