Friday, November 30, 2012

A new picture of Morgan

Morgan had her first obedience class today.  Here is a picture of her there.

This was a one-on-one class, quite a bit different than the traditional group classes.  I took her to a dog trainer who spent time getting to know her and talking to me.  From there, we talked about what would work best with Morgan's personality.  I work with her for 3 to 4 weeks at home, following guidelines from the trainer.  Then we go back.  Morgan tends to be shy around new people - something I have never seen in my previous three Labs.  She gave me suggestions on that but said this could be a "puppy stage" that she would quickly outgrow.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Remembering Larry Hagman

Like many Dallas (the TV show) fans, I am saddened to hear Larry Hagman died. I was a fan of Dallas from the very first episode decades ago and I don't think I ever missed a show.  In recent years, I bought a DVD set of the first year of the show and amazingly, watching these on DVD, I remembered watching them when they were first released.  Although the new series recently brought back to television wasn't as grand as the old one, it was beginning to grow on me.

Anyone familiar with Dallas knows how wicked JR Ewing could be (Larry Hagman) and we all loved to hate him!  His evil grin when he knew he had the upper hand was enough to make your hair stand straight up!

Now with the publicity of his passing, I found out things about Larry that I never knew.  Being a liver transplant survivor, he was a strong advocate for organ transplant and he worked tirelessly for the well being of transplant patients.  He had a silly, but serious, ritual he did at these events.  "Okay, on the count of 3, show me your scar!"  On cue, the audience pulled up their shirts to reveal their transplant scar.  He did this to bring organ transplant out of the closet, to let transplant patients know they should not be ashamed.

We all know that we will die someday.  But somehow, in my fantasy world, I wanted to believe JR Ewing would never die.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Could we be in for another mild winter???

I must be getting old.  I used to get excited about the snow, the more the better. . .

In western New York State, we usually have a few minor snow showers beginning as early as October.  By Thanksgiving, we have had a "major snowfall"!  Not this year!  Last year was a mild winter.  I don't remember cranking up my snowblower all winter. . . maybe I did, but definitely it was one or two times.

I resent cutting in to my coffee time in the morning to go out an blast away at a foot or more of snow just so I can get out to go to work.  Then you come inside and lay out all your clothing on the floor and whatever else is available to dry out because it is soaked. . . not a good start to my day.

This winter is starting out like last winter and I'm happy!

Besides, I have a new car this year.  And the less snow and salt I can get on it, the better.  For those of you in the South or elsewhere that does not get snow, salt is put on the roads to help cut down on accidents.  Great for traction, but terrible on cars.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Taking the dogs for a walk

Sorry, no pictures for this one.  I had a dog on each arm!  Today was the first time I took both Molly and Morgan for a walk together.  Wasn't sure how that would work out, but Morgan did great.  It is a crisp, sunny day today.

The rest of my day won't be as much fun - yard work and house work to do.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A mother's intuition

Call me crazy if you want.  My son, John, ran in a marathon last weekend, the Richmond Marathon.  Both of my sons have been competitive since "way back."  But they are smart about it too.  John trained for months for this marathon.  He knew what he was doing.

I can't explain it, but on Saturday morning, long before the race began, I had an unsettling feeling inside me.  I ignored it.  John was so looking forward to this marathon - his first - and I was happy for him.  Yet there was that nagging feeling deep inside me that just wouldn't go away.

I went on the website he gave me where you can follow the progress of the runners.  His name never appeared.  Although, later I learned that list is often not complete.

I really didn't have time to dwell on my fears.  I have a new puppy in the house and on weekends, I have a lot to do around the house.  The work is never done.

I was driving down Elmwood Avenue when my cell phone rang.  Almost never will I answer my phone when I'm driving.  But it was John's twin brother calling.  So I answered.

John had collapsed at the 25+ mile mark of the marathon.  I think my heart stopped beating at that point.  I quickly pulled onto a side street where I could stop and hear more from Michael.  I am a mother, first and foremost.  I can - and have - endured a lot of emotional and physical pain in my life.  But don't harm my children.

At that point, all we knew was John had gotten dehydrated and they had taken him to the hospital for "observation" and would most likely let him go home in awhile or maybe keep him overnight.

It was a long few days as they continued to keep John in the hospital.  I learned that when you get severely dehydrated, your kidneys go to your muscles to grab protein, which raises your protein levels and that's not good.  I was also told that had it not been for the swift action of the race organizers at the scene, things may have been much worse for John.

I am happy to report that John is home now and is much improved.  He's just working on regaining his strength.  He is the last person one would expect to have this happen.  In the last 5 months, he has run more than 600 miles.  He definitely prepared well for this race.

Thank God for happy endings.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A cute Morgan story

In the morning, after being fed and out to potty, Morgan can go on a real rampage.  She will run the length of my living room over and over.  While all of this was going on, I was getting my breakfast ready.  So I sit down in front of the television, watching Fox and Friends on FNC.  Morgan is determined to get to my oatmeal and bowl of fresh blueberries and I am just as determined she will not.  This battle goes on a few minutes till finally I've had enough.  I hold her head in my left hand and gently tap the side of her snoot with my right hand with a strong, "NO!"

"Uh-oh, I've really ticked Sherry off.  Maybe I better put on my cute face."

I am pretending to ignore her, eating my breakfast.  She very quietly and slowly is crawling up on the couch, ending up with her head laying across my left arm.  I'm still ignoring her.

Molly is watching all this wondering how she never got away with stunts like this.

Finally, I look down at Morgan.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  Here was this innocent puppy staring up at me as if she was thinking, "I'm sorry.  But you still love me, right?"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Morgan and Scout

Yesterday afternoon Morgan and I visited with one of her litter mates.  John and Karen got a black female, Scout, from the same litter as Morgan.

Their backyard backs up to a golf course and is the ideal place for two puppies to run and play!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Run, John, Run!

Any minute now, my son, John, will be at the starting line of the Richmond Marathon!  He has long been an avid runner and has run a half marathon, but this is his first marathon.

Good luck, John!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The world at 6:00 am

On any given weekday morning, at 6:00 am I am sitting with my coffee watching Fox and Friends.  The dogs are at my feet fighting over only one toy, never mind that there are other toys, enough to go around.

This morning was different.  I pulled out of my driveway in pitch darkness headed to the polls to vote.  As I approached the main road, I was surprised at the number of cars on the road for that time of day.

I voted today.  I hope you will vote too.  It is important.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Brussels Sprouts

I know, just the words "brussels sprouts" brings frowns and words of disdain from most of us!

But in my quest to incorporate more vegetables and olive oil into my diet, I poked around and found a few recipes for this unpopular veggie that sounded appealing.  In my current lifestyle - with a new, demanding puppy in the house - anything I cook has to be quick and hassle free.

Here is how I cooked brussels sprouts tonight:

equal parts butter and olive oil
brussels sprouts, stems cut off and outer leaves removed, sliced in thin pieces
a splash of lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat a skillet on high and melt the butter with the olive oil.

Add the sliced brussels sprouts and lemon juice to the pan and stir for about a minute.

Remove from heat and transfer to serving plate.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

They really are good cooked this way!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Here is the most recent picture of Morgan.  It is VERY hard to get a decent picture of her.  She seldom is still long enough to snap a picture!  She is three months old now and I am very anxious to enroll her in obedience class.

Friday, November 2, 2012

An act of kindness

that brought tears to my eyes!

I work in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  On Halloween, all pediatric patients who are able, participate in a parade down our long hallway.  The hallway is decked in Halloween decorations, some employees dress up in costumes, and we hand out candy and favors to the children.  For those children unable to participate, the employees in the unit collect bags of treats to give to them later.

One of my friends, Jennifer, oh, this woman is amazing.  She has two small children at home, a demanding job, yet she still finds time for her passion of quilting and sewing.  For Halloween, she made cute little stuffed fish.  She handed them out to the children.

One small boy, a patient in Pediatric Intensive Care, lost his and was heartbroken.  Jennifer found out about it.  She went home, made another one overnight and today she took it to the young boy in his hospital bed.

The child's mother gave her a hug and both of them had tears in their eyes.

I am a sucker for dogs and little kids.  I have to be honest.  It is hard for me to be there for the Halloween parade.  Folks, there are some sad cases being wheeled by.  Seeing little children suffer is difficult.  But at the same time, even the most desperate cases truly enjoy the parade and the special attention.

God bless you, Jennifer.