Saturday, December 13, 2014

A wonderful day

My daughter in law posted on facebook today, "If you value your sanity, do not go to Pittsford Plaza today."

Sometimes it is good to hibernate, away from the crowds, away from the craziness of the world. . . and that is just what I have done today.  I have been reading a good book, The Shop on Blossom Street, by Debbie Macomber, and I wanted to finish it today.  And that is just what I did, with Morgan laying beside me on the couch for most of that time.  Morgan was two years old in July and is shedding much of her wild puppy ways and turning into a very loving companion.

I have always been an avid reader.  But too often in recent years, I have shoved that aside because there is always work that needs to be done and never enough time to do it.  Fortunately, I have learned that sometimes you need to step off the non-stop treadmill of life and do something just for yourself.

Do something nice for yourself today.  It will work wonders for you!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Early winter morning


I took this picture this morning while Morgan was running around the backyard.  She loves running in the snow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Snow!

As I lay awake in my bed this morning before the alarm went off, I knew the snow had arrived.  The room was lighter than normal for this time of morning and I could hear the wind.  The weather forecasts were accurate!  Snow had arrived.

I was surprised that there is only a dusting of snow, for now.  Barely enough to cover the ground.  By Friday, we are forecast to have close to a foot of snow.

Morgan loves the snow.  She loves to run in it.

Chances are good Rochester will have a white Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie


A couple of people asked in e-mail and facebook posts for my new recipe for Chicken Pot Pie this weekend.  This one is a winner!  Here it is.  I found it needed more salt than the recipe calls for.

1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 9" pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine chicken, carrots, peas and celery.  Add water to cover.  Cook over medium heat until meat and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, cook onion in butter.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper and celery seed.  Stir in broth and milk.  Simmer until thick.

Remove from heat and set aside.  Using a slotted spoon, place chicken and vegetable mixture in bottom pie crust.  Pour hot mixture over the top.  Place top crust over and seal edges.  Cut 2 or more slits in the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top crust is brown and filling is bubbly.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

MMM-mmm good!  Good enough for company.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Citizens Police Academy

My town police department is offering a Citizen's Police Academy in February and March, one night a week.  I'm proud to have been accepted into it.  You have to pass a criminal background check, but I wasn't concerned about that!

Over 8 weeks we will learn the inner workings of the police department, the K9 corps, the criminal justice system and more.

In my area, I have a Rochester, NY address, but the suburbs are organized into towns.

I have always been a strong supporter of the police and those who protect the public - this includes the military and fire fighters.  These people put their life on the line many times for the welfare of the communities and country they serve.  They deserve our respect and support.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Book of Barkley, a book I just could not put down till the last page


This is a must read for sure.  The author is an extremely talented writer who will take you on a journey of highs and lows in life and in her relationship with her beloved Labrador Retriever, Barkley.  I am honored to have an autographed copy from the author.

She drove some distance to get Barkley from the breeder.  On her arrival that first day, all the pups were scrambling around playing, as puppies do.  But there was one that just stood there looking at her as if he were sizing her up.  In the author's words, 

"After assessing me carefully, he came over and sniffed my hand, then sat at my feet, ignoring the other people there with me, snuffling at my shoelaces while the other pups, losing interest, went off to chase a bug or something.  Barkley didn't leave me the rest of the time I was there.  Where I went, he went and simply sat and looked at me with satisfaction."

Woven into the pages are glimpses of her personal life and thoughts and how Barkley enriched her life in a way she could never have imagined.  I laughed and cried all the way through, sometimes having to put the book down to clear the tears that were blocking my ability to read the pages.  There was the time she was using a pooper scooper in her front yard that "had more crap in it than most political campaign commercials."   Throw in a neighbor dog that did not like Barkley and in the mix of trying to separate the two dogs, the full pooper scooper in her hand and the neighbor's arm made inadvertent contact, and, well. . . .

" Splat! Splat! Splat! Splat!"

What happened next will have you rolling with laughter!

Every Lab owner will relate to the many adventures throughout the book.  But the book goes much deeper than just a book about a dog and it's owner.  Do yourself a big favor and read this one.  You won't regret it, I promise.  The book is available at amazon.com in both print and Kindle.  The author is donating 100% of the proceeds to Animal Rescue.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Morgan


"I can't compete with football for Sherry's attention, so I'll just take a nap until this game is over."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Internet Issues and Turkey Chowder

I don't know if I will be able to finish this post. . . and if I do, I don't know if it will post!

I'm having internet connection problems that have caused me no end in grief.  A frontier serviceman came out one day this week to see if the problem could be resolved from the outside.  He made minor progress but wanted to come inside my house to check the wires there.  Of course I was at work.  The problem continues so I have made arrangements for them to come back on Wednesday when I will be home. . . not sure my sanity will hold out that long.  Remember the old dial up system when the internet first became a household name?  Well, that is similar to what I am experiencing.  Most of the time I can get into the internet, but it is painfully slow.  And then I intermittently get the pop up box that says I am not connected to the internet.

Many have e-mailed (yeah, the e-mail is slow too!) to ask if I had as much snow as Buffalo.  Thankfully, NO!!!  Although Buffalo is an hour down the New York State Thruway from me, they got the historic amount of snow and Rochester got a few inches!

Yesterday I cooked my Thanksgiving turkey, fresh from my farmer.  I'm having Thanksgiving dinner with Michael and Marisa and she already had her turkey.  No problem, I actually like my "leftover turkey" recipes as much as I enjoy a turkey dinner right out of the oven.

Today I am making my prized Turkey Chowder.  Oh!  It is delicious and I've been making it for 25 years or more.  Here is the recipe:

2 cups cubed potatoes
1 10 oz. pkg frozen lima beans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 16 oz. can tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

In a large pot, combine potatoes, lima beans, onion, celery, and salt.  Blend water with the soup and add to vegetables in the pot.  Cook, covered for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Add undrained tomatoes, turkey, and seasonings.  Simmer 15 minutes.  In each serving bowl, sprinkle cheddar over the soup.

Makes about 8 servings and it freezes well.

Now. . . if I press the publish button and this doesn't go through the internet to your computer, you'll know what that loud scream you heard was all about!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Proud day for a supervisor

Anyone who has ever supervised employees at work will tell you it can be gut wrenching and the cause of many sleepless nights.  I know that all too well.

But today there was a ray of sunshine. . . a BIG ray of sunshine.  As part of a project to promote team building and employee morale in our Division, I formed a small committee to brain storm ways to go about it.  A couple of weeks back, we came up with the idea of a newsletter, among other things.  Vanessa was very enthusiastic about it and wanted to take on the project.  I gave her total freedom in design and content.  I said, "Just do it."

She went about soliciting content from employees.  We wanted it to be non-work related content.  It was intended to get to know co-workers as individuals and not just the person you work with everyday.

A few people submitted pictures of their young families or things they like to do in their spare time.  One person turned in a wonderful pumpkin crumble desert recipe.  There was a column on "What are you thankful for?" that generated wonderful and unique responses.

I was extremely impressed with her work in both content and design.  She did a fantastic job.  I was also pleased to see the number of employees who responded to her call for submissions.

But wait!  It gets better.  I forwarded the newsletter to our HR Administrator in Pediatrics.  She forwarded it on to other top ranking people in the Medical Center.  I soon got a call asking if it could be passed on to others. . . ABSOLUTELY! was my answer.

Yes, today I was proud to be a supervisor and see one of my reports do such a fine job.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

New ways with veggies

Most of us are always on the lookout for new ideas in getting more vegetables in our diet.  I drink a lot of smoothies, I have a stir fry and sauce recipe that I make a lot and there is always the omelette that you can pile on the veggies.  But today when I was in Wegmans. . . what? you don't have a Wegmans near you?  Oh, you have my deepest sympathy. . . a lady was demonstrating and giving tastes of roasted vegetables.  Nothing could  be easier.  She had acorn squash sliced in half inch strips, bell peppers, cauliflower, and several other varieties.  You put all the cut up vegetables in a bowl and with your hands, coat them with a mixture of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Next spread them out on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for half an hour.  I was pleasantly surprised at how great this tasted.  Guess what I'm having for dinner tonight!  The purpose of her demonstration was to promote Wegman's pre-washed, pre-cut, and packaged veggies.  I passed on that and chose my own veggies from Wegman's phenomenal produce section.  I bought brussels sprouts, parsnips, cauliflower, acorn squash, and carrots.  You can use just about any combination you want.