Happy Birthday Riley!


Three years ago Riley was born at a farm outside of St. Maries Idaho. He didn't come to live with us until later in July. Riley brought a whole new ray of light into our lives. He adored his older brother Tucker, he adored us. Let's just say that Riley adores anybody he comes in contact with. He loves people.

 His brother Tucker taught him to alert us when the UPS truck was out front, Tucker also taught him the importance of going to the crate when it is time in the evening. Tucker also taught him how to inform us when it was time to get up and let the dogs out of the crates in the morning.

Riley had a tough adjustment period when he lost his brother in November. He lost his appetite, was afraid to go outside by himself, and tried to remember the skills Tucker taught him. Riley had never been alone in his life.  He rallied and by the holiday season he went with us to family functions.

Riley is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. I had a friend years ago that had one and I fell in love with her dog. After we lost our dog Annie the summer of 2017 I started to read ads of available dogs. That was how I found Riley. We had only had sporting and herding breeds before. A terrier is a breed like no other. Riley hasn't been easy to train and he does have a stubborn streak.




 Riley loved his cousins next door and watched at the gate when they came outside. The dogs were elderly dogs so Riley didn't get to play with them much. Sadly, the two dogs have gone to doggie heaven , but Riley still runs to the gate looking for them. Riley also got to visit Grandma Mary at Kindred one time before she died. Mom loved Riley at first sight.

He loves to go in the car to his favorite places where he can run his heart out. He also loves to go to to espresso stands that give out dog treats. He loves his toy buddies Wheat and Oat. As long as Riley is with us, he is happy. He is very photogentic and enjoys life. He brings us joy every day.





I Want To Be Famous In The Way


 Famous

The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do. 

Naomi Shihab Nye

What about me?

I want to be famous to the child I helped up when he wrecked his bike. 
I want to be famous to the older woman that couldn't reach the last pack
of toilet paper in the grocery store. 
I want to be famous in a way a bookmark is famous,
because it always knows where it belongs.

I want to be where I belong to provide support, kindness, and love.



Gardening Tips: The Spring List, Part 1


I bought my first garden plants for the year today. I already went over my budget and there are still more plants I really want and need!  That is a dilemma all gardeners face each year. Here are some of  my tried and true gardening tips as I begin another season of gardening:

-If a plant doesn't spread like you planned, dies right after you plant it, or is dug up by a critter, there is a solution. Put a pot next to it or in its place. A colorful pot filled with simple flowers can cover up a lot of mistakes.

-Don't get overwhelmed with weeding. It is that part of gardening we dread, but break up it.Put on your favorite playlist or book, put in your earbuds and go for it.  Do a small amount every day and before you know it, your weeds or pulled. Repeat!

-To save money and fill in empty spaces in garden beds and pots, plant nasturium seeds. They are cheap, they grow quickly, they trail or spread and they are pretty.


-If you have a place with lots of sun and room for the plants to thrive, plant sunflowers from seeds. They are easy to grow, inexpensive, and so pretty. There are so many varieties to choose from. One year I did plant those Mammoth Sunflowers that are used for the seeds.  They grow 9-12 feet tall. If you have room, they are great for the seeds, but mine tipped over from the weight of the seeds. I don't recommend them.

- Mint is a wonderful herb to grow and can be used in so many ways.... but.... mint spreads quickly and is very invasive. Plant your mint in a pot and you will be much happier.

- Always plant marigolds around tomato plants.Why? The marigolds protect the tomato plants from harmful root-knot nematodes in the soil. ( I learned this tip from my mother)

- Cover your face while gardening. Either wear sunscreen or a hat to shade your face. I also try to wear garden gloves, but they end up being pulled off depending on the task.

Enjoy shopping for the pretty flowers, getting your hands dirty, and getting those seeds in the
ground.

Top Ten Things I Have Learned During Covid-19


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I like to look for the silver lining in difficult situations. Here we go:

Top Ten Things I Have Learned During Covid-19

10. Home is where the heart is.
9.  A mask can cover chapped lips, dark circles under eyes, and unwanted hair.
8.  Dark roots are trending now.
7.  Stockpiled Bath and Body Works antibacterial soap is my new best friend.
6.  I have figured out 786 ways to used canned chicken.
5.  The best stress relievers this month have been Strawberry Twizzlers, red beer, and runs with Riley.
4,  I have learned that Zoom is not just a hot cereal I ate as a child.
3.  Positive cards and notes in the mail boost my spirits more than ever.
2.  It is okay to be nonproductive day after day.
and the number one thing I have learned during Covid-19
1.   I finally learned how to spell quarantine.



Quarantine, Day 42 : Hello Spring

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I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet in a garden.”   — Ruth Stout


I am embracing spring this year. During early spring I brought the spring inside with grocery store bouquets.  After being inside so much the time in the first part of the quarantine the warmer weather was a welcome relief. The beautiful colors of the spring flowers are just what I need right now to put a smile on my face. Longer days and sunshine are the icing on the cake.  Here are some favorite images of the season. Hello spring!







My Own Chopped Challenge at Home: Using Leftovers and the Pantry

If you are a fan of The Food Network and Chopped you may be familiar with the Chopped Challenge at Home happening on Instragram and Twitter during this quarantine. The Chopped judges have been challenged to take food from their pantries and make a meal and also have encouraged others to post their meals . You can learn about it here.
I decided to do my own personal Chopped Challenge at home today with leftovers and pantry items. I am just posting it here and not entering the competition. This is what I found in my "basket":
Leftover sausage gravy from when I prepared biscuits and gravy
left over Manwich Sloppy Joe meat and sauce

whipped cream cheese that needed to be used
From my pantry  I used part of a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce, 

and a dry herb mix.I mixed it all together and let it simmer on the stove.
From the pantry and fridge I cooked penne pasta, topped the pasta with parmesan cheese, and served it with a Caesar salad in the bag. 




Here was the final presentation.

"The ingredients in this dish sounded disgusting, but you know what? I really liked it".Chris Santos
"It was like sausage gravy and Manwich had a baby and it was enhanced with cream cheese. Great use of the basket ingredients" Alex Guarnaschelli
" Your pasta was cooked perfectly! I can't stop eating it." Scott Conant
" Not too shabby!" guest judge Everett Jolley

What did I think? The sauce was tasty. It reminded me of Campbell's tomato soup that you added cream instead of milk or water. I will probably never be able to duplicate it, but I used up lots of  leftovers and food that needed to be eaten.

Focusing on Kindness



With everthing going on in the world right now, it is important to focus on kindness. Signs of kindness show up every day in big ways with restaurants delivering food to health workers and landlords paying rent for their tenants. Signs of kindness show up every day in small ways with signs to teachers, encouraging words, and taking time to check on neighbors. This has always been one of my favorite poems. Today it seems appropriate.



Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
Naomi Shihab Nye
From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Top Ten Things I Miss While Being Quarantined


10. Meeting friends inside a coffee shop.
9.   Driving to Mullan with T.B. for water aerobics.
8.   Nancy the dog groomer, but Riley misses her more.
7.   Family members that live outside of our area that I can't see.
6.   The library.

5.   All the amazing women that are part of my book club.
4.   Having the freedom to call a friend and meet for lunch inside a restaurant.
3.  Cooking lessons with Mary.

2.   Sibling outings.
1.   The number one thing I miss while being quarantined is Sunday Family Dinners.

If things change with Covid-19, I look forward picking up where I left off in March.


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