The Weekend Wrap

I decided this morning to make apple sauce. We certainly have enough apples on the trees, but I must tell you, without proper care and fungicides, the apples are small, mottled and sort of icky.

What this means is that you need to peel and core every apple and discard anything that looks bad. I worked for nearly two hours doing this, at times alone and at times with Jack.

I was trying to keep up with the cleaning and things and I checked on the cooking apples and the apples had begun to burn to the bottom of the pan! Fortunately, I caught it in time and avoided yet another kitchen disaster.

The apples are slowly cooking now and will need a lot of sweetening. I tasted the apple mash, which is cooking down and it sure is tart!


I cooked a turkey on Friday and then made Turkey Soup on Saturday. After boning the turkey on Friday evening, I put all the bones, a  couple of onions and carrots into a crockpot with a little bit of chicken stock and enough water to cover all the bones, and cooked it overnight to make the soup base.

If you have never made your soup base this way, give it a try. I find you wind up with incredible tasting soup broth!

So, tonight I am taking some of that broth and making a turkey casserole. Turkey seems to sit well with me this day. Although I am sure Jack will complain. (He did!)

Our darling Anneliese shows more signs of blindness. She startles easily and sticks to me or to Jack and to her brother Arnie.

You know, one of the most beautiful things to have watched the last 12 years, is the love that Anneliese and her brother have shared since day one! Imagine how lucky we feel to have shared in their lives. Brother and sister, and we have owned them since the very day Greta gave birth to them.

Dec 11 004

At birth, Arnie on the left and Anneliese on the right.

Jan. 20 Anneliese and ArnieAnneliese left and Arnie, right. About 7 weeks old.

Yes, raising your very own sibling pups right from birth has been an experience of a lifetime.

Arnie & AnnelieseArnie left and Anneliese, right.

We are blessed, that’s for sure!


Also, today is the birthday of my dearest friend, Uschi! I wish her a Happy Birthday and good health and much joy in the year ahead!!!

cheers to success

What a Dog Knows

I brought out my suitcase and tote bag and started packing. I looked over at the bed and there, sitting with the saddest eyes I have ever seen was Mr. Arnie. Each time an item went in, I could almost hear him sigh with unhappiness. He knows what a suitcase is, and what happens after they are all packed. Mommy disappears!

Sept. ,3 002After a bit, I brought him out, and I  decided to trim and clean the hair on his paws. He is so good and just lay in my lap while I trimmed him up.

I decided to do Anneliese too, as she was a bit of a mess. She was nervous, so I didn’t do her as nicely as Arnie came out, but close enough. At least she is cleaned up and matt-free.

I made up a wonderful meatloaf for Jack. Not only was it a good meal for tonight, but it will give him another meal and meatloaf sandwiches.

About the only thing left to do is a little laundry, a little vacuuming, and the printing of my boarding pass.

Crazy Friday

On Friday we needed to take both Lili and Anneliese to the Veterinarians. I knew Lili had bad ears but was unsure of what to do to care for them. Her current drops were not working, so we needed to switch it up.

Lili was dreadful at the Vets. She wiggled and squirmed, and pulled and pushed, and while we all attempted to hold her long enough for an exam, Lili bit her own tongue and it bled like crazy! Not only that, but she shook her head, and the blood spatters hit the walls. It looked like a scene out of Law & Order, or Chicago PD!

As I said, Lili’s problem will be fairly easily solved. As long as she allows me to give her the drops each day.

I heard some strange bleating and wondered at the sounds. I asked and learned that a Mama Goat had just had a C-section and delivered twins! I got to see them as they left to go home. Oh my goodness! The sweetness of those newborn babes!

Then it was Anneliese’s turn. I thought it was simply mastitis. However, there is a reason I am not a Veterinarian. At this time in Anneliese’s life, mastitis would be sort of unusual. She has a tumor, and since the teat is swollen and leaking, it doesn’t look good.


Anneliese will be operated on this coming Thursday. They will remove the tumor and send it to pathology. I’m not feeling good about this.

I am feeling angry that this sweet little being is getting blindsided with all sorts of health issues at this time of her life. It just doesn’t seem fair does it!

So that consumed most of my day and as I end Friday and look toward the weekend, I have my fingers crossed for only the best outcome ever for my girls!

The Joys Of Owning A Dog!

Being a pet owner is mostly a joyous and wonderful thing. However, there are mornings when I wake up and the first thing I must deal with is, what I’d like to term a doggy disaster!

So it was today, when I got up, opened my bedroom door, and was assaulted with the smell that every owner dreads. Poop!

Apparently, Lili was ill in the night. I am so careful what I feed her, but she must have gotten into something that did not agree with her because there was poop on the rug near my door. There was poop on the rug near the outside door. There was poop in the hallway, and poop on the kitchen floor.

It was one giant (Think German Shepherd size!), mess!


So, I went around getting up everything I could with paper towels, I washed down the places I could with a mop, and then took the throw rug to the basement and tossed it into the wash.

When I came back upstairs I got out the carpet cleaner, made especially for dog messes (yes, they make these), and I cleaned the carpet by my bedroom door.

I did all this before coffee!

After I had everything washed and cleaned, I sat down at the computer to write about all of this, and for some reason, that I still cannot fathom, my computer did not instantly connect to my Wifi and I had to go through a repair process.

Seriously, I was tempted to say the heck with it all and go back to bed!

After that, I finally had my first cup of coffee.

A Bit Of Everything

I used to travel a lot. Packing a suitcase and heading anywhere was nothing to me in the way of planning. Somehow, since I have not traveled for a while, the part of my brain that does all the preparations is a little slower than it used to be.


In the old days, (Berlin 2009) all that I needed fit into that green suitcase. I still have and use that suitcase, but now I have tote bags as well!

I already know I have over-packed. Since we are not flying, I can bring whatever I like, and I would be all set if I wanted to change my clothes three times a day.

Of course, this is silly, but I do like to have backups for any situation. And I am also bringing shoes to match.

You know I bet Princess Kate doesn’t bring this many clothes when she travels. Or perhaps she does. She always looks perfect for any and all situations.

Now it is not just me that I am packing for, but Jack as well. I asked him what he wanted packed, and after mumbling a few things he abrogated all responsibility for his suitcase. Ugh!

Jack did prepare the car today, and tomorrow we will finalize our packing. I would like to have the car completely packed on Monday afternoon so we can just relax a bit before the big drive.

Here is our route.

Our Trip2

Our house sitter came again today, and all is set with them. But in the year since they were here so much has changed. New air conditioners, new coffee maker, new toaster oven, etc. They jokingly said I needed to write instructions in a little book! Honestly, I think of all the little eccentricities of my house and the dogs living in it and I believe that the house sitter is correct!

It’s bedtime now on Saturday night,  so I will get this set to post in the morning and off to bed I go with my Arnie-man, pup!


The New Normal

I started Wednesday by going to WW Class. I did very well this week, and I feel like I am starting to actually live the plan.

It was tough to get up and actually get ready for class today. I hadn’t realized how much I’d actually been doing for Greta recently. I would carry her outside, wait for her to finish, mostly carry her back in, get her little panties on, and then try to start my day.

Today I actually just got myself ready, with no distractions, but boy, did I miss my girl! You know, she had this way of kind of, growling, talking, that no other dog I have had did. I miss that.

Arnie has been spending a lot of time under the coffee table in what I call the Man Cave. All you can see is his little face peeking out. Anneliese has been sleeping on the rug by the back door, and she has been looking for Greta. And when they aren’t doing that, they are sticking together.


Lili is confused and she also keeps patrolling the yard on the lookout for our departed darling, Greta.

It’s tough, you know. After fourteen years of having this little being in your life, to suddenly not have her just plain hurts. You go on, but it isn’t the same. Even the dynamics between the three remaining dogs has changed.

It’s the new normal.

Yearly Exams

Monday found me bringing the dackels out to our Vets for their yearly exams. All in all, things went very well. The three had their shots and did fairly well with their physicals.

Of course, Greta is almost 14 (three more weeks!) and she is slower than she once was, doesn’t see as well as she once did, and has become more and more dependent on me. But at her age, I guess that is to be expected. She weighed in at 23 pounds, which is a little heavy but heck, it is just 1 pound off.

I have never had a dog that has lived as long as Greta has. Every day I share with her, is a very good one and I feel blessed to still have my darling companion.

Arnie did well too. He weighed in at 22.5 pounds and is one long, lean dog! He has a little growth on his chest, that is probably just a fatty tumor, but it was a little harder than she liked to see, so we are watching it for now and if it changes in any way, we will have it removed.

Surprisingly, Anneliese passed her exam with flying colors. She was at a perfect weight for her 19 pounds, had no problems to speak of and she continues to be my little cuddle bug in bed.

Interestingly, both Arnie and Anneliese are 11 right now and they are in the category of Senior Dogs, along with their mother, Greta.

If I had one wish it would be that my pups would live as long as I do.

What’s In A Name?

Recently I was talking with a friend about our pet’s names. When we carried our little bundles of fur home, we had worked feverishly to find just the right name for them. Often the names are rather Grand! But then, what happens over time, is that you develop silly nick-names to match their personalities. So, in honor of  National Dog Day, August 26th, here are mine.


  1. Greta’s Registered Name is: Xochil Vom Geestmoor. It’s her overly grand German, registered name. It starts with the letter X because she was from this Kennel Owner’s X litter.  Well, Xochil, just didn’t seem right to me, for a tiny 8 week old German baby girl doggy. So we changed her name, (unofficially) to Greta. I’d always loved that name, and it seemed to fit her. The funny thing is, that as we were walking through the Frankfurt Airport in Germany, an old woman stopped me to admire Greta and when she asked about her name I said, “Greta“! She laughed and said, “Oh like the actress “Greta Garbo“! And at 8 weeks of life, Greta had her first nick-name. Sometimes, I will be calling her and I will jokingly say, “Miss Garbo, Paging Miss Garbo!”, the way they would have, back in the days of old Hollywood! Of course her other nick-name is “Gret-zky” after Wayne Gretzky! And the weirdest part is that she knows her nick-names and responds to them!
  2. Arnie’s Registered Name is: ,Dackel Princess’s Arnold. He was from my first litter of German registered pups, and thus had to have a name that started with A. Arnie’s nick names include, Arnie, of course, Mr. Arnie Man, Mr Bud-er-ino and My Boyfriend! But the one we use most often is Mr. Arnie Man! It just seems to fit.
  3. Anneliese’s Registered Name is: Dackel Princess Anneliese. She is also from my first litter of German registered pups, and thus had to have a name that began with the letter A. I’ve always loved the name Anneliese (pronounced AHN-Ah-LEE-SAH) and the first few years of her little life, I never gave her a nick-name. But as she and I got closer I started to come up with a few. Lisa, (LEE-SAH) Lisa Marie, and Miss Marie! I love it when I am playing outside with her and I call in a silly voice, “Miss Marie”!!! And she comes running toward me with her ears flying in the breeze!
  4. Lili’s Registered Name is: Princess Lili Marlene of Noblewood. Also rather grand. She is only registered with the AKC. Since Lili’s name is rather short, she didn’t a nick-name for some time. But the girl is super high energy. She is always jumping around, like Mexican Jumping Beans. So, one day I started calling her “Lili-Beans” and it stuck. Also just plain old “Lil” But Lili also has a tonal nickname. I just change the tone of my voice to a higher pitch and call out, “Lil-EE” and no matter where she is, or what she is doing, she comes running.

 Anyway, I love my doggies, and having them around is so much fun. And they take all my silliness in stride and make me feel so loved!!!

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day, so here are my tales of being loved by our dogs.


Top: Arnie & Greta

Bottom: Anneliese and Lili

A year ago, my Vet told me that Greta was not doing well and she wouldn’t make it another year. Guess what? With tender love, and care, Greta, age 13 and a half, is still here and having a good life. She is quieter than she once was, but the joy she shows, each day, brings a smile to my face.

Lili, age 3 years old,  is finally settling down and she has found her place in our home and hearts. Since Jack’s surgery, she now follows him all around the yard, stays right there with him, and if we whistle or call, she races to our side. She also has made a special friend. An 18 month old baby named Estella, who adores her. She stands on our neighbors balcony and calls “Lili, Lili” and Lili races up to her, stopping short and allows Estella to love her! This makes me so happy!

Anneliese age 10 and a half, is healthy and after her disagreement with Greta two years ago, Anneliese has finally found her way back into our bed. She sleeps cuddled up next to my belly and I feel so very loved! She is also sitting in my chair again and all is right in her world. She just had to learn that for always and forever, Greta is the Alpha Dog in this house!

Arnie, also 10 and a half,  is Jack’s car buddy. He goes everywhere with Jack. To the bank, to McDonald’s, to the Post Office, and the Liquor Store. Everyone knows Arnie and they all adore him. I woke in the night to find Arnie cuddled up to me with his head on my pillow. He is full of jokes and fun. What a great dog boy he is!

People often tell me that they don’t like animals. I tell them that they are missing out on one of life’s greatest gifts. The ability to be loved unconditionally by an animal. My dogs are always happy to see me, whether I have been gone 5 minutes or 5 days! I am so blessed to share each and every day with these wonderful pups!