It’s All About…Getting Things Done!

Saturday was a very busy day. I accomplished great things in a very short period of time.

We finally finished and got our taxes filed. All I will say is, don’t ask!

I bathed two dackels, got them dry, cleaned their ears and washed all their bedding.

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I made three pretty decent meals for us, even if the quiche wasn’t quite as well formed as I would like. After all, I made it a crustless quiche. It did taste good.

Our weather was beautiful! It was up into the mid-’70s and the sun felt so good on my face and arms.

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And then at the very end of the day, the sunset was spectacular. All in all, a good day!

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A New Hairstyle!

I’ve become a bit unhappy with growing out my hair. Call it the 60-ness, but honestly, I dislike having to work hard to style my hair every day, or risk looking like a mad-woman!

I love the color, and my hair is actually is fairly good shape, but after 14 years of having curly-curls hair, I’m ready for a style that I can blowdry quickly and go!

I’ve narrowed it down to four styles that I like. The only thing I will ask my stylist to do is to leave as much length in the back as she can to help hide my scar.

(By the way, Quinn saw my scar the other day and said it was railroad tracks! Then he asked if he had them too! I mean, so sweet and beyond cute!)

Here are the four styles and I ask that you please leave your vote in the comment section.

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2.New Short Shaggy Hairstyles For Curly Hair Design Decorating Excellent On Home Improvement

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So there we are. Four styles that are soft and easy. What do you think? Please leave your vote in the comment section.

It’s All About…

Coming Home

One of the things people forget when they are traveling is the joys of coming back home. Certainly, I looked forward to doing things in my own way, but never have I experienced a homecoming quite like the one I had when I returned from Virginia Beach a few days ago.

Because we drove the nearly 13 hours from place to place, with a few brief stops along the way, I was truly ready to be out of the car and settled on a chair that wasn’t moving.

But, when we opened the door to the house and were greeted by three wonderful and happy dogs, all who were dancing around us, did I feel the real blessings of our little fur family.

Lili leaps in circles and I swear I could see her smiles, and both Arnie and Anneliese were talking in little yelping songs, welcoming us back! They followed me into the bathroom, into the bedroom and back into the family room, all the while talking up a storm and smiling! (Anneliese truly smiles, showing her cute little white teeth.)

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It was a homecoming unlike any other that we have had. (Eat your heart out cat owners! I have had cats before and they always want to make me pay for being gone!)

I sat in my chair, had a small glass of wine, and snuggled the two dackels. I patted a splendidly white Lili (Who visited the groomers for the first time after an encounter with a skunk!), and reveled in the pleasure of putting my feet up and being in a clean and familiar place!

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Later, my bed called to me and when I crawled in and felt my wonderful blanket and the little dog-by Arnie by my side, I knew that being at home was the very best.

The next morning, I turned on the coffee maker and drank my Special Brew (1/2 Decaff Columbian and 1/2 Regular Costa Rican beans that I blend and grind myself), and as I sipped I knew I had not had a decent coffee for over a week! Call me spoiled, but I do so love my specially ground coffee mix!

I pulled together a breakfast for Jack and me, but it was obvious that I needed to do a big shopping. So as I sat sipping my coffee, a detailed list was made.

Coming home made me smile and filled me with warmth. I love my home and I love the fur-kids that dwell in it. I was telling Jack this when we went out in the car later in the day on Monday, and he agreed. As wonderful as going on vacation is, coming home is always the highlight of the trip!

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It’s All About…

A Reunion Wrap-Up

For the last 8 months I have been looking forward to our trip to Virginia Beach, via the Cape May Ferry and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. I plotted and planned. I looked at good routes to drive and of course, places to stay in the Cape May area. As the days got closer, my excitement grew.

The dog sitter was booked, sadly, we lost Greta right before our departure, but I felt everyone would be fine in K’s more than competent hands.

Our departure was nice and early on the 25th of September and we arrived down in Cape May in time to watch a beautiful sunset and have a delicious meal at a Greek restaurant.

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We arrived at the hotel in Virginia Beach and got settle in, despite the 90+ degree heat! I should say, I got the room settled as Jack immediately got sidetracked talking to the guys. This was okay, but it was so hot, I felt like heat stroke might set in! Ha!

Okay, I do not want to dwell on things for too long but, the carpet in the room was awful! The shower left a lot to be desired, the food was terrible, and there were these little back flies everywhere in our room that seemed to enjoy feasting on me. I am hopeful that next year they will book better accommodations and meals than they did this year.

The tours of Fort Eustis was wonderful. Seeing all the Army Aircraft of days gone by, reminded me of how our men and women fought for their country under difficult circumstances.

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We had a lovely time at the Officers Club on the base at Fort Eustis, and as we were about to leave I noticed I’d dropped an earring! A brand new earring at that! Geraldine and I raced back into the Officer’s Club and we did find it!

When we went to the McArthur Museum, I noted a Nordstrom Store across the street! Gerry and I quietly slipped away and off we went for 45 minutes of wild shopping! This is where I found a nighty originally marked at $70.00 on a clearance for $14.95! It sure is a nice one!

Each evening before dinner, Jim, Gerry, Jack and I would meet in our mini-suite (it was small with the crappy rug, but the company was great!) and have cocktails and munchies. Jim has Celiac Disease, and I shopped carefully for him, so he could easily munch! This was a good thing because the food at the hotel was not Gluten Free despite his filling this out on his registration form.

Jack recieved a special Medal for his time serving in Vietnam. I was so proud of him. He is also now a senior member of the Otter-Caribou Association. (Otters and Caribous are the planes flown during this time in Vietnam.)

On a private tour, we went to Fort Monroe, which was not closed until September 15, 2011. It had a long history and our friends, Jim and Geraldine were based there early in his military career. It is such a beautiful place, and thankfully the National Park Service has taken over control of a lot of the area. So it is being preserved.

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The entertainment at the Welcome Dinner was a man who sang Frank Sinatra Songs and told us about the life of Frank. He was really very good. Ever wonder what a Marine does when he retires? Yes, he goes off and sings at Military Events!

The events ended late on Saturday and Jack decided we should leave as early as we could to head home. I woke at 5:30 and started to finish getting ready, and Jack woke, got ready and we were on the road at 6:45 am!

We stopped about every 2-3 hours to walk around and arrived home last night at 7:34 pm! It was a long trip with a lot of traffic, but we made it!

Things My Grandmother Taught Me

My grandmother was really a remarkable woman. She loved with her whole heart, at the same time she stressed a code of behavior that I still follow to this day.

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My maternal grandparents. I got my Papa Fred’s brown eyes and hair, but I hope I got my Grandma’s Honey’s (Mary) heart!

My Grandmother told me to smile at everyone I see. She said, “You don’t know if yours will be the only smile they see all day”, It feels good to smile, so I have always followed this practice.

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Be kind, always. Well sometimes I find this challenging, but I try so hard it makes my teeth hurt sometimes. But, I do attempt to be kind and nice in my day to day life. I have been hurt badly by people who do not share this code of ethics, and I have not had to walk away from many people. You know the old saying, If you can’t be kind, walk away”.

And I saw this on Facebook of all places and I nabbed it. This is right out of the Thing Grandma Taught Me-Handbook!

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The fact is, I do this all the time. I never thought much about it, it’s just how I have always been. I tend to think this also came from Grandma Honey. But I cannot be sure.

My Grandmother was good and she was kind. She expected the same from those around her. I hope all these years since she passed into the next world, that she looks down at me and says, “Well done! That’s my girl!”

It’s All About…The Peaches

Sixteen pounds of peaches were peeled and chopped up, and then mixed with sugar, orange rind, orange juice, and maraschino cherries, and each four-pound batch is now resting overnight, and on Monday I will can this glorious jam!

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Jack went outside this morning and picked the 16 pounds off the trees in our backyard. He brought them in and I washed them and then the two of us worked at blanching them and peeling them up.

We started just after lunch and worked until 4:45! It’s a lot of work, but I decided to make all four batches at once because the next few weeks will be really busy with other things.

This morning we took Arnie to the Recycling Center with us, while we threw out a lot of old useless stuff I have cleared from shelves and closets, and afterward, we drove him to see his human girlfriend, Rebecca at the State Liquor Store. He is always so happy to see her and she just adores our little dog-boy!

Tomorrow I will work to cook and then can the Heavenly Jam. I should get at least thirty-six half pints of this delicious jam!

Let me tell you a little bit about this Jam recipe. The recipe came from Jack’s mother, Pearl. She liked her’s a little bit softer than I like mine. I still recall the first time I had it though. It was just after Jack and I were married. She bought fresh, plain doughnuts and we dipped them into the jam. I am telling you, Heaven on Earth! I was hooked.

I asked her for the recipe and she frowned and told me that she only shared her recipes with family members! I was a new, young, bride, (and second wife) and I was crushed by her words. And unfortunately, the recipe came to me a few years later when she passed away and I inherited her recipe file.

Oh, how I wish that she and I could have been friends. Life is so short. She never did approve of our marriage, but after being together for over 30 years now, I guess Jack and I have shown all the naysayers that we actually made a good life choice.

In any case, when I was doing the prep work today I thought of Pearl and I wondered what she might think of the fact that I have carried on making one of her favorite recipes for her son? I would like to believe that she would be pleased, to know that even after all these years since her passing, we still recall her through the recipes she left.

Monday is canning day!

 

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The Recipe for Heavenly Jam can be found HERE

It’s All About…Arnie!

Looking back, I remember Greta expecting her first litter of puppies, and how she would lie next to me in my chair and I would feel one pup kicking the daylights out of her. This feisty pup intrigued me and I told Jack that if there was at least one boy, we would name him Arnold, after Arnold Schwarzenegger,  the Terminator!

And there was just one male pup in that litter. Arnie was the only boy with 4 sisters! Thus Dackel Princess’s Arnold was born.

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Arnie and me shortly after he arrived. He was such a big, lovey, puppy. I had not wanted to keep a male back then. I wanted one of Greta’s daughters to carry on with breeding, once Greta was done. So I was not allowing myself to get too close to Arnie, knowing that eventually, he would be leaving us. I sold him to a college professor. In fact, he was all set to go, but she changed her mind at the last minute and so we kept him. It was the best decision that we ever made. Arnie has filled our world with so much love and happiness and laughter!

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Anneliese and Arnie at 10 weeks old.

Watching Arnie and his littermate sister, Anneliese grow, from the moment they were born has been an experience. These two are devoted to each other and even now, at the old age of eleven, they are still enjoying each others company! When Anneliese gave birth, Arnie was there. And when Anneliese was ill or had surgery, Arnie was there to protect her while she recovered.

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Anneliese in the front and her snuggling brother Arnie, with his head on her back. They are so close and so tender with each other in a way that is very different from how they relate to their mother, Greta, and Lili.

Arnie has a fan club in our town. There are places we go where they know Arnie. The bank, McDonald’s drive-through, and The State of New Hampshire Liquor Store. At the Liquor Store, they asked for his picture as he is now their Mascot!

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The clerks there all look forward to Arnie’s visits and he looks forward to going in because it means cookies and a lot of pats from everyone.

Imagine our surprise yesterday when we were going in and a woman was exiting the building looked over and said, “Hi Arnie” as we were walking in! We later found out that the Clerk had said, “Oh look! Arnie is here!” while she went to get his cookies!

Arnie is an amazing boy and I feel so fortunate to have kept him. He is one of those once in a lifetime animals. And we feel so very fortunate to have him in our lives. Destiny, fate, whatever it was that made the Professor change her mind and decide not to come and get Arnie that day, I am forever grateful!

 

The One About The Grocery Cart

The weekend flew by for us. I wasn’t planning on making The Chicken, Escarole and Meatball Soup, but heck, after writing it and reading it, it just sounded so good, that first thing on Sunday morning I went out to get all that I needed to make the soup.

I was in the grocery store, which was jammed with Ice Fishing Derby grocery buyers, and I stopped and placed my carriage to the side so I could access the Escarole. I got two beautiful bunches, went back and got my carriage, and off I went.

I did not want this to become a marathon shopping trip. Just in and out, and go home and have breakfast. I had made it clear to the other side of the store when this strange man came running up to me yelling, “You stole my cart!”

I looked at the cart which was filled with my groceries and said, “Excuse me, are you sure?”

“Yes, see that is my grocery bag! You stole it!”

“Oh, I am so sorry. It was just an honest mistake. I thought this was my cart.”

I felt pretty bad about it but this man was being rather of a jerk about it. His grocery bag was quite old, filthy and obviously had seen better days! Why would I want to steal his bag?

A neighbor of mine overheard this man chastising me, and said in a loud, yet light voice, “Hey man, lighten up. It’s Sunday!”

Anyway after switching carts, and sorting out the groceries, I went on to finish my shopping. But I thought this was weird. I honestly didn’t steal his grocery cart!

The soup came out very well, and as the evening winds down, I am now planning my next afghan. I ordered the yarn for it. Everything should be here by Friday and then I will be working on yet another afghan!

Probably a good thing, as it will keep me out of grocery stores where I might take someones cart!

Have a great week everyone!