Monthly Archives: November 2019

The Three Amigos

Since it gets dark so early now, we never made it for a walk today. So, we took the three boys out to the pasture to play and expend some energy. This helps keep them out of trouble and provides entertainment for them and us.

The girls, Nikki and Shelby, wanted to stay inside.

The boys got to frisbee and play with the jolly ball. Zekie wanted to know if I wanted his frisbee. As you can see, frisbees have a short life here. We keep this one for Zekie because he thinks the goal is to disassemble them. He has become a good catcher though.

Baxter takes things very seriously and would never, ever hurt a frisbee. He will let the other dog have it rather than rip his prized frisbee.

Cassius will often catch the frisbee, but his favorite is to chase and chew his jolly ball.

So, although there was no walk, a fun time was had by all.

A Quiet Weekend

This is one of those weekends where I have no plans. Ha! Then why am I so tired?

After the obligatory bathroom cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, and dish washing, I decided to try making my garlic breadstick recipe into dinner rolls in preparation for the upcoming holidays. The rolls came out quite well. They will make a fine addition to this evening’s dinner of cavatelli. At this point, I did stop and read for a while. A girl has to have her priorities.

A bout of insanity struck and I decided to clean some more. I washed the dogs’ bedding from their crates. Then I thought what am I going to do, put Nikki’s freshly laundered bed back in her smelly Vari-kennel? So I hauled it into the bathroom, disassembled, scrubbed, and hosed it down.

Time to sit down now, right? My brain was too busy for this. It thought, you are out of granola, you should make a batch. Homemade granola for breakfast is a delicious thing. But…

since the oven is already heated up, and we are out of dessert, I should make that pumpkin gingerbread coffee cake I have been thinking about. And so I did.

As soon as I finish that load towels and make the pasta for dinner, I am sitting down! Boy, I hope I don’t have another weekend with no plans for a while. They are exhausting.

Soup’s On!

Hot soup after working outside on a cold afternoon. My husband has been making and installing old-fashioned storm windows for our old-fashioned house. I help a little bit (very little) when I get home from work. So soup hit the spot this evening.

I sautéed some garlic, onions, and celery, then added the rest of the broth that I made a couple weeks ago and put in the freezer. I added some Slovenian sausage, also from the freezer, that we purchased on a trip to Rogers Flea Market back in the summer. Then I threw in some green lentils so I would have some protein as I avoid eating meat and would pick that out, saving it for my husband. Next came cubed sweet potatoes, chopped zucchini, some celery leaves and spinach. For spices I used salt, pepper, basil, oregano, garlic and onion powders.

You may notice that I use fresh garlic and garlic powder in the same recipe. I do this on purpose because each adds a different, unique flavor that complements dishes in a different way.

Everything simmered in a pot on the stove while we finished up a storm window. When we came back inside, the house smelled wonderful and dinner was ready. Bliss.

Jewel of Fall

One of the benefits of fall. This wreath is made with bittersweet berries harvested on our property. The colors are bright and cheerful and the berries last for weeks. We had plenty to share which resulted in a family wreath making session. I could join in because I was participating in a dog event. Go figure. This wreath was made by my husband and sits on one of our mantels.

Etsy Site Coming Soon!

I will be retiring from my job of 32+ years at the end of the month. What does this mean for my immediate future? I will soon be opening an Etsy site as well as spending more time on the blog!

I intend to focus the blog a little more on the country lifestyle. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty about dogs. But since my life won’t be tied up with a full time job, at least for a bit, I should have more time to spend on home based endeavors.

The Etsy site will have arts and crafts as pictured, for sale. I also plan to have gourmet dog biscuits available. Other items are still in the planning stage. Perhaps bandanas that slip over dog collars.

I will keep you apprised as the site gets closer to going live. This next chapter in my life promises to be full of change.

I can tell you, Zekie has been waiting and waiting for me to stay home with him. If every dog has his day, Zekie’s is coming soon!

Winter Preparations

Today was a beautiful fall day. We took the opportunity to do winter preparations. I dug up all my gladiolus bulbs and spread them out to dry before bagging them up. There were also a few dahlia bulbs as well.

After that I helped my husband put storm windows on the house. The storm windows are newly built and should help keep things warmer this winter.

This evening I saw the weather forecast for the next couple of days. It’s a good thing we got those tasks done. Six to ten inches of snow is predicted in our area. I’m glad I didn’t wait for another day to get things done. When summer comes again and we enjoy all the beautiful blooms, I will be doubly glad.

Homemade Soup!

Now that the weather is cooler, soup season is here! I love homemade soup. We rarely have canned soup because homemade is so much better in all ways. It is more nutritious, has less salt, is more filling, and tastes better. And you can put whatever you want in it. My daughter says, that I “get” soup.

This morning I took my soup sack out of the freezer, dumped the contents in a pan of water and let it simmer for more than an hour. After it cooled, I scooped out all the chunks from the soup sack and let the broth cool. Everything I scooped out got thrown away. All the flavor was cooked out. I let the liquid cool and used my fat separator to remove the fat. You can also refrigerate the broth until the fat solidifies and scoop it out that way. Then I split the skimmed broth in half. Half went into the freezer and the other half went in today’s (and probably tomorrow’s) lunch.

I cooked some sweet white onion in olive oil until it was soft. Then I added the broth which I spiced with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, dried garden basil, and oregano. While this simmered lightly, I went out to the garden and cut some Swiss Chard. It is still growing even though we had frost last night. It is a hardy vegetable. I sliced the stems, chopped the leaves, and added both to the pot. From the pantry I added a can of garbanzo beans and some bronze cut penne pasta, along with two links of sliced Italian chicken sausage. All of this simmered together for two hours. Part of the secret to delicious soup is this long, slow simmer. It allows the flavors to to meld and become one.

Personally, I don’t eat the meat because of the whole “dead animal” issue, but my husband does and I only want to make one soup. This however makes me very popular with the dogs if I find any meat in my portion.

List of ingredients:

  • Homemade broth (substitute purchased if you must)
  • White onion, finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper, onion & garlic powders, basil, oregano
  • Swiss Chard (or spinach or kale)
  • Garbanzo beans, 1 can
  • Pasta, chunky shaped
  • 2 Links sausage, any variety, sliced

I did not bother listing amounts because, it’s soup, it doesn’t really matter. Make it to your preference. If it’s too thick, add water. If it’s too watery, boil it down. That’s the beauty of soup. There is no wrong, make it your’s!

Reminiscing About Foster Dogs

I was in the process of organizing old photos today and came across some of a few of the dogs, but by no means all, that we have fostered over the years for Northeast Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Rescue. I thought you would like to see them too.

Buttons aka Winston
Gracie and Zoey
Zoey aka Selah

More pictures of foster dogs will be shared in a future post. They all went on to wonderful homes.