Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hotel for Dogs, the movie

Hey, folks, if you like dogs and fantasy movies, you simply must see Hotel for Dogs. I borrowed it from Netflix. The storyline centers around a homeless brother and sister who are moved around from one miserable foster home to another. They find an abandoned, run down hotel and. . . well, they start out with one dog, then three and then dozens! It is an adorable movie with a happy ending but lots of nail-biting suspense in between. Check it out! It's a kids movie that I'm not ashamed to tell you I loved!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Update on the shrubbery in the backyard

Not too long ago, I posted a picture of my beautiful plants in the backyard with the big white blooms. Now the blooms are in the process of turning pink as fall approaches. This is not a pretty time for them! While they are making the transition in color, they have a drab, ugly appearance! It looks like someone threw dirt on the blooms. Once the pink color takes over they once again are an eye catching plant. I'm amazed at how much they have grown this year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm alive and well!

When I opened my new e-mails this morning, there was a note from a frequent reader of my blog that said, "Can't believe you haven't written in your blog in so long."

There is no particular reason for this other than I need to be "inspired" to write. I could never be a professional writer with a deadline. I can only write what I feel.

Just a quick update on what's been going on in my life since my last entry over a week ago. . . not much! I did enjoy a very nice evening out with my friends, Robert and Nancy, last week. We first went to an Irish Pub just down the street from their home. This pub had the look and feel of the pubs in Ireland. Maybe that is because the young man who owns and operates the pub is the son of Irish immigrants. I enjoyed talking with him about Ireland, a country I have visited twice and really love.

From there, we walked a short distance down the street to a rather unique place called Mise en Place. It is a small grocery store but in one corner, and on the sidewalk in front, they serve meals. The food was delicious.

These two places that we visited are in an area of the city of Rochester called the South Wedge. There are efforts here to revitalize this area and make it into a thriving destination with small boutiques and coffee shops. I hope they succeed.

I have been trying to make the most of the final days of summer, getting outside as much as possible. . . even if only to mow the lawn or pull weeds!

Monday, August 17, 2009

An unbelievable day

My day got off to a horrifying start. I am dog sitting for a neighbor. Let me begin by telling you when it comes to keys, especially other people's keys, I am a fanatic about being careful - keeping them in the same place so that they don't get lost. At 6:00 am I went over to let Casey out and feed her. Then about 7:30 am, I started back over there to let her out one more time before I left for work. I could not find the key. I walked over to their house, thinking possibly I had dropped the key or even worse, left it in the lock. Nothing. I ran back to my house and in ten minutes time literally tore my house apart looking everywhere I had been this morning. Nothing. I had been wearing my bath robe the first time I went over there this morning so I frantically checked those pockets, even shook my robe in case the key had somehow found its way out of the pockets and onto my bed where the robe was laying. Still nothing. Panic set in. I didn't want to call my neighbors that early. After all, they are away and I thought they could be sleeping late. I honestly do not remember driving to work this morning. I got to my desk and just could not shake the feeling of anxiety and despair. Finally I called their cell number. I told him what had happened and asked if they had a key hidden somewhere outside. "Oh, sure!," he said and then told me where it was.

I left work about 10:30 to come back to their house, found the key and let Casey out to go potty before hurrying back to work. I was too upset to eat my lunch until later in the afternoon and found it very difficult to concentrate today at work.

After work, I again searched my house. This time the panic wasn't there because at least I had a way of getting into their house now. I took their spare key and had two copies made. The new keys both worked beautifully.

I took the sheets out of the dryer that I had washed and dried before I went to work this morning. Now, why, you are thinking, amd I telling you THAT? Well, I laid the sheets on my bed to begin folding them. . . and guess what happened? I heard a slight tinkling sound. I couldn't believe my eyes! The lost key was in the sheets that had gone through the washer and dryer this morning!

Unbelievable. I should sleep well tonight. My brain is exhausted from anxiety.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Seriously HOT!

This part of New York State is under an ozone warning today, and probably tomorrow also due to the heat and humidity. Nevertheless, my yard needed mowing, no matter what. For the last week, when I had the time to mow, it was raining or the grass was wet. I waited until about 2:30 to start mowing the front lawn. Half way into it I began having trouble breathing. I didn't care, one way or the other the front lawn was going to get done and it did! I had a bottle of water in my pocket and I went through that in no time. Tomorrow the back yard. Thankfully, the back yard is much smaller and won't take as long. I went to BJs this morning to stock up on the things I buy there - kleenex tissues, Molly's special treats, a big bag of almonds and another one of walnuts, a big container of blueberries, and a few other things. Tomorrow I'm headed to Wegmans. I'll have to take a cooler with ice in it. It is so hot that I don't even want to chance losing a container of milk or eggs for the short drive home. Oh! For those of you not from this area, Wegmans is the most wonderful grocery store in the whole world. They have the very best produce year round. Their customer service is great too, something that is important to me. No matter what ingredient you need for a recipe, you will find it at Wegmans.

This morning I had my new garage door opener installed. Next Saturday the oven repair guy will be here. When I baked zucchini bread and on another occasion, peach cobbler, I knew something was wrong. The zucchini bread (two loaves) fell in the middle and the peach cobbler never got brown, even though I left it in longer than called for. After buying an oven thermometer, I discovered my oven is 70 degrees off. I'm told it is a simple repair - hope that translates to "not expensive"!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quote for the day

Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot about little puppies.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Backyard shrubbery

I planted these shrubs three summers ago when they weren't much over 2 feet high. Now they are all taller than I am. They are a type of hydrangea. They bloom in mid summer with large white blooms which gradually turn pink going into the fall. These are against the fence at the back of my backyard. Along the east side, I planted lilac bushes two years ago. You can see one of them to the far left of the picture above. They were covered with blooms this past spring.


How can it be August already? Why is it that summer flies by so fast and winter drags on forever? August reminds me that summer is almost over and I better grab the last bit of summer fun that I can. God grant that we don't have another winter like the one we had last year.

For the next week and a half, I will be dog and cat sitting. My friends, Nancy and Robert, will be down at Keuka Lake for a week so I will stop in every other day to take care of their cats. One of their cats, Lily, is friendly and likes attention - the other one I keep my distance from!

Then beginning next Saturday, into Wednesday of the following week, I will be taking care of Casey, my neighbors' dog, while they are visiting colleges with their oldest son.

I've had my new dishwasher for a week now, have used it three times, and I'm really glad to be free of hand washing dishes!

Friday, August 7, 2009


A co-worker yesterday gave me two large zucchini from her garden. Fresh picked! Thanks, Louise! I planned to make zucchini bread with some of it last night but discovered I didn't have enough of all the ingredients. I love this time of year when fresh produce is so plentiful.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zucchini vegetarian dish

Here is a vegetarian meal I enjoy. Another idea to deal with the over abundance of zucchini this time of year!

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup rottini pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can tomatoe sauce
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a skillet, cook the zucchini, onion, and bell pepper for 4 or 5 minutes. Add the tomatoe sauce, cover and let simmer for a few minutes. Add the kidney beans and pasta and heat through.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Poison Ivy

As many of you know, I got into poison ivy a couple of weeks back on a canoe camping trip in the Adirondacks. When, two days after I returned home, I was still itching and scratching uncontrollably, I finally called my doctor's office. What I thought were insect bites turned out to be poison ivy. "Those tiny pinhole clusters aren't insect bites," I was told by the nurse practitioner who examined me.

I always thought I was immune to it. I have spent a lot of time in the woods in my lifetime and never got it.

Through my doctor and the pharmacist, I learned a lot about poison ivy. First, you can become allergic to it over time. You can also contract it from touching a dog who has come in contact with it, or by handling wood or other objects that poison ivy has touched.

There is a product called Ivy Block, available through your pharmacist, that you can use if you think you may be in an area where there is poison ivy. This coats your skin and covers the pores to keep out the infection. It has to be washed off, though, after several hours as it isn't safe to leave on long term.

Another over the counter product, Sarna Lotion, is a good temporary relief solution for the itching.

In my case, they gave me a package of pills to take for six days. Even though the itching stopped soon after I began taking the pills, I still had to finish all of the supply. I was fortunate that I didn't experience any of the possible side effects of these pills.

The other thing I didn't know is that the appearance of poison ivy changes with the seasons. It goes from green to dark red from spring through fall. I always thought of it as a green three pointed leaf with jagged edges.

The next time you are in the woods, remember, "Leaves of three, leave it be!"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Detour on a Saturday morning

Buying a new dishwasher was not exactly what I had planned to do this morning. A day or two ago, I noticed my dishes weren't clean and the soap capsule in the dishwasher wasn't fully dissolved. That should have been a red flag. This morning I tried again. Nothing. Since the dishwasher is 12+ years old and the life expectancy of a dishwasher is 8 to 12 years, I opted to buy a new one rather than call a repairman in to tell me I needed a new dishwasher! I went to Charlotte Appliance, a family owned company that has been around for generations in Rochester. Over the 35 years that I have lived in Rochester, every major appliance I have owned has come from there. The chain stores come and go but Charlotte lasts. Their prices are always competitive with the chains.

I got another Maytag. I learned that Whirlpool bought out Maytag. However, the Maytag dishwashers are still built the same way they were when Maytag owned the company. All other Maytag appliances are now built by Whirlpool.

In thinking back, I think I paid about the same for this new one as I paid for the Maytag I bought over 12 years ago.

Okay, now I'm off to catch up for lost time this morning!