Bogey, the Meadow Muffin
September 4, 1995 ~ October 4, 2011
I need to do this. I need to get this out before it consumes me.
I miss you like crazy, Bogey. You were my best friend for 16 years and you meant the world to me. I should've been a better mother to you and I am so sorry for ever losing my temper or yelling or spanking you. I hope you forgave me. I hope what they say is true - that dogs live in the moment but carry a lifetime of love in their hearts. I hope the love I showed you vastly outweighed my crazier moments when I didn't treat you like the precious gift that you were.
I miss you so, so terribly much. Knowing that I'll never again be able to take a picture of you.
That you'll never show up when I'm crying because you can tell I need your unconditional love and affection.
That you'll never show up at the fridge every single time I get an ice cube.
That you'll never again nose-nip anyone.
That you won't whimper and whine in the car, going bye-byes.
That we'll never again go to the dog park or for a walk in the neighborhood.
That you'll never again feel the grass under your paws or feel my hand stroking your ever-so-soft fur.
That you'll never again look longingly and lovingly at me, and my pork chop.
That I'll never again be able to call "BO-BO!" to get you to stop drinking half the water bowl in one sitting.
That you'll never again wander the perimeter of the back yard, sniffing and checking for intruders.
That I'll never again see you doing your little doggie dance in the Bogey Bush, loving the fresh scent of whatever berries those were rubbing into your fur.
That you'll never again snort every time a piece of food or a cookie was given to you.
That I'll never again be able to kiss you on the nose or "pluck" your clumps of fur during shedding season.
That you'll never again lay on the bed with me while I read a book or watch TV.
That you won't follow me into the bathroom in the morning & flop on the rug, patiently waiting for me to finish showering so I could come out and give you "bad hair day" on the top of your head & kiss you on the nose before starting my day.
That you'll never again follow me around the house if I disappeared from your view for more than 37 seconds, just to make sure I hadn't left you, that I still loved you, that I was always coming back for you.
That there will never be another Bo-Bo Birthday Weekend, filled with extra treats and love and Frosty Paws.
That you'll just never be around again for me when I get all weepy like this. I miss you so much Bogey. You were an amazing part of my life and I treasure every single moment we ever spent together. Sixteen years just wasn't long enough. I have so much more love to give you, Bogey and I wish more than anything that you were still here.
I know the last couple of months were hard on you and it crushes me that you went through that. I'm sorry I didn't take you to the doctor sooner. I thought the "leaking" was just a sign of old age. Maybe if we'd gotten you on antibiotics sooner to treat the liver infection, you might still be here with me.
I am so sorry we went out for dinner your last night. I didn't know it would be your last night because if I did, I would have preferred to spend it with you, feeding you from the table, enjoying your snort, reveling in your attentiveness and expressive eyes & ears. You had a unique talent with those ears, they were quite talented, twisting this way and that.
I'm even more sorry that when we got home from dinner, we went downstairs to watch TV and locked you guys upstairs. I know it was supposed to be a kindness because your back-end wasn't as strong as it used to be and Daddy didn't want things to stiffen up by laying on the cold tile floor for a few hours. But now, every time I go down there, I wish like crazy that I'd had those last few hours with you in your Bogey chair, trying to drink my beverage - water, soda, wine, whatever it was, you wanted it without fail. You'd settle for an ice cube but you really just wanted to be with me and I loved having you at my side.
And that night, when we went to bed, I put you up on the bed with us because I thought you'd like the comfort of the mattress. You stayed for a little while and then got down to take your place on the floor next to me, as you did every night. It was a work night and I was trying to numb my brain with some "crap TV" so I could fall asleep and I wasn't paying enough attention to you, baby. I am so sorry. I knew you got up from the floor and headed out to the hallway, stumbling against the bed. I thought it was your back-end being stiff. I should've gotten out of bed right then and there to lay in the hallway with you as you died.
It breaks my heart that I wasn't right there with you, stroking your fur, telling you how much I loved you and wanted the best for you. It breaks my heart.
I'm glad you gave us the last three weeks. You were a very brave and strong boy to put on a happy face for me. I really hoped we would see another Christmas together. I really hoped you would wear the jingle bells again and frolic in the snow. I really wanted more time with you.
I am so lonely without you, Bogey. I know we have Max and Dingo and Gold still. I know they're your brothers from other litters and I know Max always tried to prove he was #1 but you were always - and will always be - #1 in my heart, forevermore, Bogey. I know Gold didn't really like you but that's only because he knew that you were #1 in my heart because you always got special love & affection & treats from me. He was jealous.
Life won't be the same without you, Bogey. I am so sorry for everything I did wrong and for not spending enough time with you when I had the chance. I'm sorry for not loving you morning-noon-and-night every single day we had together. I'm so sorry I took you for granted at times.
In some ways, I'm sorry I forced you to live with other dogs because I remember how much you loved being My Only Dog. Every-everything in the house was yours, without question. Every rawhide, every tennis ball, every toy, every piece of kibble and every iota of my love was yours for the first five years of your life.
I know that dogs do well with other dogs, having a dog pack to socialize with in doggie ways. Max took all the tennis balls. Xena took all the rawhides. Dingo took all the kibble. And Gold tried taking love that was earmarked for you. I hope that wherever you are right now, that you know with every bit of your precious soul that I loved you like no other dog ever. You were the light of my life. You got me through many dark nights and important life decisions. I couldn't possibly have made it this far without you, Bogey.
You mean the world to me and always will.
I love you with all my heart.
Chase some squirrels, bark at some strangers, growl at some Corgis & Collies in the Great Big Dog Park in the sky. Remember me fondly. Know that I will always, always, always love you and everything you brought to my life.
You were a precious little pup and when I can get through a day without breaking down, I will setup a permanent page for you so that everyone will know that your theme songs were true ...
"All the girlies say, I'm pretty fly for a white guy!"
"We all love the little-Bo-Bo-gee, the little Bo-Bo-gee, the little Bo-Bo-gee ..."
I will always love you, Bogey. I hope you know that. Rest well and know that you were one of a kind - the best dog and best friend I could have ever asked for. My heart aches at the loss of your precious face in my life. Be happy until we meet again, Bo-Bo. I love you more than words can say.
Xena the Wonder Dog
June 16, 1999 - December 12, 2009
You put up a good fight, girl, and hardly ever lost your cool. (Gold forgives you for denting his head.) I'm sorry you had to leave us but I hope you know how much we loved you and how much we miss you.
Almost everything you did was precious - from the "Stumpy Scoot" to your super-stealthy climbing on the bed (as if we wouldn't notice your 90 lb licky-butt appearing out of nowhere!) Bouncing up and down (and getting all four paws off the floor at the same time) for cookies was truly impressive. Even when you managed to catch the squirrel, you were so gentle with him and so eager to please us that you willingly got up & went in the house when asked, leaving him behind.
I love you, honey. I hope you had a good life. I hope you know you were loved. I hope you're having a wonderful time beyond the Rainbow Bridge
, chasing squirrels to your heart's content, free of all pain. We never wanted you to suffer. Thank you for the last two years, since the tumor showed up.
Life won't be the same without you in it.
The sweet-potato-and-bacon biscuit dough is made and chilling in the fridge. The 19 lb turkey is resting (somewhat) comfortably in the brine. Three bags of stuffing mix at the ready, along with mushrooms, onions, apples, a few raisins, some chopped walnuts and loads of butter (along with a dash of white wine, of course.) A fifteen pound sack of Russet potatoes will make plenty of mashed potatoes (for about three months, quite honestly.) The canned goods are sitting contentedly on the counter: jellied cranberry sauce (which makes such a satisfying sucking sound when oozing itself out of the can), the creamed corn and the whole kernel corn (which get mixed together.)
Luckily this year, my husband is taking some food to work for a Leftovers Pot Luck so I have the green light to make my double batch of biscuits and plenty of stuffing!
The turkey-and-cheese enchilada recipe is sitting nearby to deal with some of the leftovers next week.
It will be nice to have a day off tomorrow along with a mostly-quiet day at the office on Friday. Time will tell if Senior Management will release us early on Friday this year or not. Either way, quiet is good and my thankfulness will flow over to another day.
I'm mostly done with my Christmas shopping. (Don't hate me! I always start early and buy throughout the year.) Now's the time I turn up the radar and drop another couple hundred bucks on impulse buys because I've forotten all the things I've bought over the last 8 months, constantly thinking "I haven't gotten that person enough / anything decent yet."
Trying to keep things on a positive and thankful note, I'm glad Xena and Gold are still with us. Xena's tumor is getting larger and larger. She's having more difficulty with her back end, especially after laying down for a long time. Gold's face is having a reaction to something. I thought it was the nasal mites again so I dosed him but then he made it worse. It's all swollen up this afternoon. He can hardly see out of his right eye. The poor little guy. I've added insult to injury by putting him in his "dish head" (Elizabethan collar) which he's never had to wear before (to my knowledge.) From past experience, there's some serious histamine reaction going on and without the collar, he keeps messing with his snout using his front paws and burying his head in the dogs beds to rub the itches. Even though he hates me, I'm hopeful we're doing the right things for him. (I can't imagine he really likes being doped up on Benadryl but it seemed to work on Xena the last time - two years ago - so keep your fingers crossed for him please.)
The best news right now is that the semester is OVER in two weeks time. Yay! I think I get something like a month off before I have to take Biology with Lab at Arapahoe Community College (the credit transfers but the grade doesn't - yay!) and two more Sociology classes at UCD. Then I can take the 9-week summer semester off and finish up the degree with three last classes. At this time next year, I will almost be a college graduate ... with just under a year to before I turn 40! Nothing like being timely, eh?
And if you made it this far in the reading, I hope you have a wonderful, tasty, filling, safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
Whether you realize it or not, YOU are BLESSED. I am THANKFUL for YOU!
The trip across was mostly uneventful. The plane ride from Washington D.C. was just over 8 hrs and I didn't sleep much at all. I guess I really should have taken that sleeping pill but didn't think to grab it out of the rolling carryon before it was stored away. Oh well. And silly me, I had said I wanted a Kosher meal instead of the usual plane food. The chicken was seriously dried out (but I think that's par for the course on planes no matter what) and the dessert seemed to be lacking any remnants of sugar whatsoever. I'll be checking into getting things switched over to regular fare before the return flight, that's for sure.
The apartment is nice. The master bedroom's bed though is another story. Holy crud is that thing hard-like-rock. And all but sitting directly on the hardwood floors. I swear you need a grab bar just to haul yourself out of the thing. The other bedroom's bed is springier (thanks in part, I'm guessing, to a boxspring) but it's closer to ground level. Bars on the windows notwithstanding, the master bedroom has the walk-in closet, nicer bathroom and washer-dryer combo so I can put up with the granite bed and travertine pillow.
The washer-dryer combo thing has been an absolute hoot though. The instruction manual contains information in both Italian and Arabic. The graphics are so campy as to be almost creepy. A single wash/dry cycle takes about 4 hrs and can handle about two pairs of pants, three shirts and six socks but it's better than nothing. And since it's been raining since we got here, being able to throw soaking wet clothes in to dry has been a luxury not otherwise available to those staying in a hotel. After only about 30 mins of searching, I was able to locate the manual with English (and Russian, Polish, Chezc and French) directions.
We hit the Colosseum this morning. Getting there was literally a trip-and-a-half though. It took quite some time for the GPS unit to recognize that we were in another country and it didn't seem too fond of us being on foot. Half of the time, the purple arrow was two streets away and going in the opposite direction. Luckily the rain kept a lot of the tourists at bay and the Colosseo wasn't too terribly packed. I got some good panoramics, with suitably dreary skies as a backdrop.
We've located the supermercado and made two stops already. (0,05 EU for a plastic bag!) There's a fantastic little pizza shop just off Campo de Fiori that makes a mouthwatering sausage & mushroom that's to die for. Still haven't had any gelato but I have confidence that this tidbit of Nirvana shall be mine soon. The good news is that Italian Diet Pepsi tastes a lot like American Diet Pepsi. Hey, when you have Indonesian Diet Coke or Nicaraguan Coca-Light, there really IS a difference so it's nice to have something that's still familiar in a place that's completely foreign.
It's astonishing to me how expensive things are. I suppose I'm too accustomed to going to third world countries (or staying domestic) that the conversion rate between Euros and Dollars (1.50-to-1) makes my wallet wince. Really, I get that Lacoste is cool with its alligator but is 35,00 Euros really an appropriate price for an umbrella? (I think not.)
Dinner last night was pretty darn good. I had what basically amounted to Chicken Vesuvio (for those of you who've been to Chicago) which is to say roasted chicken & potatoes. Al had some ribbony-type of pasta with a wild boar sauce. The half-liter of house red wine was pretty good - at least it was mellow if not terribly flavorful or robust. No idea what's on tap for this evening's fare. Apparently eating at any hour prior to 9:00 pm is just unheard of but this Hungry, Hungry Hippo can't seem to adjust the stomach to such wacky hours.
The only eventful thing that has happened thus far is that the 220 volt system appears to have fried my travel blow dryer. Henceforth, all pictures of me from this vacation will either have me in a hat with virtually no hair visible or I'll look like a drowned rat with hair plastered to my face.
Anyone want to take my Deviance & Social Control quiz for me this week? I'm a little annoyed that the real world insists upon intruding on my Roman Holiday but such is the price of getting that piece of paper, I supppose.
Ciao for now!
Now is one of those times when I wish I had the wherewithall to make a demo video and post it to YouTube so I could embed it in here to really drive home the point.
If you work with cash - paper and coins - I implore you to remove your cranium from your rectal region and make sure you give your customers change properly.
Making a boat out of the paper money and receipt and dumping the coins in the middle of it is NOT acceptable, people!
The proper, considerate and acceptable method to giving people cash and change is as follows:
1. place the coins into the person's open palm.
2. allow the person to curl two or three fingers (pinkie to ring or middle) over that loose change.
3. hand the person the paper bills and receipt which can still be deftly grasped by the index finger and thumb.
This is not rocket surgery and yet it amazes me how clueless 99.9% of the cashiers I encounter on a regular basis actually are.
When you make that boat thing (like a canoe, if one is lucky - like a pontoon boat, if one is dealing with an especially inept cashier), the person has no chance of reasonably grapsing and retaining control over the bills, the receipt AND the coins. Invariably, coins will fall to the floor causing a delay in the check-out line.
One would think that after maybe two or three observations of this phenomenon, cashiers would make the connection between the method of returning change and the slowness of the line, frustration of the customers, general annoyance factor. This does not, however, seem to be the case. Rather than assess the cashier's own role in the repeated fiascos, it is apparent that cahsiers have either been trained by their stores to only ever provide change in this manner - possibly in an attempt to get a "tip" from loose change that spilled to the floor and went unclaimed by its rightful owners - or that the assumption is that all customers are just clueless, uncoordinated doofuses (or doofii.)
Please, I implore you -- coins first, THEN bills.
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion, very finely diced
1/3 cup celery, very finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
10 to 12 whole plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup tomato juice (out-of-season substitute 3 cups canned whole tomatoes for tomatoes and juice)
3/4 cup dry white table wine
2 tablespoons clam base
In a medium-size, stainless steel saucepan, heat olive oil to frying temperature. Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
Add onions and celery to the oil. Saute for 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add oregano, parsley and basil. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
Add chopped tomatoes, tomato juice, wine and clam base. (If you are using canned tomatoes, use the juice from the can rather than a cup of tomato juice.)
Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Skim top of sauce.
Cool and skim sauce again. Cover and refrigerate. The sauce has a shelf life of up to 7 days. Yield: 3 cups
1 pound butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup dry white table wine, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 strip anchovy, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, washed, dried and finely chopped
2 tablespoons green pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pimientos, finely chopped
In an electric mixer place softened butter, wine, salt, pepper, garlic and anchovy. Mix until wine and butter are well blended.
Stop mixer and add parsley, green pepper and pimientos. Turning mixer on and off, incorporate ingredients and mix until evenly blended.
Cover and refrigerate. This will keep well for up to 2 weeks. Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Artichoke Pasta Poulette
4 six-ounce skinless chicken breasts
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
1 cup Casino Butter
2 cups Provencal Sauce
1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced
20 ounces linguine noodles, precooked and cooled
To cook linguine: Bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender (al dente). Strain and cool. Add a small amount of vegetable or olive oil to the linguine noolds and toss gently to prevent them from sticking.
Cook chicken breasts on a grill and cut into strips.
Place Casino Butter in a large saute pan or pot and heat until melted.
Add Provencal Sauce and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add chicken and artichokes. Cover and cook 3 minutes.
Add linguine and olives and mix well.
To serve: toss the cooked linguine with the prepared sauce. Divide equally among 4 plates and serve immediately. Garnish with freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese. Yeild: 4 servings
Wolfgang Puck's Gazpacho is also in the works. This will be a nice side dish with this Monday's quesadillas.
Plus we've started a 1/3-batch of garlic dill pickles with homemade pickling spice.
And we're making Big Daddy's Ribs this afternoon. This is - HANDS DOWN - the absolute best way to make ribs. What the online recipe doesn't tell you / what he told us on the tv show is that you need to cover the pan of ribs with liquid with plastic wrap before putting the aluminum foil over the top. The plastic wrap truly seals in all the moisture, better than the tin foil alone does. We've tried it both ways and the plastic wrap really makes better ribs. Not to worry - the plastic (even after 2 hrs in the oven) cleans up fairly easily.
The chicken/artichoke dish is for tomorrow night, with leftovers during the week. Steamed artichokes with lemon butter will be the appetizer. (Even if it sounds artichoke heavy, it will be delish, I promise.)
Thursday is homemade lasagna for the husband's traditional birthday dinner. (Shoot, I forgot to go shopping for that!)
In the Provencal Sauce, I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes plus to ripe Roma tomatoes, unpeeled. I ended up with more than 3 cups of Sauce. Notes in the "Simply Great II Cookbook, Tribute Edition" (recipes from the kitchens of Chuck Muer!) suggest that Provencal Sauce can be tossed straight with cooked pasta, served with a balsamic dressed salad & crusty bread for a nice, easy meal so that's what I plan to do with the leftover Sauce.
In the Casino Butter, we used a squirt of anchovy paste in lieu of actually touching a hairy anchovy. Blech. Also in the Casino Butter, I skipped the pimientos. I just didn't see the need to hunt them down or pay an outrageous price for something that's essentially tasteless - to me, anyway.
For the Ribs, we use our own rib rub, not necessarily the one listed in the recipe. And we completely skip the Apple Cider Buttermilk Dipping Sauce. We just take them out of the oven, throw them on the grill and slather with KC Masterpiece. Yum.
And for the Gazpacho, we threw about 1/2 small/medium white onion (chopped) into the soup as well as a handful of chopped cilantro for another layer of fresh flavor.
Happy cooking, everyone!
This was included as "fact" from one of my sociology professors. I'm not able to find much on Google or Snopes and I want to know if it's true. I would think that if he had, in fact, said it in a book, it would have made a bigger (i.e., noticeable) splash online - even if it was said back in the 90s.
Newt Gingrich wrote in one of his books in the 1990s that women, because
they have wider hips and a lower center of gravity, are best served in the military by working on
warships and such in positions that require them to sit for long periods of time. They are
biologically predisposed to “sitting” jobs in the military. Men, however, cannot sit in one place for
as long a period of time, and so they are biologically predisposed to fight on the front lines of
combat. Take that for whatever it’s worth.
Please let me know if you are able to cite a reference for the book's title in which he wrote statements to this effect.
Don't mind me - just "rockin' out" to "Alice's Restaurant"! You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. Walk right in, it's around the back, just half a mile from the railroad track! Heh.
The stuffing has been made, the bird has been stuffed and is in the oven.
If you're reading this after Thanksgiving and have been unfortunate enough to suffer the torture of dry turkey and crappy stuffing or dressing, allow me to offer some suggestions.( Thanksgiving meal preparation tips, tricks and delicious recipes!Collapse )
Okay - that was fun!
An hour into the cooking process (30 mins at 400° and 30 mins at 300°, convection) and the turkey is already at 135° -- not much longer to food!!
Don't wanna go to work tomorrow -- heck, at all, ever again -- but we all do what we must to get the paycheck and benefits, eh?
Also don't want to read 4 chapters of Physics for the last test, nor do I want to deal with my Sociology final which is really only 10 short-answer questions.
Nevermind that I have like 8 books from the library and another 7 from the HR lady to read for this new management gig. Ugh, what on earth have I gotten myself into?!
I don't do it often (and I really can't do any right now, I'm sorry) but I had promised a friend I'd do her natal chart for her. It took me over a month to have a break in my schedule long enough to focus on it. I'm not really an intuitive interpreter when it comes to this stuff (natal charts, tarot, etc.) so I have to rely on resource material to piece together the interpretation - which makes it more objective (IMO) than subjective.
Anyway, as I was doing her chart, I ran across some stuff that prompted me to check my own chart.
I have ten planets in private houses and only two in public. That's not really a surprise. I'm an introvert and generally keep to myself. Yet my "wounded healer" is in a public house in Aries which is all about being leader of the pack, first in line to get things going, leadership, rally the troops against all odds. So I'll reach out and really lead the charge to help others even though the other things would lead one to believe I'd do anything to avoid taking a public stand or reaching out to others.
What surprised me was that three of those planets are in Sagittarius, which is known for being truth-seekers, focused on knowledge, broad-minded approach to life, clear thinkers, big picture thinkers, well-thought-out point of view. On the downside, this can come across as blunt and argumentative. (Who, moi?! LOL)
My Sun sign (what most of us call our Zodiac sign) is Scorpio and I have another planet in Scorpio. All in, I've got my dreams, illusion, abstract thought, heightened awareness, personality, ego, face to the world in a sign (Scorpio) that says "dead serious in their mission to learn about others"! Also, no fluff or chatter (blunt?), zero in on the essentials, travel in a world of black and white (ack!), immeasurable curiosity and skilled investigators.
Last but not least, I have two planets in Virgo. My emotions and "transformation, regeneration and rebirth" tend to lean toward exacting, nit-picky, paying attention to details, find happiness in serving others, industrious, methodical, asset in the workplace, get it right the first time, balanced & fair in assessments.
So why do I bring all this up? I guess I just found it interesting on the heels of the job interviewing I've been doing recently at work. You know, those questions where they ask you to tell a bit about yourself, what are your strengths, areas for improvement, etc. so there's been a lot of introspection and self-assessment. All of the things I've listed above for my Scorpio, Sagittarius and Virgo are phrases I've used at some point or another during the half-dozen interviews I've given over the last few weeks.
I guess there may be something to the whole natal chart thing after all, eh?