Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Time for Some Cuteness!

How is this for some cuteness?

Nora's little sister CC sends a big smile your way!

A blessed grandmother sends love to all,


P.S. Milo is much much better! Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers for him!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mrs. Daffodil

Mrs. Daffodil, by Gladys Taber, was the perfect
comfort book to read this week while I've been
so worried about Milo.

The daffodils in bloom in our dooryard garden
lifted my spirits too.

Gladys Taber's readers are familiar with
the author's portrait on the jackets of her books
where she pulls a beloved cocker spaniel
to her Botticelli tummy for the camera lens
or folds a hand under a double chin,
as if in profound thought.

I do the same thing myself.
Last night before bed I asked R.H. to take 
a photo of our Milo and me.

He has continued not wanting to eat or drink
and I called the doctor because he was trembling.
He had us put honey under his lips and discontinue
the antibiotic that suppresses appetite.
We were able to get him to eat baby food meat sticks,
the only thing we've been able to get down him.

This morning we tried something our d-i-l advised,
cooking chicken livers and giving him that with the broth.


And he has perked back up!
If he doesn't continue getting better,
we will be back at the veterinarian Monday.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support
this past week. 

And here's a closeup of Otis, his brother,
taken last fall. 
He's been so good this week while Milo's been sick.

Again, thank you so much for thinking of Milo.
I'll start catching up with everyone soon
but I hope you're all having a good weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2015


I'll be away from blog for a while as our dear little Milo was very sick yesterday and is having tests run and IV given today.

Thank you to anyone for prayers and thoughts for our sweet little boy.

3/25/15: Thank you so much for your sweet comments in support of our little Milo. He is doing better today. We're still not certain what caused all his vomiting and dehydration but labs look good. Now it's mainly a matter of coaxing him to eat anything and drink water but I'm hoping that will get back to normal soon. Meanwhile we're doing a whole lot of snuggling. 

3/27/15: Milo has 2 more days on antibiotic so I'm hoping there will still be more improvement. He remains lethargic and has to be coaxed to eat and drink. So far the only thing he'll willingly eat is baby food where we hide his medication. He's been on Blue dog food ever since we adopted him with no problem before this, and his brother Otis is on it with no problem. After the first two days of him refusing to eat almost nothing of the prescription canned food from his veterinarian's office, I've tried rice with ground grass-fed sirloin that he'll only pick at, and the baby food. 

See you all soon,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Women used to fix a meal from leftovers the night before they

cleaned the refrigerator and defrosted the freezer compartment,

a fiddly chore, I assure you,

one I'm so thankful I no longer have to do.

A meal of leftovers though?

That I still love.

Does anyone still make fried rice today?

Leftover ham, beef or chicken sautéed with onions,
cold rice stirred in and seasoned?

When I make it I follow Vincent Price's recipe for 
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) that he wrote was a
traditional Dutch dish. 

I add curry powder and soy sauce and then follow Mr. Price's 
instructions to make a small omelet to cut in strips
and serve on top of the finished dish. 

The omelet makes it more satisfying.

And to give it all even more flavor, I add a favorite salsa on top.

This time I served a fresh Pineapple Sweet Onion Salsa from Whole Foods.

Richardson Wright, editor of House & Garden for decades, praised left-overs
in his book, The Gardener's Hand-Book.

"Eating it [leftovers] brings the satisfaction of economy.
It evidences good household management.
It has about it a tidy air."

I've quoted Richardson Wright before here 
and at my former blog [here] where I wrote on Serendipity.
I'm sure I will quote him again. How can you not like someone who writes:

"As we grow older, I believe, we put more value on Life's left-overs--
on old clothes that are too good to throw away,
on an old love that has settled down from hectic ardor
to placid companionship,
on old habits that we have inherited from a speedier moving youth.
So much of Life's worth-while things are second-hand anyway;
each morning a second-hand sun rises on a second-hand world
and lights second-hand people 
going about their second-hand work and play."

I know that I love old clothes,
old sweaters that finally don't itch,
sheets that lose their crispness,
blankets that are as soft as those for a newborn,
a robe that has been washed countless times.

And I happen to love leftovers--my husband does not.

How about you?

Do you love leftovers?

What are your favorite leftovers?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

An Irish Blessing

May those who love us, love us,

And for those who don't love us,

May God turn their hearts;

And if He can't turn their hearts,

May He turn their ankles,

So we will know them by their limping.

This Irish Blessing came in my email on St. Patrick's Day of 2003 from P.J. Hamel, editor of The Baker's Catalog. 

It is difficult to know who the enemy is. I don't think I consider a particular group of people as being my enemy when my greatest enemy is most often myself.

One thing I do know. My enemy is someone who would purposely hurt me or mine--whatever race, gender, or creed he or she happens to be.

I dislike mean people, period. 

I remember being in Wild Oats soon after 9/11 and seeing a tall fellow shopper, everything but her eyes and hands covered by a black headdress and robe. She was holding the hand of a cute little toddler. He was darling in a Tennessee Titans blue football shirt. 

I was certainly not afraid of her. On the contrary, I smiled at her and her eyes crinkled up at the corners as she looked back at me. We both looked down at her little boy, bouncing along in his tennis shoes. 

The only things I am still afraid of in the supermarkets here, thankfully, are purse snatchers and the Moosetracks ice cream that emits a siren call.

But as far as purse snatchers and terrorists go, well, it would be nice if God turned a few ankles. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Allison Pataki's The Accidental Empress

She was never meant to be the Empress of the Austrian Empire.

That was the role intended for her elder sister Helene.

At 15, Elisabeth, a beauty already, was only to travel with Helene
to Austria and serve as her lady-in-waiting.

"You must always make Helene look good," their mother explained.

But it was not Helene who Franz Joseph, the Habsburg Emperor, fell in love with.

This love story, Pataki's second novel, is a true story, fiction woven with fact in a way that left me turning the pages, enthralled. I didn't expect that. I normally like my fiction separated from biography. But I liked this book so much that I immediately ordered Pataki's first novel, The Traitor's Wife, about the wife of Benedict Arnold. 

Have any of you read either of Allison Pataki's novels? How did you like them?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Calling a Girlfriend, 1953

We're running terribly late tonight, darling.
Robert's meeting went on and on.
Well, yes, our shopping in the City ran a tiny bit long too.

Why, I'm thrilled you liked my new blue Spring coat.
I finished hemming it minutes before leaving the house.

And darling, I adored that divine shade of purple
of your new coat--perfect with your red hair!

And you were wearing that gabardine skirt and cashmere
sweater under it that you know I love,
but was that sweet silk blouse new?

I have an idea, why don't you two come for a cocktail
here before meeting at the club for dinner?

Yes, I remember, a pink gin for you.
And whiskey sours for the boys, the pets.

I have a bit of that seafood dip you like
and some shrimp on ice.

And you haven't seen the living room since we 
finished redecorating, have you?

I did it in American Beauty red and mint green.
You must tell me what you think about it.

And I finished the Nelia Gardner White book you lent me.

See you in an hour then?


Pickwick Cafe Sea Food Dip,
Montgomery, Alabama
from The Cocktail-Supper Cookbook

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1/2 pint mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 pint chili sauce

Add vinegar to mayonnaise slowly, beating until smooth.
Add Tabasco.
Combine anchovy with a little mayonnaise mixture.
Add remaining ingredients.
Whip in a blender if handy.

There you are, dear friends, the words I meant to include on this post before accidentally publishing it without them! 

Thank you for your sweet words in the comments but I just could not leave it unfinished and finally got my tea table set as if the two girlfriends and their husbands would be there. 

All vintage pictures were from the fabulous Ladies' Home Journal issues, 
February 1953, and 1951.  

I love my old Ladies' Home Journals!

I love the 1950s!

And I love talking to a girlfriend!

Tell me, girlfriends, how do you like the 1953 living room?

If today was March of 1953, 
would you like it?

The tea table pictures were from my resident cameraman, R.H., and he bought me the roses!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hannah Ate and Her Face Was No Longer Sad

But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit.

I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink,

but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.

Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along

I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation."

Then Eli answered, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel 

grant your petition that you have made to him."

And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your eyes."

Then the woman went her way and ate, 

and her face was no longer sad."

I Samuel 1:15-18

Has it been the snow--which I have always professed to love,
and Otis obviously does?

Has it been being iced in, the paths too dangerous in this shady valley 
for me to risk walking on?

Cooped up, little sunshine, so suffering perhaps from SADD?

Insomnia? (Writing this post at 1:30 a.m.)

Fatigue, from doing what, I don't know?

Vexed in spirit, as Hannah was?

For whatever reason, and ashamed to admit it,

I've found myself lately having lost my savor of….




It seems that all I've wanted to do is read my old cookbooks

and eat.

Odd things.

But I smiled when I read my devotion onThursday morning.

There was Hannah, vexed in spirit, 

feeling anxious and….well, worthless,

and I felt a kinship with her.

Eli prayed for Hannah that God would grant her petition

and Hannah went her way and ate,

her face no longer sad.

I was encouraged, and I made the old recipe for Cucumber Cream Salad,

that Frances Parkinson Keyes used to make when her husband

was Senator from New Hampshire,

and take to the Senate Ladies' Luncheon.

Is there still a Senate Ladies' luncheon, perhaps a Senate Spouses' luncheon?

Frances Parkinson Keyes' Cucumber Cream Salad

Soften 1 envelope of gelatin in 2 tablespoons cold water.

add 1/4 cup hot milk and stir until gelatin is dissolved.

Add one cucumber, cut into small cubes,

two stalks celery, cut into small pieces,

3 scallions sliced fine,

1/2 cup olives sliced thin.

Stir in 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar,

juice of one lemon,

and seasonings (salt, lemon pepper, whatever you like).

Then fold in 1 pint of heavy whipping cream, whipped.

Turn into a mold or dish and refrigerate for 12 hours or more.

Serve with French Dressing.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt,

1/4 teaspoon sugar and pinch of cayenne pepper.

Add juice of one lemon and 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar. 

Beat in olive oil to taste (1 cup suggested).

Fix a pretty luncheon plate of Spode Morning Glory of the salad, apple slices, pecans sautéed in 
butter and salted, and pour the dressing from a pretty little demitasse.

Have for lunch while watching Judging Amy.

Give at least half of salad away to son and warn him that it is not a sweet dessert
even though it looks like one.

Soon Spring may come, the ice will melt off the paths.
I will get out of the house and go buy groceries, have a haircut, drop by Goodwill.

Perhaps I'll even go to a Ladies' Luncheon once more,
with my daughter, and I'll smile.