Way to Go, Sabres!

After losing several games in a row, the Buffalo Sabres Hockey team really pulled through tonight, winning over the Atlanta Thrashers 10-1.

Although I am generally a relatively calm person, tonight, I was raising my voice and screaming at the television! This game was just so very exciting. In the first five minutes, the Sabres tucked the puck into the net three times.   After that, the game just continued to go headlong in the Sabres’ favor.

I am so excited, I can hardly think about going to bed! It isn’t often a score reaches double digits, and the Thrashers rate amongst the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Ah, slow down adreneline……now, if they can just manage to keep this up!

A Dillar a Dollar….

 I’ve a wee Scottish Scholar. But more on that further in the post!

This morning began much more agreeably than yesterday. After doing a few chores, I wandered into the office and asked Mark if we could watch a little tv. After getting over the initial shock (as I rarely ever ask to watch tv) he said he wanted to show me something first….

Several years ago, he had recorded a show on the Learning Channel about Beavers. The show was so instructive, showing the underwater lodges and such. The cinematography was fabulous. Mark showed that particular show to Angus, who enjoys watching tv. I have no idea why, but Angus will become glued to the television whenever any nature or animal programs are on!

Well, there was a *new* version of the Beaver show, called Leave it to the Real Beavers. Mark grabbed the remote and put on the show. Immediately, Angus sat at attention and every muscle in his body tensed….as the show progressed, we needed to grab hold of his harness, lest he jump at the tv screen! It was just too funny!

After Angus’s shenanigans, Mark looked through several recorded programs called Rick Steve’s Europe.  He finally found one just for me which was done in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I learned that the Scottish were amongst the first to educate their children, using the Bible as their “primer”. The Scots were very progressive regarding not only literature, but also math, and science.  This program really gave me such a good glimpse into the city, and I remembered several places from things I had read on my Scottish friends’ blogs!

One of the most humorous things I heard on that program came from a guide at the castle who proclaimed, “We Scots have short arms and deep pockets!” Ah, what an eloquent way to profess frugality! Very clever!

After watching the show, I helped Mark  get into the shower. When we came back into the office, low and behold! Look at Angus!

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Yes, we actually found him with calculator in paw, with an engineering design book as well! Mark quizzed the little fellow what it was he wanted to accomplish with the calculator. I was sure being a “Scot”, he was just exercising his brain, but as Mark spoke with him, he was sure Angus was calculating how many cookies we owed the laddie!

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Of course, Angus agreed with Mark. Ah well….

We went to town for a bit late this afternoon and as we drove up the road, I asked Mark to stop just for a moment…

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The skies were an intense blue and that is the (unfocused) moon behind the branches.  The day was so beautiful, with temperatures that hovered near 30 (F), but the winds were blowing wickedly! 

Today turned out to be a rather relaxing day and everyone was mellow.  With the weekend coming, the kids worked quietly on their schoolwork and life just seemed so much smoother than yesterday.

We will be watching the Sabres play hockey tonight….they have had a terrible losing streak and we are certainly praying it ends tonight!

Hello!

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I thought my header was rather clever and appropriate for the photo above!

I haven’t been taking a lot of photos lately, as I have been in a “funk”. I think this morning I really overstepped all sense of decorum….I rolled out of bed, marched downstairs, and turned into what I can only describe as resembling Attila the Hun.  I have no idea what caused my normal demeanor to turn so contradictorally, but I was a terror!

Perhaps one of the contributing factors was that I searched for some information on my camera this morning, and Ken Rockwell, whom I always read and admired has a (new) review on his site regarding my camera. He basically said not to buy this camera…..either buy the cheaper model, or the pro model.  This left my blood pressure rising, as I really wasn’t looking for this! Argh!

I stomped into the office where Mark was already ahead of me…..searching on the internet for the information I was seeking. He must have decided it would be better to pacify rather than rationalize after hearing my heated tirade!

My goal for today was to photograph the Scottie weathervane with the Scottie being still, and the anemometer in motion.  Because of my ill-humor, I only took a few photos. This one isn’t great, but one can certainly detect the motion in the photo.

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Perhaps another factor in my moodiness was the disappearance of sunshine lately! It was working on trying to peep out from the rather dark and dreary sky today, but it was a no-go.

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This afternoon, I did settle down, but there was just this crazy “unsettled” feeling like everything is falling apart.  I want so much to figure out all the bells and buttons on my camera, but it seems like every time I sit down to work on it, I get sidetracked.

By late afternoon, I was (almost) back to myself.  As I dug about in the fridge, it seemed like finding anything for dinner was useless. I finally decided to look for a recipe for chicken breasts I had taken out of the freezer earlier today. I looked for a recipe that used chicken as well as capers. I had never used them before, but picked some up the other day. Mark said they are used in cooking on many of the Food Network  shows.

I popped one of the capers out of the jar and nearly gagged on it. Blehhhh!!! I found a recipe that uses the chicken, capers, garlic, and artichoke hearts. The recipe was one from the Good Morning, America show. I was still a bit brittle, and methinks if Mark had complained, I probably would have grabbed my iron skillet and when the police showed up, I would plead insanity!

As it worked out, I made Zatarain’s Rice Pilaf with the chicken dish, along with a salad. Mark said if we went out and had this meal, he was sure it would carry a hefty price! Phew! 

I cannot say I am disappointed to see this day come to a close. I am thankful my online friends and readers did *not* have to deal with my outrageous behavior today.  Tomorrow is a brand new day and I just know it is going to be *so* much better!

The Veterinary Visit

Yesterday, when I met Carly, it was at the veterinary clinic. I wasn’t taking the Scottie boys…..instead, Carly’s little Dachshund, Joe, needed a booster. Since the vet office is located nearly midway between our homes, Carly asked me to meet her.  I really do enjoy vet offices. There is so much to observe…..it is never a dull visit!

 Several years ago, I read the wonderful veterinary adventures of James Herriot. I laughed at some stories until tears flowed down my cheeks. Herriot’s style of writing…so highly animated, held my interest and made me long to visit England and Scotland. Someday, perhaps.

I met Carly and we went inside the clinic. This particular office is very nice with a large reception room.  The area is bright and everyone working behind the desk appears to thoroughly enjoy being there!

As we sat down, there was a woman sitting nearly in the center of the room with her kitty in a small carrier. Carly’s Joe was raised in a home with cats, and he was anxious to examine this kitty. As he walked across the laminate flooring, his little toenails tapped and seemed almost amplified. The woman began to look very forlorn and slid down the bench she was on, moving the kitty in the carrier away from us, as though she was annoyed by Joe’s inquisitive nature.  Suddenly, my heart sank as I wondered if the kitty was there for his or her final visit. I felt so bad as I observed the woman now positioned with her head held in her hands, elbows on her knees…..what if…..

My attention was diverted when a man walked in with a rather elderly-appearing black Lab. The dog wore a metal training collar….the kind with the spikes that dig into the ruff of the neck when and if the dog chooses to lunge.  The collar looked so ridiculous on this sedate dog who walked calmly to the scale behind the reception desk and sat down as though he or she had done this many, many times before! 

As I was watching the animals and their owners, the vet techs called them into adjoining rooms for their appointments.  One of the girls at the desk apologized to Carly, telling her that the vet Joe was scheduled to see was running a little late.

A couple then entered the room with another kitty in a carrier. The woman went over to one of the benches and set the carrier on the floor as the husband announced that he was going to bring in “the dog”.  Shortly thereafter, he re-entered the room looking as though he was being dragged by the most highly-energized Golden Retriever I have ever seen. My own Irish Setter that I owned many years ago would have seemed somewhat calm compared to Sassy!

Sassy was truly beautiful and her size and stature really did remind me of my girl, Shelby. The owners looked rather apologetic about their girl’s restless behavior, but worked to calm her down a little.  As Sassy pranced about, she resembled a hyperactive child with what looked like a big smile upon her face!

Just then, a smallish woman entered the room with a dog in her arms. As I watched,  my heart nearly stopped beating as I wondered if the dog was a Sealyham. I questioned the woman after she spoke with the receptionist, but it turned out the dog was a shaven Wire-Haired Dachshund. She looked rather large when compared to the diminutive woman. The woman took a seat and the poor dog in her arms shook as though chilled to the bone!

When the Dachshund came into sight, Sassy went even more ballistic! She looked as though she was ginning ear to ear as she closed in to examine the dog within the other woman’s arms. Sassy’s owners pulled her leash in and apologized for Sassy frightening the poor dear into a shaking fit! The owner smiled and said the Dachshund was soon to turn 16 years old, and the “shakes” was just a part of her veterinary visit. She never shook any other time!

Just then, a tech came out and grabbed the Dachshund into her arms and took her into another room. The woman remained in the waiting room, as though she had complete confidence in the practice to take care of her elderly baby.

Carly was called into the exam room and I remained in the waiting room.  Joe tapped his way across the floor, looking just a bit forlorn at the thought of an examination! He is a good boy, though, and went on in for his appointment without much resistance.

The owner of the Dachshund then came over and sat next to me, chatting about her dear girl. She told me she had two more Dachshunds at home that did field trials. When I told her a man lived not too far from us who had a little Wire-Haired Dachshund used for tracking down injured deer, she asked his name. She said that many deer-tracking Dachshunds also attend the field trials.  We chatted on a bit, until the vet tech reemerged with the elderly girl cradled in her arms.

As the Dachshund and her owner left, the woman turned around and told me what a pleasure it was talking to me. Ah, if only she knew….the pleasure was all mine!

Sassy’s people began talking to me across the room after the Dachshund and her owner left. We chatted about how much a dog like Sassy loves to run freely. The people told me she never leaves their property, although she is a Retriever, she cannot swim, and that as a puppy she only slept a maximum of three hours a night if they were lucky!

At one point, the woman who was originally the sole appointment came back out with a smile on her face and her kitty across her shoulder, much like a baby. The vet walked across the room and she followed, looking so greatly relieved. And, I was relieved as well, seeing that the kitty was probably fine!

Shortly after Sassy and her kitty were called into one of the exam rooms, Carly came back out with Joe.

I felt badly on two accounts….one was that my camera was out in the Explorer and that I hadn’t photographed these wonderful clients and their people!  The other was that I now had to leave and would miss all the other clientele and their humans.

As I left the premises, my mind wandered off to the Herriot books….I can certainly understand his passion to write about his dear little patients and the people who loved them so…..

Open Mouth and Insert Foot!

Well, that is how I felt after posting that last (miserable) post!  I guess the moral of the story is that there are always going to be inconsiderate people, or people just having a bad day around all the time….c’est la vie, eh?

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So, this is the big 4 pound tin of cookies I bought. I really did have to go rescue them from the monsters guys, as they nearly polished off the top layer! Okay, Michelle had some, and I had three. They sure are good!

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Funny story, though….Ben only remembers those hard little Danish cookies that come in the blue tins. To me, they are too hard and dry. My father-in-law used to buy the Danish cookies, and when the kids came for a visit, he always offered them. They came in different shapes and had different variations….some had tiny raisin-looking fruits, (currents?) some had sugar sprinkled on top, and some were just plain made into different shapes.

Ben watched as I opened the big plaid tin. He looked at the top layer….then took a cookie. Mmmmm…..these are good! Then his hand reached in again, as he inquired where the “other” vareties were. I told him these are ALL Scottish shortbread.  The look on his face was priceless! He has basically decided these cookies might surpass the Danish variety!

Shopping Blues, or…why I don’t *like* to shop!

This morning, Carly called and asked if I might meet her, as she is leaving for Florida tomorrow.  I jumped at the chance, as I had some little things for her kids that have been waiting till I see them.

Carly had picked up the cutest little Scottie shirt at Kohl’s, so she had that for me. Sarah also had an adorable little toy Scottie dog with a soft doghouse that it goes inside….it is certainly cute, and Sarah is a wonderful shopper! Too bad I can’t say the same for myself!

 Without sounding too ornery, have a look at what I found “parked” next to my car when I came out of BJ’s after doing a little shopping for groceries…..

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Yes, that is my Explorer on the left…Isn’t it thoughtful of someone to leave not only a kiddie shopping cart, but also a flatbed cart as well, right next to my car.  I should add the fact that this parking lot lies on quite a steep grade, so far as parking lots are concerned.  I was less than a happy camper. Let me show you why……

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Yup. A mere four spaces up was a cart return area! But wait! Directly behind where these carts were placed, guess what? ANOTHER cart return! I walked over from my Explorer to this one and I counted exactly 12 steps. Now, mind you, I am short and don’t take big strides! So, for a more “average” person, this might well have been only 10 steps!

And, just to add insult to injury,  note the little message below the bold type on the sign!

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 Okay, I will count my blessings. Beginning with the fact that despite quite windy conditions, the carts did remain where the thoughtful shopper placed them.  Yes, I used to shop with two little ones, and I always secured the kids in their seats, locked the doors, and returned the shopping cart.

Ah well, no harm done. But I cannot help but wonder….most folks drive vehicles these days that cost at least $20,000. That certainly isn’t “peanuts”. So, how would *they* feel had someone left a cart next to *their* vehicle?

On a lighter note, I bought some Walker’s Shortbread Cookies made in Scotland! I love shortbread cookies, and they are kind of hard to find. (most everything in the stores these days comes from China! Scottish cookies are VERY unusual here!) The only problem is, Mark and Ben are downstairs EATING them….uh oh….better save the cookies!!!

Just Another One of “Those” Days….

You know the kind….where you probably would have fared much better had you pulled the covers up over your head and just told everyone to stay *far* away so they don’t catch whatever IT is that is troubling you!

A few days ago….on the terrifically windy day to be exact, Ben decided to go for a little stroll in the woods. He had disappeared out the door while I was preoccupied, and as I saw him vanish from sight, I told Mark I had better hunt him down before a branch or tree crashed down on him! The wind was blowing at about 30-35 miles per hour, sustained, with gusts of 50 miles per hour!

I went upstairs and changed from a skirt to a pair of jeans, then got out my ATV and drove up into the woods along one of the trails. After going probably about 500′ back, a very large Ash tree was lying across the path. The wind had blown this tree to the ground.  Undaunted, I diverted to the right as the left side of the path was muddy and wet.

I crawled through the woods, as I was now on the neighbors’ property and they had a stand of young saplings helter-skelter everywhere.  I had to drive over some, and I ducked my face as I saw some heading back up in a whip-like fashion. Getting snapped by one of those would *really* hurt…I just had that very thought when a branch hit the side of my head so hard, I thought I was going senseless for a few seconds. I stopped and sat atop the ATV, feeling like screaming….or crying, but knowing neither would help!

After professing aloud that *really* hurt, I continued on, making my way back to the safety of the trail. I would drive a bit, then stop and call out Ben’s name. I finally caught up with him and he climbed on the back of the machine and we headed down the hill.

The place where the branch snapped me left no marks. I have a tendency to bruise quite easily so I expected a black eye. I was hit across my left eyelid and on the side of my face right next to my eye. Needless to say, my eye was closed and was miraculously unscathed.

The next day, everything felt fine. No problem at all. I had no bruise or anything to show.

Yesterday, however, my eye hurt so badly when I got up, I could hardly stand the pain, but I discovered that by lying down, the pain dissipated. This morning, however, the pain was so intense…..even while lying down, it hurt! The only way I can explain the pain was it was like having a “headache” in my eye. Something seemed to be telling me to relax!

I popped in the hot tub while stuffed shells I made for lunch baked in the oven. I stayed out there for about 45 minutes, not wanting to get out as the pain subsided.  I finally decided I had better get out before I shriveled up! The good news is that the pain in my eye went away! I have no idea what the medical explanation would be for such a recovery….psychosomatic? Anyway, by about 3:00 this afternoon, my eye was better. It no longer hurts to move it, nor does it hurt to focus on objects…..yesterday, it hurt terribly when I moved the eye!

Well, sorry to rant about such a ridiculous circumstance! It was just very strange. And, it makes me realize the wisdom of wearing a helmet and eye protection….even in the WOODS!