Sunday, January 31, 2010


It was a beautiful sunny day today! I worked in the garden and best of all my dog was by my side. I even caught him prancing around the yard and checking out a gopher hole, which harassing gophers is one of his favorite past times.


Just kicking back!!

In less than 24 hours, Ben has made tremendous progress. He is enjoying good home cooking, a softer bed and being surrounded by his loving family. He is definitely being spoiled and relishing every minute of it!! And so am I.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Ben is home again. Yippee! I was so worried, because he wouldn't eat or drink at the hospital and he would just stumble around acting depressed. The Vet hoped he would improve with home therapy. But think about it. Have you ever been stuck in the hospital for a day or two? Much less 5 days? Did you love the food? Of course not. And how was the bed? Even with an egg-crate pad, those beds are lousy. You probably couldn't wait for the doctor to let you out of the place to get home to your own bed and a home cooked meal.

We picked up Ben this evening and he gave us a weak wag and ambled unsteadily to the car. We got home and practically had to shove him into the house, he was so reluctant to move. But then with baby steps, he started exploring. He didn't want to leave my side. I fixed him some rice and he wolfed it down, along with a nice drink of water. I must say I got a bit emotional. I was jubilant. "He's eating!" It looks like being home is the remedy for Ben's recovery. I've even caught him wagging his tail a little more. He's got a long way to go, one day at a time!

There is no place like home!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Ben is the youngest member of the family. He is the 4th standard poodle my husband has owned. Each one gets the same name. I thought this was a little crazy at first, but then since they have all looked pretty similar, it makes it a lot easier. Even with my 2 boys, it seems like I can't get their names right. "Kev", "El", I mean "Kevel"! The above picture was taken the day Ben was brought home. He looks a little worried and scared, but that didn't last long. When I started looking for some pictures of him, I didn't find a whole lot. As you can see, when he is photographed, he pretty much looks like a big black blob.
August 2000
Ben shaking "hands" with my favorite niece. 2004

Ben and the boys 2005
"Does this outfit make me look frumpy?"
The other night Ben was just acting a little strange. Kept standing up. We commented on this behavior, but we had no idea that it was because he was in pain. By morning, he was lethargic and wouldn't lay down. We got him to the vet and he was diagnosed with "bloat" or twisted stomach-- GVD. This is the "mother of all emergencies"! Dogs can die within a few hours. He had surgery and did arrest, but thanks to CPR and the fine surgical team, he was pulled from the "brink". He is still under the weather, but the good news is that he should be coming home tomorrow. We are hoping that home therapy will be just what he needs to bring a spring in his step, and his tail wagging vigorously with a sparkle in his eyes. Right now, he is not a happy camper. Perhaps a lot of separation anxiety!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Ponygirl arrived, full of enthusiasm with her "owners" tagging along behind her. I think she pretty much owns them!! Nothing like a puppy to add to our mix of animals here on the farm. It did not take long before she had the confidence of a seasoned old hand!! She found a new love--trenching!! She probably trenched an acre or two, which turned her into a barely recognizable 'coffee mocha' pup. She would have come in handy when we were putting in a sprinkler system. Since we were accustomed to her predecessor Cowgirl,(as of fame) I nick named her "the girl" cause I kept calling her cowpony, cowgirl or ponycow, so she is "the girl" to me. And such a beauty! She made a nice hearth ornament, cause she just loved the heat.

Her presence was enhanced by her and our personal chef--"Ms.G" and her master--"Mr.T". A wild and crazy time was had by all. Happy Day Spa, Viet Ha, Curb episodes, and "sheet shopping"! Wonderful Sicilian cooking washed down with a unique "vile" vintage and spiced up with loads of laughter.
Good friends are cheaper than therapy, in fact they are the best therapy. Perfect cure for the winter blues. Batteries recharged! As I have said before in an earlier blog:"Dal centro della mia vita venne una grande fontana"

As they disappeared into the fog, at the end of their visit, I felt so blessed to know such special people and one very extraordinary Mexican puppy from La Paz.
Miss you guys!!
Come back soon, Ponygirl!

Monday, January 18, 2010


After enduring fog, rain, and storms for way too long. . . nothing more beautiful than a little sunshine. Even though it was just a sliver at the end of the day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Remember I am a "PROUD PARENT OF A STUDENT"! Only a parent can understand the trauma and angst of trying to get a kid through trigonometry. After 1 semester, I totally agreed that my son might be better off, (in fact all of us would be better off) if he switched ships.
The only other option for his time frame was
Food & Nutrition. Not only does he thoroughly enjoy the class, but to the delight of all of us, he wanted to fix us a meal of Jambalaya. It was amazingly delicious. So who needs trig, it might be better to know how to put on a good meal!!
In case you would like to try it as well, here is the recipe. Easy enough for a kid to fix. Enjoy!

1 lb smoked Louisiana style sausage sliced (optional if you want vege style)
2 Tbl. oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 Tbl dried parsley
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup rice (used brown rice)
1 cup chicken or vege broth
2 cups water
Salt, pepper and cajun seasoning to taste.
Place oil and sausage in sauce pan and cook until lightly browned.
Add onion, bell pepper and cook until tender.
Add tomatoe sauce, parsley, and garlic and simmer 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth water, water and rice.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid and let simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Disclaimers! I can totally understand when I open the cereal box that yes, some settling will occur. However, when I put on this roll of tp, I thought something was wrong with my tp holder. But unfortunately, even though it has aged greatly, it had not shrunk. Seems like along with the economy, our products are quietly shrinking, too. Is it really the economy or could part of it be because manufacturers can get away with product manipulation without anyone questioning them? Did the toiletpaper corporation actually think I would not notice that they made the rolls shorter? Sold by weight not size?
Remember when we use to buy coffee by the pound? Ice cream use to be 1/2 gallon or 2 quarts? Then it quietly dropped to 1.75 qts. Now even though the price has doubled, some companies have dropped to 1.5 qts. You might not notice, because the container is the same size, but you reach the bottom a lot sooner!?!?! Hmmmmmm.

While we are on the subject of disclaimers!!
We hear it all the time:
One size fits most. (especially if you are 5'6", weigh 110# and are a 34B)
Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.
Batteries not included.
The best things in life are free.
Many suitcases look alike.

May be hazardous to your health.
May cause anal leakage. (Be sure and wear brown pants and have a change of clothes when eating this product!?!)
Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.

Do not remove tags under penalty of law. (My mattress is 40 years old, but still has the tag on!!)
Some assembly required. (May even take all Christmas Eve night, and you will be asleep on the floor with the wrench in your hand as the children gleefully come in to see what "Santa" left them.)

So in closing, keep in mind that no animals were harmed in the writing of this blog and I am not affiliated in any way with CNN, MSN, ABC, NBC,CBS,BBC,PBS,WGN, ESPN, TBS, TNT, US or Fox NEWS. But above all,remember that
"in the event of a non-traditional landing, your seat cushion can be used as a flotation device!!!!!"