Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Something that made me laugh today

Forgive my rambling.  Work has been extremely traumatic of late.  I wish I could explain, but confidentiality and all that good stuff won't allow it.  Anyone who supervises employees can understand my feelings.

I'm worried about my dog, Molly.  She has to have a toe removed tomorrow.  Long story short, it has gotten ugly and the vet said, "It's got to go."  Everyone knows surgery is a risk.  My children are grown and left home.  My dog is what keeps me going.  She is there for me when I come home from a frustrating day at work.  Her tail is wagging and she is genuinely glad to see me.

We have an elderly faculty member at work, way past 80 years old.  I'll call her Betty, although that is not her real name.  I enjoy Betty.  Back when I took vacation to go to my cousin's reunion down South, I told Betty all about our trip.  We are a bunch of Southerners who enjoy our guns and have a great time target shooting and playing show n tell with our guns!

Betty giggled.  Then put her hand over her mouth and giggled some more.  She told me about her mother who got a pistol permit - years ago - and kept a pistol under her pillow at night.  Never mind what Betty was telling me.  Just the way she told me made me laugh till I cried.

So today I had left my office, heading home.  As I was walking down the hall, I thought the woman approaching me was Betty.  But this woman had shorter hair. And, anyway, Betty is supposed to be on vacation this week and next.  As she got closer, I said, "Betty?"  She beamed.

"Look at your hair!  It looks great!"

She was eating this up right and left!.  She had gotten a new perm.

"Well, I was at a meeting across the street, so I thought I would stop in the office for a bit.  Do you have a minute?" she asked.


So she reached into her brief case and pulled out a single sheet of paper.  "I wanted to show you this," she beamed.

"Oh, my God!  Is this what I think it is?"

She was proudly showing me her mother's application for a pistol permit from New York State back in 1928!

"Just one sheet?" I asked.

Yep. And her mother walked into the office with her application and walked out with her permit!

Things have changed a bit in NYS since those days.  Now a pistol permit is more of a package than a single sheet and it takes months to be granted a permit.

As Betty went on her way and I headed in the opposite direction to my parking lot, I caught myself laughing hysterically.

God bless you, Betty.  With all the deluge of nasty stuff I have been dealing with at work lately, you were a big beam of sunshine in my life today.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

This morning I made Southern Buttermilk Drop Biscuits.  I made them in a Lodge cast iron biscuit pan.  Baking them in cast iron makes them crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth light and fluffy on the inside!

There are dozens and dozens of good buttermilk biscuit recipes.  Here is the one I used this time:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Combine the dry ingredients, then add the butter.  Mix the butter into the flour mixture until you have a crumbly texture.  Add the buttermilk and stir just until moist.

If using cast iron, you must preheat it in the oven first.  When dough is ready to bake, drop into baking pan.  Bake at 450 for about 15 to 18 minutes.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Searching for my crockpot beef stew recipe

So everyone knows I have enough cookbooks to reach the sky if stacked up, not to mention all the recipes I have on my computer and in card files and binders.  I guess you could say I'm a cookbook/recipe junkie.

In one of my mindless moments, I happened to think of a wonderful crockpot beef stew I had made in the past and all of a sudden my taste buds went wild. . . I just HAD to have the recipe.

I have been looking for that recipe all weekend with no luck.  In going through the documents file on my computer, I found a picture of the stew in my crockpot.  That told me I had posted it on my blog!

Okay, so I have been blogging since early 2009. . . that's an awful lot of posts to go through searching for a recipe!  Oh, but I never told you, persistence (stubborness, my parents used to call it) is one of my strongest traits.  What to do now?  My eyes were roving across the computer screen.  In the upper left hand corner there was a "search" feature.  Oh, that probably isn't for my blog.  Still, I typed in "crockpot beef stew recipe" and in an instant, there it was on my screen!!!

There it was from October 2011!

Okay, laugh at me if you must.  But, folks, I have a very fast-paced, pressure cooker job.  I deserve my moments of mindless pursuit.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Choosing my new puppy's name

Naming my first three Labs was a no-brainer. My first Lab, Teri, was named by my two sons. Cash was four months old when we got her and had already been named by the breeder. Next came Molly. At the time, Molly was a common name for Labs.

Sometime in the winter of 2012, I decided to get another puppy. I never gave a thought to a name. I was more focused on finding a quality breeder who would have pups ready to go in late summer, early fall. That proved to be a major challenge.

As winter was winding down, I began thinking of names. I had a long list! I scoured the internet doing google searches of “names for Labrador Retrievers.” If I saw someone walking a dog, I’d ask them the dog’s name. The more names I gathered, the more confused I became over choosing the right one.

What was my first choice one week, would be discarded several weeks later!

I don’t remember when the name, Morgan, came to mind. Soon I had narrowed my list down to four strong possibilities.

I posted on facebook about my inability to choose a name and mentioned three names I was considering. “My sister had the most wonderful dog and it’s name was Morgan,” my friend, Peggy, wrote. I know it sounds crazy, but when I read that, something just clicked inside me and I decided that was the name I would choose! Oh, by the way, Morgan is my maiden name too!

Am I the only one that can’t make up my mind choosing names for dogs??? How did you choose your dog’s name?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Morgan comes home on September 22

My new Labrador Retriever puppy, Morgan, will come home on September 22.  Yesterday I visited with the breeder.  I wanted to meet her and her dogs in person before I agreed to buy.  I found her to be everything her website and her e-mail communications with me represented.  She called me the day the litter was born.

I really did not enjoy the puppy search.  Finding the right breeder can be daunting.  A couple of times I almost gave up.  Some breeders have the mindset, "Just send your deposit check and I'll let you know when you can pick up your puppy."  One breeder sent me a lengthy questionnaire to return, "so that she could determine if I am a suitable dog owner."  I'm ashamed to admit that I complied.  In the past, I knew of someone who bought a puppy, got home with it and discovered the dog could not stand up or walk.  The breeder refused to accept any responsibility for it.  If a breeder would not allow me to come visit and meet them in person, they quickly got scratched from my list.

I have owned a Lab since 1985, three of them, Teri, Cash, and now Molly. . . Morgan will be #4!  Dog owners have their own ideas about what is the right dog, a mixed breed, a specific breed, or. . . as one person told me proudly, "We have a designer dog."  I had never heard that term before.  It's just another term for "high priced mixed breed."

The bottom line, whatever dog makes you happy and that you feel a bond with, is the right dog for you.  I have found the Lab to be highly intelligent with a loving personality and a desire to please.  I will be devoted to this breed until the day I die.  It is my belief that when you buy from a reputable breeder, you know what you are getting.  A good breeder is selective in which dogs they choose to breed and they are not in it to make a lot of money.

If you are searching for a quality Labrador Retriever puppy, I highly recommend Campbell Yard Labradors in Amherst, NY.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My new puppy was born yesterday

I will be bringing a new puppy home in early October.  Morgan was born yesterday, along with 7 other litter mates, all black Labrador Retrievers.

After the puppies are 4 weeks old, the breeder will let me visit as often as I like, in fact, she encourages these visits.  Since she is in Buffalo, about 70 miles down the NYS Thruway, my visits will be on weekends.

It's been 11 years since I've had a puppy in the house, so I'm sure there will not be a dull moment and I will be kept plenty busy!

I still have Molly, my black Lab.  Let's hope she isn't too jealous of having to share my attention with a young puppy!

If you haven't already figured it out, I think the Labrador Retriever is the most wonderful dog in the whole world.  Morgan will be my fourth Lab dating back to 1985.