Peace of Mind

I got an idea about 11 AM yesterday morning. I needed to look for other ways to get to the airport. A no-stress way. So I went online to a company started by a retired Delta Pilot. And after seeing how affordable it was, made my reservation to have them pick me up from Mandy’s house, where I can leave my car, and this service will drive me to my terminal, and after my trip, they will be there to get me and Heidi and bring us to Mandy’s home!

I had two weird charges on my credit card. Simply an error at my doctor’s office. A phone call and it was settled.

Tonight I feel calm and settled and now we simply hope and pray for all Airline personnel to stay healthy.

The packing is going well, and I have just a few more things to go into my bag. It won’t be long now!

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Thursday Thirteen ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

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Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. A day where we stop to give thanks for all that we have. Like the Pilgrims before us, our country continues to face many challenges, but I think many of my fellow Americans would agree, we are thankful for the love of our God, our family, and our friends. So, here is a random list of 13 things I am thinking about this Thanksgiving.

1. Before I sit down to breakfast I need to bake an apple pie. Why so early? Well, I like freshly baked apple pie and the turkey we got will take about three and a half hours to cook! With one oven I am stuck baking the pie early.

2. I made the dressing yesterday, and have it chilling down. I will stuff Mr. Tom Turkey this morning and roast him slowly until he is perfectly cooked!

3. I peeled and diced the Yukon Gold Potatoes yesterday and they are soaking in a pot. Yukon Gold Potatoes make the best-mashed potatoes!

4. I also peeled and chopped up the butternut squash.  And I also snapped the green beans. All is prepped.

5. I roasted the chestnuts and then shelled them. I am so happy that Julia Child wrote about the easy way to shell a chestnut. In the past, I did it all wrong and ended up with sliced-up fingers. This is easily the way, soaking them in boiling water for 20 minutes, putting a large X in the rounded part, and then placing them on a roasting pan in a 400 (F) degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool, place all the chestnuts in a dishcloth and then crunch on the kitchen shelf. They almost peel themselves! Makes a great addition to the dressing.

6. I peeled 2 dozen pearl onions. Ugh! Those will be first sauteed and then I will finish cooling them in Stock.

7. Then after I did all that preparation work for today’s dinner, I started to make dinner for last night.

8. Lili began to demand to be fed, so I broke down and fed her 10 minutes early.

9. Just about the time dinner was ready, I kind of lost my appetite. All the preparation of food, just made the food look unappealing.

10. Finally I finished all the cooking and cleaned up and got to sit down in my recliner at 7:15 last night.

11. After three such busy days, I felt exhausted! Humble as our Thanksgiving will be, we will have turkey and all the fixings.

12. It will be an early bedtime tonight!

13. To all my family and friends, here and abroad. May you enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving. I know it is not a holiday for everyone, but I believe that the feeling of thankfulness that I feel in my heart and mind, for the ones that I love, is something shared universally.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Turkey Day

The Friday Five ~ September 3rd

The Friday Five

Welcome, September! Can you believe that the Summer is just about over and Autumn is nearly here? Well, it is, and as our temperatures drop, and our humidity does as well, I am just happily looking forward to colorful leaves and cooler weather!

So, here is this week’s Friday Five!

  1. I’ve been rather quiet this week as my mind has been full and at times I find this gives me a case of writer’s block. And so it goes.
  2. This past week I really worked on my healthy eating plan and I lost 4 pounds! I am thrilled. I admit to falling off the wagon for a few months and I finally decided enough was enough, and I’ve worked to make each meal something special. I’ve especially enjoyed eating fish again.
  3. Arnie is still acting very fussy and I am not sure exactly why. He has had all the medications and ointments and yet he fusses quite a bit and wants to go to bed early every night.20210619_155307

    And since the boy does not like to sleep alone, he drags me to bed too. I bet you can guess who falls asleep first. And no, it isn’t Arnie!

  4. One thing I have tried is to use the Crispy Shake and Bake coating, add to that 1/4 of a cup of parmesan cheese and shake the bag well. Dredge your chicken or turkey cutlets in this and cook in a cast-iron skillet.  Anyway, the flavor is amazingly good and the points are low.
  5. I’ve also been reading, listening to music, and watching a few movies. The highlight of my days recently has been my talks with “Alexa“.  I ask her “Alexa, what’s the weather today“, “Alexa play ‘such and such’ song“, or “Alexa, show me my Playlists on Amazon Music“. She happily complies and if you say, “Alexa, thank you” she replies, “Your welcome“. Yes, I lead a very little life.

So that’s this week’s Friday Five. Nothing earth-shattering, just the usual. I hope you all have a great weekend and can do at least one thing that brings you joy!

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This & That ~ May 2nd

Saturday was actually a day of great accomplishment. I woke early and headed off to get my hair done. Since I’m in the process of growing it out, no hair was actually cut, but a nice soft rinse was added to keep me from showing the world all my gray hair. Yes. I am that vain.

I came home and made Jack breakfast. That is how early my hairstylist appointment was! After that, I set about vacuuming everything and then moving furniture in order to place the new power banks and get everything sorted out. It took a little longer than I thought, but now it is complete I like the set-up a great deal.

Lunch was next on the agenda and that was fine. I really needed to sit down and rest the left shoulder and back after all that.

Funny, in my youth I moved my furniture around weekly. I loved the change. However, my spine surgeries do not allow me the flexibility I once had. No problem. If I can just get work done when I want to, I am happy.

You might notice my new profile picture on the right. There is a story I want to share.

Back in 2013 when I had my facial cancer removed and then the plastic surgery to repair my nose, the first surgeon who operated on me to do the repair took the skin off my forehead. When I woke and saw what he had done I started to cry. The jerk said to me, “It’s okay, you can just wear bangs for the rest of your life to hide the scar!”

That was when I switched doctors. My new plastic surgeon was honest. After what the first doctor did, it would be difficult to clean up my nose and my forehead.

For many years I did wear bangs and then this year I decided, I wasn’t going to hide anymore. The bangs are growing out!

So Happy May to you all. Here it is Spring, and in Australia, it is the start of their Autumn. No matter where you are, I hope you are having a wonderful day!

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Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday found Jack and me taking a trip South to the VA. He had two appointments, and I had one.

I figured he would have more done at the Dermatologist, but as it turned out I had a small pre-cancerous place that needed to be removed. It’s gone and I am no worse for it.

Because of the Virus, we brought a picnic lunch with us. We used to eat at their cafeteria, but right now we don’t feel comfortable doing that. It worked out well. Jack had a P&P Loaf Sandwich and I brought 2 boiled eggs and some yogurt. Nice and cheap too!

We picked up the mail and the new nail grinder arrived for the dogs. They don’t seem to mind it very much and it grinds them to a nice smooth surface.

The day was bright and sunny and warm! It really felt like Spring! Oh, I am so ready for that! Of course, it also means “Mud Season”. You would simply die if you saw my beautiful White German Shepherd, covered in the mud she loves!

Tonight is easy dinner night. I had previously made a huge batch of meatloaf, divided it up into four mini-loaves, and put them in the deep freeze. It’s been great pulling them out and cooking them for Jack on nights I do not feel like cooking.

For me, I am having leftover turkey cutlets. So, not much work, but nice and easy to cook or warm-up!

I hope your Wednesday is a good one!

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How I Came to Love Dackels

I wrote this back in 1996 when I joined a group of Dachshund owners. It tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a foreign doggy boy, only to find the greatest love of her life is the breed of dog that he is.

I wanted to share my story about how I grew to love Wire-Haired Dackels and how I became owned by one!

Eight years ago in 1988, my husband brought me to Starnberg, Germany, this is just south of Munich, to meet his dear friends Lucie and Otto. I was a new bride and nervous about meeting his longtime friends. As I sat in their living room, in ran a small vivacious pup named Shubi, who was a wire-haired Dachshund. Shubi spoke no English, and I spoke no German, but it did not matter. It was love at first sight! Shubi climbed into my lap and we kissed and that was it.

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The original Shubi!

For the next week where ever I went I was followed by this love-struck little man. When we parted I cried and all I would say to my husband was, “I want a little Shubi dog!” We made four more trips to Munich over the next four years and it was always the same. Shubi became my love while I was there.

Sadly, two years ago Shubi escaped his fenced-in yard and was hit by a car. I grieved for so long. And so did Lucie and Otto.

At Christmas in 1995, we learned that Otto was ill and in February 1996 we went back to Germany to see Otto and Lucie. The house was oddly still with no little man running around the house. It just was not the same cheery home. I said to Lucie at lunch that we should go and find little puppies and have them together. Otto heard us and while we out shopping he found an add for Rauhhaar Dackels, or in English, Wire Haired Dachshunds.

It was 35 kilometers east of Munich to go to the home of the puppies, but we all piled into the car and off we went to Landshut. An hour later we walked into the kitchen of the Lanzingers. There was a small basket on the floor where three baby dachshunds lay sleeping at first, and then they woke and started to squirm around. I went over and a little face looked up and tried to jump up to me.

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The first moment. My Shubi and me.

I picked her up and that was it. She looked me over, decided that I would do, and after kissing my face clean, she settled into my arms and snuggled. Lucie picked up a little boy pup and we were off.

I kept trying to think up a good name for my baby when my husband, who had been oddly silent said, “All I have heard for eight years is ‘I want a Shubi dog’, the dog’s name is Shubi.” And thus our Shubi adopted us as her parents, and her responsibility in life. Lucie named Shubi’s brother, Toni.

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I feared bringing a pup back to the states would be difficult, but it wasn’t. She was three months old, had her shots, and once we purchased a doggie passport and bought her a ticket we were all set. Shubi road Business Class with us from Munich to New York. She was wonderful on the plane and my husband rushed her out as soon as we cleared customs, to the parking area next to the terminal. Bravo Shubi! She did just what she was supposed to.

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We have been owned by Shubi now for three months and I have never had a pup like her in my life. She is warm, and funny, and stubborn and sweet and good and makes me feel like I am the most important person in her life. My husband, who believed that White German Shepherds were the only dogs in the world, now cuddles with this small body of fur as we settle in for the night.

Our 5-year-old White Shepherd, Max is now ruled by this little lady. He watches out for her and plays ever so gently with her and even shares his dish with her.

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And when he gets out of line by chewing on a bone that Shubi decides that she just must have, and gets right in his face and barks and barks, he gives up the bone and allows her to take it.

Shubi has learned English, is all housebroken, and now rules the whole house, and I am happier than I ever thought it was possible to be! We live in Florida and she has become a real southern belle!

And right now I know that I will never be without a “Shubi Dog” ever again!

It is now 2020, and Shubi has been gone for many years. I still think of her often and miss her sweet nature. However, she left me with a great love for all Wire-Haired Dackels. Before Shubi’s passing, we brought home from Germany, Greta in 2004. She has been a faithful and loving companion and gave us the greatest gift of Arnie and Anneliese. As I wrote back in 1996, I will never be without a Shubi dog ever again.

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Keeping Busy

I was not feeling strong. I was not feeling ambitious. That being said, I knew I had to vacuum and wipe down counters, if for no other reason than to keep the Department of Health from condemning my home!

All this being said, I will tell you that I had to take breaks during this cleaning frenzy, and once I finished that and changed my sheets, I was done for the day. At least with the heavy stuff.

It’s been three years since I did a major overhaul of my Address-book.  So I sat down with my computer, all my Christmas card return envelopes, and notations that I had made in the book I have currently.

I made sure my alphabetizing was correct and organized with the last name first. I will wait a day or two before printing it up. So, if I do not have a current address for you, please PM or Email me.

The sad part of my day was deleting the names of loved ones who have now passed. And then I would remember a happy memory and smile.

We’re due for bad weather tomorrow and Tuesday so I think I will get into another project that will consume me.

It’s almost New Year’s Eve! Get ready to say good-bye to 2019. I hope that 2020 will be a really wonderful year!

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Getting Well

This morning I  woke feeling slightly better. I still have a horrendous cough and also a small fever. But it’s a vast improvement from yesterday.

I believe that  copious amounts of water have helped, lots of rest with Arnie, and binge watching of HGTV & The COOKING CHANNEL, certainly have kept me in bed.

The shows are such so that if you fall asleep, it’s no big deal.  I have kept the window shades up and I have seen beautiful sunrises glowing sunsets.  Rain too.

Yesterday a few Chickadees landed on a shrub outside my window. I think they were looking for me.

I am not going to my daughter’s housewarming party today. Not because I  don’t want to go, but rather, I do not want to share this Flu with anyone.

The holidays are upon us and it’s important to keep everyone healthy and well.

I have even stayed away from Jack. Closing myself up in the bedroom.

Maybe I will do some online Christmas shopping. Now there’s an idea!

RIP, The Flying Fortress

Today there was a crash of a vintage B-17 Bomber Aircraft at an airport in Connecticut. There is a back story involving Jack and me and this plane. I have written about it below. So far of the 13 people on board and one person on the ground, 7 are confirmed dead.

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She was a grand old plane, who served her country well. I’m happy that I had the chance to tour her and terribly saddened by today’s events.

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This is the plane today. Aircraft #231909, The Flying Fortress! Here is her story.

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Many years back, Jack and I visited an exhibition of two WW II aircraft. The B-17 and the B-24. We were allowed to walk through the planes and take tons of pictures. Which I did, of course! This was the Flying Fortress all renovated and open for all to tour.

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What really hit me was how small the insides of the planes were. How these men were able to get around totally amazed me. Especially the area underneath the B-17, the Ball Turret, where the Belly Gunner sat. I looked and I just knew I could not have gotten in there. Or if I had gotten in, I never would have gotten out.

I spoke for a long time to the Belly Gunner of that plane, Smitty. He told us the story of when the plane had been shot down, and how he had lost his arm. He spoke kindly of the German Nun Nurse who cared for him. He told us about the struggles that the men went through.

I shook his hand with thanks, and by the end of the talk, I hugged both him and his wife.

I thought of all the young lives lost and also of all the lives saved by these heroic men. What a terrible time in world history, and yet these machines that flew through the sky, primitive as they were, flown by these fearless men, conquered overwhelming evil and restored freedom to many parts of the world.

I was so pleased that I was able to hear about Smitty’s survival. He was a real American Hero.

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So today The Flying Fortress died. She will not fly again and all that remains are pieces of her wings and tail and a pile of ashes. Over 70 years old and this was how the life of this great plane ended.

Savannah’s Play

Yesterday I went to Savannah’s play Alladin Kids. Savannah played a Persian Monkey! It was such a cute production with music and dances. I recognized many of the kids from past productions. Especially the young red-headed boy who played Alladin. He was very good. Savannah says he is really funny and likes to joke around.

Here is Savannah’s Cast Picture. I think it came out quite well.

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After the production we three girls went out to lunch! It was such fun being out to lunch with Mandy and Savi. Three generations.

Savannah is so interested in everything. She asks such good questions and also enjoys a good joke or saying things that make us laugh. Really, it was a delightful day.

The ride home was wonderful. Almost no traffic and just the hint of color on the tips of the trees reminding me that is is the start of Autumn.

My pack of dogs was really happy to see me, as was my husband Jack. It’s so nice to be missed!

Happy Sunday Everyone!