Category Archives: Zoe

Food and Flowers

Flowers are more interesting. For fifteen years my husband has bought me gorgeous flowers. Then he went away every week for work and showed up Friday at midnight and wanted his frozen pizza before he left very early Monday morning. Every Friday I started making up small arrangements for him. There is one for us in the kitchen, one for our family (us and the dog) in tiny milk bottles on the “nun desk” by the window, and one in the office as an homage to my Dad.

This week he and dog Zoe came with me to the florist. He kept to himself, thinking Zoe would break things. All the gals called out her name when she walked in! I got yellow mums and one exotic sprig for Dad, three purple spider mums for the three milk bottles, and more purple mums and alstroemeria (same we had at our wedding nearly 15 years ago) for the kitchen bar.

As to food, I’ve cooked for him for over 16 years. Of late I’ve been thinking of family basics. Talked to my brother the other day and mentioned stuffed peppers. I was using ground turkey, fresh cherry tomatoes, rice, panko crumbs and parmesan on top. He’s going to try it, halfway across the country.

Yesterday I made my husband a quesadilla with leftover chicken, some cheddar cheese, and I made my own guacamole and salsa. We bought a small container of sour cream.

We made pancakes the other day (hand-made, I whip egg whites) and I did French toast the next day with my mother’s favorite, Lyles Golden Syrup from London. He loved it!

The reason he loved his frozen Friday midnight pizza was because I always made my own pizza from scratch every Friday he was home. Not at midnight. Friday is pizza night in our home.

Interesting. Two kids were outside our door whispering our dog Zoe’s name today, like they did five years ago. Finally their whispers got loud enough to rouse old Zoe’s radar and she jumped up and said “I’ve a date with C & A!!! They only visit their grandparents a couple of times a year and always come to see Zoe.

Our new neighbor thought the kids were ours. Nope, their grandparents live right there and they just love Zoe. She said she thought Zoe’s name was being called outside our door! Kids. Gotta love them. I hope Z’s not around when they lose interest. They’re into competitive soccer and other sports now so don’t come around here much. Sweet kids. Cheers! Dee

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Getting To Know You

Getting to know all about you. I was in The King and I, a high school musical, when I was a very young violinist. I was so shy then I refrained from leading the pack, for which I was chosen, to be one of the twins.

Getting to know you is something one needs to know to succeed in life. Note that I did not say business, life will lead to that. We moved around a lot for Dad’s jobs and I had to make new friends everywhere.

Opening oneself up is difficult, especially if you’ve been taunted or spurned by fellow kids. So you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. Learn to know bullies from good people. Character assessment. Guys always talk of handshakes. They’re correct.

We rafted a really fast river years ago with a guide. I was wearing two wrist braces to protect me from doing too much. The expert guide would have given me a great handshake but he saw the braces so just touched the tips of my fingers. NO! They’re for support, I am not ill, I use them for packing boxes and moving! We did a five hour raft trip in two hours. That is what the Army Corps of Engineers gave us that day, Cat 4 rapids. Yes, we looked for it.

I digress. In life, you want to get to know the people you wish to know. I kissed a few frogs before I met my husband of nearly 15 years. He had all the traits I wanted and a few enervating habits. As a physicist, software engineer, leader, consultant he is very methodical. I got to know his family over the years and love them.

As to me, I’m getting better, due to him, about being less emotional about slights to each of us, mostly job-related. I was a consultant and always a leader as well, in a very different line of work. When he tells me of a consulting issue I try to tell him how to solve it, because I’ve more years of experience in that field, and he hates that.

We got married and we wanted to have a kid but I advised that we had to get a dog first. She’s nearly 14 years old, sleeping more, limping a little. Between us we chose the best dog in the world. She’s a mascot around the neighborhood. Everybody knows her name. It wasn’t until my husband took her out for a walk a few weeks ago that two ladies behind them said “that’s Dee’s dog.” Fourteen years and someone knows my name.

Open up, choose wisely. Yesterday a new friend was flying home. I saw an SUV with four hands waving. Last week she made me a pot of delicious butternut squash soup. They stopped the car. She said thank you for everything and held my hand. I thanked her and said safe travels. Meeting new friends is an adventure. Always embrace it. Dee

Where Everybody

knows his name. Like Cheers, my husband likes to be as pale as can be and blend in with the locals. He did in Scotland, now wants to do so in Australia. He’s just a head taller than anyone else so if I remember the shirt or jacket he has on, I can find him. He’s usually in strange produce or ice cream.

You want to go where everyone knows your troubles are the same. You want to go where everyone knows your name. Well, everyone knows our dog’s name and says hello. They don’t necessarily know our names but everyone knows Zoe.

We used to have a restaurant close by that is now a flower shop I frequent, back then we’d just show up at the bar and have a burger. Everyone knew our names. Dee

Shortcuts

I would not ever use them on my family or our dog, who is probably the most spoiled canine on the planet. Or cheat on our food, except a frozen Friday Night Pizza from the convenience store so when his plane arrives I can have the oven heating. Flights from the West Coast are notoriously late or cancelled, I make excellent dough and pizza but I’m not going to get up at 11 p.m. to make the dough (Italian OO flour) and prepare the toppings. Dog Zoe and I are in bed by then.

My husband wants to use highways, paid or toll-free, to get everywhere. He says they’re faster but they’re usually clogged with traffic and I don’t normally drive more than two miles a day.

He’s off at work for the day or week or month and I need groceries, his dry cleaning and more. We move to a new city and I have to learn my way around. This was before GPS and what he calls “Google Girl.”

I find back streets to take me to the grocery. He tells me I’m “sneaky.” I show him the way and he takes it! Way to go, Dee!

Don’t tell him, but I also try to add veggies and fiber to his diet. Sneaky, yes. Just clean a pile of radishes or peel a jicama and make a salad with apple and vinaigrette. Those are not really shortcuts.

We spent nearly a year to get our Zoe to adopt a food and she has, for nearly 14 years. I never take shortcuts on that, except to make sure her tummy can take the raw food dry version for car trips as no-one will sell us dry ice here to keep her frozen raw food good during travel. I usually have it delivered every few weeks. She loves M, who takes it to our door and tells a story while he pets her. Some shortcuts are good! Dee

Blue Skies

Smiling at me

Nothing but blue skies

Do I see

***

No fleas are looking at me

Nothing but no fleas

Do I see

***

Our Zoe has had three fleas this past week. The first, he found and methodically bathed her for 30 minutes, enough to kill a family of fleas. One jumped on top of her dense fur at the park and he sent it to its demise. Another he found a few days ago and we both flea-combed her and didn’t find anything.

She eats excellent food and has never had a flea in nearly 14 years. I think it’s a combination of a warm winter/summer and her slowing down a bit with age.

Attack mode. I’ve been through this before with rescued animals. Boric acid on the carpets. Vacuum. Diatomaceous earth (worms) but he went the extra mile and got dog soap that kills the eggs, larvae, pupa and adults and she has to have that bath this morning, after she had flea medication the other day.

He also got 10# of diatomaceous earth for carpets and doorways. THEN he got a carpet cleaner solution and is renting one today (ours is with his mother 1,500 miles away). Yes, the carpet cleaning solution gets rid all of those above and we’ve a friend coming in to help move furniture to get everything.

My solution when I found out my adopted kitten brought in fleas was to comb them under flourescent lights and place any fleas in a dishwashing solution so they would drown. I ended up finding many eggs in the bedding so trashed all of their bedding and bought new after I did the carpets with borate and entries with diatom dust. Of course I bathed them. Cats are tough in water, I think I still have the scratches! My solution was much less expensive and intensive than my husband’s. He is a physicist so I’ll let him do his thing. I liked the borate salt and diatomaceous earth because they were benign to animals, including us.

Zoe had three fleas total, one she never brought home from the park, and my husband is tearing our home apart to make sure there are not more. He will not let me help except to clean bedding and carpets. I guess that’s my job today. Hope all’s well with you. Dee

Ghost Pup

Yes, we have her for the weekend. She can be sound asleep and I tiptoe out of the room and she is at my destination before I arrive. I believe she is done with teething and is going out regularly and has the right collar and leash so she and my dog can walk together at least four times per day.

She is easily trainable but stubborn. Kind of like me. Her family needs to get away so as a neighbor, we’ll take her in.

Do you know that the dog-walking services would cost me $250 per day? That’s more than we would stay at a hotel, buy gas and food en route to my husband’s family home. They stay 6 hrs. per night, two walks, then I add another two walks and I just ask myself what am I doing? I take care of other dogs I know for free, even helped them en route to death. The sister and I had a 100 lb. dog on a cart, taking him out. Years later I still water his favorite tree and visit his ashes.

I’m not called the dog lady for nothing. Oh, I’m also the cat lady but can not be so as my husband is allergic. I just found a photo, used as a bookmark in an old cookbook, of my dear old dog that died in 2001. Chani is sleeping next to her grey cat friend Sam who got into our gate every day to spend a few hours safe in the sun. They never snuggled, but were, as my Aunt would say, “by.” I’ll have it framed and perhaps send it along with a better story. I think even with Zoe we were always “the brute squad.” Mockingbirds never attacked my pup Zoe or Meow Meow (a moocher) years ago with me at the head of the pack. It was more of a daily parade. Cheers! Dee

A Comb-Out

One worries when an old dog blows her coat. Undercoat, like down. She does it every day but I know it may be a cold winter this year and perhaps the ice will be hard enough for them to ice fish this year and that we can bring them some pastries and local beer.

For the time being I’m just brushing the coat and filling waste baskets with the undercoat. She had a healthy physical and passed all her tests. It is my sincere hope that she will grow a new one for winter, and is not ill. I don’t know what I would do without her. She is our family. Not so cheerily, Dee