Saturday, February 27, 2010


If you're not a "dog person", you'll probably want to skip this post.

We have five, count 'em, five dogs---down from six at this time last year, although some days we're up to seven. I can't understand why we only wanted two children and yet we've ended up with all these dogs. As healthy as they are, we've still spent way more at the veterinarian than we ever spent at the pediatrician.

They stand at the gate every morning as they wait for their daddy to take them for a ride. His once-nice SUV is now referred to as "The Fur-mobile". It's such an utter embarrassment, I can't even think about posting a picture of it. They ride to the near-by cemetery, where they bark at the ducks, while munching on Ritz bits! And, no, I don't participate in this insanity. I'm at home, in my robe, drinking coffee, like a normal person.

People always ask if they all live in the house. The answer is yes! Although we have two wooded acres, completely fenced, behind our house, and a doggy-door to access it, do you think they want to be out there without us? Not a chance. Well, that's not exactly true...

Two of them escape the fence on a daily basis. They're regular Houdinis, who seem to morph themselves through chain link fencing. They can't wait to run free through the woods, or take off across the middle of the elementary school playground behind us. They particularly enjoy Tiny Tots soccer on Saturday morning. I think the teachers and coaches might have my cell phone on their speed-dial. They usually call as I'm driving around the neighborhood, blowing the horn and yelling "Scout!" and "Jack!" out the window. Classy, huh? Of course, about half the time, they're already back home, waiting for me.

Today was a big day at our house. We decided that our central vacuum system wasn't doing an adequate job of picking up fur off the rugs.

On the advice of my sister-in-law, I went out and bought the Dyson Animal. Boy, has that thing got some suction! I didn't know whether to amazed or disgusted--probably both!--at the amount of fur that came off the family room rug.

We had an artist paint this mural, for my study, about ten years ago. At the time, we had two dogs and two cats. We've often talked about getting her to come back and paint one on another wall, depicting the later additions to the pack, but I had lost her contact information. Strangely enough, yesterday in the mail, we got an invitation to a showing of her work. Maybe we can consider a new mural!

In case you're wondering, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are Oliver and Violet. The one with angel wings is Humphrey. He was our first, now resting in peace. The cats were Fluffy and Suzy-Q, who joined Humphrey a few years later. The artist took picture of the dogs as they played in their pool, rolled around in the grass and ate their birthday treats. She then used her wonderful imagination to create this fantastic mural. it's actually pained on canvas and applied to the wall, so that if we move, we can take it with us!

See these three needlepoint pillows of the Cavaliers? Pretty, huh?

Well, I used to have a lot more, with yards of fancy fringe and elegant tassels. But Daisy, the female Golden Retriever has separation anxiety (yeah, I know... we're nut cases), and whenever she got "anxious" she chewed up the pillows---along with the custom kitchen cabinets, interior columns, cashmere sweaters, expensive shoes, etc, etc.

And, yet, who couldn't love this face?

We have to keep her shaved most of the year, because she loves to swim! Don't you just adore her pearls? So elegant and feminine!

And, here are Beau, the male Golden Retriever and Violet, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These two have rarely done anything wrong in their lives! Violet was eleven years old yesterday. Our birthday girl for February!

By now, you're thinking, "these people are complete bonkers" and you're right! But guess what? There are still two more! My mother's dog, Trixie, spends a good bit of time with us, too. She's old and rests a lot, like her owner.

And, who, you might ask, is the lead dog? Well, here she is: our daughter's dog, Lola... (and, I might add, my only grandchild). And, when she's here (which is often, since her parents are constantly traveling the world or throwing parties), she rules the roost!

Last but not least is our precious Oliver, who we lost a year ago. He crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, tail wagging until the very end.
A little dog with a very big heart.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful, stylish and very wise lady, wasn't she?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


My husband, the chef, made chili for dinner. It's one of his favorite things to make and to eat. It's a good dinner on a cold, damp winter's night. Real comfort food.

I won't bother to include his recipe, since most families have their own favorite for chili. Besides, being a creative cook, he probably changes it up a little bit each time.

My favorite part is probably the sour cream, shredded cheese and corn chips that I put on top!
We got these cute plates and bowls years ago at Crate and Barrel, I believe. I wish the colors had shown up as vibrant as they really are. But, anyway, they're just perfect for serving chili.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


As I said in my previous post, I'm a beach person. So today, even though it's only February, I was lured by a sunny day in Destin, Florida. Well, let me tell you, looks can be deceiving. I was cold! I sat on the beach in cords and a sweater, wrapped in a blanket, loving the sun but hating the wind.

This cute little seagull seemed to be enjoying himself, as he stood in the waves. His toes must have not been as cold as mine were! I love his black and white polka-dot tail feathers and his yellow beak---a great color combination.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


This is it: my happy place! Can you tell I'm a beach person?

I recently discovered the wonderful artwork of Laura Trevey. or
Just viewing her vibrant watercolors is like a mini-vacation for my soul. Crabs, lobsters, beach umbrellas! I can't decide which one to order first! Maybe the blue crab, since we catch those at our beach house.

It's part of our daily entertainment to pull up the crab traps and count how many more we have than the day before. When we have enough for a meal, out comes the big crab pot to boil them in. Then we spread newspaper over a table on the wharf or the porch and "pick" the meat. Sometimes, we eat it as we pick, or we might try to have enough discipline to save it for a seafood casserole for dinner.

Occasionally, if all the stars are aligned, my husband can net Gulf shrimp right off of our own wharf. From net, to pot of boiling water, to our plates in just a matter of minutes, produces a taste experience like no other. It gives a new meaning to "fresh"! Here's what we do: Use a good-sized pot, depending on amount of shrimp. To the boiling water, add a can of beer and Old Bay Shrimp and Crab Boil, to taste. Add the shrimp and cook only until they turn pink. Don't overcook! Drain the hot water and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. We like to make a sauce of mayonnaise, ketchup and capers. Peel and enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Right smack in the middle of Valentine's weekend, we can't forget about Mardi Gras! Many people don't realize that the first Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States were not in New Orleans, but in Mobile, Alabama , in the 1700s, while still under French rule. Today, all the small towns around the Mobile Bay area have their own Krewes who put on parades each year. Thousands of people line the streets for these "family-friendly" parades, and they're great fun. We have a second home in Fairhope, Alabama, which has many parades during the season. My husband, son and son-in-law are members of a Krewe and get to ride on a float every year. They say it's the closest they'll ever come to being rock stars, as they ride through the streets, throwing beads, toys and Moon Pies. My pictures aren't great. But, hopefully, they'll give you some idea of the color and pageantry and fun of a small-town Mardi Gras celebration.

Son, son-in-law, husband

"Hey mister, throw me some beads!"


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