Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow! Turkey Day is here again! This year is nearly over and as I look back, I see so many things to be Thankful for. It may not have been the easiest year, but easy years are not always the best years, for it is the hard times that promote growth and even the hard times could have been much worse and for all of that, I am thankful. I am thankful first and foremost to God, that His hand in my Life has molded that growth. While I may not understand the reasons why or the purpose for the struggles, illness and heartache this year held, He is still in control and in that He knows, is Wise and it was His hand that prevented those things from becoming worse than they could have. His hand comforted me, held me and I was not alone. That in the end, all these things will pass and none of them shall matter anyway, when we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

I am thankful for Art, who has stood by my side. Who was there during my seizure and helped me in a moment I needed him so badly and who has supported, encouraged and loved me. For Trevor, who was there that evening, assisting in those crucial moments - there for Art & I both. I know it was very difficult for you, Little Bro'. Thank you, I love you. For Papa & Mary Jo, for their loving support. For the many miles they so lovingly put on their car for me to get me to appointments I needed to go to. For the special bond I got to develop with Papa during all those minutes on the road. I love you. I was adopted into Art's family a long time ago, but this past year, the love and support was incredible. The cards that Mike, Donna, Jennifer & Kristina brought to me in the hospital touched my heart in a new and meaningful way. THANK YOU, I love you all. I am thankful that God has blessed me with two wonderful neices whom I love dearly - and for getting to do "Prom Hair" and perms and other fun things! Love you, J&K!

I am thankful for God answering my prayers of many years by bringing Art Hansen back into my life, after all these years. To get to develop a relationship with someone so special, someone I've admired since I was a little girl has been very special to me. Thank you, I am glad you are home again and that we've become friends.

I am thankful that I've been able to learn to forgive and accept my mother in new ways which has allowed me to build a better relationship with her. I am thankful for my Aunt Myrna she was a blessing in my life; she is now free of pain and Home with the Lord.

I am thankful to all my friends, the ones I've held dear for a long time and the new ones I made this year; your love, support, friendship, time shared chatting, knitting, shopping and driving me (and the dogs when necessary) is so much appreciated! Thank you all, I love you!

I am thankful for my vets and their staff and the new friends I have made there, particularly, George in Australia, Merry, Amy, Dr. Meleo & Dr. Smalley. I have learned so much, much I did not want to know, about canine cancers, but I have anyway, so if I have to learn it, you have made the process better. I am thankful that you are willing to share your knowledge with the rest of us so we can do all that we can to help our canine friends. Thank you for your support, loving care and that you do your work with your hearts.

I am thankful for Amber and George. For their love. For the laughter they bring to my life. For the silliness that they readily display to lighten the atmosphere and remind us not to take things too seriously, but to live each day to the fullest. I am thankful that Amber, at the age of 13, is a young, active, healthy dog, full of spunk and vigor, and always ready to give kisses. I am thankful that George is feeling good, not in pain and doesn't care that his body is fighting cancer. Thankful that he laughs inside as he wags his tail and does silly things (like climbing on my neighbors jet ski trailer, just because "he can") to amuse us and wants to cuddle and play and is happy. Thankful that he is with us and he is happy.

Thank you all for your concern, support and inquiries as to George's health. It means so much to us.

I am thankful that God created dogs to remind us of his unconditional love...
(and not to take ourselves too seriously!)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


My neighbor got a new roommate and he is really cute!!!!

In fact, I think I am in love! Of course, with a face like that and a body to match, how could a girl not be? He is definitely a Babe Magnet! (Of course, my neighbor, who already thinks I am a freak is probably reading this and is now making plans to move... ha ha...)

But he is so adorable!!!George & Amber were quite excited to meet their new friend!

Amber, who is 13, was having a ball and I really enjoyed observing the play bows and body language that dogs use to communicate. She was having so much fun! I remember when she was just a little tyke. My how time flies!George says, "How did I ever FIT in such a tiny package??" Maverick had some pretty good ideas of what would be fun, after all there are so many things to learn, explore and do!

Like eating Dad's pants...
and... everyone should know that....
When sneaking up on "lions" ...
...POUNCE!!!! But only from behind, of course...

You know, one of the best things about dogs, is that they are so accepting, loving, and once you are welcomed into their pack, that's it. You're there. Done Deal. It's pretty rare and very extreme to be extricated or pushed out. It is very neat to witness first hand, the wonderful instincts that play out when a pack welcomes a new member, especially a baby - they were so gentle - into their fold...

Monday, November 21, 2005


Yesterday we watched the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship Race at Homestead Miami Speedway. The Chase & the Race were fun to watch and while there were several drivers in contention for the Title, I am quite happy that Tony Stewart "Smoke" won! Congrats! (Besides, I have an affinity for dark haired handsome race car drivers with the last name "Stewart!!!) Greg Biffle (from Vancouver, WA!!!) won the race by just a nose over Mark Martin, his team mate, both were Title Contenders and both are drivers I root for! I would love to see Mark Martin win the Championship before he retires. Greg Biffle & Carl Edwards (another driver I adore!) tied for 2nd in the Chase, just 35 points behind Tony, but Greg gets second, because he had more season wins, and Carl is third.

I hung out on the sofa folding lots of laundry, sipping tea, & knitting. It was my speed. I have no voice and a very sore throat. I saw the doc on Friday and he said I wasn't contagious, but I was sick. No fun. So, I made HIS version of my mother's sore throat remedy: Honey & Lemon, but the Doctor version called for a shot of Bourbon. I didn't have Bourbon, so I substitued Whiskey, figuring that would be just as good. I must say, it works a heck of a lot better than my mother's recipe! I made another scarf, but this one is a gift that now needs embellishment and is a present to someone who actually reads my blog, so I cannot show it until Christmas... but I also am progressing nicely on the FLower Basket Shawl and hope to have it done before the Holidays!
Since I have no voice at all (literally!) I'd better sign off and get back to work!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

How to Truss a Turkey...

Well, if you live with a boat mechanic, that is...
Then Art had to perform CPR on him, as he was too big to fit under the lid of the pan... He turned out great, however and we ALL enjoyed him! George & Amber are particularly enjoying their new feasts!

I finished the second scarf at the doctor's yesterday. It was great knitting in the waiting room; I do it a lot, as I am sure most knitters do - always carry knitting, you never know when you might be stuck somewhere. Well, I met a young lady, I'd say she was about 6th grade, who is going to learn to knit in school next week. So, she came over and sat next to me and watched. I talked her through garter stitch and the poem, which she immediately learned, but was too shy to actually try it although I offered to let her do a row or two. Then several other people started a discussion about it, how they used to knit, or wanted to learn, etc., then a lady came in and ran right back out to her car to get a scarf to show me. It was very pretty. I had so much fun and completely forgot how miserable I felt. As the lobby emptied, a very nice oriental gentleman came over and inquired about knitting, if it was hard to learn, where he could and so forth. He was very genuine. I hope he does. Laura's "Most Charming Husband" Nate knits and he is so cool!

Today I am making 2 Crock Pot Chickens. One for us (with spices) and one for The Dogs. They've devoured the turkey. It's hard to believe how much they eat!!! We are supplementing with dog food. But, eating is important! Particularly proteins, in George's case and Amber's always been finicky and I am trying to be careful to not throw the balance of attention she gets out of whack. Besides, my Crock Pot Chickenis something I make that Art actually really loves. (Don't tell anybody, it's pretty simple) and he bought me a new Crock for Christmas a few years ago. Having 2 is very handy!

1 Whole Chicken, cleaned, gizzards & excess fat removed
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 TBS SPIKE Seasoning (Available at QFC, Albertson & Online)
1-2 tspPaprika
1/4 cup liquid: white wine, chicken broth, water, etc

(KEEP IN MIND I NEVER MEASURE ANYTHING! Except for the chicken, the above are my best guesses!)

Reserving the majority of your paprika for after the rub, mix your salt and spices in a little bowl ahead of time so you are not handling your containers while handling the chicken. If you want garlic chicken, add garlic, go crazy, add chili powder if you want. If you haven't tried Spike, you really need to!
Here are the secret's: 1. Run you finger under the skin breaking that membrane so you can rub the spices UNDER the skin, against the meat. Crockpots don't brown skin, so most people won't eat it, besides, most folk these days don't eat the skin anyway because that is the main fat source, so season the meat & get the flavors to come out. 2. Place the bird breast side down in the pot. Let the best part of the meat sit in the juices all day while it happily simmers away!
If you are starting early and are going to be eating more than 6 hours later, set your pot on low. If you want to eat sooner, set it on high. Most pots are adjustable, and you can always turn it down.
A word to the wise... Don't add very much liquid. Trust me, it won't run dry! However, you can easily over run your pot and come home to a mess if you put a cup or two of liqiud in when you start. Your bird will add lots of fluid while it cooks, please leave room. You'll want all that juice to make Chicken & Dumplings with the leftovers!
Oh, and don't expect to just pick it up out of the pot. It will be falling off the bones, so get big utensils under it on both sides and lift the bird straight up, over & onto a platter!

Friday, November 18, 2005

He's Back!

Last night was so much fun! Thanks Jenn for inviting me! I went up to my nieces' in the evening and we went out for Thai food, as they'd never had it before (I love introducing them to new things) and then as a foursome, with their mom, we all went to midnight showing. Afterwords, we had a lively discussion about the things that differed from the book and any "mistakes" we saw. I know I saw what I consider a mistake by definition of "technicality".
There were some costumes, but mostly kids from wearing high school sweatshirts. In fact, I was the only one in my party not wearing one... I was in my "Poodle Shrug" which Kristina renamed the "Bat Shrug" at Halloween. One girl made a stunning resemblance to Jenny Weasley, but was carrying Crookshanks - which as Hermione and Jenny are friends, I'll give that to her - and a guy as Hagrid who had painted 4 pumpkins to match the 4 Houses of Hogwarts. I wish I'd had a camera for those. They were very well done.

I am one of those "It's only 364 days until Christmas!" kind of people, you know, the kind that the Scrooges of the world grumble at and "Bah! Humbug!" as they scowl at me. Well, too bad I am a Christmas adorer. So, don't bother, I've been in the Spirit all year. As we are getting close, however, I am not nearly ready. Never am! I am however, working on it. I love this Trendsetter Yarns' "Savvy"! Isn't it gorgeous?
And what do you do with gorgeous yarn? Why you make it Georgeous, of course!

Hee hee! And then you go to work! I made this while watching Bewitched Monday night at home. (I liked that flic a lot more than I thought I would!)
and Viola! the next day...

So I started another with the remaining yarn! (Always get extra when you love a yarn!)

But I am having a hard time deciding which pattern I like better.

Any feedback? The first two shots are of the first scarf. The third pic is the scarf I'm still working on and hope to finish today. I have some knitting time today; I think I have bronchitis. Yeck!
Feedback is greatly appreciated. One is going to be a gift and I really want the recipient to love it! Thanks!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Very Special Lady

Today would be the birthday of my Aunt Myrna, who was a very special and unique woman. I am going to take a minute to write a little tribute in her honor, as she went home to the Lord on October 29, 2005 after a long hard fight with cancer.
My mother's younger sister, she spent much of her life caring for and looking after my mother who was one of those "special children" in an age when people didn't acknowledge disabilities unless they absolutely had to. I think she was the only person who truly understood my plight and situation, the many battles that I fought with my mother, as she had been through so many of her own. At a young age, I learned a special way to communicate with her, and as I grew older, we could often communicate without much effort, which made family get togethers all the more interesting... and she taught me a lot. I remember the day she taught me how to put on mascara. That was so much fun! We could talk about boys and kissing. She was a HUGE Elvis fan!!! She'd tell the story of how she'd gotten his autograph when he was at a concert and go on and on about him! It was so cute! She'd rent the really cool movies that I wasn't allowed to watch at home (my mother was very strict on certain issues and took things a bit far) and she was just there for me. She understood. She was my advocate and protector, intervening on my behalf when my mother went nuts and she was there for me and especially so for my mother when my dad passed away 13 years ago.
She was amazingly talented and had a degree in interior design. She was gifted at floral arrangments, painting, needle work and many other things. I remember that at Christmas on birthdays, her presents were always the most stunning, beautiful things you could see! They looked like something you'd see in a movie. Perfectly wrapped with ribbon that matched the paper and real ribbon and a huge bow.
She and her husband had a small business as they got older and made bird houses, butterfly houses, pedestals, trays, signs and other home wares. All hand made by David, my Uncle, and hand painted by Myrna.
She was an inspiration and a blessing and I will always remember her quick smile and how her laughter was quick to fill a room and slow to leave it.
Thank you Aunt Myrna, I love you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Big Bird!

I think George thought he had hit the Jackpot last night! I brought him a turkey that I hope to cook tomorrow. His eyes were so big and he was so excited! He knew it was for him! We've been going through about one chicken every day and a half. While we'll help with the big bird, I am hoping this will last longer. I will give credit to the lady at Foster Farms' customer service. She was a really good sport when I called with some questions about boiling a chicken for my dog. 45 minutes of simmer after it starts to boil, in case anyone wants to know.

I've had several people ask, and I thank you all for your love, support, well wishes and prayers. George is feeling ok. He is on prednisone and near the end of his antibiotics. The ultrasound showed cancer in his spleen and internal cavity. I will actually have more details tomorrow after his ACS vet appointment, but the long and short of it is, he is not in remission as we had thought. This is a very bad set back. We have a short expectancy, but lots of hope.

My friend Richard posted my all time favorite photo of George on the YDYC homepage. I invite you to check it out. Be sure to read the sign!

Also, National Dog Day, something very near and dear to my heart, has a new blog. The tremendous accomplishments they have made already and the goals they have set forth are all very exciting!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Happy Birthday Art!

Happy Birthday, Darling!

Art's birthday was Nov 2nd and we had the party over the weekend at his Mom's. Jo & Papa (also Art) always throw the best parties!

We played Texas Hold 'Em and had a great time.

The Coat Closet Door at Mom's. I love homes that have special memories and history in them like these things.

Art's Dad Ollie stopped by, do you see any resemblance here at all? Trevor (on the left) just turned 30 in July, Art is 47 and I think his dad is 68 or 69.