Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friday Farewell

Well, we knew it was coming. We didn't want to have to go there, but our dear old Maggie dog had some sort of mini stroke or something last Thursday night. We knew there was something very wrong with her when she stood out in the rain and just stood there, sort of looking blank. She didn't want to lay down or come in. When I finally got her in, she paced and paced and wanted back out. We knew the time had come. So, Friday afternoon we took her to the vet for the last time. She was treated with tenderness and great care and died in our arms. Boy, do we miss her! It is so quiet without her. Lots of tears. Even the cat knew something was wrong Thursday night and wanted to be with her - inside or out, and Pippi is an inside cat! Very strange! We figure we have had her 10 or 11 years and she must have been 12 or 13 or so. She was a loyal, faithful companion who brought a lot of joy to our lives! Mags,we will miss you!

How we acquired her is a funny story in itself. We had been out "antique-ing" and went into a shop in Port Orchard. Behind the counter was this beautiful dog with the most gorgeous eyes! She "smiled" at us and we kept on looking around. Bill came up to the counter to ask a question and she went nuts! Whining and wagging her tail and very focused on him! We asked about her and the proprietor told us she was a stray that she called in out of the pouring down rain! She had had her about two weeks and she would go home with her to other dogs and cats. She wanted to find a good home for her. Well, we thought she was very nice and very pretty and wasn't it funny how she responded to Bill? We went to get a bite to eat and very carefully ignored the subject. Finally, I said "I could see her running around our yard." We weren't sure we were ready for a dog again, having had to put down our 11 year old lab mix just a few years previous. We could go back and talk to her though, couldn't we? That couldn't hurt! Now she wanted to know all kinds of things about us - did we have a fenced yard? had we ever had a dog before, etc. And don't you know, she thought maybe the dog would be a good shop dog. (Not!) She would put us on a list. List? Hmmm. Meanwhile, the dog is going crazy and jumped up in the window and was barking at us as we left! We got to the car and Bill said he just had to go back and see if he could talk her into us taking her. The dog was pretty adamant after all! I couldn't go back in! A few minutes later he came out with this beautiful dog on a leash! Evidently there was someone else who had seen this reaction and Bill asked the proprietor if she also saw it? Well, how could you miss it?! She came home with us that very afternoon! Then came the problem of knowing what to call her. Goldie? Sadie? She didn't respond. Hmm. We had friends over who were going to be getting a purebred German shepard and were looking at names in a few dog naming books. (who knew?) We went through a long list of names and nada. No response. Our friends left and the dog was asleep at Bill's feet. He got to "Maggie" and she sat up and looked at him like it took him long enough to figure it out! The vet figured she was 2 or 3 and part shephard and part Rhodesian Ridgeback. Sweetest dog! Beautiful amber eyes and a great personality. Very social, and in fact she learned to jump the fence pretty early on. She just wanted to go visiting! Evidently she had never seen snow, but beach and sand were familiar and the first time we brought home a pizza, she was all over it! She loved to go for walks with Bill down to a neighborhood coffee shop where she was loved by all! Monday nights are shop night where Bill and Brian work on cars in the garage. All you had to do was ask if she wanted to go to the garage and she was at the door! So many memories! It is actually healing to write about her. Thanks for bearing with me if you have made it this far! If you have ever had to do this, you know the pain and loss. You tell yourself it is only a dog after all, but oh, they are such a part of the family! Will we ever have another dog? I won't say never, but it sure isn't on our radar for any time soon! That's what we said about Mocha, too though, and look what happened!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yummy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 small can pumpkin
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups flour
1 lg. bag chocolate chips

Cream the shortening, butter and sugar. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients together and add to the pumpkin mixture. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
Bake in 350 oven for 10-12 minutes or until barely golden. Do NOT overbake!

This makes about 5 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them. They do not spread so you can crowd quite a few on a cookie sheet. Also, you read it right! There are no eggs! I also shake a little nutmeg and ginger in with the cinnamon and have used mini chips - its all good!! The texture is more cake like and they are not overly sweet, but are right up there on the yummy list!

Mid Month

How did it get to be the middle of November already?! I think I have been on another planet or something! Anyway, here are a few Halloween pics. Instead of helping at our church "Harvest Party" we went to help our kids hand out treats in their swanky neighborhood. That put us on the "bad" list, but oh, well! They had almost 800 kids come through the neighborhood so I am glad we went! They actually close off the streets and the local cops patrol the streets on bikes! It was a hoot, but not one of my best photo taking experiences! The grandkids are just a little too fast moving at times! Anyway, here you go......

Pumpkins and spider webs!

Johnny was a firefighter, Hannah a fairy princess (that is her next door neighbor friend on her left) and Brian was a mobster! Their neighbors had a fire pit going with refreshments in the garage; other neighbors had hot cider, coffee, etc. Many were set up in their garage or driveway. It was crazy, but very fun!