Valentine’s Day!

Each year on Valentine’s Day Jack and I go out to lunch. It’s less busy in the restaurants, and we usually order nice appetizers, soups, and a meal. Today we did our usual Mussels in white wine, garlic, and cream.

20190214_132447A wonderfully yummy appetizer! Jack ordered his Baked French Onion Soup, and today I splurged and ordered Escargot. It was serviced with puff pastry and french bread to sop up the garlic butter!

20190214_133322I ordered a glass of wine, Jack got a beer and then our main meals were delivered. Jack got the Quiche of the day and I ordered a Cobb Salad.

20190214_135031

Both of us are still so full that I think we won’t have a proper meal tonight. Jack says he wants more soup, and he may finish my Cobb Salad. I don’t feel like eating anything.

20190214_142044

It was lovely and quiet and we entered a contest for a trip of some sort to one of their Spas. It would be lovely to win, but I never expect it. It was fun to pose and enter!

Anneliese is stable right now with her eye. I gave her a hair trim on her ears, around her eyes, and on her brow. I want to keep any and all hair away from her troubled eye.

All in all, Valentines Day was quiet and nice.

149450591_8d7a17c7cd_o

More Snow!

I woke on Wednesday to snow. It was forecast and expected, but really, it’s February and I am so over winter. Especially this year! That darn Rodent, Punxatawney Phil said we’d have an early Spring. I’m holing him to it, or a trip to Pennsylvania is in order!

Our plowman arrived before sunup and began clearing the drive. The only problem here is that there is no place for the snow now. We literally have too much!

20190213_062915

Lili went out and even she has seen enough snow. She stood there looking at the wet stuff, wondering what happened. Yesterday things had finally gotten to the point of being dry and clear.

20190213_095225Anneliese went out, only to discover that it started to snow again. She made it through the snow in order to find a place to do her business, and then waded back to the house!

20190213_100117Jack went out to clean up the edges of things. He was out there for a while. And the drive and doggy run area were clear when he finished.

20190213_153033Dinner was easy and now we are digesting before dessert. Strawberry Shortcakes! Yum! We’re both tired and I think an early bedtime is coming for us tonight!

149450591_8d7a17c7cd_o

Whoops!

ALTON BAY, N.H. (AP) — Officials say a small airplane making a landing in New Hampshire spun out during its landing.

The plane flying in from Connecticut spun out while landing at Alton Bay Ice Runway Sunday morning. WMUR-TV reports the plane crashed into a snowbank, but the pilot and two passengers were not hurt.

The plane’s nose and propeller were significantly damaged.

Crews pulled the plane off the ice Monday morning.

And so when we were driving home from the Veterinarian yesterday we saw the plane in question sitting in a parking lot. I just had to stop and snap a couple of pictures.

20190212_151140
The prop took a hit!

The nose gear was repaired enough to tow it off the ice.

20190212_151131

Alton Bay is unique for a winter runway. Once the ice is solid, the runway is open until ice-out. Then it goes back to being a seaplane base.

From Wikki: Alton Bay Seaplane Base has one seaplane landing area designated 1/19 and measuring 2,600 x 100 feet (792 x 30 m). For the 12-month period ending 31 December 2011, the airport had 600 general aviation aircraft operations, an average of 50 per month.

During the winter months, the base may seasonally open an ice runway instead of the normal seaplane landing area. This is the only FAA approved ice runway in the contiguous United States. The earliest the ice runway has opened is January 10. It is required to close no later than March 15.

Going On

As I sit here this morning, I know in my heart, that I need to go on. I think it is impossible to live life when you cling to sadness.

Yes it hurts, yes you are sad, and yes, you cry at all the sappy commercials on TV. However, there is a difference between passing through grief and getting stuck there.

I chose life.

death-is-a-challenge-it-tells-us-not-to-waste-time-dot-dot-dot-it-tells-us-to-tell-each-403x403-nk45lu

So, as I start Tuesday, I start it with a sense of great love for my family and friends, and thankfulness that I am here to share another day.

****************

Tomorrow we take Anneliese to the Canine Ophthalmologist. The only problem with this is we are due for another walloping snowstorm starting today and going overnight. The good Vet is 59 miles from our home, over some nasty mountainous roads, as we head to Portsmouth and the shoreline of New Hampshire. Jack has said he would drive and if we give ourselves two hours we should be fine, and by the time we come home, the roads will be much better.

I am hoping that Anneliese will simply need more medication. That would be the best case scenario. Next best would be a simple surgical debridement of the ulcer. And worst case, she could lose the eye.

July 12 09 025

I am hopeful that Anneliese will heal beautifully and enjoy much better health in the future.

I broke out a historical biography to read last night. “Queen Victoria: Icon of an Era” by Michael Simmons. It’s quite interesting, as I knew almost nothing of her life before Prince Albert, very little about their marriage, save for this great love story, which isn’t exactly how it all started and then all of us know about her senior years as beautifully portrayed by Judi Dench in “Mrs. Brown” and “Victoria and Abdul”.

Inbetween reading this book, I was doing laundry and watching the Westminster Dog Show.

Oh yes, and cooking. I’ve been cooking up a storm, much to Jack’s great approval. Somehow chopping, sauteing and baking a meal brings me great joy.

So this, my friends, is how I am going on.

149450591_8d7a17c7cd_o

Just A Bite

Have you ever considered what you might want to eat in your last days of life? I have always said, chocolate, champagne, and fresh bread with good butter!

I have to tell you, you may think this is how it goes but what I discovered was this. A taste of real comfort food brought so much joy.

I went out to a German Deli in Port Charlotte, Kallis German Butcher Shop, and bought fresh Klosterbrot, a fine German Leberwurst, and a pretzel. I also bought some Leberkäse (a wonderful fine German meatloaf) and Lebkuchen (German Christmas cookies).

I made her a bite of Klosterbrot with a teaspoon of liverwurst on it. A few hours later her sister made Schnitzel and Candy really enjoyed a bit of that. In the morning I made Leberkäse with an egg. She told me over and over how good that was. And she ate a small bite of the pretzel and half of a cookie.

She said how my seafood lasagna was the best thing ever. So Mary and I fixed it up for dinner and she had a few bites, with a smile on her face.

After that, she wanted nothing. She’d had her comfort food and enjoyed it, but that was all.

Mary and I would have cooked anything she wanted, but she just smiled and said, no.

As I sat with her I wondered what I would want if I could only taste a few things. The fresh German bread is definitely on my list. A good Schnitzel for sure. A little piece of eggplant, and a little sip of eggnog with one bite of stollen. It’s a funny list, isn’t it? But those are the things that bring me real joy when I eat them.

Happiness Is Yours

I admit that at times I did cry. I did get caught up in the sadness. And then I would see Candy smile. She managed to find even just a little bit of happiness in each day.

It showed me that even in such sadness, there can still be an amazing joy. One only has to look to find it.

Quietness

I think there are many lessons that we learn along the way in life. We’ve called many of those lessons things that we learned in “The School Of Hard Knocks”.

This is so true. I’ve learned about doing unto others… I’ve learned about karma…I’ve learned that life, no matter how good you believe yourself to be, is not fair. Far from it, at times.

images (1)

So, as I sat with my friend, Candy, I was struck dumb at first. I didn’t know what to say except the usual, “I love you”, and I knew that at times like this if you aren’t sure what to say, be quiet.

So there I sat, holding her hand and letting her drift between wakefulness and sleep.

You see, I’m a talker. Ask anyone who knows me. I can carry on long conversations all by myself, while other people sit back amazed at my gift for the gab.

One time when Mandy was a baby, I went to visit my grandmother. I lived with her during my teen years and each day after school I would arrive home in time for tea. I would tell Grandma all about my day and she would smile and listen. As a teen, I thought we had great talks. But on this day, as a new mother, Gram and I sat and I talked and talked, and realized that Gram was sitting there smiling at me.

“What?” I asked her. Suddenly very confused.

“Oh my dear, How I have missed listening to you talk!” she said with a smile.

So, as I sat with Candy, I was amazed that I had nothing to say. You see while driving from Orlando to Port Charlotte, I prayed to God. I asked him to help me do his work and not my own.

That first day, I talked with Candy about getting to her in time, and my great love for her and then I knew I had to let go of any agenda I might have and allow myself to be the comfort to Candy that she needed.

That first night Candy was very restless. She was upset about so many things that in the grand scheme of things she needed to let go of. I listened to her, I offered no solutions. I knew that she just needed to vent.

Her breathing grew labored and out of control as she became more upset. The visiting nurse arrived and seeing her distress he suggested medication to help her relax. She hated that, but since she literally felt like she was drowning, she listened and took the medication.

It did make her relax and later when she began to get upset again, I spoke gently and offered her a short back rub.

That first day I learned that the power of touch is often worth more than all those empty words that we spill out in life.

For a talker, this was life-changing.

Anneliese’s Eye

Anneliese went to the Vets yesterday for a left eye recheck. I thought her eye looked better, and I was feeling encouraged. Well, I was wrong. Although much of the redness was gone, the ulcer was larger and deeper than it was. So, I made an appointment with the Canine Ophthalmologist for an appointment on Wednesday. Meanwhile, I am to keep Anneliese, quiet, comfortable and continue with her drops. But, darn it all, I thought we’d gotten to it just in time.

dec 20 003

A picture of Anneliese from two winters ago.

Two things could happen now. She may need surgery to clean the wound and debride the ulcer. Or she may need to have the eye removed. Crap!

I mean, really, whatever is best for Anneliese. I do not want her in pain. It’s not like she reads the newspaper, or does needlepoint. The loss of that eye, in the grand scheme of things, is not a big deal for her. And I will love her no matter what, but I just hate to think about what she will have to go through.

I’ve suspected for some time that she wasn’t seeing well out of that eye. We knew she had fluid on the cornea that was clouding her vision. And it is probably that low vision in the left eye, that resulted in the injury that led to her ulcer.

So now we wait and get through the next few days until we see Dr. Nick. He is an old family friend, and I know he will do all he can for my girl. Meanwhile, please pray for my pup and her eye.

149450591_8d7a17c7cd_o

The Friday Five

The Friday Five

I’m not sure where 2019 is going, but so far the road has been bumpy and it vacillates between time going very slowly and then time racing by. It’s been filled with sadness, happiness, and incredible poignancy.

If I tried to write down everything going through my mind, I would fill a book the size of War & Peace! But for expediency, I will keep it down to the top five.

  1. Since returning to New Hampshire, I have kept myself busy by taking care of the little things here. Making meals, doing laundry, and tending to sick pups. The meals have been good, the laundry got done, and Anneliese’s eye is so much better. Still, I admit to feeling just slightly off balance emotionally since coming back.
  2. A young woman that I babysat for, many years ago, passed away on Sunday. In her youth, she was the twin of my Katie. Really. People thought they were twins as they both had the same beautiful red curls and blue/green eyes. She was a delightful child and an amazing young woman. At just 39 years old, her death was not expected and hit everyone she knew very hard. I am devastated.
  3. I think that many people do not realize how very precious life is. How one minute all is well, and the next it is gone. I find the lack of caring and kindness difficult to understand or to take. A person I know is a member of the Clergy and recently that person exclaimed outright hatred of the Presidency, the New England Patriots and several other things, even calling for someone to just do them in. Whether they were serious or not, I do not really care. That type of hatred, I do not understand, nor do I need it in my life!
  4. I’ve begun to read one of my favorite Authors. Dr. Leo Buscaglia. Or, as they called him back in the 1970s and 1980s, “Dr. Love”!
    blog-inspiration-leo-buscaglia-quoteReading his words of love and how often love is lost in this crazy world, gives me hope. Hope that someday people will realize that hatred gets us nowhere, and real love and kindness will truly conquer the world.
  5. My darling friend Candy passed away a few minutes ago (Thursday). She was one of the finest women I have ever known. She gave of herself constantly and never asked for anything in return. She was one of my constants in life. One of those people that I depended on just to be there.

46035843_10218573713960716_7376061342479810560_n

Candy and her darling Aurora.

FB_IMG_1548898268358

Candy and her beloved husband, DeVere.

I’m not sure how I will ever “get over” losing this wonderful friend, who was more like a sister to me. I think perhaps I will not. I will learn to live with it.

2cf3df5239343119bd928d0610ff723f

So that’s what’s happening right now in my life. I guess we all go through times when life is very hard, where perhaps we do not understand why certain things are happening, and when our emotions are pushed to the limit. Right now, that’s sort of where I am at.

This & That

I woke up early on Wednesday and decided to go to Weight Watchers. Not because I expected to lose any weight, but because I needed to see my friends. My support system. And get plenty of good, warm, hugs.  It was amazingly wonderful seeing everyone and collecting hugs!

As we went and did a big grocery shopping yesterday Our fridge is full and I am planning a nice normal meal for our dinner. Roasted Porkloin I think, with Broccoli and mashed potatoes for Jack.

A book I ordered (A real paper book!) arrived today and since Wednesday is a crappy night for TV, I plan to sit and read this evening. Quietly, peacefully, until I am ready for bed.

The best news of the day is that Anneliese’s eye is so much better. It is healing nicely, and she no longer seems to be in pain. I think we caught it just in time!

Jack finished chipping the ice from our lower driveway today. This is almost amusing, as tonight we are due for more snowy, icy, sloppy, weather.

I discovered, much to my dismay, that the Shingles Vaccine hurts like a son of a gun! Owch!

And lastly, I am thinking back to my trip with the kids to Disney. Here is a picture of Savannah and me the day she got her Fairy Princess make-over!

FB_IMG_1548780232599

Being Back

I seem to be settling into life back here in New Hampshire. It’s warmed up a bit and was actually as warm as it was during the Florida cold snap that I lived through when I was down. Funny isn’t it? 59 degrees in Florida is COLD! Yet, here in New Hampshire, I wore a Spring jacket and actually saw several people out in shorts. Really! Shorts!

The mountains of snow in my yard have started to melt some, and Jack worked hard to break up the three inches of ice in our driveway so that we could get some serious melting done there. We also had an incredible run off of water under the ice in the driveway. Yes, New England weather is just crazy.

Anneliese’s eye is so much better today! I’ve been holding my breath, terrified she would need surgery, but the four drops and salves are working and she is no longer in pain at all. Call me a happy girl! Anneliese too.

I made a totally awesome lunch today of tomato soup with basil and a love Greek Salad, with chicken in it. I’d made my own Greek Salad Dressing the other day and it came out really well. I want to try a few other salad things this coming week.

It’s nice to be home, nice to be getting into a routine once again.

149450591_8d7a17c7cd_o