Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Does Lucas Think?

THANK-YOU all for the good thoughts you've sent for Lucas!  I think they've helped and made a difference!  By late yesterday afternoon he was seeming more like himself.  And this morning I was greeted by a Lucas who was wagging his tail and happily accepted a treat.  We are of course grateful and feeling relieved.
I heard from my Vet on Saturday about the tests that were done, and as expected, Lucas has a high white blood cell count indicating an infection. Its been decided that Lucas will be returning to see 'his' veterinary dentist to confirm that the tooth in question is the culprit and from there we'll decide on treatment options.   I wonder what Lucas thinks about seeing the dentist.....

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lucas: Out of Character

We end our week on not the best of notes; we have cold and rain and Lucas isn't feeling well. I should have known something was wrong when at about two-thirty in the morning I was awakened by Lucas who had his front paws on the bed and he was looking at me. This was totally out of character for him because he doesn't typically come into the bedroom.  But I put my arm around him and petted and talked to him for a few minutes.  With that, he laid down by the side of the bed and we both went back to sleep.  As if his waking me and coming into the bedroom wasn't unusual enough, this morning Lucas was really subdued and very uncharacteristically refused his morning meal, an offer of treats and even water.  Needless to say, we were off to the vet.  

You'll recall that when Lucas came to us last January, he had severe periodontal disease and had to have 38 teeth removed.  My vet thinks that one of the remaining 4 teeth may have possibly become a problem and is causing him to have pain.  To say that I'm disappointed that after all that he went through, that it could possibly be another bad tooth is an understatement--But I am really, really hoping that's all that it is.  And I'm also hoping that the medications he's being given will help his appetite to return and also return the silly-goofy-cat-stalking dog that we've become so fond of.  Until he feels like his old self, we're keeping our fingers and paws crossed and making sure he gets lots of rest.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Pine-cone

Spring may be starting to emerge, but as always, old man winter is fighting hard to stay a little longer.  High winds and cold temps will keep my jacket buttoned and mittens on for another blustery day.

At the very start of our day Todd was enthusiastically playing outside with what looked like a small pine-cone. He was running back and forth in the yard with it in his mouth, and in the darkness of the morning I could see him pouncing on and tossing his new toy into the air and playing with what can only be described as pure unbridled joy!  When I called for him to come inside, he instantly stopped, gave me a quick look, and grabbed his new toy and with full terrier-speed, he darted past me at the door to continue playing inside.  Not wanting a mess on my freshly vacuumed rug, I decided to take the pine-cone away from him.  It was only then that I realized that what Todd was playing with was not a pine-cone but a dead and very frozen mole!  Knowing how quickly the attention of a terrier can change, especially Todd's, I looked around and offered him what was closest to me, the treat jar!  I could see his mind was spinning as he tried to decide which he wanted--For the other dogs, the choice was obvious, but for Todd, it took a moment or two and he dropped the mole in return for a handful of treats.  Even in the cold, dark, early morning hours of our day, there is never a dull moment when Todd is around.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Good Start

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up and everything just seems out of sync?  Monday was one of those days for me.  It was obvious that my co-workers were feeling that way too because 4 of  them and I each decided before we arrived at the office that what was needed were several kinds of baked goods to put the day on track.  Two of us even stopped at the same place near our office. (Panera Bakery).
For me, nothing helps to put a day in the right direction better than a cheese danish.
Or a Dunkin-donut....
And of course for me, nothing ends a cold day better than getting off work early and getting home!  
And seeing that first sign of spring in your yard. 
I hope your week is off to a good start too!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mutual Cooperation

I really don't know how it all began...
Maybe it started with a little suggestion from Charlie...
That what one terrier can do....
Two terriers can do better....
Well, whatever it was, you just have to love their mutual cooperation!  
And the size of the hole that I had to fill by myself afterwards while they relaxed.   
So much for mutual cooperation!  
I hope you're enjoying your weekend as much as this squirrel is enjoying the suet!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Good to see the Good

My days for the most part are fairly mundane and routine.  As you all know, I have no problem with that because I really love routine and that certain rhythm that hums in the background of the day.  And there's no doubt that I'm really accustomed to the pace at which our lives move.

Aside from all that has happened with Carl, (who is still on crutches), rarely in our lives are there big or grand events, rather most days are made up of the same things, only repeated in slightly different ways.  My goal is to live simply and stick to the routine as closely as I can.  Yet there are some days that my life, or anyone's for that matter, is anything but simple and anything but easy or routine. But I wouldn't trade my life for anything, because even when it's not all that easy, something inside me always helps me to really see the good and the positive.
So today when Todd jumped up and grabbed a towel off the counter, that had a pan of freshly made tomato cream sauce (that was for tonight's dinner) cooling on top of it and it fell onto the floor, splattering all over my kitchen rug, I tried to not get upset--Because the rug, the floor, the stove and cabinets needed a good cleaning anyway--Yes, as hard as it really was this time, it's always a good idea to try and see the good. Don't you agree?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Letting Them Know

If you've stopped by to see what our snow looks like, you've wasted your energy--We have no snow. Yes, we are disappointed, but the dogs and I continue to do our best snow-dance, and wait and hope for our turn to have a snow-day!
~Sheba doing a snow-dance~
I am also disappointed in what's happened along the edge of our property--The electric company has put up the power line for the home that's being built in back of us. Because of where our power line is, we knew about where the new one would be. But I just had no idea that when it was decided, that it would mean that the 'natural fence' that consisted of trees, blackberry bushes, honeysuckle and everything else would be totally gone, as well as the boundary that the dogs knew not to cross.
The hedge is almost all on our property, and in the below picture, you can see how wide it was.  Now anyone using the new driveway has a full view of our yard and the dogs think they now have more room to explore.  
From our house I could see that it was a mess, and I have to admit to being a little upset about it all.  I could see that the workers were getting ready to leave, and so I went over to talk to them about it before they left.  Even the trees had been left where they had fallen when they were cut.  I told a man named 'Evan,' who looked like he was the one in charge, that I understood about their doing their job, etc., and as disappointing as it is to lose the privacy and the hedge, I was really unhappy about the mess they were leaving.  I told him I was not going to be able to do the clean-up and stack the wood by myself and that I thought since there were more of them than me, that they should do it. With the workers already in their trucks to leave for the day, I really thought that they weren't going too.
~Josh, still with his frisbee~
After they'd gone, I walked back over with the dogs and found they had cleaned up and stacked the wood. I was very thankful and appreciative that they had done what I'd asked.
I guess it does pay to let someone know that you're not happy with what they're doing.    
I think CC does a good job of letting Todd know when she is! 
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Josh's Lost and Found

My day off work is really off to a good start, and it is for our boy Josh too.  For several weeks now, his beloved green frisbee has been missing.  For whatever reason, this is his very favorite thing in all the world.  If you look at his pictures over the last few years, you'll see that this torn, dirty and worn out green frisbee is almost always present or nearby.  So when he lost it,  of course I tried to find it for him, but couldn't.  Knowing how much he loved to carry that frisbee around and play with it, I tried to get him to find a connection with the exact same kind of frisbee, but a much newer and cleaner one.  Needless to say, it didn't work.  They were only cheap substitutes for the one he really loves.
Having said that, you could see why I cheered this morning when we were out for our walk, and Sheba came to me with the beloved, lost, dirty green frisbee in her mouth--Of course she won't tell me where she found it, but it didn't matter, she found it!  I took it from her, and showed it to Josh who had wandered into the 'forbidden zone' of the yard--When he saw it, he immediately came running to me to be reunited with his beloved green frisbee.  
As I've said before, it really is those little things that make you smile, don't they?  
So, how do you top that for the rest of the day?  Well a couple of friends are coming over this afternoon to help me with the clean up of the old shingles from the barn roof.  The work is mostly completed, but there are still some things that need to be 'tweaked' on it, that I hope will be easy fixes.  But Carl, (who continues to recover uneventfully), and I have been the recipients of several acts of kindness and friendship, and for that we have been humbled, and are grateful.  I hope you are having a good Thursday too!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Simple Things

Brrrrr!!!  Today would have been a good day to stay in bed!!  We woke up to a fast moving snow squall this morning, and we have had wind and cold that have stayed with us all day long.
The dogs of course were un-phased by it all. And they loved being outside, taking a moment or two to roll in the little bit of fresh fallen snow.
 Inside it was time to try a new soup recipe for lunch; beef-pasta-florentine.  To me there’s something so comforting about hot soup and fresh, warm bread on days like today.
I think the simplest things can bring the most comfort on a cold, blustery winter day, don't you?

For those of you who love a good hearty soup, here is the recipe for the soup I made today.  The recipe calls for heavy cream, and I realize that some of you may not like to use it.  But my suggestion is to not think about the fat and calorie count and just drizzle a little over the top of your soup. Don’t forgot to enjoy it with warm bread.

Beef Florentine Pasta Soup with Basil and Cream

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 lb cubed beef stew meat
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
5 Cups beef broth
14 oz can Italian diced tomatoes, with basil and garlic
½ lb dry Campanelle pasta
4 Cups fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
½ Cup heavy cream
½ Cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
½ Cup fresh basil leaves, cut into long, thin strips
Place olive oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and carrots for 5-7 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in stew meat, salt and pepper. Cook until browned and cooked through. Stir in fresh garlic for 1 minute then stir in broth and tomatoes. Increase heat to medium high until soup comes to a light boil. Pour in pasta, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Reduce heat to low and stir in spinach leaves. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve each bowl of soup with a drizzle of heavy cream, a spoonful of parmesan cheese and basil ribbons