In recent weeks I have been planning everything for my trip to pick up Heidi. Right down to getting my hair trimmed, colored and my nails done.

My nails were longer than I have ever had them, and I was looking forward to a crazy wild manicure.

That was before Wednesday when I caught my left index finger and tore the nail down past the quick! (Insert scream and bandaids for the bleeding)

I resolved to ignore this and still have long nails on the nine other fingers. Then today, in the space of one hour two of my nails split! Ugh!

At that point, I trimmed them all lightly and have filed them. I will still have Becca give me a good manicure with pretty polish. And truth be told, they were almost too long for easy typing. So, I am looking on the bright side!

I am done Christmas shopping. Yay! A few items are off to be delivered, but as far as thinking presents for people, I am done.

Jack and I are not exchanging gifts. We are getting Heidi and that is a present that we both will enjoy.

I have set up everything for Heidi and before I leave I want to put my pull-on boots by the door as well as my slip-on jacket and hat. Oh yes, Jack hates the new snow hat, but you know, it’s warm and for running outside to house train a puppy, it is good enough!

My breeder sent us the cutest picture of sleeping Heidi being sniffed by her Daddy, Ralph!

December 10th Heidi and daddy ralphIsn’t that the sweetest thing?


Yesterday I was a complete dynamo! I decided to clean out the mudroom bench. It’s the place where all my extra doggy stuff is shoved in kept. I emptied it all out and then began the sorting.

There were frisbees and toy balls, leashes and poop bags and dog dishes and our gloves, hats, and old bird feeders. Ugh!

At least everything was clean, just unorganized. So, I sorted everything, gave the puppy toys and extra cleaning, and made up a basket of puppy toys.

Jack passed by and asked where my other hats were?

Quite honestly, I have had one hat for the last 23 years! I love this hat, but Jack said that really, he hated it. Hmmm. Imagine 23 years he hated it and never told me.

I looked at myself in a mirror and decided I needed something a little newer. As much as I hated to admit it,  this hat is showing signs of falling apart.

Later in the day, I found a hat online and I hope I like it. I washed my old hat and I think it will be one I keep until I am very old and very gray!

My day ended at 8:30 when I fell into bed. I was really tired, but happily so!



Life is weird. When we moved back to New Hampshire after briefly living in Florida, I was thrilled. A return to my roots and a more relaxed lifestyle.

Of course, things change. We’d decided to move a bit further north, closer to the ski areas, as we were both skiing back then and wanted the convenience. And back then, Mandy had no kids and was still finding her way in the world.

So we chose our little town, which was safe and lovely, filled with wonderfully kind people.

Back in 2019 we actually had a daytime break-in. We’re sure that this person thought I was not home, as Jack had an appointment that morning and almost always I went along.

I was due to go to Disney shortly after, and I was on the phone making plans, but otherwise, I was in a silent house.

Suddenly I heard a door slam in our garage. I ran to the window, thinking Jack had returned. But there was no car.

I heard footsteps on the stairs, and a strange voice call out “Hello”. And my heart began to race.

I hung up on Disney and dialed 911. Meanwhile, Lili came to the door that I was trying to block and began to fiercely growl and bark. The dackels were barking too! But Lili was so fierce. A side of her I’d never seen.

I yelled, “I’m calling the Police! They’re on the way!!” and hoped they actually were.

The man raced down the stairs and out the door, and the Police arrived shortly after. Eventually, he was apprehended. I have taken measures to make sure it does not happen again.

Then, last year I was waiting for a check from Novartis, to reimburse me for Arnie’s care, to the tune of $2000.00. I could see it was supposed to be delivered to my Post Office Box on the Post Office App. It never arrived. Novartis canceled the check and issued a new one, but that was the first time I realized that shenanigans were happening at the Post Offices. Either here or at the main sorting area in Manchester.

Then the other day. I was waiting for a package for myself. I saw a cute little purse on Amazon and thought, I deserved a cute little something. I once again saw it was arriving on the Post Office App, and I was so excited!

But when I went to the Post Office, stuck in my box was the bubble-wrapped package that had been sliced open, and my beautiful purse was gone! I went to the front of the Post Office to ask the Clerk was had happened. And he said it came that way.

Okay. So tell me. Where, in this secure postal system had my bag disappeared? No one could tell me, no one wanted to help. Fortunately, Amazon did help and is sending me a new bag.

But here’s the thing. We got the Post Office Box because of our long driveway. We’ve always felt secure, knowing our mail was safe at the Post Office. Now? Not so much.

We also had a recent spate of automobile break-ins. The Police issued a notice to all to lock your cars and also to hide any valuables in your car.

So the world, or at least my little corner of it, is less safe. What a shame. Even in my little town, of about 6000 people, the thieves are active.

It’s sad. I was born in the ’50s and raised in the ’60s and I felt so safe and merry. I rode my bike everywhere, played outside with friends until dusk, and had friendships with the mailman, the milkman, and the grocery store clerks. I smiled a lot. Life was nice back then. And almost all the people in my little world were good and kind people.

So here’s my hope, that people will make an effort to be kind. They will opt for honesty and care. That dishonesty is not rewarded.

Perhaps this is too much to hope for. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

Maribeth Dackel

This & That ~ September 21st

Do you ever look at your elderly pet and wonder, “When will they have their last good day?”

It’s been on my mind a lot lately because Arnie is showing signs that he just isn’t interested in much anymore. Monday he got up and after a short walk, he wanted to go back into his bed.

He would not eat. He refused his pills, and worst of all, after a few weeks of fussing, he did not make a sound. Whoever said silence is golden, was not talking about their beloved, elderly pet.

The day wore on with him still not interested in eating, It wasn’t until tonight when I poached a chicken breast, that he finally ate a little. Not much, but at least a little.

I’ll be poaching more for him in hopes he will get at least some of his appetite back. One can hope and one can pray.


And so, on this day filled with such worry, Jack and I did go and get our Flu shots. And we did stop for Soup & Salad at Olive Garden. It was a nice break. But while we ate I was distracted thinking of my darling, Arnie.


My Rant on a Monday

I wonder at times when people stopped being nice? I know many warm and wonderful and gracious people, and then I know many who are just plain bullies.

Recently an old friend of my husband’s wrote to me and basically bullying me. This person is an anti-vaxer and they wanted to come to my home here in New Hampshire to visit with their old friend. I replied in what I hope was a nice way that we do not allow anyone in our home who is not vaccinated.

I tried to explain that in the last two years I have had my hands full with an aging husband, sick dogs, (the loss of one, Anneliese) and that I fear that if they came, and brought Covid to my home it might cause a fatal illness for Jack.

Jack is their dear friend, yet after I presented this to them, I received a letter telling me I should be more selfish and do things for myself. It’s a nice thought, but when you are the head of your household the things you do for your family are important, you cannot afford to be sick. They also said that they believe that the vaccine alters your DNA and ruins your health. And lastly, they presented their facts that the Covid Deaths are simply people dying from other illnesses and that it is all called Covid to scare the masses.

Back in November of 2019, I became very ill. My symptoms were such that my Primary Care Doctor and I believe I had an early case of Covid. I was so ill with high fevers, a cough that was so strong I would throw up, and an inability to breathe. I was using an inhaler every 2 hours and little pearl-type pills for the cough that ravaged my body.

I shut myself away from Jack. He did not come into the bedroom for anything and would leave me bottles of ginger ale.

I do not want that for Jack. I also do not want to get the new variant virus either. It is a terrible illness.

And then this person, who is telling me that I don’t do enough for myself tells me they have hired a new housekeeper/cook/and gardener. Well people, it must be nice. I would love to sit and read and simply direct the things that go on in my life. But that is not real. That is not the life for 99.99% of those of us that are alive.

I cook every single meal. I do every single load of washing. I shop for our groceries and I have been the sole caregiver to our animals.

I occasionally escape for a few hours to my daughter’s home to see my grandchildren, but then race home to take care of everything here.

Sometimes I get tired. The kind of tiredness that no amount of sleep will cure. No, no one is taking care of me, except me.

Meanwhile, there are other people in life who have allowed the Covid Virus and the Vaccine to come between them and me.

And they do it with an in-your-face type of anger, that shows no concern that my ideas and beliefs may be different.

When did we become a group of intolerant bullies? When did people stop being nice?

I was partially raised by my Grandmother. She is the one who called me on my unacceptable behavior.

For instance, when I came down the stairs in cut-off jeans and a t-shirt to go to church. She admonished me and sent me back upstairs saying, “Do you really want to meet God looking like that?”.

I would rather have died than bully my grandmother or even say a curse word around her. She taught me manners. She taught me to be nice and above all, she taught me to be kind.

I am now taking a big deep breath!

Be Nice! Be Kind! You never know when you might be in a situation where you will need the kindness and love and compassion of others.


Kicking Back

Saturday found me kicking back a little. My eye feels pretty good, and I have only used the artificial tears a few times. And best of all, my vision is completely clear at this point! Yay!

My other health problem is not responding as quickly and I really have not felt too well. I think that this is what has contributed to my feeling like I want to be quiet. I’ve watched a few movies, a documentary on ABBA, and read a few chapters in my book.

And lucky for Jack, I found some beautiful baby back ribs this week, and so I am making my specialty. “Maribeth’s Perfect Ribs”. It’s a favorite of Jacks and we have not had them for so long because they simply have not had any good ones in the market.

Now we await the arrival of Hurricane Henri. I’m hoping it will be nothing more than some wind and rain by the time it reaches us. Time will tell.


A Kinda Crazy Day

Tuesday started out cool, but with excessive humidity. By the afternoon, we had temperatures near 85 degrees. When I think of it, I am actually looking forward to the Autumn, when the leaves change and we have a cool, crisp day throughout the month!

I decided to go to the Post Office today despite the fact that I knew we didn’t have much mail. Thankfully, I got a good parking place and I was able to get the sale fliers and junk mail that gets sent out. I also needed to fill out a new form with a lot of information on it. Name, street address, email, and phone numbers. I was puzzled because I have had my Post Office Box since 1999. But yes, my email had changed and I do have a Smart Phone number.


I’d decided to get Jack a Subway Sub (grinder, hoagie, etc). However, when I got to their shop they were completely out of business, and all the equipment is gone.

We also lost our only Chinese Restaurant in town. Locked up with no sign of opening.

More than likely they both were casualties of the Pandemic. Sad. This really is very sad.

In our little town, there are signs for help wanted. If you want a job, come to New Hampshire. There is a job just waiting for you!

Today I did something that I truly dislike. I dusted! Ugh! But the dusting was done and now I have a wonderful feeling of being productive! Not!

In the last few days, I have not slept well. My brain clicks on and I simply cannot get back to sleep. I sure hope that I can get some sleep tonight.

Maribeth Dackel

My Hurt Paw!

Day two of my dealing with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis found me feeling almost a bit worse. Although I do well in the splint, if I move just wrong, the pain is terrible.

Jack seems to think that a good night’s sleep, along with a large tumbler of scotch will magically heal this. I do not have the heart to tell him that this may be a long-term problem and not something that will heal overnight.

Many years ago, during my physical exam, my doctor commented that I was fortunate to have Jack by my side. I laughed. Then I told him, “You and I had better hope that I never become seriously ill!”

And so it goes.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I had to do laundry today. And although I asked I got very little help. Ah well. I suppose he feels at his age, he needs to be taken care of more than I do.

Ah, enough of feeling sorry for myself. If I am lucky, I will see my daughter and grandchildren on Friday after my visit with my Glaucoma doctor. I pray for good eye pressure and lunch with the kids!

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Life Goes On…

Monday was just like any other Monday since the Covid Virus came to call. There was laundry to be done, cleaning to do, and a little bit of rearranging of things in my family room.

For many years my cell phone charging station was in the kitchen. It was never a problem until I got an electric loveseat. I simply cannot get my feet down when Jack’s cell phone rings.

So, today I rearranged the table between our seats so that the charging station is now right next to me. All I need now are some longer cords for the power supply.

I also need to buy a new Wifi Router. My old one isn’t cutting it as far as the streaming goes, so I am looking, researching, and will make my selection soon. If anyone has a good Wifi Router that has excellent range, let me know.

Funny thing, as I darted around the grocery store today I started to think, that we may have to live with Covid much longer than we expected.

117767161_10157735862947371_6687502767487389240_nWearing a mask, washing my hands until they become overly dry, and not being able to go out. Although I miss my old life, I am able to get by living this Hermit’s existence.

What about you? How do you feel about the restrictions that are still in place due to Covid?

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Getting Back To Life

In March of 2020, we were all told to stay home and not go out unless we had to get food or medication. It was during this time I found myself getting up each day, and putting on a pair of leggings and a long-sleeve comfy top. Who am I kidding? These clothes were pretty much like pajamas and I wore them all day every day. And so it has been every day (except summer when I wore shorts and a tank top) since.

Well, today I got up and put on a pair of jeans and a real shirt. I wore actual socks and wait for it…my sneakers, not my slippers!

I actually felt good. The slight after-effects of my second Covid Vaccine had disappeared and I felt awake and actually pretty darn good!

I know the virus is still out there. I know it will be until people realize that like Polio, we must vaccinate to get a grip on the problem.

I am here. I have had both shots. So has Jack. So have so many of my dear ones. We are here, we are healthy and we are trying to get on with life.

I know that people are free to make up their own minds, but it does bother me because they are putting not only their lives at risk but the lives of my young grandchildren who are not old enough for vaccines.

I have told you the story of my Grand-Aunt, Kätchen. She was just 22 and 9 months pregnant with her first child when she contracted the Spanish Flu in 1918.

KachenHad they had a vaccine, if people had worn masks, if there was a cure, if, if, if. This beautiful woman died far too young, as did her unborn baby. I wish people could look at Covid-19 and ask what they can do to stop the spread of the virus.