Diary

You are currently browsing the archive for the Diary category.

I couldn’t believe what DH was asking me to do.

We were touring 38-room Oliver Mansion, Copshalom, (http://www.memoriesinmotion.net/south_bend.htm).  And, as we were being shown the gardens, DH had picked seeds from a tree. Then he wanted me to stuff them in my purse. Right in front of everyone.

“Nooooo…..they aren’t going to grow, anyway. You can’t start trees from seeds,” I whispered, giving DH “the look“.

Only one of them did.autumns-visit-006.jpg
These days, Quince trees are few and far between. Before touring the Oliver mansion, I had never heard of a Quince tree.

However, the seed that I had grudgingly put in my purse, the same seed DH carefully planted and nurtured, is thriving.

As it ages our Quince tree will develop a bark similar to that of some crepe myrtle trees. Its fruit will be knobby, mottled, hard and bitter, but so fragrant that in ancient times the fruit was used to perfume rooms, much as we use air fresheners today. It is easily transformed into excellent jams, jellies and preserves.

More about Quince trees: http://msucares.com/lawn/garden/msgardens/02/021202.html

autumns-visit.jpg

Grandma (that’s me) and Autumn in the kitchen. 

Autumn is making dessert. Mmmmmmm….Pillsbury dough cookies!

We’re also having salmon, baked potatoes, steamed and buttered broccoli & fried tomatoes.

This is my favorite way to make salmon because you do not have thaw the salmon. It is fast, and easy. It is also really, really good.

Herbed Salmon for two 

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

2 tablespoons lemon juice (I have also used lime or pineapple juice mixed with lemon)

2 to 4 frozen salmon steaks

1 teaspoon onion salt

¼ lemon pepper

¼ to ½ teaspoon thyme, basil or marjoram (I use thyme)

Paprika

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In oven, melt butter in lemon juice in baking pan. Place frozen fish in pan; turn to coat other side with lemon butter. Sprinkle onion salt, lemon pepper and thyme on fish. Bake until fish flakes easily with fork, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle paprika on fish.

dsc00020.jpg   DH is upset.

He does not want a cat box in our house. But, Buster , HIS DOG, is preventing our new cat from using the dog door and going outside.

We didn’t want another cat. We had two cats already.

But, no stronger crusader for saving downtrodden animals exists than my daughter. Biggs, the cat, was down on her luck. And Heather was determined to save her.

Biggs, had been Heather’s grandmother’s ( my ex mother-in-law’s ) cat. She had a good life.  The food bowl was always full. Biggs had toys. Biggs had catnip. And her antics made her the center of her elderly owner’s lives.

Then my ex mother-in-law entered her final stages of cancer. She became confined to a hospital bed moved into her living room.  Biggs became a permanent fixture on the corner of the bed. Hospice workers and family and friends came and went. Biggs was admired and petted by all. But,  Bigg’s life was about to take a turn for the worse.

My ex mother-in-law died. My ex father-in-law’s health deteriorated and he had to go into a nursing home.

Poor Biggs, at the age of five, after spending all of her life in a loving comfortable house, was given to a duck farmer and tossed outside to make her own way. My daughter lives in California. But, she worried about Biggs and looked her up every time she visited. Overjoyed to  see one of her people, Biggs never failed to greet Heather as a long lost friend. She would crawl into my daughter’s lap and purr and purr and purr…when Heather left, Biggs tried to follow her crying.

Things did not get better, either. 

Biggs found a way to get in the machine shop to stay warm. Soon she was covered from nose tip to tail tip with black grease. The duck farmer was given a  black lab named Buddy who barked, chased, bit and mauled poor Biggs.

Heather’s pleaded for DH and I to take Biggs. I was stubbornly saying DH and I had enough cats and that her “father” should take the cat when Biggs got her tail caught and broken in a machine shop machine. That did it.

DH and I caved.

Biggs spent her first days on our farm, in our house,  upstairs on one side of a door with her new cat brothers, Kitty and Simba, sniffing and growling and hissing on the other side. Buster and Abby, our dogs wanted no part of a cat fight. They stayed as far away as they could. 

I worried that we had made  Bigg’s life even more miserable by bringing her into a house full of  animals. Kitty and Simba behaved as if DH and I had committed adultery by bringing “another cat” into “their” home. I was sure if they met Biggs, face to face, fur would fly.

 The slightest bark downstairs would send Biggs up the nearest piece of furniture. It didn’t look as if she would ever get over her “bitten-by-Buddy” trauma.

Fortunately, cats and dogs are  resilient and forgiving. They don’t carry baggage or harbor grudges the way people do. After only a few weeks,  Biggs is now coming downstairs with Simba and Kitty in the room. They will get a swat across the nose for sniffing or getting too close. But the growling and hissing has stopped. To get to the food bowl, Biggs walks past the dogs. If they are lying down, that is.  

We  have only to resolve the cat box situation.

DH thinks Biggs is ready to learn to go out the dog door.

I don’t.

Buster has a quirk. Cats that are inside are family members. Cats that go outside through the dog door get chased up a back yard tree. Buster lives for the sound of the dog door flap.

DH says he will train Buster to stop chasing cats when they are outside. Then he says that even IF Buster DOES chase cats it is all a game and that Buster would never actually HURT a cat.

I don’t care that Buster won’t actually HURT a cat.

Poor Biggs would be traumatized if she were to be chased. She trusts us. The poor cat has been through too much already.

DH says the cat box makes the whole house reek.

And so the lines have been drawn.

(The picture at the top of this post is of  Biggs (cat on the bed) & Simba (cat on the rug).

summer.jpg I pinch myself every single day because I never believed it would happen to me.  My marriage of more than 20 years ended. I was thrust into dating. I was overweight, jobless, and pushing the dreaded 50. 

What to do? Well…drastic times call for drastic measures. I restarted my career at the lowest of basement levels. I starved. I had liposuction. I had lasik eye surgery and got rid of the glasses. It took awhile, but it worked. After 8 years of going steady with men who couldn’t get to the “I do”,  I met the love of my life and remarried.

I will be sure to post ALL the gory details of those eight years in future posts.

Nowdays, as an officially married retired lady for over three years, I’ve taken to a life of doing nothing like a duck to water. I spend my summers participating in the Nothern Indiana flower wars. I am experimenting and trying to find a way to successfully garden without doing any weeding.  I have piles of books to read. And a new art box filled with paints, pastels and pencils and watercolors. I really AM going to draw or paint something. Soon.

Our little farm includes two horses, two dogs and two cats. I adore them. But, they prefer my husband, DH, in a most insulting way.

 Buster, the black lab/border collie mix, mournfully howls as  DH leaves. He seems convinced DH is never to return as he paces and nervously cocks his head. He’s hoping he’ll hear DH’s Jeep motor noises. I try to get his attention, but Buster’s busy, he can’t spare me a glance. If I were to go outside or upstairs, Buster would be on the kitchen table in a heartbeat. That way he’d be high enough to look out the windows and see the drive. The cats are outside.  Nobody is in the house to make being inside worthwhile. Only our good natured, sweet Abby dog dutifully lies at my feet. But, she’s listening.

Until the wheels of  DH’s jeep hit our driveway. Then the dogs writhe with joy. They wag their tails so hard anything left where it shouldn’t be is knocked over. Skipper the white horse, whinnies across the barnyard. The cats poke their heads out from the sunflower plants beneath the birdfeeder and run for the backdoor.

I smile, too. DH is home. It’s all good.  

  pictures-2005-004.jpg