Sunday, October 15, 2017


Octoberfest tonight at our church. Abby was unhappy it wasn't a Dogtoberfeset with sausages for the doggies.  

 Authentic German band, lots of food made by the church ladies, music, dancing, beer, and wine, and the evening just wouldn't be a Lutheran Octoberfest without half the church in the Bible Study hall doing the "chicken dance" to a trombone, tuba, and accordion. Lots of fun! And a great stress relief for all of the parishioners who were dealing with flooding.

The cornbread is not exactly German food, but it is a dish I'm always asked to bring.

LB’s church cornbread

Mix in very large bowl:
1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal (ours was from Graue Grist Mill in Oak Brook)
1 Tablespoons baking powder
¾ tsp salt (if using salted butter further down in recipe, reduce to ½ tsp)
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons white sugar
(2 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread mix can be substituted for all of the above.)

In another bowl mix:
4 eggs (whisk before adding other ingredients)
2 cups sour cream (16 oz)
1 can cream style corn

Whisk 2 sticks of melted unsalted butter into the wet ingredients

Combine wet and dry ingredients in the largest bowl and stir until combined.

Cook in 13 x 9 pan sprayed with nonstick spray 350 F. oven for 40-45 minutes (ovens may vary slightly)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

So Much for that Dry Spell

Abby Lab here - Mom and Dad's basement is flooded.  There have been almost six inches of rain since last night.  Two streets over the whole street is flooded a foot deep all away across the street, but our street is OK (as I think all the water went in everyone's basement).  Even the neighbor with the pump has water inside.

Mom said an HBO word - the brand new expensive sleeping bags (minus 30 degrees kind) were left on a cooler instead of being put on a shelf down in the basement when they arrived, and the cooler floated and one of them fell off and got wet.  Oops!

We'll see you all Monday, lots to do and clean up today and Mom is doing some cooking tomorrow for their church's Octoberfest! So Mom told me to just chill.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Reports from Telework Dog

Abby the Lab here with a report from home.  Mom was working on a big case and teleworked all week, which is great as I get to spend more time with her.  My dog walker still comes by and walks me as Mom usually spends her 30-minute lunch break getting dinner in the crockpot and starting a load of laundry.  So for tonight a recap of her typical day.

Secret Squirrel pops out of bed, ready to start the day.
First, a little walk to get the blood circulating.
A few reps on the workout bench.
This is NOT a yoga pose, someone is stuck.
What are the neighbor's up to?  If you see food, go over and say hello.
Look -  nuts!
What are YOU looking at.

This is Mom's professional telework attire.
No, not her Alma mater, but but it's soft and comfy (I slept on it while Mom took her shower, I wonder if she'll notice the dog hair)
Mom - it's too early to start the day.
Telework days go pretty quick,  as a lot of work can be accomplished with the quiet.  Let's see, I bet Mom can mark out where the witnesses were standing using Gumby and Pokey (hmmm - that might go over as well as the interrogatories with hand puppets).
At lunch - while Mom gets a bite and preps what she will cook for dinner later - I get a walk with my dog walker Jan. I get to sniff and see everything going on in our neighborhood.

While Mom gets back to work - focused and serious.

My job as telework dog is to nap on the futon in the office as the work day draws to a close. It will be quitting time before we know it.
Mom makes a final phone call to someone she needs a report from and puts together a hundred tiny, seemingly unrelated details to form a story.
Yay - she's done and I get playtime in the yard with Mom before she folds laundry and Dad comes home.
"Did you say walk?  Or Bacon?  They sound the same."

Before you know it the light was dimming and it was evening.  Mom didn't save the world or gather a bunch of nuts, but such days are productive days - especially with the best furry office assistant ever.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Animal Physics

A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force, such as the sound of a can opener.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I Know - A Memory of Barkley

I know when you eat, and what.
I know the moment your eyes open in the morning.
I know who you call by the sound in your voice.
I know how long the phone conversation lasts.
I know when you are approaching home, without your vehicle being seen.
I know when you are getting ready to leave.
I know exactly what you are saying, even if my vocabulary
consists of a few key words in your language.
I stick my nose in your business because I want you to be happy,
not because I don't trust you.
But if you tell me to desist, I will,
because even as I wish to monitor everything you do,
I know the private part of you is inviolate, even to me.

I'm not Big Brother.
I am your Dog.
--LB Johnson 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Now, I just Need Opposable Thumbs.

Abby Lab here:

When Mom and Dad got married and Mom moved into Dad's house (she had already sold her big house and was just renting a two bedroom townhome), they ended up having "duplicates" of some tools and small household items. Mom gave all of her furniture, linens, and a lot of decorative pieces to a young couple who had lost everything thanks to a family disaster and had to move in with the young wife's parents. They were trying to adopt a baby, but even though they found another small rental house, there was no money to replace their furniture and household stuff.  They came over with a moving truck and some family and Mom's townhouse was cleaned out fast.  Mom was so happy to help them, and get rid of some nice things that Dad's house just didn't have room for (and a month or two later they adopted their baby boy!)

One thing she brought up to Chicagoland was a small box with some household tools and repair items. Things handy at the townhouse, but not really needed here.

So Dad "repurposed" a few of them.

Like this one, handy when Mom is trying to do something on the computer and muttering HBO words.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Prayers for Las Vegas

Praying for all of the families of the Las Vegas victims who won't get to welcome their loved ones home again.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Squirrel Crime Scene

Abby Lab here-

Mom leaves out a big dog bowl and a large but shallow plastic Tupperware style container with water in them in the unfenced side yard when it's been a long dry spell for the animals.  The birds love them, and the squirrels and the bunny occasionally are spotted drinking out of them.  They are always in the same spot and she refills them with fresh water every day, nestling them in some foliage where the animals have some safety.

But the other morning, she was out in the yard, the bigger of the two dishes had been MOVED.  It was upright but was completely empty of water and had dirt in it.  It was several feet away from where it usually is.

Mom figured perhaps a raccoon was messing with it.

We'd seen paw prints on top of the green garbage tins this last week.
But yesterday Dad went out in the fenced yard before I was let out first thing in the morning to make sure Mr. Bun wasn't out sunning himself.  Mr. Bun was not out but there were tufts of fur all over the back of the yard.  Mom was worried it was Mr. Bun but Dad said it looked like


Some creature had dismantled a squirrel during the night.  There was nothing left but some blood, a couple tiny bones, a tiny bit of squirrel innards, and lots of clumps of fur.  Dad got that cleaned up and then let me out.

We didn't know what could have done it.  The fence slats are too narrow for a coyote or a fox, maybe a small cat could get through but we have NEVER seen a cat in the yard as all the neighborhood cats know I'm standing guard.  Something had to climb OVER the fence to eat the squirrel or swoop down from the sky and get it in the night. We have a motion sensor light - it would just take the squirrel going into the center of the yard, start singing a song from  "West Side Story" as the stage lit up and well. . . you know the rest of the story.
I don't know but given that Halloween is coming up I'm going to have my flashlight when Dad and I got out into the yard before bed.

You never know what might be lurking out there.