Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Just the other day (Sunday, to be exact) I started prepping Big John for the inevitable. We were in need of  new cookware. The old set - the best we could afford 15 years ago - was starting to shed it's life-time warrantied, no-shed, non-stick surface. And if I hadn't done everything in the book to void the warranty (using metal utensils, burning stuff, scrubing with sandpaper to get off the burnt stuff), I'd sure try to get a new set free.

 Now this is not the kind of news most men want to hear, especially at the holidays when ridiculous spending is at an all time high. But I figured if I started talking about it now, it wouldn't come as such a shock in June or July when I decided I'd had enough and headed to the mall.

And then this morning, as I was bemoaning the fact that my sauce pan was pitiful and wouldn't hold up to the homemade caramel recipe I was about to try ... Big John brought in this GORGEOUS set of stainless steel pots and pans. WOW!! And my birthday is still two days away!

Here's the gifter himself. My husband, my hero, my one true love, my knight in shining armor - I could go on and on and on. But you get the picture! (Big John's reading up on "how not to burn stuff." He's going to give me a tutorial!)


Sunday, December 12, 2010


Lights have been strung.

Wreaths have been hung.

The tree is up and presents are bought. The house is filled with the smells of sugar cookies, rum pecans, and chocolate-almond toffee.

I don't think I've eaten a meal in 3 days - I'm too full of dough and sugar and nuts. I may be ready for my New Year's diet by next week!

Friday, December 10, 2010


We've had a bad run in the animal department these last few days. I decided yesterday that it was time for Cloud and the three chicks to be outside on their own. Big John didn't say much when I announced my decision - I guess he knew it wasn't the best idea. The blue chick went missing yesterday afternoon - probably supper for a hawk. This morning Daisy made the mistake of eating one of the banties we hatched this summer. They've been out with the big chickens for months now, with no problems. Daisy has paid the price for her snack, and we'll have to be much more careful with her and the chickens. That's the problem with Labs...

We had to put Mischa down the week after Thanksgiving. She'd spent many days of the previous two weeks at the vet with kidney issues. We brought her home, she seemed better, then went down fast within a day.

Mischa was a rescue, of sorts. She'd been given to our vet by an owner who couldn't keep her any longer. The story of her past was a little unclear, as was her age, but no matter what, she defiinitely needed a home. And we always have room for needy animals. Misch was very much a one-man cat. She took to Big John like flies to honey - and the feeling was mutual. Many a night, I'd find them settled into the recliner watching "Cops" or "Border Patrol," Mischa gazing up at Big John's face with unashamed adoration. She'd sleep by him, sit in the chair by him at supper. They bonded, for sure. She tolerated me, but her love was for Big John.

Mischa also took a shine to Uncle Dick while he was here with us. Uncle Dick was in bed most of the time, enjoying air conditioning and satellite TV for the first time (another story for another day.) Once Mischa discovered we had a house guest, she took it upon herself to keep him company all day long. She claimed the far corner of the foot of the bed - just out of reach of Uncle Dick's toes - and made herself at home on top of his boot box. She'd stay in that one spot until we got home. I think she enjoyed another body in the house while we were off at work. Uncle Dick claimed he didn't want her in there - said he even kicked at her under the covers - but we were convinced he was trying to reach her to pet her. Didn't matter to Misch. She spent every day for months watching Uncle Dick rest. And for weeks after he died, she continued to sleep on that boot box. She missed him as much as we did.

It's always hard to remember those last moments of a beloved pet's life, when the suffering becomes greater than you or they can bear. Mischa brought many joyous moments to our lives - we hope we did the same for her. Rest easy, Sweet Mischa.