Sunday, December 29, 2013

Morgan watching Fox and Friends

Morgan watching puppies on Fox and Friends this morning!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Just taking it easy

It's 8:00 am and I am still in my robe and slippers and on my second pot of coffee!  That never happens on a week day, except when I'm on vacation!

One of the nice things about vacation is not having to set the alarm. . . but I don't know why I need an alarm clock with two live alarms clocks in the house in the form of two Black Labs!

Molly is holding her own.  The medication seems to be working.  I am not delusional.  With the type of cancer she has, her days are numbered and I have accepted that.  As long as she is not suffering and shows at least minimal interest in life, I will keep her alive.

For now, I'm going to have another cup of coffee and think about the things I have to look forward to in the New Year.  My brain is enjoying the rest from the frantic, high pressure job I have at the Medical Center.

Go out and make it a Great Day!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

To all my readers and your family, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Update on Molly

Molly seems to be stable since being on her medications.  She perks up when company comes or if I give her a special treat - her favorite is a beef bone to chew .  I'm clinging to what the vet said that some dogs can live weeks or months with this type of cancer.  I don't see any signs that she is suffering.

I am off work till Monday so, other than some last minute Christmas preparations today and having Christmas dinner with my son and daughter in law tomorrow, I'm home and trying to spend as much time as possible with both the dogs.

I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A tough post to write

This week has been a challenge just trying to stay on track.

My older Lab, Molly, began showing symptoms that I thought needed a vet's attention. I'm a strong woman, and can take whatever comes my way, as I have proven many times over the years.  But don't throw the "c" word at me if you are talking about one of my dogs.  Molly has cancer of the bladder.

I honestly don't remember driving home.  One minute, I was listening (or trying to) what the vet was saying.  The next thing I knew, I was in my home trying to make sense of what had happened.

The next day I called the vet and asked him to repeat what he had told me and apologized for not remembering what he said.  He explained everything in detail.

I read everything online that I could about canine bladder cancer, then called the vet back and asked what he thought of what I was thinking.  I will not consider surgery, given Molly's advanced age. . . not to mention, if they did do surgery, and found the tumor inoperable, the surgery would be in vain.

She is on medication and it is possible the medication could shrink the tumor.  The vet says he has known dogs to live weeks or months with Molly's condition.

I'm a strong believer in quality of life.  Tonight I gave her a beef bone.  She got really excited about that and chewed away on it in pure joy.  Later, the UPS man delivered a package and she ran to the door. . . all these are good signs.  Right now I am focused on the good signs.

My neighbors across the street, who take care of Morgan and Molly when I am away, were upset to hear about Molly.  Sara is a mother of three young children.  When I was away over Thanksgiving, she said coming over to care for the dogs was her "me" time.  She is especially attached to Molly, as Morgan, with her young, rambunctious personality can be trying to someone not used to that.  One night, she put Morgan in her cage and just spent quiet time with Molly, petting her and talking to her.  I'm sure Molly ate that right up!

I really love the Labrador Retriever.  I've owned four of them dating back to 1985 and can't imagine living without one.  When it is time, I will give Molly a peaceful, dignified death.  But now is not the time.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Great Northeastern Snow Storm

This is what it looks like outside my house this morning!  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bean and Ham Soup

Today I am making Bean and Ham Soup - something I make often in the cold months.  It not only is high in nutritional value, but it just plain tastes great!

It's an all day process.  I begin with a smoked ham hock (from my farmer who only raises grass fed animals - no hormones, preservatives or other yucky additives).  I  put maybe 8 cups or more of water in a large pot and let the ham hock simmer with celery, onion, and carrots.  After that has cooked for several hours, I remove the celery, onion, and carrots and discard.  I let the ham hock cool until it can be touched.

I chop meat off the bone and add that to the pot along with a package of 16 bean soup mix that has soaked overnight, and salt and herbs and spices and let that simmer most of the day.  Towards the end, I add a large can of chopped tomatoes with the juice.  Sometimes I add pasta during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Can't beat it!  It is economical, tastes great, and adds excellent nutritional value to your diet.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my son and daughter-in-law, John and Jen, and my three grandsons.  It was cut short, however, due to that ugly storm that decided to strike right at the peak travel time.  My plans were to drive down on Wednesday, but instead I drove down early, VERY early on Thanksgiving morning, leaving long before dawn.  I had to get there. . . I was bringing the Thanksgiving turkey!

First order of business when I arrived. . . get the turkey in the oven!

On Friday, we took a walk through the grounds of an old mansion in Richmond.  Here are some pictures of that.  You can click on the pictures to make them larger and easier to view.

This is an animal sanctuary for birds and animals.  All of them have been injured, or otherwise rendered unable to survive in the wild.  There is a huge area that is home to a black bear, double fenced because someone in the past who wasn't too bright, got too close and was mauled by the bear.

John, Jen, Andrew, Kevin, and Jake.

Kevin, Jake, and Andrew

Jen had a fantasticThanksgiving feast.  One dish, in particular, was extraordinary - and so simple to make.  It is a cranberry orange relish and here's how to make it.

one 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
one orange, peel and all
sugar (here you can add an amount to suit you - 1/4 cup up to a cup)

Put everything in the food processor and blend well.  It is not only eye-catching but tastes great.

This has been handed down in her family for years.  It's no wonder!

I hope your Thanksgiving was as memorable as mine was.  It is good to pause, in this rat race world we live in, and give thanks for those things that really matter - family and friends.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sights and thoughts in the halls at work

I work in a large Medical Center.  To say it is a busy place, is an understatement.   When I leave the quiet of my office and wander down the halls, there is no telling what I will experience.

Come along with me on a "typical" walk. . . although there really is nothing typical in a Medical Center.

There is an Amish couple and three small daughters.  The man has a long, unkempt beard and the dark hat worn by the Amish.  The woman is attired in a long, simple dress with a white nylon cap.  The little girls are dressed similar to their mom.

There are people from every socio-economic background and every ethnic variety.  People who don't care about their appearance or a healthy lifestyle and those that do.

In an almost deserted hallway, I see a woman walking toward me that looks very familiar.  The person I think she is wouldn't be here in the Medical Center this time of day, I thought.  "SHERRY!" she exclaimed as she walked closer to me.  "I almost didn't recognize you without a gun in your hands!"

Uh-oh. . . I hope there are no left-wing nut cases within earshot!  It was Margaret, one of my sporting clays shooting buddies.  With my dress clothes on, minus jeans and a shooting vest, she didn't recognize me!

In another moment, I see a woman with a volunteer therapy dog coming my way.  A yellow Labrador Retriever.  "Oh, I just have to touch your dog!" I tell her.  My hands are all over this dog, Dar is his name, and he is just eating up the attention.  The hospital uses specially trained and screened dogs in the patient areas.  Research has proven this is a good approach to helping patients in their recovery and in relieving stress.  We talk "Labs" for awhile and then she is on her way.  But first, she commands Dar to "take a bow."  He goes down on his front legs right in front of me and my heart melts.

Oh, look over there!  There is an obviously proud dad, most likely going to visit his wife in the maternity area, with a toddler at his side wearing a T-shirt that says, "I'm the big brother."

A local TV reporter, whom I recognize, hurries along with her crew.  The Medical Center is a research center and over the years, hundreds of new therapies and discoveries have been made here.  In the next day or so, I would expect to see a story on the latest discovery on the 6:00 news.

Stepping into an elevator, I notice one woman looking at me intently.  I see her eyes move to my ID badge.  "Are you the same Sherry Bennett that has little twins?"

How do I answer that one?  "Uh, well. . . I do have twin sons but they aren't little anymore."

This was a woman I knew years ago from a church we went to back in the day!  I remembered her name but didn't recognize her.

When you step into the large Medical Center where I spend my weekdays, you just never know who or what you will encounter!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Homemade vegetable beef soup

I made a big pot of vegetable beef soup today.  It has lots of good, nutritious ingredients, including beef from the soup bone, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato, garbanzo beans, pasta, garlic, and spices.  I will freeze much of it in single servings and leave enough to enjoy this week.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My new couch and love seat

My new couch and love seat were delivered today.  I won't even tell you how old my other furniture was. . . it was old.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Old Rochester!

Almost every year, I have a wall calendar hanging in my kitchen with Labrador Retrievers on it.  Well, not for 2014!

I was in Wegmans today and passed the display with 2014 wall calendars.  There was one I have never seen before. . . Vintage Rochester!  It caught my eye. . . especially one picture.  It was the old train station in Rochester circa 1906.

In the mid-1970's my mother-in-law would ride the Amtrak from her home north of NYC to Rochester to visit.  That same train station was still there, although it certainly had decayed over the years.  To be honest, it was just plain creepy.  The shell of the building was there but most of the windows were broken and you never could go in there without seeing a half dozen rats roaming around.  I think it had been years since a cleaning person had been there.  Seriously.  John and Michael were less than 3 during the years I would drive down there to pick up Gramma.  I explained to them before we left home that they were not allowed to use the rest room at the train station so go before we leave home.  I always wanted to make sure we got there before the train arrived and sometimes (most of the time) it was late.

I remember once we were sitting there waiting for Gramma's train to arrive and an elderly lady sitting next to us must have read the expression on my face. . . I'm told my facial expressions speak louder than words.  Really?  So this lady said to me, "You wouldn't believe it now, but this used to be a grand place and people would come here for dinner."  It took me a second to absorb her words.  "You are right!"  I said to her.  "I can't believe that!!!"  She began telling me of days gone by when it was a "destination."

I don't remember exactly when they tore the place down and built another building.  A plain, rectangular, much smaller, one story building.  Over the years that building has seen better days and now there are plans to tear that one down and build another one.  The new one, at least as plans go now, will be a replica of the old building from the early 1900's.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween treats for the Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong

One of my friends and co-workers, Jennifer Steward, loves to knit, crochet, and sew.  In Pediatrics, we have a parade for those patients who are able to participate.  As they move down the hall, we hand out candy and favors.  Each year, Jen sews these adorable stuffed animals and gives each child one.  Here she is with this year's collection.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

I wish I could post pictures of the patient parade, but federal regulations prevent me from publishing pictures of patients.

Hats off to Jennifer Steward for going above and beyond the call of duty!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Toys from yesteryear

A recent post from one of the blogs I follow, Home on the Range, spoke of toys from another era.  That one brought back a flood of memories of toys you never see today.

Do you remember any of these?  If you are under 50, you probably don't!

I was a "Tomboy" - yeah, the younger readers will not remember that one, and if you do, in today's world, it is considered a bad word, like, well you know!  A Tomboy was a girl that pushed aside girly toys - dolls and tea sets - for things that were considered appropriate for boys.  I played cowboys and indians, riding an imaginary horse fashioned from a broomstick with a hole drilled in the top to hold a small rope - the reins for the horse.  I played with cap guns. . . even wore my new cowgirl outfit, complete with holsters and guns, the first day back to school after Christmas in the first grade for Show and Tell.  Try that one in today's world.

Going back to even younger days, I had a "putt-putt boat."  It was a small, tin boat, a bath tub toy.  You placed a birthday cake candle inside the boat, lit the candle, and the heat from the candle somehow powered the boat and it moved through the bath tub water making a "putt-putt" sound!

A trip downtown was a special event for me.  There were the street vendors with their carts selling wind up toys!  It could be a monkey playing a drum, a walking horse - those are the ones I can remember - I'm sure there were many more.

We didn't know what a TV was.  I think I was in the first grade before there was a TV in the house and it was a black and white screen that took five minutes to "heat up" before the screen came on.  We had one channel, the local television station.

Sometimes I almost wish we could go back to those days.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Division Luncheon at work today

Several times a year, the Division of Neonatology at work has a luncheon.  We had our first one last winter - a crock pot lunch - and it was a big success, both in attendance and in the nice variety of food people brought.  That was followed by another one in May - a salad lunch - another big success.

Today was a pot luck.  A lot of people brought some really good food.  But one stood out (even more than my contribution!).  One of our Neonatologists, Rita, brought the most divine fried rice.  This is one of those recipes that leaves itself open for variety.  Here is the way she made it today.  For me, it was the chunks of pineapple and the cranberries that stole my heart!

canola oil, 1 tablespoon
garlic, 2 cloves minced
scallions, 2 chopped, white and green part
shitake mushrooms, sliced
romaine lettuce, chopped coarsely
cranberries, a handful
pineapple, chopped, 1 can or fresh
rice, 2 cups cooked
salt and pepper to taste

Note:  you can add other ingredients:  peas, bamboo shoots, cabbage, bok choy, even left over turkey after Thanksgiving.  Drain the pineapple well as the juice can make the rice soggy.

In a wok or large skillet, heat oil under high heat.  Add garlic and scallions, cooking and stirring until fragrant, a little less than a minute.

Add mushrooms, lettuce, cranberries, and pineapple.  Stir fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Add rice, salt and pepper and other optional ingredients, stirring constantly for about another 5 minutes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Walking into work from the parking lot yesterday, in the rain, a woman asked me about my umbrella.  It does turn heads!

"It is a Gustbuster!" I told her and briefly explained that it will hold up in strong winds.  I have ruined countless umbrellas, with a cheaper price tag, in strong wind and rain.

It is large and provides much more coverage from rain than the dainty little ("prissy" is a better term) fold up umbrellas that I have heard people brag about, "It fits neatly in my bag."

Gustbuster umbrellas have a top cover over the upper part and underneath that are holes in each section that prevent strong winds from turning it inside out.  I bought mine directly from the company, but I believe now you have to go through an online retailer.  I have never seen them in the stores locally.  Just do a google of "gustbuster umbrellas" and you will find a source.

I have a long walk from the parking lot into the Medical Center and on a stormy day, I wouldn't want to be without my Gustbuster!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How can it be?

Recently I put together a powerpoint presentation of pictures from the cousins reunion we have ever year in the spring down in Alabama, on land that has been in our family since it was deeded from the government back in the 1800s.  Looking at this picture, fills me with awe.  Here we are, lined up by age.  That's me on the far left in the yellow shirt (the oldest) on down to Richard, the youngest.  The space in the center is in memory of Paul, our cousin who drowned in 1961.  Actually, I"m the third oldest of the gang.  Our two oldest cousins rarely attend.

I grew up with these "kids."  Then I married and moved to New York State and for 30 something years, I mostly didn't see these guys.  I remember at my father's funeral ten years ago, Debbie came up and gave me a hug and I had no idea who she was!

How can it be, seemingly in the blink of an eye, we changed from little kids to old people???  We have had our share of bumps and bruises along the way, but we still know how to have a good time and we look forward to the reunion every year.  I think the one thing that stands out as I look at this picture is how much like our "ancestors" we are!  There is Kenny, white shirt, third from right, who is sooo much like his dad, our Uncle Harding!  Uncle Harding was one of those people who could make you laugh for hours and so can Kenny!  We all have that Morgan stubborn streak and those same Southern conservative values.  We will all tell you, we were raised in classrooms where the pledge of allegiance to the flag and the Lord's Prayer were recited every day and we all turned out the better for it.  My dad and Uncle Harding each served in the military during World War II, so we have a respect and appreciation for our military.

None of us are wealthy in terms of dollars.  But we have so much more to be grateful for in our upbringing and our heritage.

Love you, cousins!  See you in a few months.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Paddling at Mendon Ponds Park

My friend, Nancy, got a new kayak this morning and was looking for someone to go paddling with.  It's rare for me to turn down an offer like that!  We went to Mendon Ponds Park.  Here are some pictures of the afternoon.

A dog that was hiking through the park with its owner decided that two ladies with kayaks was better entertainment!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Goodbye to an old friend

It served me well.  My Mad River solo, kevlar canoe accompanied me on canoe camping trips in the Adirondacks, as well as local paddling in the Rochester area.  When Molly was a hyperactive puppy, I took her to Mendon Ponds Park for a canoe ride.  Except that Molly wanted no part of a canoe ride and she bailed out, the only time I ever flipped the canoe in water.  I put her back in the boat and gave her a very stern, "Stay!" command.  She accepted her fate for the next half hour or so.

In more recent years, my interests turned to other things. . . my sleek yellow kayak, my old tandem kevlar canoe, bicycling, and the list goes on.  I had been trying to sell it off and on for awhile.  No one was willing to give me my price.  Far too many people don't understand the difference between this canoe and a dime store quality that you would find in BJs or Sam's Club for much less than I demanded for this one.

A recent ad brought an e-mail from someone at work.  I described the canoe to her in more detail than the two line ad that caught her attention and I sent her this picture.  "I have too many toys and not enough time to enjoy them," I told her as my reason for selling it.

She has a cottage on the water so she will get a lot of use out of it.  And though a part of me wanted to hang on to it, I am grateful that it is going to a new home where it will be loved and cared for!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

It was thirteen years ago today that I was racing up the almost empty expressway in the pre-dawn hours to get to the hospital in time for the birth of my first grandchild, Kevin!

Kevin is active in Scouts and enjoys golf.  The picture above was taken recently on a Scout hike in the Shenandoahs.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I've taken a real liking to hummus lately.  In the past, it wasn't something I was excited about, mostly because the hummus I had was rather bland.

Now I have found several recipes to make my own and what a difference!  This is a highly nutritious snack, especially when you use fresh veggies to dip into it.

Here is just one of my recipes.  Try it!

1 clove garlic
1 19 oz. can garbanzo beans
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a food processor, chop a large clove of garlic.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in the processor and process on high until well blended.

I often get dried garbanzo beans at a natural food store and use those in recipes instead of canned.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jake!

Happy Birthday to my grandson, Jake!  He is eleven years old today.  Jake, and his brothers, Kevin and Andrew, are a big source of pride to me.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Something good happened to me today at work

In my job, I supervise the secretaries in our Division (Neonatology) and now the student employees.  Anyone who has ever supervised people will tell you it isn't a rose garden.

I wasn't looking forward to going to work today.  We had posted a job opening for a student employee.  We thought we had one hired.  At the eleventh hour, he found another job "with more hours and more pay."  I had three interviews scheduled for today.  'Okay, I can do this,' I told myself.

The first young woman who came in was all smiles with a bubbly personality.  I have a pocket full of questions I ask job candidates to test their abilities to handle the job and find out what they are really like behind that cute smile and warm handshake.  I've actually found a few who don't bother to shake hands, if you can believe that.

As the interview went along, I warmed up to this young lady.  "Tell me," I began, "what accomplishment are you most proud of in your life and why?"

She smiled broadly.  "Definitely coming to the U of R (University of Rochester).  I am the first one in my family to go to college.  We are immigrants."  She is of Filipino heritage and it is obvious this young lady is going places in life.  She particularly wanted this job because she is considering going into Medicine and is drawn to Pediatrics."

I never hire someone right on the spot, no matter how impressed I am with them.  I waited a few hours and called her back to let her know we had chosen her and could she come back today to sign the required paperwork.  She was ecstatic!

From all indications so far, that young woman's parents did a fine job raising her.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: Gun Belt from Dragon Leatherworks

I love the new gun belt I ordered from Dragon Leatherworks.  This is no ordinary gun belt.  It is a quality piece of work from a dealer where I have bought holsters in the past.  You have a choice of buckles and the first 6 or 8 inches of the belt is a single piece of leather to make pulling it through belt loops easier.  It has an inner layer to prevent the belt from stretching.

For premium quality American made holsters and gun belts, look no further than Dragon Leatherworks! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I've made up my mind

This past weekend, as you can read in the last post, I was in the Adirondacks at a state campground.  I was paddling in waters I have paddled for the last 30 plus years.  In recent years, I haven't gotten back there.  You know, Life 101 always gets in the way of our best intentions.

I realized just how much I had missed these waters.  There are little streams and ponds, where motorboats can't get to - and in some cases are prevented by law from entering.  It is a true paddler's paradise.  It is a "get away from it all" experience.  You are likely to run into others in kayaks or canoes, who, like you, appreciate and love places like this.  You will see all kinds of ducks and birds, even a crane who doesn't appreciate you disturbing their home.  At night and during the day, you will hear the enchanting call of the loon - the bird, not the human kind of loon.

I came home more committed than ever to get back up there next summer.  In fact, you can make camping reservations 9 months ahead of time.  Come next month, I will call the reservation agent and reserve a campsite in Rollins Pond campsite for a week next July.  I owe it to myself and my sense of well being to do it.

I sent my friend, Nancy, who was with me this weekend, an e-mail and told her of my plans.  Not one to commit to something that far in advance, I knew she wouldn't make a commitment now.  "That comes at a time of a lot of family birthdays," she said.  I hope she can go.  But I will go by myself if I have to.  It is just that important to me.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A weekend of camping in the Adirondacks

My friend, Nancy and I, in the past have backpacked, canoe camped, snowshoed, and cross country skiied all over the Adirondacks.  However, due to time constraints. . . okay, and maybe old age setting in! . . . we haven't been to the Adirondacks in a couple years or more.  Awhile back we decided to set a weekend aside and just do it.  On Friday we headed up to the Adirondacks with my canoe on top of the car and the inside of the car loaded with gear.

A funny thing happened in my garage Friday morning when she came over to help me load the canoe onto the car.  I was emptying out the life jackets, and a few other minor items that had collected in the canoe since last I used it.  I found a pair of sunshades.  "Hhmm, where did these come from?"  I turned around to throw them in the garbage can behind me.  They weren't mine.  I have to wear prescription sunshades.

Nancy gasped.  "Are they Raybans?" she asked.

"Yeah, how did you know?"

After the initial shock wore off, we determined that possibly last summer, when she was helping me hang my kayak on the wall, above the canoe, the Raybans fell off her head into the canoe.  They belong to her husband who wasn't any too pleased that she lost them.

All packed and ready to go, I said goodbye to Morgan and Molly and promised them I would return and they would be well taken care of while I was away.  I tried to ignore their sad looks.

We ended up camping at Fish Creek Ponds, a state run campground just east of the village of Tupper Lake.  We had a nice site on the water.

Saturday morning, as on ANY morning, my first priority is to get the coffee ready.  Darn, that percolator takes much longer than my Bunn coffeemaker at home!

We went for a canoe ride in the early afternoon.  Over the last 30 plus years, I have spent a lot of time paddling these waters.  There are so many neat little streams and ponds where motor boats can't get to and you can really enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature.

On Saturday afternoon, I received the following e-mail from the neighbor who was taking care of Molly and Morgan:

Not sure if you have email access out there in the wild....but Molly is such a sweety- she melts my heart. I swear I saw her roll her eyes at Morgan when Molly and I were playing a nice game of fetch and then Morgan came along and took the thing but didn't return it to me and just hopped all around with it in her mouth....I think I heard Molly say "Seriously Morgan, can't you just watch me and learn. If you want this human to play with you then you give the toy back to her- not jump all over like a crazy dog"  :-)

On Saturday night, we had kabobs for dinner.  We eat well on these trips!

We expected an uneventful trip home on Sunday. . . and it was, except for one minor bump in the road.  As we were coming around the bend in the road in the tiny hamlet of Floyd, NY, my jaw dropped as just ahead we saw a huge road block, with, no kidding, 10  police cars with their lights flashing.  I've never seen a road block with that many police.  As I pulled up to the officer, he asked me to pull over to the side of the road.  WHAT?  Not one to talk back to a law enforcement officer, I did what I was told, with no idea why he chose me, when all the other cars ahead of me were motioned on.

"May I have your license, registration, and insurance papers, please?" he asked.

At this point, visions of mistaken identify and all kinds of unpleasant things were bouncing around in my mind.  I grabbed my purse and produced the items he asked for.  It was then he told me that my vehicle inspection sticker had expired in May.

Some relief set in as he left the side of my car to go check out my identify on his computer.  At least he hadn't confused me with some fugitive from justice!

He returned and explained the paperwork.  I am to produce proof that my car was inspected - that will be done TODAY! - and then send the paperwork to the Court of Floyd, NY.  I will then hear back from them to know if I will be fined or not.  It was then that he told me, "You may get away with just a warning and no fine, since you have a clean record."  

Ha!  Yes, I am squeaky clean when it comes to matters of the law!  My last speeding ticket was over 20 years ago and that was in a state (that will remain anonymous) that does not like people from New York State.  They think everyone that lives in NYS is rich and they are not a wealthy state!

It was a fun weekend and I especially enjoyed the slow pace, listening to the loons on the water and the breeze blowing through the trees.

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Never, ever give up!"

Those are the words of Diana Nyack, who today, at the age of 64, became the first person to swim the 110 mile stretch from Cuba to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage.

You have to admire this woman.  Swimming that distance, in shark infested waters, along with jelly fish. . . uuggh. . . is not my idea of a fun time or even something I would aspire to.  I wouldn't even want to paddle that distance in my kayak or canoe, with a support team!  But she made the attempt five times before accomplishing her goal.

God bless her.  This is a lesson all of us can learn from, no matter what our age.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A neat trick I learned today

You know how tips are - some are worthwhile, others are a waste.  Today I read that placing a cup of water in the microwave on High for several minutes will make cleaning the microwave a breeze.  The steam from the water loosens the stuck on stains.  Yes, it's easy to say, "Wipe the microwave with a damp cloth after every use."  But I'm not that conscientious.  So I put a pyrex cup with water in the microwave and turned it on for 5 minutes.  I then took a wet cloth and the spatters wiped up easily.  It took more time to heat the water and create steam than it did to wipe the microwave clean as new!  Now if I could just get the ink stains off my bedroom carpet from where Morgan chewed up two pens when I wasn't watching.  The Oxyclean method didn't work.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A great day of sporting clays shooting

Today was a beautiful summer day in Rochester. . . a perfect day for shooting sporting clays with Margaret and Tom.  I even had a decent score!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Update on my new vest

Here it is, finished!

In an earlier post this month, I wrote about Lois, (From Lois' Hands) who
was knitting a new vest that I requested.  Isn't it beautiful?

I highly recommend her work.  Check out her etsy site here.  She and Kjell have all kinds of unique gifts on the site, everything from hand crafted wooden pens and seam rippers, to elegantly crafted knitted and crocheted items.  It's a great place to find that one-of-a-kind gift.  I can vouch for her work and her integrity.  You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A great homemade V8 Juice

I found this recipe on Farmgirl Fare (the link is in the list of blogs on the right of this blog).  It is wonderful and the smell that fills the house as it is simmering is good too!

6 pounds of tomatoes
2 cups chopped onion
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
6 drops of Tabasco sauce
a splash or two of Worcestershire
pepper to taste

You need a large pot to cook this in.  Just dump everything in and let it simmer for 40 minutes.  Use a hand blender or sieve to mix it after cooking.  Chill and serve.  This will last a week in the refrigerator.

I used my hand blender to blend it.

I have a juicer which I use often to mix fruit and vegetable drinks.  This is the first recipe for juice that I've seen that calls for cooking it first.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You gotta see this one!

This is making the rounds on facebook.  This is guaranteed to brighten your day and make you laugh!  Copy and paste the link below.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cosmo Allegretti has died

Now, you are wondering, who is Cosmo Allegretti?  If you are from my generation, you know him, but not by his name!  Cosmo was a set painter on a new children's program when the producer decided he didn't like the puppets for the show.  That's when Cosmo stepped in and became Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose, and Grandfather Clock on the old Captain Kangaroo show.  I used to watch that program every day!  That was back in the good old days of television!  It didn't matter that there was no color TV. We had three channels and were quite satisfied.  I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo, Sky King, Fury, My Little Margie, The Little Rascals, Amos and Andy, Howdy Doody, and Mr. Wizard.  How many of those do you remember?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eggplant Heaven

Recently I posted on facebook, "This is eggplant week at my house.  I got two eggplants at the grocery store. . ."

The comments ranged from "better you than me, Cuz" to "post the recipes on your blog.  I have eggplant now too."  A few people either e-mailed me or saw me in the hall at work and said, "Send me your eggplant recipes."

Be careful what you ask for!  Here are my best eggplant recipes and I recommend all of them.

Eggplant Casserole

4 cups water
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add eggplant.  Boil for 5 to 8 minutes or until tender.  Drain and set aside.  In a skilled, cook beef, onion and green pepper until the meat is done.  Drain.  Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes or so until the tomato is tender.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in milk, egg and eggplant and mix well.  Place in a greased oblong baking dish.  Toss bread crumbs and butter and spinkle over the top.  Bake, uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Eggplant Snack Sticks

1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce, warmed

Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices, then cut each slice lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips.  In a shallow dish, combine the wheat germ, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic salt.  Dip eggplants sticks into the egg, then coat with wheat germ mixture.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Spritz eggplant strips with cooking spray.  Broil for 3 minutes 4 inches from heat.  Remove from the oven.  Turn sticks over and spritz with cooking spray.  Broil 2 minutes longer or until golden brown.  Serve immediately with warmed spaghetti sauce.

Eggplant Skillet Dinner

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar
grated parmesan, optional

In a large skillet, brown beef with onion.  Drain.  Sprinkle flour over beef;  stir to mix well.  Add next five ingredients and mix well.  Season eggplant with salt and pepper.  Arrange slices over meat mixture.  Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until eggplant is tender.  Sprinkle with the cheese.  Cook until cheese melts.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My new vest

My friend, Lois, over at From Lois' Hands (find her blog on the right side of my blog) is into knitting and crocheting big time.  Visit her shop here.  In the past, I have bought two knitted winter hats from her as well as a very unique wooden wine bottle stopper that her husband made.  His hobby is woodworking and he is quite talented at it.  That was a Christmas present for someone one year.  You can find a range of one-of-a-kind items for yourself or for gifts.  You'll be glad you stopped by her online shop.

Anyway, back to my vest!  I asked her to knit or crochet a vest for me.  I wear a lot of vests with turtlenecks and slacks to work.  My requests were simple.  I wanted an open in the front vest.  I told her she could use any design and any color that will go with both navy blue and gray slacks.  I have seen enough of her work to know I could trust her judgment.

The picture above is the start of my vest!  I will get it sometime late September, early October.  I told her as long as I had it by winter, I was happy!

And while you're at it, take a look at her blog.  This woman lives a very exciting life!  Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.  They are at sea ten weeks and at home ten weeks.  You should see some of the fantastic photos she posts on her blog from the ship as well as her travels here and there.  Lois can find a picture perfect moment anywhere!  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Traffic jam

I was on my way to my every six weeks hair appointment.  I've traveled this route many times.  It's a no brainer.

Except, after I turned off I-390 and onto Ridgeway Avenue going west toward Long Pond. . . why are all those cars stopped in both directions just ahead, I wondered.  Come on. . . on a Saturday morning, there is not a lot of traffic along this route.

As I got closer, I saw the problem.  Canadian Geese.  They are a real problem in this town.  There were, perhaps 50 of them, idly crossing Ridgeway Avenue.  They would slowly walk, in single file across the busy road, never mind that they were holding up traffic in both directions.  Then, one or more of them would stop and look at the cars.  Makes you wonder what is going through their minds.

This went on for quite awhile.  Fortunately, I always leave early for appointments so I still had time for this nuisance.  I took a couple of pictures with my iPhone.  But from my vantage point, 5 or 6 cars back, you can barely see the little brats in the pictures.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Morgan is one year old today!

Today is Morgan's birthday!  

Here are pictures of her first year.  The last two were taken yesterday.  What a year it has been!
(Click on each picture for a larger view)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, John and Michael!

Forty years ago today, I brought two baby boys into the world that would become every mother’s dream of the ideal child.

Like most new mothers, I had no idea of the commitment required to bring a newborn home and raise it to be a responsible adult.  In my case, there were two of them!  In those first months, I wondered if I would ever be able to sleep uninterrupted through the night again.  Then there was the day I walked them to school for their first day of kindergarten.  As we got to the door of the school building where they were surrounded by neighborhood kids they had known all their life, John turned to me and said, “Go home, Mom.”  I cried all the way home.  How could they ever get through the day without me watching over them???

I must have done something right along the way because John and Michael have been a source of pride and joy to me since the day they were born.

Happy Birthday, Boys.  You’ve made your mom very proud.