The Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. The Hodgepodge lands this year on National Secret Keeping Day…on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being I’m a blabbermouth and 10 being-I’m a vault) how good are you at keeping secrets?

Interesting. I used to have loose lips, but when I entered my 60’s I realized that keeping my own council was a good thing. I’m not a 10, but I am far better than I used to be!

I read here nine jobs for people who can keep a secret-cybersecurity worker, executive assistant, housekeeper, lawyer, nuclear plant technician, physician, private investigator, psychologist, security guard.  Of the jobs listed, which one most interests you and why?

Psychologist. I would love that as I truly believe that talk therapy can make so much difference in people’s lives.

2. What’s the secret of life (or one of them anyway)?

Live, Laugh, and love. Be selfless and giving and you will lead a happy life.

3. Off the record, best-kept secret, a fly on the wall, top-secret, my lips are sealed, secret shopper, as quiet as a mouse, poker face, spill the beans, open secret, bite your tongue…which secret idiom can you best relate to right now? Explain.

Off the record. Arnie’s illness is causing everyone to be very nervous. I cannot seem to get people to speak to me on the record..yet..about Arnie’s illness. But the day will come.

4. Spill it, what’s the secret ingredient in one of your favorite recipes?

Parmesan cheese added to my meatball recipe gave it a really rich flavor!

5. My mama celebrates a big birthday tomorrow. Share a favorite quote, song lyric, saying, or verse of scripture that will add some sunshine to her day (ours too!)


6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I know Arnie is feeling better. He is running around, barking at Lili and the day to day hum of doggy life is returning to normal. For all of this, I am very thankful!

Have a great mid-week everyone!

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Life Goes On

Arnie is doing better although we still do not have all the blood work in.


So, this means we are in a wait and see act with the Pharmaceutical Company. I am sure they will try to get out of paying for Arnie’s care. Meanwhile, I wait to hear from the Emergency Veterinary Center, as they ran tests before he was given antibiotics.

(Update: Arnie’s bloodwork came back from the Emergency Clinic and he does indeed have Lepto!)

After speaking with my Vet today we’ve decided to keep Arnie and Anneliese on Doxycycline for another month. We want to be safe with them both.

Jack helped me carry my 6 bags of too-big clothes down to my car. There were three items I kept. I will put them away, but these three items were my favorites. They made me feel safe. Hidden.

One of these items is a sweater. A big old wrap around-sweater. I won’t wear it in public, but I will use it when I am feeling sick as a cuddle. Did you ever have a sweater or robe or sweatshirt that you wear when you don’t feel well and it is comforting? That is what this sweater is for me. I could not get rid of it.

Well, life goes on, doesn’t it? I think all one can do is the best that they can do.

Maribeth Dackel

My Independence Day

I decided I would spend my Independence Day clearing out my closet. In the last couple of months, I seem to have been unable to find things, and so it was time.

First I took all the hanging stuff out. That’s when it hit me. Many of these clothes are no longer worn because they are too big!

One by one, I went through and tried on clothes and put them in folded piles to go to the charity shop.

I was thrilled and smiling as I did this. Then I felt slightly sad. These clothes had been my friends through those rough days. The shirts hid my bloated belly and the pants kept me covered.

But now, I am down three sizes. These clothes hang on me like a tent. I remember my Mom used to joke about a dressmaker called “Omar the Tent Maker”. Obviously, much of this stuff had been made by him!

The day stretched out and before I knew it, I had four large garbage bags filled with beautiful clothes. Talbots is a favorite brand of mine and I would say 75% of the clothing is from there.

I can actually see into my closet. Now I need to take everything off the shelves and either throw it away, store it, or donate it!

So, this is all a good thing and in the end, I will have a workable closet. And I can get rid of what I do not and never again will need!


Happy 4th of July!

Today is the 4th of July. For those of you from other countries and perhaps also for those from this country who are not history buffs, here is a short bit about this holiday.

From Wikki:

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

However, on July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on the fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event.

Here is a little bit of trivia for you about the 4th of July.

John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Early Fourth of July Celebrations:
In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions, and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776, some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty.

Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades, and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war.

George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at the Battle of Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties—the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities.

The first fireworks were used as early as 200 BC. The tradition of setting off fireworks on the 4 of July began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, during the first organized celebration of Independence Day. Ship’s cannon fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported: “at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.” That same night, the Sons of Liberty set off fireworks over Boston Common.

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees.

Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.


I had a wonderful teacher, who taught me US History one summer when I decided to take this class, so I could graduate from High School early. Mr. Phillips was the teacher and he made the US History come alive for me.

So family and friends, Happy 4th of July to you all. Remember how hard we fought to become a Nation. We have our problems, but let’s work together with level heads to solve them. Remember to love and help our country be the land of the free and home of the brave.


The Friday Five ~ July 3

The Friday FiveAs the week closes, I am happy to report that things seem to be getting a little bit better. Here are the five things making me smile.

  1. First and foremost, Arnie is doing better. Today he actually walked up to the doggy water dish and drank.20200702_083553

    This is the first water he has lapped up since he became so sick! In order to keep him hydrated, I was using tuna juice. It worked like a charm, but oh my, his breath was something else!

  2. I have now Spring Cleaned my house. Not because I enjoy doing this, but out of necessity. Still, it is nice to have clean everything, even if it is only for a moment.
  3. Anneliese is also better. She is actually running around, acting more and more like herself.P6130021 copy

    I am so happy about that.

  4. Jack went out for the first time on Thursday since all this craziness began. He had doctor’s appointments at the VA. I was not allowed to come, as they are just allowing patients in. This was fine with me, as I am not ready to leave Arnie alone just yet.
  5. When Jack did come home he brought 2 Lobsters, 2 ears of corn, and of course, we still had my potato salad.Lobsters-Two-Maine-371

    Let’s just say, our Thursday night dinner was an especially good one!

So there we are. This week’s Friday Five looks pretty darn good and happy. After the craziness last weekend, it’s nice that the week seemed to end on such a positive note.


Have a Great Weekend Everyone! & Happy Fourth of July!


The Latest on Anneliese and Arnie

The last few days have found me sort of running around trying to do my very best for Arnie.

Leptospirosis is a tough illness. I am hoping that since I caught it fairly early on, that Arnie will make a full recovery.


Anneliese seems somewhat better, which is a huge relief. She is finally happy with me again, as I finished washing and drying her little dog bed and all her blankies. She is eating well and seems more like herself.

If only Arnie was following her right along. This morning (Wednesday) he was still quiet and not drinking! Call me panicked!


I was wracking my brain on what I could give him that he would like. I called and checked in with my Vet, who reminded me that if Arnie became dehydrated he would need to go to Boston where they could isolate him. (Insert a long string of obscenities here)

I went off, with a car full of garbage to drop it off at the Recycling Center. Only, it was Wednesday and they were closed! Ugh!

I went over to the Grocery store to pick up a few things and I was walking down the soup aisle when I turned and saw Tuna Fish! Arnie loves tuna and he loves tuna juice! Four cans were quickly purchased.

I got back out to my car and upon getting in the smell from the garbage assaulted me! I mean, oh my, sweet mother of all that is holy! The stench!

I drove home with a plan. I would remove each trash container and rebag in supersize garbage bags. Then I set about cleaning the garbage cans.

All I can say right now is that I don’t get paid enough to do this kind of crap!

Arnie loved the tuna and tuna juice and he ate a good lunch and dinner. He is still very weak and all he wants to do is sleep. That’s okay. Right now, this is what he needs to be doing to get well. It is still very hard for me to see him this ill. He is my baby-boy and this just breaks my heart.

So now I need to bring the trash to the Recycling Center today and then get ready for the 4th of July craziness here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.

Despite thunderstorms and heavy rain, the Tourists have all come and my town population is swelling to unheard-of levels. No one wants to fly, so people are taking “stay-cations” and we are a beautiful place to be.


Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? What emotions are associated with the planning process? Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

Well, I have no plans. Right now I have two sick doggies, and they both need my love, affection, and attention. I have become nurse, pharmacist, and doggie chef. Anneliese seems to have turned the corner, but Arnie is still one very sick boy and he will be for a while.

It’s my hope that at some point I will be able to get away to see my grandchildren, but right now I simply cannot leave Arnie.

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

Tuesday. I am not sure what happened. I am thinking it is stress. But just before lunch I was so dizzy I needed to lie down. Arnie and I took a two-hour nap and now I am feeling slightly better.

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberries by the handful…what’s your pleasure?

I love Blueberries! Blueberry anything!!! So sweet and so very good!

4. Swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim…choose one of the ‘swim’ idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

Makes my head swim! Yes, right now with so much doggy illness and neediness around me, my head is swimming.

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

It was the best of times and the worst of times, with health and happiness and sickness all around.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The healthy lifestyle change continues. I am doing great! Another week with a good loss, and now, I am a mere 28 pounds from my goal weight! I am happy and proud and thrilled all at the same time.

Food piramid

It’s the hardest thing I have ever done and yet, once I set my mind to it, I did it. Learning the correct way to eat was a really big thing for me. I also promised myself that this will be something I will carry through the rest of my life.

Maribeth Dackel

Arnie is Home

On Monday morning at 7:30, I drove over to the Emergency Vet and picked up Arnie. He came out the door and looking around, and I said, “Hi Arnie!” and as soon as he heard my voice his head went up and his tail began to wag! I got him in the car and we drove home.

At 8:30 I called our regular Vets and they took over Arnie’s care. They had just vaccinated him for Leptospirosis in January of this year. Anneliese as well. Lili was vaccinated in May. So on paper, everything is current. But for some reason, Arnie’s vaccine seems to have failed.

My Vet is helping me deal with the Pharmaceutical Company, as they will cover much of Arnie’s treatment.

He also began with a good protocol and schedule for treatment. I had to go out to the office with Arnie and both the doctor and the technicians that work there were very concerned about this happening to our boy!

The other dogs were happy to see Arnie. I was surprised at how delighted Lili was. She was dancing around Arnie with her happiness.

Anneliese sniffed him a lot and her body language said so much. And of course, Jack and I are both thrilled to have him home.

I’m still washing everything I can in the house. My washing machine and dryer have been going non-stop, morning until night.


At least I know I will sleep better tonight. I will have my boy in bed with me and I can listen to his muffled breathing. Such peace.


Sick Dackels

I am contributing to the college funds of several Veterinarians’ children.

On Friday we had Anneliese in with her Urinary Tract Infection. Testing to be done, and medications. I brought her home and began nursing her back to health.

On Sunday, Arnie woke as usual, and just went downhill super fast. One minute he was okay, and the next he was staggering all over the place and couldn’t lift his leg to pee.

This was a dead giveaway that something was going on and it was serious. Ever since Arnie was about 6 weeks old, that boy has lifted his little leg to pee!

At 9:40 I was in the car with Arnie to race the one mile from my home to the Emergency Veterinarian. Arnie was shaking violently by then and throwing up.


At first, we thought it was a simple infection, but then the blood work came back and it showed he has Leptospirosis. (Despite the fact that he has been vaccinated!) It was decided that Arnie needed to stay overnight to get IV’s and Antibiotics.

He was so out of it, that he did not care about being in a cage. However, after some lovely IV Fluid, and antibiotics pumped into his veins, he started to come around.

I called the Vet’s several times to check on him and they told me that he was singing the song of his people! That’s my boy!

He will need a long course of antibiotics and rest when he gets home. This is a serious disease.

Meanwhile, I was washing everything when I came back home. Lepto is highly contagious to humans and other animals. So all my bedding was washed and dried, the floors were washed, the bathroom floors cleaned and tomorrow I will work on the mounds of laundry I now have. At least, my bed is made and sleepable!

So, that is the story of my sick dackels. It’s so hard emotionally to deal with all of this, but what can I do? I put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.


Happy Birthday to my Mom

She was born Rosamond Ruth Prussman, to parents Frederick and Mary on June 28, 1929. She had a much loved older brother, Robert, and a cousin George, (who grew up like a brother to her). In fact, until the day they passed, they really adored each other.

Mom’s brother, Robert, and his wife Cynthia.


Aunt Betty, Larry, Janet, and Uncle George.


She met my Dad when she was 13 and she was dancing and my Dad played the piano. I asked Dad once what made him look twice at Mom and he said “It was a bright red sweater that she was wearing! She looked so beautiful in it! I was hooked!”

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A collage of their life together.

They married early on, and Dad finished getting his teaching degree. They moved to Monument Beach,  Massachusetts,


and lived in a little white cottage in the Burtonwood section, where my brother, Richard, and my sister Melodie were born.


Then they moved to Falmouth, Massachusetts, and shortly after, Mom had me.


My parent’s stayed married for well over 60 years.

anniversary card

Mom was with him until the end of his life, and really until the end of hers too.  She never remarried. I think in her mind and her heart she was always Jimmie’s girl!

Her last days were spent, not in fear of dying, no, Mom knew Jesus Christ and she knew she would see Dad again. She just worried about Mel and me and all of our cousins.

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Me, Mel & Janet with Mom.

This was the last time we were together before Mom was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. It was a wedding. Mom was so happy to be with us all. I almost didn’t go because of my facial surgery, but I am so glad I did now. Seeing her so happy and sharing that day with her, left us all with wonderful memories.

The last time I saw her, at Hospice Care, Mel and I, sat there, with Janet and the four of us were talking quietly. I asked Mom how we would know if she was with us. She smiled and said, “You will see butterflies, and that will be me.” This really surprised me because she always had related to beautiful flowers in the past.

But you know what? We see beautiful butterflies all the time. And we smile!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

MomWe  Love you and we miss you!