The Swans

Yesterday, despite the known drizzle in the UK, I boarded my bus and headed to the Swannery.

I have been fascinated with swans all my life. There was an area near where I grew up where the swans in Falmouth raised their young. That was nothing compared to this place, where there were well over 100 pairs of mating swans.

To say I was astonished would be an understatement. This was beyond my wildest dreams!

Here is a Mommy Swan with a newly hatched Signet under her wing.



I walked there and stood in wonder. What I have long known about myself is that I am a Nature Freak. Perhaps this explains my obsession with the TV show “Northwoods Law.”

By the time I returned to the ship, I was exhausted. I had a little lunch, and then I took a nap. I recall a time when naps were punishment. Now they are bonuses!

Anyway, I digress.


441372843_863021722322211_6732868286610092628_nMy best shot of a Mommy and her Signet!

I will share the last picture of a beautiful mommy, Swan.  It was lovely.


Sixteen Years

I noticed today that it is now sixteen years since I started to write Dackel Princess. Where has the time gone? I recall thinking that only three or four people would ever read me, and those people were all related to me.

Here is the LINK to the first entry I made all those years ago

However, over the years I have met so many great people as they found my blog. It really has been a thrill!

It all started with Shubi and then Greta and Fritz. My original three all those years ago.

Shubi Greta FritzShubi, Greta, & Fritz

Shubi was at the end of her time with us, and Greta and Fritz were puppies! Time sure does fly when one is having fun! And these three were so much fun!

Of course, soon Greta took a husband and she brought to us, Arnie & Anneliese. Fritz went to Rainbow Bridge and we got his niece, Lili.

Arnie Anneliese and LilArnie, Anneliese, & Lili

Of course, Anneliese left us in January, but there is still a lot of doggy love in this house!

During this time I also became an Oma! That is the best yet! Two beautiful and very special people named Savannah and Quinn came into my life. They are the loves of my life, along with my wonderful daughter, Mandy.

BeFunky-collage 2 (2)So in 16 years, so much has changed, but the love continues and the joy of sharing my life with my family, friends, and my pets continues. Each day presents an opportunity to find something new in life!

So Happy 16th Blogoversary to me!


It seems lately that the dogs get me up well before dawn. In my struggle to fight boredom and to dream a little, I have found a web site where I can watch the cruise ships come in and dock in Fort Lauderdale.

It’s been a while since we have cruised, but I have always said that for me, cruising is the best way to actually vacation and relax. No meal preparation, no clean up, and no dogs. I simply show up every day and get spoiled.

Nov. 17 at sea 010

It will be a long time until I can cruise anywhere. With my surgery and recovery, and physical therapy, I will need to be close to home for a while.

Nov. 22 St Thomas 005

But I can dream, right? Dream of all those places I have been, and would like to visit. How does a 15 day cruise to Hawaii sound? Or a 7 day cruise in Alaska and a land trip of another 5 days?  Or what about a cruise down the Rhine River? Or one around Australia and New Zealand?

Yes, watching the ships come into port allows me the chance to dream. And somehow dreaming about all of those places gets me through the pain.


I’ve thought a lot lately about dreams. Those sleepy private moments in my mind. When I was young, the dreams were silly and didn’t really make much sense. I remember that one reoccurring dream, was that I could fly with no plane. Just me thinking about flying and off I would go. I would keep thinking about flying because if I didn’t I would start to go down and as I neared the ground, whoosh, I would never land, but wake up.

As I grew up and began to experience the loss of loved ones, occasionally they would come to me in my dreams. Having tea with my Grandma Honey and Papa Fred, or sitting in my Papa Sam’s lap listening to Barbershop Quartets. All dreams, of people that had left me.

Now as a middle aged woman, I dream of my daughter often. I watch Katie playing in the snow, or at the beach. I see her apple cheeks and bright red curls. I know it is a dream, and I try to make the little dream visit last. Sometimes I can, and sometimes it ends as quickly as it starts.

Since my parents passed away, I have started to dream of them too. Little glimpses. It’s like they come back to say hello, that they are with me, they smile and float off.

My Aunt and Uncle come too. It’s funny I can’t recall that any of them really say anything, but they are peaceful, happy and I feel loved by them. I guess I feel peaceful too.

Dreams are wonderful things aren’t they? Do you dream like this?

A Great Movie

I watched The Bridges of Madison County today, and I’ve decided that this is my favorite love story movie. If you haven’t seen it recently, watch it again. If you have never seen it, plan an evening, sit down and watch it. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood are at their best. This movie tells the story of what real love and sacrifice is all about.

Here is a short clip.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Candied Pecans, Feta, and Craisins

First a very Happy Birthday to my friend, Bernie! Hope it is a happy one and a good year ahead!



Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Candied Pecans, Feta, and Craisins


Yield: 6


1/2 cup of pecan pieces

1 tsp of white sugar

Pinch of cardamon

(I’ve also used raspberry vinaigrette)


3 cups of baby spinach

2 cups of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup of sliced strawberries

2-3 tbsp feta cheese or goat cheese

2-3 tbsp craisins

Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette (see recipe above)


Make the Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette then set aside.

Heat a small skillet over medium low heat. Add the pecan pieces, sugar, and cardamon. Stir often until the sugar caramelizes and sticks to the pecans and the pecans are toasted. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Combine the spinach and romaine lettuce to a large serving bowl. Top with sliced strawberries, cooled pecans, feta cheese, and pomegranate seeds. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve immediately. Enjoy!


On Friday my blog friend Rude Cactus asked a question on his blog.

The Weekly Hypothetical. You can go backward or forward in time – or just stay put in the present day – with a notebook and a pen to interview anyone for one hour. Who do you interview and what questions do you ask?”

I answered, ” I would go back to 1985 and I would interview my daughter Katie. I would ask her about what she thought about life, happiness and love. I know it wouldn’t be profound for anyone else but me, but oh those moments would mean so much!”

Posted by Maribeth at February 6, 2009 1:27 PM”


I found out today that I had won a bouquet of the flowers of my choice. So I went over and selected this rose plant. We used to call Katie, Rose-bud as a nickname, so it seemed appropriate.


Plus I figured that the plant would live for a long while reminding me of Katie and of my friend.

So, thank you Chris, for this. It means more to me than you can imagine. By saying what you did and by supporting me over the years, you help to honor my daughter.



My good friend Fabulously Out There tagged me today. I am supposed to write a list of seven things I approve of. I am almost hopeless when it comes to making lists, but because “Fabulous” asked me, here I go…

1. I approve of love.
2. I approve of snuggly soft pajamas in front of a warm fireplace, while sipping a hot cup of my favorite tea, and all of my doggies beside me.
3. I approve of dark chocolate!
4. I approve of people helping each other, just for the sake of doing something right.
5. I approve of acts of gentle kindness.
6. I approve of dancing under the stars.
7. I approve of lots of laughter!

I tag anyone who wishes to join me in this. Think of the things you would like to approve of if anyone asked you!

5 Wishes

I’ve been tagged by Becci . Every one else has 5 very nice wishes, world peace, world love, etc….but I think I’m going the other way…5 things I really REALLY would like for Christmas!

1. Health for my family and friends.
2. The ability to learn and create new things on the computer.
3. Another healthy litter of pups.
4. A laptop that works flawlessly.
5. People to leave me MORE COMMENTS!! LOL

I tag whomever would like to be tagged