I Just Love Being a Short-Order Cook for DAWGs!

The recent dog food scare has made us worry about our doggies. One of them, MarkyBear, started throwing up, and continued to do so, off and on, for about two weeks, which threw us into a panic. The dog food that they had recalled was sitting, not only in our kitchen, but actually in our fur babies' food bowls. Then,I usually share my people food with them; whatever I have extra. When I heard about the recalls, I tossed out all their dog food, canned and dried, and began cooking for them. Actually, I think that's when MarkyBear's vomitting became regular. Gosh, what does that say about my cooking?! I can't even cook for a dog. or. My cooking is so bad, even the dog can't hold it down.

With all the hype on tv, I still wasn't sure his vomitting wasn't from what he'd eaten a few weeks ago; but then the other dogs didn't seem to be affected. No matter, I took him to the Vet yesterday. After an expensive checkup, his bloodwork showed that he has pancreatitis, which was caused by my feeding him the 'people food' I had been cooking him, in a effort to avoid feeding him tainted dog food. After several hundred dollars of vet bills and a twenty dollar bag of special diet dog food we felt we were doing the right thing by our boys. Just now ...tonight on the news I heard that they are extending the recall to dry dog food, but not everyone need worry, because it can only be purchased at their veterinary...and not only that, the very brand name is the one on the bag of dog food I had dragged home yesterday.

I had to laugh tonight, myself being a 'Celiac'...a person allergic to wheat gluten, and having to avoid it in everything I eat. I belong to a support group, which monitors wheat/gluten in foods sold commercially, because it's in practically everything. It's the flour bread is made from (how many things are made from flour???), it's some grain vinegars, it's even in some soft drinks (why???). The news anchor, who was announcing the dog food recalls tonight said that the trouble wasn't caused by rat poison this time, but that wheat gluten was the main problem in the lastest recalls. She looked kind of worried as she said that wheat gluten might have gotten into some foods for human consumption. Duh.

So, here I am tonight 'googling' dog food recipes that people regularly make their dogs. There are tons of recipes...doggie casseroles and dog biscuits, etc. I'm looking for recipes that will be gentle to their tummies and pancreas-sus. It's been a calamity of errors but we think we are finally on the right track, let's hope so. If any of you other "doggy people" have any ideas, please let us know.
P.S. I called yesterday morning and learned that the dog food I picked up at the Vet's was safe. It was the Cat food that had been recalled...so far. I checked out the ingredients in the stuff I bought, and there's no wheat in it at all; just corn and rice, chicken, and stuff like that. How are you folks making out with feeding your poochies and kitties?


Our New Grandbaby!!!

I was sound asleep last night when the phone rang. Dan said there were problems; they were taking Jennifer in for an emergency C-section, but other than that he couldn't talk and had to get right off the phone, so please...PLEASE, just PRAY. I sat up on the couch after that, waiting to hear any more. He called back in about an hour or so to say things looked okay now, that the baby was born, and that both his wife and baby were doing better. Earlier, tho, whenever she started having contractions, the baby's stats...blood pressure and heartbeat would go way down. They were going to let her have an epidural, but then she started hemoraging, Dan said, so the next thing he knew, they were racing her down the hall for surgery. They had gone to all kinds of classes and they had planned on Dan being there to help deliver, but he wasn't even allowed in. Of course he was frantic...who knows what could have happened.
What counts is that Mom and Baby are doing well right now. The baby's first and middle names are Chase Steven. He was born at 1:53 A.M. this morning. He weighed in at 7lb. 3 oz., and is 20" long. I could hear his sweet little voice over the phone this afternoon as I talked with Dan. He told me Jen was just then trying to get Chase to nurse. Dan said, "There he goes, he just 'latched on' ..." Now that's a good sign. They will be in the hospital until Saturday or Sunday, making sure they are both ready to go home, where two doting tween-aged sisters can hardly wait to get their hands on him. He also has a couple of brothers too, who can teach him how to get into mischief with them, when he gets a little older.
As for Grandpa, out on the boat, who kept calling and calling wanting to know the "very latest...nothing NEW??!", and myself, who felt the same way, we can hardly wait, ourselves to get our paws on the new baby, and the rest of our Yankee family, with our other kids and grandbabies. God Bless 'Em All!


Sounds Like Fun

Joe was about four years old when I sketched this cartoon. We were rushing about, quickly getting ready to leave the house, when I spotted my sweet little boy, in his "Dutch Boy" hair cut, with a messy face. That wouldn't do, so I dashed to the sink and got a very wet wash cloth. I was in such a hurry that I didn't take the time to squeeze it hard enough, but was about to do a fast job of washing him anyhow. For a roudy little kid, it added insult to injury, that not only was I going to smear a wet wash cloth all over his face, but a sloppy rag at that, which was just too much.

He happened to call today, so I mentioned I'd be posting this drawing. I told him I also had boxes of journals in the attic, that I'd written while the kids were growing up. His sister, Sookie, used to love having me read them to her over the phone, and she'd end up laughing so hard she'd wheeze. She remembered a lot of the things that happened as I read them to her, but not from my perspective. Actually, I wrote them so that someday I could read them, and maybe actually be able to laugh or try to make sense of some of the illogical blur that posed as daily life for us in those days.

I'm glad that Joe manages to savor his time with his family. He regularly regales me with stories about Ashley and Zachery. Today he told me that one of Zachery's new words is "possibilities". Zachery was telling his dad, "...We could go sliding or for a ride...there's all kinds of possibilities" he said excitedly. Joe always scratches his head and wonders, "Whoa, where did he learn that one?"

Yeah, the kids were always a source of laughter for me. They still are.
When Joe called today, he was taking a break at work. (He's an highly respected computer engineer/information analyst who is head of an eApplications support team. He's usually reserved and businesslike on the job.) During our conversation we were interrupted by some kind of loud, alarm siren, which had begun wailing on his side of the phone. He tersely said, "I've gotta hang up!" and did. In this day and age, you just never know, so all kinds of thoughts ran through my head til he called back, about a minute later, saying it was an emergency fire drill and that everyone had filed out of the building and were now standing about, in a crowd, shoulder-to-shoulder, quietly waiting for the 'all clear', so they could go back inside. We continued our chat about the weather and the kiddoes, when he mentioned that the drill was taking much longer than normal, and he wondered what might be going on; other than just a regular drill. About then, Raleigh came in from outside and began rollicking with SparkyBear and MarkyBear. Joe asked me what the weird noise was. I told him it was Raleigh...he makes the strangest noises for a dog, 'mawing and yodeling'.
When Joe was about Zachery's age he loved to make the weirdest noises I'd ever heard. He had a whole repertoire of unearthly sounds. (We have a story based around one of Joe's hauntingly,howlingly, eerie, muffled noises, but that's for another time.) As we were talking about the crazy noises he used to make, we remembered that Dan had some kind of LOUD, awful 'metallic' noise he'd make in the van, out the window, in heavy traffic, that would actually make cars stop...several of them...and everyone would be craning their heads around to see what had happened. It always scared me, too, and I'd hollar at him, but the kids would all start laughing, then traffic would start moving and I'd drive on with the rest of the herd, muttering to myself, that it wasn't funny. He usually only did it as we were pulling up at red lights, but still, everyone in the the other cars would be gawking all around, even sticking their heads out their windows and looking up at the sky.
Joe said, "Yeah, it was maybe like that sound in the movie, Dumb and Dumber, when Jim Carrey asked what was the most annoying sound in the world," and proceeded to yell it, to show me he still 'had it',... "EEEEAAAAAAAAGNKKKKKKKK!!!!" Then there was a long pause. I told him, "Hey, that was pretty good." There was another awkward pause, then a quiet, embarrassed, "...everybody is looking at me. Maybe they think the drill was actually because some lunatic got loose in the building, and while they are in there looking for him, he had filed out with the rest of the crowd, and HERE he is."
Soooo, I guess I was party, in a way, to embarrassing one of my kids in public, 'stead of the other way around, eh? I still GOT it, but I didn't do it for purpose, Joe :-*


Maw Maw Does the Paw Paws

Ever since Cappy and I were little kids, we have heard about Paw Paws, especially in grade school, when we sang the song, The Paw Paw Patch:
Where, oh where is dear little Danny?
Where, oh where is dear little Danny?
Where, oh where is dear little Danny?
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Come on girls, let's go find him,
Come on girls, let's go find him,
Come on girls, let's go find him,
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Pickin' up paw-paws, put 'em in your pockets,
Pickin' up paw-paws, put 'em in your pockets,
Pickin' up paw-paws, put 'em in your pockets,
Way down yonder in the paw-patch.

Where, oh where is dear old Nellie?
Where, oh where is dear old Nellie?
Where, oh where is dear old Nellie?
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Come on boys, let's go find her,
Come on boys, let's go find her,
Come on boys, let's go find her,
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Pickin' up paw-paws, put 'em in your pockets,
Pickin' up paw-paws, put 'em in your pockets,
Pickin' up paw-paws, put 'em in your pockets,
Way down yonder in the paw-patch.
Since I thought Cappy, living down South here, would know what they are, I asked him. I was surprised to learn that he'd never, to his knowledge, eaten one, and was just as curious as I was about them. We 'Googled' and learned that they taste like a creamy banana cocoanut custard to some folks. Well, being the chubby Cajuns we are, that's all it took for us to set about locating some of them. As you may know, from our past blog postings, we are 'jungling' up our yard with all kinds of fruit trees. It just so happens that Gurney's seed catalog is selling them, so Viola! ( a wonderful instrument, by the way :-P ) we sent for a couple of their Paw Paw plants.
Before Cappy left to go back on the boat, he lovingly dug two holes and put in fresh, nutrient-packed soil, surrounded these two new 'beds' with curved bricks, all in anticipation of the delivery of our new little additions, then off to work he went.
The other day, when I blogged about my bustling all about in the yard, doing this and that, when Cappy is away, I had to wonder if any of my neighbors had read that. If so; it's a wonder I didn't hear loud snickers and guffaws from around the town. I do try. I really do...til I give up, in mid-Summer. The houses directly out my door are surrounded by the most beautiful, lush greenery and flowers, all perfectly manicured. Most of my neighbors are, seriously, up at five A.M. getting a fast-paced start on their day. I'm not. Cappy, despite his best efforts,has not been able to 'convert' me back. After spending years and years of raising the kids, and working outside of the home, I'm now loving my mornings of waking up whenever I wake up, luxuriating over my one sweet, rich cup of Irish Cream or Hazelnut coffee, poking around the house in my pj's til I get dressed, whenever that is.
Meanwhile, the best part of the day for outside work has up and left town, headed for the next time zone. It's only because of Cappy's urgings and encouragement, and those of my ever-hopeful neighbors, that I get out there...when I get out there, and try. I like the results when they go well, but get so frustrated when the majority of my efforts are unappreciated by my darned yard. Sometimes, it seems, the only green thing out there, sucking up all the goodies I work into the soil, are the virulent weeds. (Uhm...I think I need to say here, that this pertains mostly to our flowers. Presently, we are having a most wonderful harvest of fruits and nuts...go figger.)
The reason I'm dragging you along on this tale, is to let you know I've been 'found out'. Cappy absolutely LOVES gladiolas. Well, I did my best with them, even ordered fancy bulbs online here. They didn't come up all at once, and they were scattered hither and yon in their bloomage, all over the yard in assorted flowerbeds. But each one was truly beautiful, and we thought, unique. Cappy told me to take pictures of them and post them here on our blog, and we bragged incessantly, I guess, about them. Viewing our blog, one would have thought we had grand palatial grounds. From this, one of our townspeople, in the heat of Summer, was lured into the neighborhood to see this glorious splendor in person. I can only imagine the shock when she saw spindley isolated gladiolas, with very pretty blooms, here and there, tall weeds merrily dancing around our trees, and angry marigolds and husks of petunias glaring at the world from the window boxes. Not a pretty sight. She must have been so disappointed and embarrassed for me, that she tried to inconspicuously back out of the neighborhood, but in her escape, accidentally backed over someone's mailbox. She got out of her car and profusely apologized to the man, whose mailbox she had knocked over. The man told her not to feel badly, because it had been knocked down about thirteen other times! Thirteen times??! I never heard any of that commotion, not even once. Now I'm wondering how many of those I had caused; having caused this one, anyhow. (Love you, Girlfriend!)
So, here's the real deal: I only got a few things done out in the yard so far, that I said in the last post that I was going to do, and none of them purdy, as of yet. I'll keep trying, tho. The yard is green, anyhow.
Back to the Paw Paws. Despite the fact that Raleigh and SparkyBear dug all of Cappy's special soil out of the 'beds' , ran crazily around the yard, chasing each other and diving into the deep empty holes, this "Grannie" ...this little "Maw Maw", as Cappy jokingly refers to me, refilled said holes to their past glory, as Cappy had left them, and planted the two Paw Paw trees, which finally came in the mail. As my neighbors can attest, I say to you, "Go back to yer homes, folks, aint nothin to see here", yet.


The Wearin' O' the Green=The Shearing O' the Green

We recently aquired another set of 'wheels', my old lawn mower having given up on me. I came home yesterday from seeing Cappy for a few minutes, and noticed, that in my short absence,everyone else's lawns had been mowed again. As soon as it dries off enough, I'll be out there plowing through the clovers again today. I usually save a big clump or two of clovers for the dogs to play in, which they love to do, but for some reason, this year, the clovers are on the edges of the yard, where the doggies can't go. Their invisible Fence collars only let them get within a certain distance of the perimeter of their yard, then BEEPS (which they hate).
Last week was the first time I had mowed this season, and the clovers were so thick and tall, the wind was blowing, I got covered with chopped grass. Like the Jim Croce song goes, "Ya don't spit into the wind"...I guess "Ya don't mow into the wind" either.
I mentioned I had gone out to see Cappy for a few minutes. I brought him a few snacks, vitamins, magazines, stuff like that there. His boat was getting a few repairs, so he had time to visit a little while in the parking lot, as he kept an eye on his crew and mechanics. He had just cooked some crawfish etouffee, and so brought me a bowl for lunch. The guy can cook....the guy can coooooook!
Sighhhh. I've been stalling, but the danged yard is calling. I have So much to do out there; weeds again have taken over the flowerbeds, which now resemble mini forests. I have to weed-wack, edge, prune, fertilize; "the whole la la", as they say down here. So, once again, I'm hitchin' up my britches, being Da John Wayne or Da Brawny Man , whichever. Good thing green happens to be my favorite color; I'll be seeing enough of it today. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Erin Go Bragh and all that...as for me, it'll be Pegody Go Brawn til I'm blue in the face :oP :-D


Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dawg Gone It!

SparkyBear, from the first day we laid eyes on him,has always been a brave adventurer-brat. When we traveled to Mississippi to pick out our new "Bee-shee Baby", we wanted to make sure not to get a puppy who would be scared of the world and cower over every little thing. We had seen on television, a couple of tests anyone can do to 'test' puppies, so we decided to try a couple of these things on the unsuspecting babies. We sat on the floor, amidst a cloud of fluffy white powder puffs who were waddling and wiggling all around us, merrily jumping up on us; every one of them cute as buttons, and hard to tell one from another. We had the breeder separate us from the herd and bring us one of them at a time. One of them kept being more outgoing and 'in our face' than the rest, and I suspect now, that it was our 'boy'. With each of them, I tossed my big wad of car keys over onto the floor near them. Sure enough, a couple of them whined and cowered away and sat huddled near the gate shaking. Most of the eight of them, just jumped back or ran away then came back curious. The one we brought home was the one, when the keys were clanged hard onto the floor near him, ran over to them and picked them up and 'took off' with them.

He's still like that...brave, head-strong, opinionated, and mischievious. Even tho we took him to doggie school, he only obeys when he wants to. We think that the only reason they 'graduated' him was because of the 'no Chow-chow left behind' policy, even tho he's a Bichon. In essence, we had paid for his 'education'; he'd been there for every class; so they stuck the graduation hat on his head and washed their hands of the whole deal from that point. It was all they could do with him. Well, we love the brat anyhow. He does what he wants to do, and wouldn't come when we called, so it was because of him that we put the Invisible Fence around our yard. From past posts, you've seen pictures or heard the stories about his misadventures; rolling down the SUV window and jumping out in traffic; ferreting stuff off the countertop in the bathroom and I stepped into it, in my bare feet in the dark; bringing my pencils to MarkyBear, who is too fat to jump up and get them off my computer desk, so MarkyBear would get into trouble; doing a "Show down at the OK Corral" stance in front of me, walking slowly...very, very slowly toward me, and I walk very, very slowly toward him, til he gets only so close, then runs and jumps up on me 'laughing' and barking; claiming any shipping box that comes into the house, as his own...getting his head stuck in some of them.
Monday I was in a rush. I had just come home from Thibodaux, having 'made' the groceries. (Down here in South Louisiana, going shopping for groceries is called 'making the groceries'. Putting them away is called 'saving the groceries'.) Whenever I'm getting ready to go shopping, the dogs want to go to, but if they can't go, I tell them, "I'm going to the store, and I'll bring you back some chicken." When they hear that, they both walk together to the couch and 'assume the position'...curl up in a ball and begin waiting for me to come home...with their CHICKEN!!!
Monday night around five o'clock I pulled in WITH, of course, 'theirchicken'. I have choir practice with my accordian at 5:45, so I was really, really rushed. I was running around putting frozen things into the freezer, put the meat in the fridge, ran looking for produce to stick in there, too. Dashed out to the SUV to fetch more groceries, put my music bags and accordian in the SUV, stumbled over drooling dawgs, who were still waiting for their CHICKEN!!! Put a few cans away quickly, closed the refrigerator, which was ajar; I said ...closed the refrigerator which had been ajar....dang...something was jammed in there...but I was RUSHED, so I gave it a harder shove, when one of the dogs behind me growled. I looked to see who was growling, but didn't see any of them. I shoved at the door again, and one of the dogs growled again...nobody behind me....what the heck? I thought, "Ok, then...calm down, Peg...what did you carelessly toss into the fridge and is now blocking the door?" I opened the door a crack, so that whatever it was wouldn't fall out and smash onto the floor...HUH? What is THAT?? I flung the door open, and SparkyBear, looking annoyed, glared out at me from amongst the lettuce and apples, where he was somehow jammed in and twisted, snooping around for the chicken. I know that dog. The look on his face was like, "Whadda ya stupid?? Tryna shut me in here??"
I tried to shame him...."Get out Get out Get out...you'll get your chicken when you get your chicken...IF you get any chicken now". Sheesh, and Cappy and I didn't want cats, cuz they climb up on the kitchen countertops. When we first got the dogs, Cappy said he knew a guy who has a dog who actually fetches bottles of beer for him, so maybe we could teach SparkyBear to open the fridge and bring him a cold bottle of beer. Good luck with that one, Honey...."a bottle of beer for you...a hunk of chicken for me...a bottle of beer for you...a stick of butter for me..."


Yep, It's a Cappy's Wife I Be.

Well, I sure hope I recognize him when I see him again. He's been on dat boat since the first of February, and it might be another month or so til he gets to come home. I could let it get me down, and I have to admit sometimes it does. At times like those, I have to remember that their are wives at home waiting for their husbands who are on supply vessels, traveling the high seas for months at a time...all the time. And then, I realize how selfish, indeed, I am, when I think about wives and children, who are waiting at home for their husbands, who are serving in the military. (Or...husbands waiting for their wives, who are serving in the military.)
There have been advantages of Cappy being gone for long periods of time, believe it or not. See, I've never been a self-reliant type of person. I've never had to fix toilets, deal with mechanics, build dog-houses, wield heavy tools and tear down walls. Heck, I wasn't even used to hauling in the heavy groceries from the van, after doing all the shopping by myself, then putting it all away. I was spoiled, I guess.
Oh yes, I still whine a lot, but Cappy is encouraging out there, over the phone. He tells me that he knows he can depend of me to do what needs to be done, and that I am being a "good Cappy's wife". On my side of the phone I roll my eyes, cuz I know better. But, I'm trying. I keep thinking about that saying,"Just put on your big girl panties and deal with it."
Ok, where are my big girl panties...let's see, last week I was wearing my John Wayne boxers and.....Oh NO!!! There they are... out in the middle of the yard!! Darn that Raleigh...he drags the other dogs' toys out there; last week it was a big bright pair of my pink pajama bottoms, which he had draped on the ground spread-eagle for all the world to see, and poor Tinker-Bell, flying daintily all around the hems didn't even know enough to be embarrassed. I dashed out there and retrieved them, feigning laughter, waving to passersby with regal insincerity, and a wide, toothy smile stuck to my face, while lightly patting the little beast on the head, who was jumping up trying to get them back away from me, so he could, no doubt, drape them in an even more sleazy position out there somewhere in the yard.
Ok Cappy, I'm dealing wit' it. Gonna put on dem Big Girl panties...just as soon as I fetch them back into the house and run 'em through the washer and dryer.


Our Chevy Rattle-trap Was Trapped

I never did get back to ya'll 'bout how it all went...or for the most part how my auto repair shop adventure went. Well...I didn't even need my John Wayne swagger or anything. The Trailblazer really was shaking, rattling and not rolling.
That was last week. Now, today, after the repairs, I drove the two 'brats' out to get their Spring grooming haircuts, and noticed...migosh, the air-conditioner was working on a speed that hadn't been working for months.The auto repair place had also fixed this A/C switch which had been acting up, and I hadn't even mentioned it to them, plus they didn't charge me for fixing it. I was so impressed with this particular business, I asked for permission to use their name. It's Trapp Cadillac Chevrolet, in Houma, LA. I guess they know that some women...ahem...not all wimmens, might get all nervous and not a little intimidated, so they have hired knowledgeable gals, who know how to wrangle the mechanics out back, and also how to make their customers more at ease, and explain in an easy-to-understand way, what needs to be done in the way of repairs. The customer also has the option, after diagnosis, not to have the work done. How cool is that? The service department advisor I had both times was Heather Picou...what a sweet, intelligent young woman.
Cappy kept telling me to go on ahead and take our vehicle back to them, cuz that's where we bought it new, 5 years ago, but I was afraid it was going to be trapped, and not in a good way. I gotta tell ya, they Trapped it goooood. :-)
Now, thanks to the good people at Trapp Cadillac Chevrolet, we are back to our normal happy selves, laughing, singing loudly off-key, tooling down the road...the dawgies anticipating their reward for being good boys at the dog groomers, which is always a stop at Sonic for ice-cream.


I doodled this l'il cartoon when the kids were very little. This was typical, and a direct quote of Dan, who is the tot running into the room bawling. My reaction was "Wha...wha...HUH??!" He followed it up, with, "..and he did it for purpose, too!" I don't think I handled a lot of those scenarios with a lot of panache. I'm very pleased with Dan, today, tho' and the way he handles his kiddoes. I'm amazed at how he's grown to be patient and rational, even in the face of...well, everyday "cwayzee-ness".
I talked with him on the phone the other day, as he had called me to let me know that their new baby...OUR new grandbaby is due around the 17th or 18th this month. He and Jennifer are getting all the new baby furniture and things ready. I'd like to go up and be there when she has him. He's a little boy, who will be named Chase Stephen (Steven? I forgot to ask the spelling) What with Cappy's work schedule in flux right now, I'm not sure when I will be traveling, or if Cappy will be going with me. Either way, we are both excited.
I'm looking forward to seeing all the grandbabies. Sweet and cuddly, every one of them, even if some of them are in their teens.
Dan mentioned something about having diaper changing again, bumps and scrapes to worry about as the baby is growing,...the first day of school to look forward to again. All the wonderful things life hands ya. At least he shouldn't have to worry about anyone stepping on his ear again...at least for awhile anyhow.