Happy Summer!

Well, today was the longest day of this year and for the first time in a few days,  I actually stayed awake the entire day!  I have been battling a bug that didn’t knock me off my feet, but was rather annoying!  It felt like I had a head cold with some sneezing, but more than that,  I was exhausted.  Thankfully, I never suffered through the blazing sore throat the kids had before…I have not had a sore throat since I was pregnant with Ben.

So…I did some laundry, washed dishes and put them away, and also grilled chicken outside today.  I made Broccoli Cheese casserole to go along with the chicken as well as some asparagus.  One of the frustrating parts about feeling sick but not appearing sick is that everyone kept forgetting I was sick! 

I was going to put some photos I took today of the kids in the pool, but it seems like someone snatched my camera and didn’t return it to me.  Hmmm… So, I will post a couple of photos I took a while back….

The day I took these, it was windy and as I looked through the pictures I took, I could see how the wind was blowing the daisy and butterfly back and forth!

Early this evening, I had a customer stop by with her daughter-in-law.  Verna has been a customer for quite some time and I found out she is now eighty-five years old.  It was good to see her, as she has not been by for a long time.  She is now legally blind, but still makes soap.  She said she must use magnifying glasses to see anything, but she is able to see when using them. What a remarkable woman she is.  Her family all lives nearby…not too far from her home, so they are able to help her out.

I had called Verna earlier to give her a total for her order, and we chatted for probably a good forty-five minutes.  I found out that when a lot of dogs died from the problem with mold in the corn in their food (I think that was correct?) a few years ago, she lost her dog, Foxy, the Fox Terrier.  I felt so bad when she told me and then we talked about dogs and she said she would ask her daughter-in-law to bring along her miniature Dachshund, Tasha.

When the ladies arrived, Verna was anxious for me to see Tasha….she was adorable!  My parents have a black and tan (why do they call it tan anyway, they are red!) long-haired Dachsy, but Tasha is short-haired!  She was so cute.  Jerry (the DIL) told Tasha to “spin and roll over” and the obedient little pup spun in a circle, then rolled right over!  What a good little girl! Verna said when her family goes away for vacations, she watches the dogs and enjoys their company.

Speaking of dogs…I shared this on Facebook, but I’ll do it here as well. 

I know my little boys love a cold treat on a hot day.  When we eat ice cream, they both look longingly at our cold treats! So, I make the Scotties their own treats!  I mix together plain yogurt and about an equal amount of pumpkin.  I had bought some pie pumpkins last year…I baked them, then scraped the insides and froze the pumpkin in the freezer.  I had measured the pumpkin in one cup increments in a sandwich bag, then dropped them into a gallon freezer bag.  Of course, canned pumpkin works too!

Place the mix into an ice cube tray…I had found some little trays that were silicone and the cubes are heart-shaped.  These are nice for the pups because they aren’t real big and hard to bite into.

As an aside, pumpkin is fantastic for the canine digestive system!

My last photo was taken when it rained…this was last week.

Not such a great quality photo, but the little hummer had come to sit on the feeder under the roof overhang, while it rained!

A Lovely Visit to my Hometown

Our Thanksgiving Day was just awesome!  We got up at about 5 am to get ready to go to visit my parents and Randy, and my older brother, Bob.   We were out the door shortly after 7, and arrived at about 10:30 at my parents’ home. 

We spent the day relaxing,  watching some television (gasp! I never do that!)  and visiting. 

We ate at about 1 and let me tell you, the food was fantastic!  There was turkey, roast beef, and even chicken!  We had tasty cranberry/ jello dish, rolls,  salad, and sweet potatoes, and stuffing.  And speaking of stuffing,  we all stuffed ourselves!  My compliments to the cook….Mom, everything was beyond awesome!

Yes, I took the new camera with me, but we got so busy with all that was going on,  I barely took it out! 

However, there was one little fellow who provided so much entertainment, I found myself laughing over and over!

Fritz examining my camera bag.small

As soon as I placed the camera bag on the couch, little Fritzmeister began diving in with his long nose.  I have no idea why he was so attracted to the bag,  other than perhaps he smelled “Scottie scents”!

As soon as I rested on the couch, I was pounced upon by Fritz, receiving a rather ambitious cleaning! Fritz loves “kissing”, and he really likes me!  However,  I was not the lone victim!

fritz cleans michelle.small

I know…I should have photographed all the people…the food….the essence of the day.  However, I just plumb didn’t do it. 

As we left to come home,  I asked Mark to drive through downtown because I wanted to see if there were pretty Christmas decorations.  I love the decor they chose….

pretty christmas decor downtown.small

Well, not much in the form of photos, but we all had such a satisfying day!  We were home again at about 8 this evening.

My mother showed us an article in the local newspaper that announced the official Christmas shopping season has now begun.  Tomorrow is Black Friday.  That means crazed, glassy-eyed shoppers arriving at stores in the middle of the night,  hoping to score big savings on Christmas gifts for themselves and others.  Sorrowfully, I must say, I shall indeed be counted amongst those numbers.  Yup, Miss Michelle has gleaned all the sales flyers,  making her list and well, in a few short hours,  we will be out “there”.  Ah, nothing like a teenage shopping diva in the house!

Wish me luck.  I’m sure I shall be needing it!

Wah Hooooooooooooo!

Yesterday’s mild, September-like temperatures were the icing on the proverbial cake as we were off to meet my parents and brother at Sprague’s Restaurant.  It was such a beautiful day!  We were meeting to celebrate Michelle’s birthday, as well as Mark’s.  (November is a very busy birthday month here, as Carly and my mom also celebrate November birthdays later in the month!)

We arrived to meet at 11:30 in the morning and the restaurant held no shortage of patrons, even at that early on a Sunday morning!  We always ask for a certain table….it is round and sits in a corner, out of the way of mainstream traffic,  so we waited.

We enjoyed visiting with my parents and seeing their brand new car! which they never told us they got! (It was purchased in late September)  Little Fritz the Dachshund was thrilled to see us and enjoyed romping about a bit on the lush green grass.

As we waited,  Randy spotted some old cars that had parked together in a row, so we went down to have a better look at them…..

1933 dodge delivery truck.small

cool old red car.small

old grape-colored roadster.small

50's chevy.small

1964 mustang.small

one of randys favorites.small

Yes, I saved the best car for last….the one that really caught my eye…..

my favorite.small

Yes, hahaha,  I really did not save the best for last….it was the last car parked in the line!  I am not sure if it caught my eye because of the bright yellow color,  or the M&M’s  decorating the sides!

One of the fun aspects of visiting at Sparague’s,  aside from their consistantly good food,  is seeing “what’s new”!  As we pulled into the new winding drivway leading to the restaurant,  we noticed an interesting addition…..

new addition at spragues.small

The two wooden carved horses used to greet folks as they walked up the path leading to the Sugar Maples high on a hill behind the restaurant.  Now, they are pulling a plow,  with the addition of a man guiding them!  And all this on a delightful display.  We noticed  vehicles pulling up and people getting out to take a look! 

a little closer look.small

The restaurant also has a new planter which uses the same stone as that on the base of the horse display. The planter is huge,  housing several bushes,  a small fountain,  and this adorable topiary bear!

bear topiary.small

We went inside and ate and afterwards, we lingered on and on outside in the parking lot.  The warmth of this November Indian Summer day was so conducive to lingering…..we noticed there were many people also talking and walking about outside.  It was one of those days that sends a twinge of sadness as the darkness closes in and one realizes the day really is coming to a close!

We did promise to try to make it to my parents’ home for Thanksgiving and that is something to look forward to in just a couple of weeks. That took a little of the edge off he bite of ending the “perfect day”!

Before driving home,  we rode to Cuba Lake, a few miles away.  The truck was needing a fillup and Mark thought we might find cheaper gasoline at an Indian owned  station located on a nearby reservation.  Sure enough, the price was about $.17 less per gallon,  *and* there was an attendant to do the filling!

As we passed the lake, we noticed the water level was way down.  We figured they must take it down for the winter months ahead.  This tiny lake,  by the way,  is manmade.

glimpse at cuba lake.small

As you can see, the water was startlingly calm!

We arrived back home early in the evening.  Uncle Randy brought Benjamin two Lego kits to put together.  One is a fire station that is so cute!  The other is an adorable little toy shop with a Christmas theme.  I had seen that one in a Lego catalogue and thought about getting it.  I nearly fainted when Randy gave it to Ben!  (Shortlyafter arriving home at about 7,  Ben began working on the Christmas kit,  finishing it up at about 10:15!)

I am so glad yesterday was such a relaxing day, as today was wildly the opposite!  Our camper needed to be winterized,  we still need to get a “pillow” (inflatable) in the pool to finish its winterzation,  and we had firewood that needed to be stacked. 

After doing a load of laundry this morning,   I planted about 20 various flower bulbs.  Then I stacked firewood.  After that,  I climbed up on the railing of the pool and proceded to remove about 300 gallons of water and leaves….bucket by bucket!  We didn’t get the pillow inserted under the winter pool cover,  but we did winterize the camper and I am so happy to have that done.  Most all of our fall tasks are now complete……let the hibernation begin soon!

Over the River and Through the Woods

Yesterday morning, we got up and prepared ourselves for a journey to visit with my parents and brother, Randy. We left a bit later than planned, but had a fun day visiting and relaxing!

Mom had some really pretty tulips sitting on the dining room table when we arrived.  I took this picture, thinking it was kind of a waste, but as I looked at it, it really grew on me!


Last Sunday, being Easter, many people at the church my parents attend donated flowers in memory of loved ones who have passed away recently. My mother lost her brother a few weeks ago, so she got these beautiful yellow tulips. They sat on the table just “glowing”  in their simple elegance and beauty…..


We had such a good and fun visit, albeit far too short. (as always). One of the highlights of the visit is the little 11 pound lively Dachshund, Fritz! Trying to photograph him is a real challenge! Of course, I would *never* admit to running up and down the hall several times with Fritz following on my heels and oftimes even running right past me! (note his ears in the photo below…)


I did manage to catch the little fellow in a pensive moment with a reather nice portrait!


We arrived back home at about 1 am. Needless to say, we all headed to bed immediately! I wish we weren’t so far removed from my family, but it sure makes for a fun visit spending the day with them!

Fritz…Need I Say More?

Today’s weather picked up right where yesterday’s left off. It was such a bright and sunny beautiful day….And so, we traveled to meet my parents and brother to celebrate Ben’s belated birthday.

My parents had such a hard time deciding whether they wanted to get another pup or not…after their Brandy died, everyone was so sad, as he had lived a very long life and was such a good little companion.

Now that little Fritz is on the scene, it is so awesome how a tiny little fellow, weighing less than 8 /12 pounds could have such an impact on my family’s lives.  Since they got Fritz when he was a wee little pupkin,  the bond is just tremendous. He has grown into a very handsome and debonair fellow…a real charmer, with a tail that waggles faster than a metronome keeping time to Flight of the Bumblebee….




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…..

Fritz, Again!

Yesterday, we made a little day trip down to Olean, New York, to meet with my parents and brother, Randy. We hadn’t gotten together with them to celebrate Christmas as it seems like there are just so many appointments and activities that keep us so busy! Add to that the threats of winter storms and we just haven’t made any trips that way.

The weather here has been so unusual…..the temperatures are rising every day. At night, the temperatures haven’t been receding, but staying warm, or even rising. So very unusual! We have had many “January thaws” in the past, but they only last a day or two!

Since yesterday was promising to remain warm, we called my parents and they said it would be convenient for them to meet, so we decided on a restaurant and were on our way.

We ate, then exchanged presents. However, the *highlight* of our meeting was seeing little Fritz once again!


I cannot believe how much the little fellow has grown.


When Fritz saw me, he wiggled back and forth, nearly squirming right out of my father’s arms. As I got close to him, he lunged into my face and began a thorough face washing, not missing any area at all! He is such a cute little fellow and just so full of life! My mother chuckled as she told me that instead of doing housework or something that might need attending, she and my dad find themselves getting down on the floor to play with the frisky little pup! He is such a sweet little boy and he just wants to play all the time!

My mom kept telling me that Fritz’s nose was getting longer and “pointier”. Well, in this pose, it certainly is evident she is correct!


We had a good time, talking and catching up on the latest news, but little Fritz really stole the spotlight! Puppies are just so much fun and my mother said it best when she asked what they did before Fritz?

A Quick Trip!

 Yesterday afternoon, we left the Bristolwood for a brief trip to Erie, Pennsylvania. The kids had made plans to attend another wild night at Splash Lagoon!  What is Splash Lagoon? Well, if you had been reading here last November and March, you would know that it is an indoor water park!

Family Life Ministries, located about 40 miles from our home, sponsers this event every March and November.  Kids can take a bus, but Mark and I enjoy the opportunity to escape for a day, so we drive them.  The doors open at 10:30 pm, and the kids have a party until 3 am! During this time, they play on the slides and just have a ball! They are also served pizza and a drink during this time.

As we head to Erie, we pass near my parents’ home, so we usually make it a point to stop by for a visit. I called my mom and told her we were coming, so we went to the Rod and Gun Club they belong to for a fish fry.  This place serves food that is wonderful, and the pricing is almost too good to be true. We visited at my parents’ home for a bit after dinner.

When we arrived at the house, little Fritz was delighted to see us! Michelle and I got on the floor to visit with the tiny “Dashing Hound” and he bounced back and forth, racing like a little bolt of lightening and licking us with endless puppy kisses!


Little Fritz weighs about 2 pounds more than the last time we saw him, but the biggest change in his physique is that hs nose has “stretched” out, making him appear more like an adult Dachshund.

It was nearly impossible to capture the little pup, as he was wound like the Energizer Bunny, hopping anxiously back and forth and jumping up at me with his sweet kisses!

He did light for a few seconds….


Can you believe this face?


We left and began our trip to Erie. As we drove along, we faced rain and at one point, snow.  There is a stretch that we passed through that is the “snow belt” and there were several inches of snow deposited on the ground, likely lake effect snow from Lake Erie.

We arrived at Splash Lagoon with plenty of time to spare. As soon as the kids entered the building, I hopped into the back seat, along with Murphy, and took a nap. I slept pretty much until the kids returned back at 3. 

We drove down to our “usual” parking spot and slept until daybreak. Well, the kids slept, anyway. Mark and I sat and watched Mr. Deeds, which Mark had put on my I-Pod.  I was a bit put off by the senseless innuendos and stupid sexual remarks, but otherwise, the movie was funny.  We watched for quite some time, when the movie just ended, prematurely.

I rarely ever take the time to sit and watch a movie. I just find that there are so many other worthy tasks at hand, it seems foolish for me to sit and watch something that I usually find worthless….I couldn’t believe that I had sat through nearly the whole movie, only to find the end was missing! Ah well, Mark told me the ending.

Daybreak came shortly before 7 am, so when it was 7, Mark and I awakened the kids to let them know we were going to look in a store for a little while. They slept in the pickup bed and upon our return, they looked like twin “mummies”, wrapped in down comforters!

Here is Splash Lagoon by daylight….



And this was on the ground in the parking lot! Erie had gotten socked with some snow last  Thursday, to the tune of a few inches. This was heaped up from the plows and was actually melting.  The temperature averaged about 36-40 degrees during our little “campout”.  


 Yes, I know….we could stay in a motel overnight, but it seems so senseless for only a few hours, and there is something so “special” about this time we spend every few months….

We stopped once again at my parents’ home on the way home. Today was Mark’s birthday, so we had cake and ice cream, along with a delicious lunch! And, of course, little Fritz was such a good little host, kissing us ferociously!

We arrived home again at about 6 this evening. Needless to say, we are all dragging a bit and the thought of snuggling into a warm and cozy bed sounds nearly luxurious!  Of course, the temperature in the house was 55, feeling much warmer than the 29 outside, but I found it rather urgent to immediately make a fire in the stove!

‘Tis so nice to be home again in the Bristolwood!

Meet Fritz!


Today we traveled to meet my parents at our favorite restaurant *and* to meet the new Dachshund puppy…

As soon as Mark parked the truck, I was out in a flash to meet the little fellow. I love dogs so much, and this little fellow is so special!

My parents and brother announced that the puppy now has a name! They began calling him Fritz yesterday!

I took many pictures of the new lad, but was sadly disappointed when many turned out to be mere blurs of a rambunctious little puppy! Trying to photograph this little boy was certainly a challenge, as he never stays still for more than a second or two.





Look how *tiny* Fritz looks walking through that “field” of tall (not!) grass!!!





My brother, Randy, had no idea whatsoever that they were getting the new puppy. You cannot imagine Randy’s delight when he came home from work last Friday to find little Fritz sitting in the dining room. Randy’s face tells all…Little Fritz will never lack love living in his new home!