Monday, February 25, 2013

Never a good time for a vacation. . .

The last "vacation" I had from work was in September when I took almost two weeks off for "puppy leave."  That was when I first brought Morgan home.

Soon I will be taking a "real" vacation, my annual trek to the South for our cousins' reunion.  I look forward to this every year, as do the rest of the Morgan Clan.

My body aches when I think of all the things I need to take care of at work before I leave and all the preparations I have to make for this trip.  Lists have been made. . . soon I will start gathering everything that needs to fit into my little Honda Civic before I begin the long drive down South.

Thanks to computer technology, I will be able to get into my work computer and take care of any issues or pass them off to the person who will be covering for me while I'm gone.  That is a big help.  Someone will be here at home watching over the dogs.

So why am I experiencing anxiety disorder?  Have I become so tied to my job that I don't think anyone else can take care of things while I'm away?  Will it be a big deal if something is left behind that I "really" needed to bring on my trip?  Am I over reacting to worry about 'what if this or that doesn't work out at the reunion'???

I think I need a vacation!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Play date for Scout and Morgan

Scout and Morgan are from the same litter.  Their personalities are much alike also!  Both like to play rough.

Yesterday afternoon they ran and ran and ran playing together.

Even though Molly, my older Lab was invited, she stayed at home.  She will be twelve in the fall and just wouldn't be able to keep up with the youngsters!

Below is our attempt to get the two of them to pose for a picture. . . we gave up on that idea.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thanks for the memories, Karen

I learned this week that an old friend from my real estate days died.  It had been quite awhile since I last talked to her.  It hadn't even been a week before this that I thought about her and wondered how she was doing.

Karen was one of those people that when she was around, there was going to be laughter and good times.  Though she had much to be unhappy about, you would never know it to be around her.

Since hearing of her death, I've found myself thinking of the fun times we had.  We were a close knit group  in that Nothnagle office.  One winter, another agent, Ellen, and I went skiing one day.  On the second run of the day, Ellen fell and injured her knee.  Word quickly spread in the office, "Hey, don't go anywhere with that Sherry Bennett, you'll get hurt!"  So the following summer, Karen and I went on a canoe camping trip to the Adirondacks.  Sitting around the campfire one night we decided to go back to the office on Monday and Karen would wear a sling on her arm and tell everyone she broke her arm on a canoe trip with me!  It worked!  Except that Karen could keep a straight face.  I couldn't.

On another occasion, one of my signs was taken from a property I had listed.  That bothered me.  The next week someone called the office and asked them to relay a message to me where my sign could be found.  This person did not want to leave a voice mail for me.  Yes, I was suspicious.  The location given was a rural, sparsely populated area on the west side of town.  "Come on, Karen," I said.  She was the first person I saw after I got this message.  "We're going for a ride."

Without even asking what was up, Karen picked up her bag and off we went.  I explained the situation as we pulled out of the parking lot of the office.  "Oh, this sounds like fun!" she said.

She could tell I was a bit rattled about the whole thing.  We drove along for ten minutes or so and finally she asked, "You got your gun?"

That broke the tension and I laughed uncontrollably.  We found my sign and retrieved it without incident.  Probably some stupid kid's idea of fun.

Karen had a Christmas party one year at her tiny apartment.  It was a great time and everyone enjoyed it.

Rest in peace, Karen.  You spread sunshine in the lives of a lot of people who were fortunate to know you.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The dead of winter

February is bitter cold in the North Country where I live. . . frigid temperatures, bone chilling wind, snow and ice.  It is a depressing time for me.  I so very much want to trade my winter clothing and boots for my keens, shorts and t shirts.  This morning was even more demoralizing.  I wore a pair of slacks that I just brought home from the dry cleaners last night.  As I was taking off my boots at my desk at work, I saw salt stains on the bottom of my pants legs.  For those in warmer climates, salt is used to keep the roads dry and safe to drive on here in Western New York.

I look at the skeletons of shrubbery in the back yard - lilac bushes on one side and hydrangeas across the back.  I know that in a few months they will be alive with leaves and blooms.  It isn't too much longer before I go South to my annual cousins reunion that we all look forward to each Spring.  And soon after that I will be pulling out the Weber grill, dusting it off and firing it up with a steak, hamburgers, or ribs.  And my bikes will need to be wiped off, the tires pumped and then I'm off for a long ride along the Erie Canal or further out into the hills of Mendon.  Yes!  This is how I get through the winter blahs!

Bring on Spring!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Morgan moves to the Big House

Whenever I have had two Labs over the years, I leave them in one cage when I am away from home, after the younger one gets "old enough to behave."  It is   larger than you would get for one Lab so they have room to move around comfortably.

Morgan has been in the puppy cage but she has really outgrown it.  Yet I wasn't ready for her to move in with Molly just yet.  She can still forget her manners quite easily.  Molly will take it for awhile, then growl and snap at her.  Molly is older and doesn't appreciate Morgan's playful biting and pouncing.

Last night I had to go out for a couple of hours so I decided to do a trial run of putting them together.  Things seemed okay when I returned.

So this morning when I left for work, Morgan went in with Molly.  They both seemed surprised.  I walked away and said, "God, please let my house be still standing when I come home tonight."

They made the transition!  There was no blood or scars!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What's in my crock pot today?

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken!

I found this on the internet.  Skin a whole chicken, spread sliced lemons and fresh rosemary inside the cavity and on the outside.  Place a few whole cloves around.  Put it in the crock pot and forget about it till dinner!  I'm really anxious to taste it tonight.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I had to make a run to Wegmans (the ONLY grocery store in the world. . .) tonight.  I ran out of a few things that couldn't wait till the weekend - toothpaste, bananas, lunch stuff.

Wegmans is in the midst of totally rearranging the store, something that drives me crazy.  So after getting the few things that I needed and with no list, I stood with my cart, staring into space trying to think if I needed something else.  My eyes ended up on a sign above the shelves. . . Grits.  GRITS!  A Southern staple! No self-respecting Southern cook would serve breakfast without grits and biscuits and eggs!  (I was born and raised in the South)

I haven't had grits in a long time.  Real grits - not the horrid instant variety - need to be cooked 15 to 20 minutes - too long for a weekday morning breakfast.  But just wait till Saturday morning!  I'm going to have grits!

If you've never had grits for breakfast, well, you don't know what you are missing. Forget the latter day "gourmet" dishes you see in cookbooks and some restaurants. . . grits are best served by themselves, smothered in butter.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snow and Sunshine!

Today the sun is shining and the snow is just beautiful!

In several more months, the shrubbery against the back fence (left side of shed) will be covered in big green leaves and huge white blooms!

[You can click on any photos to see them in larger format]

Friday, February 8, 2013

Crock pot lunch at work on a snowy day

The Neonatology Division of Pediatrics had a crock pot lunch at work today.  Everyone enjoyed the food and the chance to enjoy being with co-workers for awhile.   Above is my crock pot sitting on my desk before lunch, a scene you would rarely see!

Dee mixed up this delightful salad before the crowd arrived.

Kathy checking out the crock pots.  There were some really wonderful recipes:  sweet and spicy meatballs, taco casserole, chili, several different stews and soups.  

You cannot imagine how great these cupcakes were!  A thick, rich chocolate frosting with sweet decorations.

Ruth is a doctor that has been around a long time and is still going strong.  Everyone likes Ruth!

Liz and Jeff.

Large, sweet strawberries dipped in chocolate fondue.  YUM!

What a nice way to spend a lunch break when it is cold and blowing snow outside.  I counted 26 people at one time, but it was hard to get an accurate count.  Some people, because of their schedule, stopped in and grabbed a plate and had to head out again.

With the weather deteriorating outside, most people left early.  I wanted to get home before the rush hour began.  This is how my car looked in the parking lot.  Normally, I can brush off the snow in 5 minutes or so.  Today's snow is a heavy, wet mix and it was a real workout.

Another shot of the parking lot.

It was no fun driving home.  Even the main roads had not been plowed, or maybe they had but with the snow coming down so heavily, they needed it again.

One more snow scene!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Molly and Morgan

So it isn't the best picture of the two of them, but just to get both of them to look into the camera at once is an achievement!  Molly is 11+ and is really slowing down