Friday, February 27, 2015

Winter Thoughts At The End Of February

I'm thinking it just might still be snowing in June this year.  Nothing has melted but a few icicles on the south side roof edges.  On a positive note: we can see the black asphalt of the driveway for the first time since all this snow started falling.

Did you see the pictures of our 70 car pile up?  No one died.  Nothing really serious.  Heart attack, broken bones.  All of those people were very very lucky.  Especially the pregnant lady in the folded up SUV and the guy trapped in his car under the bus--he had to sit and wait until they had removed enough cars to finally reach his car.  How do you not get panicky.

Our carpenter (who was going to be doing the bathrooms this month) has a winter job plowing.  He says he hasn't done one tiny bit of carpentry since the snow started falling.  Just endless plowing and then endless repairs on the plows or the trucks.  Sounds depressing.  Since most winter contracts for plowing are for the season----not for endless, twice weekly storms.

I am looking forward.  To planting seeds.  Even as my husband warns--there won't be any place warm to plant them when they need to be planted.

I have been making pots of red chili beans this winter.  From small red dry beans.  No canned stuff. and eating the beans with brown rice.  Healthy Food.  I have been making my own chili seasonings from dry chilies, coffee, chocolate, onions, etc.  Like chemistry.

I have also been making pots and pots of chicken soup for G.  He says it makes him feel "warm" after all the outside work with the snowblower.  He had to make wider paths in the back yard for the dog. We also have paths to all the exits--in case of emergencies.  We see too many homes, on our walks, with no way to get to the front door.  The garage, yes.  The front door, no.  And I bet, no way out the back door, either.

Riley is resting--even though he much prefers being active.  We are trying to keep him off the snowbanks where he likes to do "his business".  So--he isn't the happiest of dogs.  Not even looking out the window at the squirrels and big fat black crows.  If you can't chase them, why look?

And there are no rabbits here in Maine (not even polka dotted ones).  I've often wondered why that is, as I saw rabbits all the time in Illinois.  Perhaps it's the Fishers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's All Good

When the Vet had Riley all knocked out and ready to do the aspiration of what he felt might be a  dangerous cancerous lymph gland, he said to his tech--"let's just take it out" and so they cut and took out the ...... ta da fatty tissue ball.  Not a swollen lymph gland.

At this point Dr H. and the tech nearly broke out into the happy dance and high fives.

People. (!!!!!)

Man.  Are we all happy right now.  The fatty mass is going to the lab.  Riley is on pain meds for the incision and is very Zombie-like.  He's drinking water, sleeping and going out on the leash to pee.  He'll eat treats but not his food.  An hour ago he barked.

It's all good.

Oh, the lymph gland is still in Riley and other than being a bit irritated by rubbing against the fat ball, looks normal.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Walking The Dog

That's about the only reason G and I have for going outside these February days.  How many storms in the past few weeks?  Coming two or three in a week.  No melting.  The snow is piled up so high that Riley is way up over our heads as he climbs to the top and then swims (walks) across the top. The roadways are getting more and more narrow and G and I have to tuck ourselves into the slush so cars can pass safely.  It gets tricky if on coming traffic has bald tires.  I though my ticket would be punched as a newspaper delivery guy lost control of the car and--luckily for me---plowed into a snow bank and not my knees.

The restaurant G used to manage is being closed and he has been invited to join the Breakfast Club in their last meeting there tomorrow morning.  He should go.  The Breakfast Club will be happy to see him one more time.

Riley has a vet appointment tomorrow morning regarding his lymph gland.  Aspiration.  To see what it's all about.  So, it would be good for G to have somewhere happy to go while that is happening.

My daughter is enjoying her new job.  Not the drive to work, this winter.  But her co-workers are very nice and she has her own office.  I am very thankful she is happy.

My son is enjoying his new job (it's been almost a year now) and he has just moved into an new apartment.  NEW.  After living in a1950's rental with no updates for too many years.  He did a very brave thing (well, moving was pretty off the charts as well) by deleting a large pile of "things he no longer needed" before moving.  He took only what he loved or needed with him to the new place. A fresh start.  He sends us pictures of his new home. I am very thankful he is happy.

Our neighbor across the street is moving.  And I wish she was getting rid of the things that no longer matter.  Instead of getting rid of things she is packing up the past (her failed marriage) and trying to take it with her into the future.

She wonders why we stay here.  In ice cold Maine. But as I told her, it's only 2.5 months.  And then it's almost May when Maine is absolute perfection.  And, it's home.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy New Year

The year of the ram.  I don't know how that translates for the dogs that G and I are. We'll see. But I will be taking the Swedish wooden horse down off the mantle and replacing it with the Irish wool ram I received as a gift from Ireland when G was a "traveling man".

My Winter Minestrone is way too heavy on the tomato.  A 28 ounce can of pureed tomatoes.  I have added more water and tried to lower the carb count by not adding the pasta in the recipe.  I will be adding MORE water to the next 100 bowls (it made so much) and I will be adding the pasta.  It doesn't taste bad.  It just has a "one note" taste.  Tomato, tomato, tomato.  All the nice vegetables: celery, carrots, butternut squash, kale, onions, garlic, white beans and potato are lost.  I looked at the picture posted on the blog where I first noticed this recipe--and it is indeed pretty tomato-y but the broth looks more watery than mine.  Sometimes a recipe is good from the beginning.  And other times it takes work to get it right.  And sometimes the effort to fix a recipe is wasted.  I have a perfectly perfect vegetable soup recipe I didn't use. Duh!!

We had another storm last night.  The plow just went by the driveway so I think I will jump up and look out the window and see how high the pile is at the end.  Well.  Not high enough to keep us from blasting through it at some speed.  But it still needs clearing.  G is getting ready to go out and get the newspaper--along with his trusted assistant Riley.

It was calm and sunny the past two afternoons and we took Riley for a walk on neighborhood streets.  He, typically, climbed every high snowbank (and they are taller than G or I) and typically--chose to poop on the top of the tallest pile.  G got to climb up and collect both days.  BUT, the up and down is really excellent exercise for a large muscular dog like Riley.  Not so much for a 60 something dog owner.

These twice a week storms are tiresome.  And the Blah, Blah, Blah of the weather men on the news is even more tiresome.  After the last "oh, gosh, it missed us" storm they are now saying "might" more than "it's gonna bury us".  We were supposed to get 6 to 10 inches of new snow last night and possibly-- the hype-- up to 12 to 20 inches.   Looks like 3 to me.  We'll see who is right when G goes out to shovel the back deck.

Anyway, I think we should go out today and eat some Chinese dumplings and noodles for good luck.

Riley finally--after all these years of chasing them in the yard--caught a squirrel.  G was hoping it was just stunned but it hasn't moved from the spot where G put it in the garden.  Riley can't get into the garden.  We'll see.  Circle of life an all.  But Riley wants to go catch another one.