First Day of Real “Night” School!

Or is it the first night of real day school?  I dunno….doesn’t matter.  Poppy was off to her new class Tuesday night.  Her chauffeurs, Jabber and TMWLH, drove her.  She was MOST excited!

Poppy in the van being chauffeured.

See the smile on her face?

And so we were off to  ‘real’ NIGHT school!

She was prepared.  She’d rested most of the day, storing up much needed energy and enthusiasm to use at school.  She’d had a light supper, saving the rest for when she returned from class.  She had washed her face and brushed her hair fur, and she was ready to go.   She knew her teacher, Miss Marisa, of Greymont Kennels, and was quite fond of her.  Miss Marisa had already taught Poppy some necessary skills in Kindergarten, such as how to properly say hello to another kid canine, how to leave another child  puppy alone when they asked to be left alone, how to politely go into and come out of a kennel with respect, and how to properly interact with others.  So far, Poppy works and plays well with others, at least most of the time.

There were four other children canines in her class, most of them close to Poppy’s size and weight.  However, there was a range of up to one year between the five in class–this because some had been held back so that they would be mature enough to participate  no, that’s not right–because some of the parents had only now chosen to send them to formal school.  At least one or two were adopted, and so had only been with their legal parents for a short while.

Above, you see Poppy on the right, Delilah who is Black and Cedar (or Skeeter, unsure which is his proper name).

In Middle School, Recess comes first.

And Recess comes middle, too.

Clearly, Delilah and Poppy are the best of friends–she and Delilah decided to do a little dance for the rest of the class and the parents:

It was sort of a Fox Trot with a “Latin” bent to it.

A lesson was presented on properly walking one’s person errr, one’s puppy, and the proper way to get into and out of a kennel–the puppy is the one who is supposed to get into the kennel, by the way.

And, of course, the final ten minutes was spent with RECESS again!  Recess is the most important class in Middle School.

Poppy definitely likes Middle School and we will  return for additional parental training next week.  Meanwhile, Poppy is to practice with her parents so that they can learn the proper way to communicate well with her.

I don’t like to say that Poppy is disrespectful of her parents; however, she does think she knows more than they do some of the time, especially when it comes to what she likes to eat and when she likes to go to bed.  It’s important that Poppy learns to be respectful of them as they only have what is best for her in mind.  (She is a very smart puppy,  but bragging about it is not attractive.)

And as for her parents?  Well, we are trying……….

 

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Mother/Daughters Weekend

This year, instead of the Annual Longest Yard Sale trip, we decided we’d spend the weekend at the Hall Resort.  Located in beautiful downtown Atoka,  complete with pool and room service (if requested), this private full-service resort provides bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, individualized tours and, of course, a happy hour designed for each of its guests.

The Happy Three–CCQ Daughter’s, Jabber’s, and Racer Daughter’s special wine glasses, reserved for annual weekend get-togethers (above)

The Happy Trio (above)

                      Outdoor Tiki Bar on the covered patio

The two girls lounge around the pool

Covered patio with Tiki Bar

       A private tour was arranged for Sun Studios.

Above, a row of guitars used by famous singers–on the far left is one used by Johnny Cash.  To obtain his unique sound, Mr. Cash wrapped a dollar bill around the neck of the guitar, loosened the strings a bit, and developed his unique sound–similar to drums–for a ‘beat’ background to some of his songs.  Seems that drums were not allowed (at that time) on the stage at (I believe it was) the Grand Ole’ Opry.  The tour guide said, this is what is known as being ‘tight with a dollar bill.’

Inside the Recording Studio area, still used today

A photo of Elvis recording in the studio

A photo of the icons of Rock and Roll captured ‘jamming’ together in Sun Studio.

From Sun Studio, we ventured to the Blue Monkey, a mid-town (Memphis) eatery.

   

The weather forecast threatened storms, so we headed back to the Resort–where we found some evidence of high winds, but not much rain.  A relaxing evening was spent under the covered patio and watching fireworks!  Our hosts had thought of everything!  (There was a festival in Atoka that day and the culmination was fireworks which we could see from the pool area.)

We all had a grand time!  Wonderful resort, we’ll go again for sure.  (Thank you CCQ Daughter for the great weekend.)

More ‘leftovers’

As Weeders may note, I’ve been in the process of using up freezer and pantry items this past week.  This in preparation for–well, I don’t know persactly, but a girl needs her space.  And so does her food supply…..

To that end, a friend delivered two gallons of freshly picked blueberries the other day and they are in the process of being frozen, slowly, one cookie sheet at a time and then double packaged in zip-locks for the oncoming winter.  Of course, we’ll be eating some of them, but two gallons is, well, a gazillion blueberries for two people to consume all at once.  The extra freezer space has already come in handy.

The Royal Red is not interested in blueberries.  Kong, on the other hand, stuffed with a Greenie and peanut butter can keep her entertained for hours.

Which is why I have a moment to actually write this post, you see.  There is method to my madness.  Then again, sometimes I just feel nerdy wordy.

So, here we go–another leftovers meal:

Black beans and rice

I am NOT, I repeat NOT, a fan of either rice or beans as a generalization.  Nope, not my kind of meat and potatoes meal at all.  However, once in a while it is necessary to have some variety in one’s menu and this was one of those “one-ces”.

“Why?” Jabber suddenly appeared at the mention of food–of any sort–….

Because I said so, Jabber.  Go away.

So, there I was, 5 p.m. and no dinner ready.  And no idea what to fix.  VOILA! thought I….sometimes I do think “Voila!” but not too often–anyway, I had some packages of andouille sausage in the freezer and they really should be used up.

Hmmm, beans and rice usually go well with andouille sausage!  So, I did what any normal person would do (not saying I’m exactly ‘normal’ here, but you know…) anyway, sure enough, I had both black beans and rice.  As well as a can of corn!  Yea!  And, as a bonus, the black bean can had a recipe on it, so I read through it.

I can do that, I thought, and began….I mean, this isn’t rocket science and frankly, one doesn’t need a recipe for this!  And, of course, I didn’t do it exactly as the recipe dictated.  I had to make up my own…..

Chop up 1 cup of onion and 1/2 cup green pepper more or less and put in a pan with olive oil–heat them up and cook about 5 minutes–medium to low heat.  Stir around now and again.

Throw in some garlic–I have some in the jar already minced–maybe a tablespoon or so.  Your kitchen is going to smell delicious!  Now, add about 1 teaspoon of Oregano.

Add the black beans.  Stir.

Now is the time to add maybe 3/4 cups of water or chicken broth or vegetable broth–whatever you have. Now add chopped andouille sausage (I cut into 1 inch chunks) and sauté all of this for a while.

Set all this aside while you cook up about 2 to 3 cups of white rice.  (Or, if you’re smart, you had this rice going while you were chopping and sautéing. I was not, sadly, that smart.)

I put the rice in a large bowl along with a can of corn

and the already cooked vegetables and sausage.   Taste it.  Decide if you want more salt or seasoning.  Maybe throw in a can of Rotel for a bit more  spice (I wish that I had).  Add whatever you’d like for a bit more zip or zing if you think it’s warranted.  Oh.  Yes.  I forgot to say I added about 1 pound of rotisserie chicken to the mix–just decided that was a good use for it.

Frankly, I wish I’d added the Rotel, too, but I didn’t.  Ours was a bit dry and a bit of zip would have been an added plus.  Before baking, I could have added a bit more chicken stock as well.

Okay, now bake what you’re going to have for supper–maybe 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until it’s good and hot.  Make up some  corn muffins and bake those to go with the black beans and rice.  Add a salad.  There is supper.

You will have a HUGE batch on your hands.  Call your friends, there is going to be plenty of food.

Wrap up what you’re not going to eat in foil, then place in plastic freezer bags and….well so much for saving the freezer space, eh?, freeze for another night’s supper.  Or, you know, you could add a container of this to soup base–and you’d have a delicious and filling soup.

(The Royal Red is STILL chewing her Kong toy!  Yea!)

Attack of the Machines, A Leftover Food Idea, and other trivial pursuits

No, no, not the game Trivial Pursuit–just my life, the past week or two which has been focused on trivial pursuits more or less.  Except, of course, trivial things can fast become major…..it’s part of the on-going war on the home front, you see…..

It went like this:

TV guy fixed the TV connection (refer to previous post), causing the electricity to stop running to outlets, the vacuum system and the lights under the house; Electrician fixed the electricity issue, causing the computer to not work (Mouse no longer ‘recognized’ by computer); IT computer guy fixed the computer, but the ‘Mouse’ had, evidently overnight, talked to the coffee pot and it would not make coffee.  I fixed the coffee pot (called the company for advice), and then the toilet started leaking.  The Plumber came and fixed the toilet.  We are still waiting for the Appliance Repairman to come back to install parts in the refrigerator water/ice dispenser system which started all this mess to begin with.

We are on ‘red’ alert…..

Meanwhile, Poppy decided to eat the top of a safety razor I’d stupidly thrown into the bathroom trash.  She is not allowed in the bathroom, but we made a mistake and left a door open one day in the midst of a repairman being here to repair something (take your choice from the above list!)   A week of anxiety, watching her (and anything she excreted!) and it never appeared.  I have looked everywhere.  And I do mean everywhere, Weeders!  This was two weeks ago, so evidently it’s done her no harm or she’s hidden it somewhere in the house–a secret place of her own?  She’s had no ill-effects from said razor, so perhaps??  I don’t know.  She has also ingested portions of fringe off of rugs, eaten a hole in said rugs (two of them, small holes, but holes none-the-less), the stuffing out of an old chair I was taking apart to reupholster (this was months ago), dishwasher machine soap tablet (only a part of it, I found the remains this morning), pens, reading glasses (two so far), and assorted paper napkins with which she absconds and runs madly away from us, chewing as fast as she can and swallowing.  We can not turn our backs in the kitchen–she grabs and runs with knives, spoons, forks, plastic bags, and the occasional food particle she can reach.  It’s quite a circus…..

So far, she’s survived despite her own best efforts.  The vet asked, quizzically, “Doesn’t this dog have any chew toys?”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Bones, several (the safe kind), a “Kong” which is stuffed with a chewy treat and peanut butter once a day and keeps her busy for an hour or two, she is taken to school twice a week to play (run down her energy level), she is walked two or three times a day, she takes a ride in the car every single day to go somewhere or another to entertain her, she has company several times a week–smaller people with which to play and chase–a swimming pool of her own outside which gets filled and emptied every time she uses it, a fenced-in backyard (where she won’t stay alone).  I spend time ‘training’ her, which she enjoys for the ‘treats’ rewards, not to mention the attention.  Her food and water bowls are never empty.  If they are, she tells us by banging the blinds next to them in the kitchen and we run to refill them.

Poppy with a dog ‘cookie’ from the pet store. Of course she went!

Does this sound like a dog who is ignored?  No, I don’t think so either.

She’s just, well, very very curious……..about everything evidently!  Chew toys?  Good grief!  WE are the toys!

Yes, well, this is why we love her. Can’t help ourselves.

All is quiet on the western front at the moment.  (Even the Poodlette, thank you very much.)  So, of course, I decided to cook something for supper.  I’d briefly seen an article about zucchini.  I had two zucchini in the fridge along with some leftover sauce, cheese

leftover sauce and cheese. Put the sauce in the pan with the hamburger and rinse out with water, pouring the water into the pan as well. Let it simmer until thickened.

and a pound of uncooked hamburger, so this is what I made for supper last night:

Cook ground beef with some chopped onion and peppers (the top off a pepper I was going to stuff)

I seasoned the hamburger with a bit of homemade taco seasoning mix (you can use packaged mix if you prefer):

Then add the leftover spaghetti sauce (as shown above).  Simmer until the sauce reduces and is somewhat thickened.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, remove seeds (with a spoon) and placed a teaspoon or two of cheese in the bottom.  (I also used a squash and a large pepper).

Spoon some cheese sauce in bottom of vegetables, add hamburger mixture and top with more cheese sauce if you have some left.  If not, leave plain or add a different type of cheese for a topping.  (Any kind of cheese will work with this recipe–remember, I’m using up leftovers.)

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes–check to see if the zucchini are done to your liking, the filling is already cooked.

To go with the zucchini ‘boats’, I made some Tater tots on the waffle iron  (just spray with a bit of oil, place the Tater tots on the griddle and cook until done).

Leftover Tater Tots cooked on a waffle iron

This is an easy method to cook them and quick, but I can’t say that they turned out very pretty.  The Tater tots were not completely thawed when I placed them in the waffle iron.  They might have formed a waffle shape if they had been.  Tasted good, though.

They cooked up fine, but presentation left something to be desired.

A salad completed the meal……

 

Zucchini Boats with ‘hash browns’

This was filling and tasty.  We have some leftovers for another night as well.

News From the Front

Occasionally there are  events which warrant notice and some publicity.  This week has provided some such events noted here:

New Word!

Here is a new word invented by our very own Sosew.

Sosew modeling (shoes)

TIDICULOUS

Pronunciation:  tee-dic-you-luss

Meaning:  a ridiculous and tedious process, event, or occurrence

Background:  Sosew is in the process of resolving an issue with her internet/TV provider.  This process is taking many hours.  Yesterday she was forced to stand in line to resolve a modem issue for 30 minutes.  All the  customers ahead of her were there for the same issue.  This, she deemed, was “TIDICULOUS’!

(Oh, alright.  She meant to text  ‘ridiculous’  but  I thought the new word was more appropriate.  Now, then, write it ten times, use it in three sentences, and practice this new word until it is in your own vocabulary.  I’ll bet you will have no problem doing this.)

*********************

Farming Frustration!

Vanna,

Vanna

and her Hubby, The Engineer/Farmer,

The Engineer/Farmer

plant a large garden which he tends.  When he is home.  Unfortunately, last week whilst they were off vacationing with family, the wild turkeys which inhabit the area around their home noticed the Farmer was not present and helped themselves to the ripening corn.    This, despite the fact, reported Vanna, that he had judiciously and carefully installed many “Sponge Bob/Square Pants” helium balloons strategically around the corn.

HUH?

What’s that?

Oh.

Well, no.  I don’t know what the turkeys thought seeing these.  Evidently encouraged their feast, however.

Thankfully, the the tomatoes and potatoes were not bothered and we are the grateful recipients of some of those jewels!

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Appliance Wars

Well, first it was those new-fangled, no-agitator washing machines and now it’s the water/ice dispenser on the kitchen fridge.

Along with most of my friends, we are the none-too-happy owners of a no-agitator washing machine.  Turns out these things don’t dispose of all the water and will form mold underneath and inside the machine itself.  This causes them to smell, especially if they are left closed (whether front loading or top loading) and/or in an area like a garage or small laundry room.   And where do most people house their washing machine?  Right.  In a small laundry room.

No amount of cleaning with any brand or non-brand product seems to get this smell out of the machine.  I have faithfully cleaned this machine every month  since it arrived here!–as directed in the instructions. I now have taken to cleaning the washing machine when I’m done with it each time, wiping it down inside, removing the soap and softener tray to clean them, and wiping all around the upper rim of the tub.  The bleach dispenser has actually RUSTED (ever heard of that?!).  Still, there is no way to get underneath the drum where water stands and will, over time, form mold.

We discovered there are several class action lawsuits surrounding these machines–but alas! I don’t know how we’d join one.  (If you do, please let me know!)  These machines can cost upwards to $1,000–a major expense for many households–and they are a huge disappointment to most of us.  I can tell you this:  the next time I purchase a washing machine, it will be one with an agitator.  I never had a problem with them smelling!

(And, full disclosure:  I have a very large laundry room, well-ventilated, and so my issue  isn’t nearly as dire as some who have those closet arrangements or garage space for their laundry.  But it still emits an unpleasant oder!)

And……

This morning, the refrigerator water dispenser was dripping and a puddle had formed on the floor.  Thankfully, the model and serial number of the fridge is located where I could actually see it, so I quickly wrote down the numbers and called the appliance store from which we purchased it.  Turns out they are open at 9 a.m.–banker’s hours?–and so I left my information on their answering machine voice mail (whatever happened to the term, “answering machine” anyway?).  Since it’s now just 8:32 a.m., I have not yet received a call back.    I will report on the outcome of this, yet another great adventure in living.

Turns out our helpful appliances have now become so advanced they take up much of our time (and money) just to maintain.

TIDICULOUS, isn’t it!

Nap time

When One is a Poodlette and it’s a Sunday afternoon, a nap is very much in order!

So many choices of where to nap!  The floor, the rug, the Poodlette bed, one of the two kennels One has, or…..of course, the most preferred position of all:

This is the preferred position:  “Spread Eagle” on One’s back; paws up in the air, bent so the fur cuffs are displayed prominently; ear jauntily draped, snoozing happily with One’s Person above for protection.

What is in a name?

Girlfriend’s daughter sent this photo from Amsterdam–in case you think I make all this up!