Lili To The Rescue

I don’t often write about Lili. She is sort of one of the forgotten ones when it comes to stories from the home.

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However, today Lili once again reminded us just why she is so remarkable and fabulous!

After alerting us yesterday to the Fire Department in our driveway due to our neighbor’s yardman having flipped his lawnmower and nearly starting a fire, I knew that Lili was on alert for all problems.

Today at lunchtime, I went out with the three dogs for their noontime walk. No sooner had we gotten outside than I saw Arnie run quickly to the left barking wildly! Lili followed and her stride can only be described as the full paced run of a greyhound on the track!

You see this mutt-dog from next door, who is about Lili’s size was heading straight for Arnie! Not in a friendly way either! Lili chased that dog right out of our yard!

Now Anneliese was barking, and Arnie was barking and Lili was pacing back and forth just daring that dog to come back in her yard! I was screaming at the dog to go home, and also calling my dogs to come here.

Anneliese was on a leash, so she was fine, and the dog did go home, and Lili came right back. Mr. Arnie was marking our lawn so the dog would know that this was his place! Then he also came in!

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It’s sort of funny though. Lili is not a dog that strives to stand out. Yet, she is there for so many important moments. And in her way, she is the bravest, the most protective dog we have ever had.

The Wall

Our wall claimed another victim today. Let me explain.

A few years ago, Jack was recovering from surgery and we hired a young man to mow our lawn. He’d just gotten a new rider super mower and he was on our sidehill when he got too close to the edge and he flipped the mower over and actually landed right side up! No harm to him or his machine.

Two days ago, Jack came in because our rider mower was sliding down the hill and he thought he should use the Highlander to pull it back up. Since I am of sound mind and rather a large body, I suggested that I stand on the mower on the uphill side and lean. It was just the right amount of weight so that the wheels could dig in and we backed our mower uphill! Yay!

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The sidehill in the winter.

Today, Lili started pacing and making a fuss. She just would not settle down. Then I heard that Beep, Beep, Beep of a large vehicle backing up. I sprung to my bedroom window and saw a firetruck backing up my driveway and a lawnmower looking like it was on fire!

Well, our neighbor’s yardman had flipped at the end of our wall and ended up jumping off the mower as it plunged into the drive!

Fortunately, no person or mower was damaged! But it happened again.

I’ve always hated that wall. It’s the same wall that Greta fell off of the last week of her life. and ever since we moved in here I have wanted a fence or something to keep me and the pups from going over. I think, in the end, it will be something I will not miss when I finally sell this place and move on.

Meanwhile, the Chipmunks and Squirrels love the wall and make their home there. Oh well, call me a naturalist for providing a home for the little animals!

The Weekend Wrap

weekend wrap 1It was a rather strange weekend. I actually got quite a bit done. Since we moved into this house we have had a row of boxes on the back wall of the garage. I started going through them!

I found clothing from long, long, ago. In fact, I have not worn these things in over 35 years! I remembered them, and some did not exactly bring back good memories.

Since I had not seen them, or used them, in all this time, I put them in a giant trash bag and off they went on Sunday to the Recycling Center!

I also found odds and ends from Jack’s mother’s house and I kept just a couple of things, but the majority also went to the Recycling Center!

Laundry was done, beds were changed and meals prepared. The usual day to day things.

On Saturday, as I sat eating my breakfast, I looked outside to the bird feeder and there sat the most beautiful male Cardinal I have ever seen! He sat there gazing in the window at me, and I reached for my cell phone to try for a picture, but Lili moved and off Mr. Cardinal flew!

Sunday morning, at breakfast, Mr. Baltimore Oriole came and he also sat nicely for a visit. I suspect he is the one in the picture above and below. He has been here all summer enjoying the goodies I put out for the birds.

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This weekend also saw both Lili and Arnie snuggling up to me at every possible moment. Not together mind you, but it seems they are taking turns.

I’m still reading and enjoying my book. There are 405 pages to read in this hardcover book! But it is so well written and researched that I am still reading with joy!

Happy Monday!

Memories on Saturday Morning

Mostly I do very well. I try not to dwell on the accident, and the greatest loss of my life, the death of my six-year-old daughter.

Oh, I miss her like crazy, but in order to go forward in my life, I had to put all those emotions and feelings in a box and place them in a storage unit on a shelf in my mind.

Katie was a sweet and loving child. She was quick with a smile and her laughter put a smile on my face.

She had a kind heart and loved her family deeply, especially Amanda. She was a good friend to many.

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I wasn’t thinking about her, at least not actively, when I was out the other day. I was driving around doing errands and as I slowly drove down Main Street, I saw a little red-haired girl, skipping down the street, laughing and holding the hand of her mother. As she skipped, her red curls bounced around her head.

For just a moment I was taken back in time. I could see Katie in my mind, doing the same thing with me.

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The mist of time was all around me and I could feel Katie with me. I slowed my car, and looked to see if, if, …

This was all for a split second or two and then the feeling left me, as I could quite plainly see,  this was not Katie.

That’s when I recalled that for the first few months, years, I used to search for Katie in large crowds. Part of me not wanting to believe she was really gone.

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This has been on my mind the last few days as I wondered if I should share this story on my Blog. I have only written about Katie on the anniversary of her birth and death. But this does happen occasionally to me and it breaks my heart all over again.

When I lost my dearest friend, Candy, I sat holding her hand and when we talked about the end of her life, I told her that real love never dies. I truly believe this.

I guess for me, for the part of me that still yearns for my little girl, I still feel all that love, and I guess I see her in my mind’s eye.

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One day I know, we will be together again. After all, real love never dies.

 

The Friday Five – August 2, 2019

The Friday FiveWelcome to August, and what is commonly known as the dog days of summer!

We certainly have had our share of hot, humid and hazy weather. But, after a cold, rainy Spring this is almost welcome.

So, as I close out the week and look forward to the first weekend of August, here’s my Friday Five!

  1. My grandchildren continue to delight me. They are both happy, healthy, and good kids. I get Snapchats and pictures from them all the time. They are my joy in this world!

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Savi.

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Quinn with Freya.

2. My neighbors are having their porch rebuilt. The workers arrived at 7:30. I was up, but the dogs are not appreciating the noise.

3. Another neighbor decided to demolish her old house (a small bungalow) and build a new one. So there are all kinds of changes going on here on my street!

4. I have a little summer cold going on. I feel a little run down and have a slight fever. Nothing dramatic. Mostly I feel like sleeping and being quiet.

5. This weekend I have no plans. I’m enjoying reading my book  “Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece” by Hugo Vickers. It’s all about Prince Philip of England’s Mother. Alice was an amazing woman. You can read more about her: Here

1903-her-royal-highness_medPrincess Alice

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

My neighbor shared a beautiful big zucchini with me yesterday. Jack immediately asked me to make my Stuffed Zucchini Boats for dinner.

I was feeling a little under the weather, so I was moving slowly. I sometimes believe I cook best when I go slowly. These certainly did come out nicely.

Here is the recipe for my

Stuffed Zucchini Boats.

20190731_185411Not the best picture, but it was very good!

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 c. onion
  • 1 cup chopped green & red peppers
  • 1 c. rice (I used Basmati Rice)
  • 1 large jar tomato sauce (I use Classico Sausage, Onion & Pepper)
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 chopped fresh basil
  • 8 slices Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped finely

Cut Zucchini in half and scoop out the center.
Place on a microwave plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
Place zucchini shells in a casserole dish.
Sauté beef, garlic, onion, and peppers until done, add cooked rice.
Mix tomato sauce with Italian Seasoning, then pour 1/2 into the dish with beef mixture.
Cook until hot.
Stuff cooked mixture into zucchini and pour remaining tomato sauce over zucchini.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Uncover. Top with cheese and bake another 10-15 m. minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Why Grooved Pavement Isn’t Groovey!

We have five seasons here in New England.

  1. Autumn
  2. Winter
  3. Spring
  4. Summer
  5. Road Construction

Now Road Construction occurs overlapping Spring, Summer, and Autumn, but is at its peak in mid-summer. Thus, our roads and bridges are in a current state of disrepair!

On Monday I had to drive down to Manchester for a doctor’s appointment.  Going down I went through about 10 miles of grooved pavement.

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I am not a fan of grooved pavement. It can grab your tires and drag you one way or another. I found myself tightly gripping the steering wheel and holding on tight. I slowed my speed and fought the road the entire way through the roadworks! I would love to know how many accidents this has caused.

It’s not like they groove up the road and immediately repave it. This started back in May and this is the end of July! Enough!

82zddThere are signs warning motorcycles of the danger. There are also a few signs that say pass at your own risk. After today I am not too interested in driving on that road! Even though I know I will have to next week.

So even though I know that this type of grooved surface helps the new pavement adhere to the road, I am not a fan! If they are going to groove it up, then have the paving set up for the next day or so. Not months!

I know I have grouched about this enough. What do you think of grooved surfaces? Does it bother you to drive on them, or am I making too much of it?

Tell me what you think?

The Weekend Wrap

weekend wrap 1For me, it was a really busy weekend.

I knew I  had grocery shopping to do, (Friday),  Laundry to do, (both Saturday and Sunday), beds to change, (Sunday), and cooking to do, (all three days).

I decided to do something novel. Instead of just working myself into a frenzy, I would work on something until a certain task was complete, then I sat down to read a new book I have, “Alice, PrincessAndrew of Greece” by Hugo Vickers. I would read for an hour and then go back to whatever project I was doing. It made the time spent cleaning and cooking go much faster.

Because it was also very hot and very humid, at one point I didn’t want to be outside so I found a lovely movie on Amazon Prime TV with James Garner and Julie Andrew. It was called “One Special Night”.

 It was a love story about two people in their 70’s. Well being 70 is ten years away for me (close enough) so this appealed to the romantic in me in a new way. I could relate to the Seniors in the film. Plus I love Julie Andrew and James Garner both.

It’s another hot and humid day here on Monday. Ugh! Worst of all, I have a doctors appointment in Manchester, so I will be off at 9:30 to drive south.

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone!

Italian Style Eggplant Parmesan

I found this quite interesting. Real Italian Eggplant Parmesan is not breaded! I had it when I was down in Connecticut and fell in love, all over again, with this great meal! Try it!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds eggplants (about 3 smallish or 2 medium, peeled)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste (give or take)
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, preferably the Italian Basil variety
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil, plus additional basil for garnish
  • Freshly grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1 ½ cups, packed).

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • To roast the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven.
  • Line two large rimmed, baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Slice off both rounded ends on one eggplant, Peel, then stand it up on its widest flat side.
  • Slice through the eggplant vertically to make long, even slabs ¼- to ½-inch-thick.
  • Brush both sides of the eggplant slabs lightly with olive oil (you’ll likely need about ¼ cup oil).
  • Arrange them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the top sides with a few dashes of salt and pepper.
  • Roast until golden and tender, about 20-30 minutes—halfway through baking, rotate the pans 180 degrees and swap their positions (move the pan on lower rack to upper rack, and vice versa).
  • The pan on the lower rack might need a few extra minutes in the oven to turn golden. You may need to flip the eggplant.
  • Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering.
  • Add the onion and green pepper, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender and translucent, about 4 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and tomato paste.
  • Cook, while stirring, about 1 minute.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce has thickened about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chopped basil, salt.
  • Taste, and add more salt if necessary (I usually add another ¼ teaspoon).
  • When you’re ready to assemble, spread about ¾ cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9” square baker.
  • Arrange about one-third of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly (cut them to fit, if necessary).
  • Spoon another ¾ cup of the sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Arrange about half of the remaining eggplant slices evenly on top.
  • Spread another ¾ cup sauce on top and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Layer the remaining eggplant slices on top and top with ¾ cup sauce (you might have a little leftover) and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Evenly sprinkle the Parmesan on top.
  • Bake on the lower rack, at 350 degrees, uncovered, until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden about 1 hour.
  • Let it cool for at least 15 minutes to give it time to set, then chop and sprinkle additional basil on top.
  • Slice with a sharp knife and serve.
  • Leftovers keep well, covered and refrigerated, for about 4 days. Reheat before serving.