It’s All About…

Dog Pablo PicassoLearning to take care of yourself, no matter what.

Life is never quite what you expect it to be after close to a month of being sick with pneumonia. Finally, last night, the fever I was plagued with broke; it was under 99 for the first time since June 13th.

I have learned so much. The first thing is how to ask for help. If not for my neighbors, I would not have gotten my medications. I also learned about Instacart Shopping. Everything is done online, and then someone selects your groceries, bags them up, and, in my case, brings them upstairs.

I finally felt well enough to do a couple of loads of laundry. It is much easier now that my washer and dryer are in the master bath.

So I wake up, drink, do laundry, and then nap. But at least I am not coughing as hard as I was.



It’s All About…Finding Your Way

Dog Pablo Picasso
It’s all about…finding your way.

I’ve been part of a couple for a very long time. Even before Jack (35 years!) I was married for 11 years to my former husband. Quite honestly, before that, I lived at home as a teenager. So, I never really had a solo identity. Now, I am suddenly with no other halves or close family. (All at a distance)

The other day, I was walking around the grocery store and didn’t see anyone I knew. I walked around, and part of me felt invisible.

During the last few years of Jack’s illness, I did not go out much. I was on-call 24/7 as his nurse and wife. The last six months especially.

There is no right or wrong here. Jack needed the care, and he wanted to be home. Long ago, I had promised that, if possible, I would keep him at home. I did it. Despite how difficult it was in the end, I feel good that it was one promise I could keep.

So, I am trying to get the improvements made on the house and slowly make it my own.

The important thing is to keep moving and keep living. Make a new life for myself.

I know there is a place for me in this crazy, mixed-up world. I need to find it.


The Debate Lingers On…

Tuesday, I said goodbye to my husband and best friend of thirty-five years. I cannot tell you the number of times we argued about cremation vs dressed and sleeping in a pretty casket. We will just say it was quite numerous.

Jack wanted a pretty casket and a good make-up job. Really, I never understood this. But I understood on Tuesday morning when I went to the Funeral Home to say goodbye to Jack.

The old saying “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming — WOW– What a Ride!” was flooding my mind. Jack had certainly led one crazy life. Could he look used up as he was laid to rest?

I was led in alone. I walked forward, and there he was. My handsome husband looking a good twenty years younger!

I stood looking at his handsome face. All the love I’ve had for him made me smile. I whispered to him, “Darn Jack, you are looking really good!”

So the debate has begun again. Only I am arguing with myself. Stay tuned!


It’s All About ~ Emergency Rooms

Dog Pablo PicassoIt’s All About…Emergency Rooms

The last few days have been a blur. Jack hasn’t been feeling well, as he had a sharp pain in his lower left side. On Tuesday the pain was much worse and at 3:00 in the afternoon I drove him to what used to be a good hospital. We got there just after 4:00 and tests were ordered. I was hopeful.

As the results were logged in I was texted the full report. By 7:00 I knew that Jack had a 3cm kidney stone. I attempted to get a solution for Jack so I could drive us home. Us being, Jack, Heidi, and myself. That was easier said than done.

I kept going out to feed, water, and walk Heidi. In the process, I lost my Bluetooth device for my cell phone. I picked up a tuna sandwich in the cafeteria (which was terrible, but then they have a captive audience) and kept waiting.

Finally, around 11:00 I went to the desk, again, and tried to get someone to make a decision about what they were going to do with Jack. No one could answer. They claimed they didn’t have all the test results. I held up my cell phone where I had downloaded them all.

A Physician’s Assistant took Jack into a small cubby and explained there were no rooms, so she wanted to give him some meds and send him home. Great.

I went out to warm up the car, walk Heidi again, and wait for Jack. At 12:15 I went back in. Had he gotten his medications? No!

I told them he was so upset he was just going to leave. They assured me that he would get his three lousy pills in a moment.

At 12:30 Jack walked out the door and I set about to drive us home. The night was pitch black yet, the roadways had heavy fog. Slowly I made my way home and we pulled in at about 1:45!

Both Jack and I were exhausted. His meds had kicked in and so he was able to sleep. It took me a while until I could relax enough to sleep. Heidi and I turned off the light and sleep came to us.

Today I kept trying to get into contact with the VA Urology Clinic. Now that I have Jack’s records sent to the VA, we can get an appointment there. Meanwhile, tonight we will sleep and rest up for whatever may come.

Jack is still in pain, but since we know what it is, we can handle it.

I must mention that poor Lili must have fussed and whined because we noticed today that her voice is a little hoarse. Poor girl.

Lastly, I must mention that the ER was horrible. Yes, they had many people like us who were seriously ill, but when the sun came down and it got colder the junkies and street people came in. I am sympathetic to this problem, however, a hospital ER is not the place for them to land. There were newborn babies there, young kids with cuts needing stitching, and people like Jack who have come in due to painful illnesses.

So that is my tale of woe. We lived to tell the story, even if it was a rather gruesome one. And at least we made it through the fog to get home.

Maribeth Dackel

It’s All About…

Dog Pablo PicassoAccomplishment

The last few days have been good, and boy, have I accomplished things!

First, our Anniversary was a good one. I bought everything I would need to make a rolled boneless butterflied lamb roast.

Since I had never done this before I sat down and looked on Youtube for Ideas, but nothing was what I wanted. I could see it in my mind, so slowly I chopped onions and celery, and garlic and started to saute them with butter. I added Rosemary, Thyme, and then a seasoning called Greek Lamb Seasoning that I got from Penzy Spices.

My kitchen smelled like savory Rosemary. After the spices and herbs were soft and fragrant, I added about 2 cups of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing and a little water.  I then set this aside to cool. Once cooled I added a beaten egg.

I suppose I should have known, but the butterflied Lamb was full of fat. So I trimmed as much fat as I could from the inside, and then used a mallet to tenderize the meat. Then I took the cooled stuffing, spread it onto the lamb, and then using plastic wrap from under the lamb, I rolled it as tightly as I could and tied it up with Butcher’s Twine. I placed it onto a rack in a roasting pan lined with parchment paper. I brushed the top of the lamb with olive oil and sprinkled the the lamb Seasoning.

I put the roast into a preheated 425-degree oven. I let this cook for 20 minutes and then turned it down to a 375-degree oven and using a meat thermometer, cooked the roast until the temperature reached 155-160 degrees. I took it out of the oven and covered it with a towel and set it aside.

Really, it was so easy and delicious! I will make this again as we both enjoyed it!

My next accomplishment has nothing to do with food, but I am putting this under the category of “Everything a Woman Should Know”.

The handle of my toilet broke again. I attempted to fix it with a Universal Handle. What I discovered was, that a Kohler Toilet can’t use a Universal handle. I ordered from Kohler and this morning I installed the pieces necessary to fix my toilet handle! It has worked beautifully!

You know, I wish they had offered classes in basic plumbing, woodworking, and electric work. I find myself rapidly heading toward my 65th birthday wishing that I knew more about these things. Of course, back in my day women took home economics and the guys took shop. Meanwhile, I have taught myself many of these basic skills.

The Taxes are done and mailed, and tomorrow I will catch up on all the doctor’s appointments I missed while caring for Jack.


It’s All About…

Dog Pablo Picasso


…Getting it done!

I have days when I accomplish so much in a short period of time, that I almost feel like I am young again. Then I run out of gas at about three in the afternoon and take a short nap. Such is life as one approaches the golden age of sixty-five.

My day started at 5 AM. I can do it with the help of a good cup of coffee and a hot shower. I actually blew my hair dry instead of tying it back with a clip. Yes, I was on a roll.

I had my early ladies’ meeting and all went well. Jack got up and I made his breakfast.

Just as he finished the Plumber arrived! I have never been so happy to see a repairman in all my life. I was convinced I had done something dreadful to the drain. I felt truly panic-stricken!

Well, Phil came in, did a few plunges and other tricks of the trade, and got my sink unstopped! I am truly thrilled with this Plumbing Company. They always come through for me in the end.

After he was done, we jumped in the car and I drove Jack to his appointment. Heidi came with us and she was perfect as I waited in the car Jack went in for the doppler scan of his carotid arteries.

We came back, had lunch and now I am ready for a nap. The only thing left on my agenda is supper and dishes. But at least I know I can just put them in the dishwasher!

Yes, this was a good, productive day!


It’s All About…Water

Dog Pablo PicassoSo, I have hired someone to re-roof our house. This is a very good thing. It probably should have been done a year ago, but since we have had no damage, I think we caught it in time.

There are other things that need to be done, like de-cluttering the house and then an inside re-paint.

So, last night when Jack woke me up at 11:45 PM I knew it was not a good thing.

We have no water!

This happened once before when a new pump and wiring needed to be replaced. I am hoping that this is all.

But Jack was upset and he would not be calmed down. How will we flush the toilet? How will you (me) cook for me? (him) How can I was the dishes, and the floors and do laundry?

I had to giggle because all the things he mentioned were the things I do!

I recalled a movie I had seen and the exchange between a lawyer and the man he was representing. The movie was called “The Bridge of Spies”. The lawyer was played by Tom Hanks, and his client was played by Mark Rylance.

Tom Hanks: Aren’t you worried?
Mark Rylance: Would that help?

So, here I was at 1:30 AM trying to get Jack to calm down and go back to bed. After all, there is nothing we can do until 8 AM. Then I will call for Well Service.

I am hoping for an easy fix. If not, I break out the plastic silverware and paper plates. It’s inconvenient but so is so much of what we call life. It is what it is, and you just slog along working things out.

Perhaps I am so calm about all of this because I still feel too yucky to care. After all, me getting upset and worried and undone by this wouldn’t help at all now, would it?


It’s All About…Heidi

I know I haven’t written about my favorite little fur baby in a while, but here we are, Heidi is 10 months old and she has become my constant companion. And trust me when I say, she almost never leaves my side.

Heidi is pretty much trained in all the household ways. I walk her on a leash, not because I think she would run off, but because it is my way of moving around with her.

I love to watch her prance. I swear to the good Lord above that the girl has a genuine Princess attitude!

Heidi will cuddle with Lili while I cook dinner. In the evenings, and while I sleep she is warmly safe in my lap.

Savannah and Heidi.

I have known this breed since 1995. They’re amazing dogs. But I also know that a pup of this quality doesn’t just happen.

I know that the breeder of Heidi, Gail, has spent years planning her litters and also teaching her dogs.

I am all for Rescue Dogs, but for me, back in 1995 when I met my first Rauhaardackel, I knew that this would be a lifelong commitment.

Heidi is registered with the AKC. I gave her the name of Heidi, but her professional name is “Boreas Happy Ending”.

2022-08-12-14-48-43-636Boreas Happy Ending ~ Heidi

So, thank you, Gail, for this wonderful, beautiful, loving, companion. I am more thankful than I could ever say.

Heidi Marie

It’s All About…

Dog Pablo Picasso

It’s all About…What’s on the inside!

How many of you have looked around you and have seen beautiful faces and thought, I would like to get to know that person? Sort of an instant crush based on appearances only.

Here’s the thing, the external appearance should mean nothing to you. It’s all about what is on the inside.

Long ago my Grandmother told me that a youthful pretty face eventually would age and if you were not a good person inside, eventually, the meanness, the poor juju, the evilness would show on your face.

I think when I had my facial cancer surgery in 2013 I started to really look around and think about what Grandma had told me.

2013 2022 (1)2013 – 2022

As I sat in the plastic surgeon’s office I saw people there to have serious rebuilds done to their faces. They were accompanied by a friend or family member. And listening to their conversations I heard the sounds of love, care, and concern.

There I was feeling very sorry for myself and the loss of the face that God gave me, and there were people far worse off, with people that loved them by their side.

I suppose that was when I started to consider the person I was, how I treated people, and how I wanted to live out my life.

I decided to look for beauty in every person I saw. At the same time, I needed to stop allowing myself to only find my value, in my face.

I think having my face rearranged was the best thing that could have happened to me. It made me grow. It made me look outside of the box at what real value is in one’s life.


It’s All About…

Dog Pablo Picasso

Kindness & Love

Recently, there was a question on Facebook that I am positively sure no one was really thinking about when they answered. The question?

“If you could get rid of one thing in the World, what would it be?”

Well, most people named their least favorite politician. Some named their ex-spouses. While others named obscure and little-known rock singers.

But as I sat here thinking about that question, I came up with the only legitimate answer.


I chose Hate because if it did not exist problems throughout the world would end.

Wars would not be fought. Divorces would be settled in a kind and positive way. Children would be raised in an atmosphere of total love instead of ammunition between mother and father.

People would smile more and accept people for who they are. Kindness would prevail!

If Hate ceased to exist, people would respect each other. They would work for positive outcomes, instead of destroying what people think or have, they would work together to make things better.

Each day I turn on the TV and I hear average people, politicians, and even children spewing Hate-filled speeches.

Our TV commercials here in New Hampshire are filled with political ads and the ads are filled with Hate.

So, I subscribed to a few streaming services so that I can avoid the bleak pictures being painted of our world.

Politicians, school board members, and town officials beware. If you are preaching Hate, you’re not getting my vote.

I vote for kindness and love.