Friday, June 30, 2017

Pizza Bones

MMMM.  Friday is Pizza Bones night, and Mom got our local favorite from Chicago's Sarpino's that has the thick, chewy but soft inside, edge that makes "bones" that are not too thick and not too thin. Mom also likes that Sarpino's of La Grange gives extra free garnishes and your choice of free dipping sauce.
Yum!  Pizza Bones for Me!

Because the fresh pizza had ingredients not safe for doggies Mom reheated me up some pizza bones from last week that she froze and then thawed out so they'd be fresh.  The slices just had a light (requested) topping of sausage.  Yummers.

The new pizza has chopped fresh garlic, which is dangerous for dogs plus pineapple and olives. My Mom likes WEIRD pizza.  She also got creamy garlic dipping sauce - I'm keeping a close eye out for vampires. 
Dad won't mind the funky toppings.  His flight was two hours late so he won't have eaten for a long time when he rolls in here later tonight so I think he would eat the pizza if topped with styrofoam packing pellets and chopped shingles.

For tips on how to make perfect reheated pizza for dog or man, visit
Abby T. Lab

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Angels Among Us Pet Rescue

One of the many shelters that The Book of Barkley has donated to several times is Angels Among Us Pet Rescue in the Atlanta area.

About them:
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity dedicated to saving dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in north Georgia. They operate through a network of volunteers and foster homes in the metro Atlanta area. Their efforts are funded by tax-deductible contributions from compassionate people and organizations who care and want to help make a difference… one pet at a time. Their mission is two-fold:

 1) To educate the public on the plight of animals that have found themselves in high kill shelters throughout Georgia and on the responsibilities involved with pet ownership, such as spay/neuter and heartworm prevention.

2) To save as many animals as they can from high kill shelters and to see each animal through from the actual rescue to the loving foster home and ultimately to the “forever” home they were meant to have.

About AAUPR:
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc

Legal Address:
PO Box 821, Alpharetta, GA 30009
Federal Tax ID: 27-1228232
Type of Organization: 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

Right now they've had a number of pregnant dogs come in that have had to give birth at the shelter, scary for both dog and all involved.  They are working around the clock to provide adequate medical care and nourishment for these new pups.   Having been part of their efforts through donations I can say they are the best people, hard working and kind, doing a lot when there is often just "not enoughs". Not enough money, not enough space, not enough hands to transport and foster.
So if you have any spare change you would like to donate to a good cause consider them.  Even a few dollars will help with medical care and food.  They also have an "Amazon wish list" button on their home page with supplies that are much needed to care for these animals.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cloudy and a chance of . . . tornados?

So much for the "no rain in the forecast" from this morning which meant instead of posting before work I was hand watering plants and new trees.

There was a tornado northwest of us but by the time it got down near Abbyville, it was just rain and a rumble of thunder or two.

Abby's all zoned out on the rug from the frankincense oil drops on her furs and I think I will call it a night.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Requests for a Prayer

This is not related to anyone's beloved pet or personal family member but something I witnessed today that still has me a bit shook up.

Given my line of work, I'm used to lots of mayhem, torn and often burned flesh and dead bodies. But they're all strangers to me when I meet them in the field, or on the autopsy table.

Today a neighbor was getting a new roof. I was teleworking getting some reports knocked out. The roofing crew started early morning and was still working insanely hard late afternoon. The homeowners were gone, not wanting to hear the noise all day, so I brought water and cookies and another male neighbor offered up his bathroom should they need it. No one spoke English but they all understood water and comfort and were very grateful.

Just before they were about an hour from being done for a day, the job site went totally silent. Then the ambulance, police, and fire engine showed up. One of the men, a cheerful middle aged Hispanic man, had fallen from the steep pitched two story roof onto cement. A neighbor that witnessed it said, "it looks like he has some bleeding from a cut on his head and badly hurt his back".

Then I watched him get loaded into the ambulance.

He was unconscious and his body and arms were positioned in the decorticate response posturing which indicates severe head trauma. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is usually combined with cervical spine (C-spine) injury. Once in the ambulance, they didn't move for over 10 minutes which means they were likely performing endotracheal intubation with adequate sedative or analgesics and a muscle relaxant to prevent an increase in intracranial pressure during that intubation in the TBI patient. Recovery from such an injury is unlikely.

Even sadder, the rest of the obviously traumatized crew had to keep working the job until dark, now short one man. The roofer's trucks were unmarked, no one spoke English and there were no OSHA safeguards in place for the roof work. If OSHA shows up to investigate tomorrow I'll be having a long chat with the investigator. I don't care where you were born or whether you are working on a green card or not. There are moments we are all simply human, deserving of safety and care.

I do not know his name but I will be praying for that kind, cheerful man and his family tonight.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Mom - my favorite stuffie is missing?!

It's OK Abby -while you were at the groomers today for your bath and nail trim, Mr. Gator also needed a bath and is out sunning himself like crocodiles like to do.

He'll come back in when he's dry.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Flower Friday - For Angel Dory, Bilbo, and Mr. Bailey

 For our friends at:

Some flower photos today as we remember old friends with a  special memory of Mr. Bailey who had to cross to the Bridge on Wednesday.  His Mom and Dad have made the most beautiful memorial garden for their angel fur kids.  You have to go see it at:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Party Meatloaf - An Angel Barkley Memory

Hey, what's Mom making for dinner in there?

October  2013 - I reaI spent a weekend recently at the crash pad cleaning out some cupboards, which unearthed several old cookbooks of Mom's that Dad found and mailed, including some from soft bound 1960's vintage cookware company cookbooks.

Barkley - what do you think about Party Meatloaf?

In reviewing some of the recipes I realized that it's not the lack of exercise, super-sized sodas and lots of processed junk food that's making this generation fat.
Mmmm - look what's in it.

No, the reason the "Mad Men" generation were all svelte was recipes such as this.

From Mom's 1960's Nordic Ware Cookbook, which I first ran by my best friend on the phone, to which she replied "there is NOT enough bacon in the world for that recipe".

60's Party Meatloaf

3 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
6 T. minced onion
salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Horse-Radish
1 1/4 Tablespoon catsup.

Combine ingredients and pack firmly into a bundt pan and bake at 350 F. for 2 hours (isn't that how you make presto logs?)

Top with cinnamon apple rings, broiled peaches and onion rings.  (yes, you heard that right)
What do you think?

Well gee, Barkley,  if that doesn't spell party I don't know what does?

Good memory there, but I think I will definitely pass on trying the "party meatloaf".   Tonight, a recipe for meatloaf that's actually tasty. This is a slight variation of my standard meatloaf that Blogville's Noodles for President and Astro have both tried (Astro's Dad asks for it weekly).

My husband loves it as well but recently I was out of a couple of ingredients so I substituted bread crumbs for crushed Keebler crackers and did not add dry mustard to the sauce, zinging it up instead with a little extra sugar and Apple cider vinegar and a splash of coffee. I also added just a dab of butter and left out the half cup water I usually add for a thicker sauce that stuck to the meat better so not to burn on the bottom of the crockpot.  It was REALLY tasty sauce but I will put the original recipe in the comments for those that want Astro's Dad's favorite. My husband said he prefers the updated version though.

I served it with homemade macaroni salad and green beans with bacon.  (That sounds a LOT better than apple rings, broiled peaches, and onion rings :-)


In a bowl mix:

1 to 1 and 1/4 pound ground sirloin (our butcher often doesn't have quite an exact pound)
1/2 cup  dry bread crumbs (if using 1 and 1/4 pound I add an extra Tablespoon)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion or celery, sauteed in a little olive oil first if you like
1 large egg
2 teaspoons ketchup (if using 1 and 1/4 pound meat use full Tablespoon)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (if using 1 and 1/4 pounds meat I use a full Tablespoon)
a splash of milk (mixture should be really moist, but no more than 3-4 Tablespoons)
1/2 generous teaspoon low sodium seasoning mix or a dash or two of table salt (I use Braggs 24 herb seasoning which is zero sodium and really flavorful - available at most health food stores)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Form into a loaf and place in crockpot.

About an hour before meatloaf is done (or make ahead) mix in a saucepan on low until butter melts:
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon strong coffee, (if coffee is not really strong use 1 full teaspoon).
3 Tablespoons sugar or honey
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar (I used Braggs)
1/2 teaspoon butter
a couple of drops of lemon juice

I cook the meatloaf 1 hour on high and 2 hours on low (crockpots do vary a bit in temp you want an internal temperature of 160 F (70 C) or you can do 350 F in the oven for 50 minutes. Add the sauce over the top about an hour before done in the crockpot and 15-20 minutes before done in the oven.

That looks better doesn't it Abby?

Monday, June 19, 2017

If You Don't Like Your Treat - Please Lettuce Know

 "Mom - what are you doing out there in the kitchen.  I am SO bored."

"Abby - I'm making the Food Network's cauliflower soup recipe for lunch - would you like a treat?"
 "Mom  - that crunchy white thing does NOT look or smell like a treat!"
 "Abby - the Vet said you'd gained weight since your last visit so I am replacing a couple of your treats each day with fresh veggies."
"Mom - is that even LEGAL?"

"It's cauliflower Abby - just try it, you liked the frozen peas!"
 "Great Leaping Horny Toads Mom - that's awful!"
 "Oh my Dog.  Quick - get me some stale fruitcake to get the taste out of my mouth."
 "Blech blech blech - that's not 'cauliflower' that's albino broccoli and you know I hate broccoli!
"Harumphhh.  I'll just sit here until a REAL treat shows up!"

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cloudy with a Chance of Cheeseburgers

My husband was scheduled to roll in late last night - leaving me to have to fend for myself for dinner before he got home.
 Hmmmm.  The bacon fumes should have cleared out by then.  Amish bacon from Beef Mart in Valporaiso, IN.
 If he asks. . . .
I'll say the ashes in the driveway are from a squirrel spontaneously combusting. . . 
While I nibbled on "salad."
No Mom!  You've got "bacon breath" he's never going to buy that story.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Flowers for Dory and Memories of Bilbo

In memory of our Frend Dory and now her sweet brother Bilbo from

 who went to the Bridge this week to join his sister, some Friday flowers.

As long s I can I will look at this world for the both of us.
As long as I can I will sing with the birds,
I will laugh with the flowers,
I will pray to the stars for both of us.

 - Author Unknown

What the heart once owned and had, it shall never lose.

-Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Friendship- Walking Into the Night

Abby Lab here - Mom works in an unusual job, She was a former pilot for Uncle Sam, now she solves crimes for Uncle Sam. She is normally quiet about it, but sometimes has to let it out. So for our friends in Blogville who care, a walk into the night.
When going into battle soldiers know who has their back. In Law Enforcement, it is much the same. But in the day to day life, we often find out who is around us that would take that literal bullet for us.

Growing up my big brother was my protector. If you've read my first two books you know our story well. He was my best friend and guide despite the age difference  I still thank him for when he sent the "live toad in a gift box" to the snooty girl down the block that made fun of me for wearing hand-me-downs and home sewed clothes because my Mom chose to be a full-time mom rather than return to the workforce as a Deputy Sheriff when they adopted the two of us late in life.

When Mom died, and Dad briefly checked out emotionally, my beloved brother off in Submarine Service, I left home young, starting college at age 14, fleeing not simply because I was fleeing, but that the absence was the only argument I had at 14 to employ against the losses in my life. I was alone until I was not, then a pregnancy in college and my daughter's subsequent adoption made me realize I needed family around me again, even if not related by blood. So there were friends, and there were toasts and tears and healing as I got past the sound that goodbyes made.
When I graduated and was accepted into flight training to become a pilot I had much the same support system. Our Crew Chief, who often looked at us like something on the bottom of his shoe, honestly was our biggest fan, but using Crew Chief etiquette wasn't allowed to show it. Crew Chiefs were like that, finding the occupation of keeping their emotion steeled against the worst so captivating, that they had no other emotion available. He wasn't scared, but thinking everyone under his charge was such an idiot that we would never see another sunrise, he remained firm in his resolve that what was to be was predestined.   The ground crew was won over by homemade chocolate chip cookies even if they weren't quite sure what to make of the first female Commander in the unit.  My copilots became family, even the one that used to spray the whole cockpit down with Lysol because he was a germaphobe which followed with me puking into his flight bag due to a late night out and a fighter pilot breakfast (you'll have to google that, this is a family-friendly blog).

We'd launch, whether we were ready or not, listening to the sounds of the ground crew (clear on 2) with that listening attention that meant we were ready to go out and confront whatever those words meant. In the distance, a knot of men, moving with deliberate movement, offering a wave as we taxied out, their roles unclear as the wind amped up a slow vibration in the air, but their support unwavering,

But later in life, when my flying was behind me except for the occasional inverted romp in an 8KCAB, my support system was not so structured. There were friends I thought I could rely on that disappeared like smoke when there were clouds on the horizon. There were those that wanted to be friends simply to build their fan base. And there were those that were like the walls of my house - quiet, not always saying anything, but always there to keep me warm and safe.

My team at work has always been a constant. I've worked with gruff curmudgeons who hold evidence in their giant paws of hands like the most tender of playthings even as we are busied with matters of life and death that brook no delay. And I've worked with the young probies, so bursting with ambition and testosterone that they always upheld a state of lively satisfaction no matter the amount of deeply questioned bloodshed.

I've been covered in gore, and I've been shot at, ending my day wet, tired, and stiff in every joint, with that momentary hallucination of vision that comes to the insanely exhausted where like a drowning man reviews his life, I realized that not only did I not find the smoking gun, I left the coffee pot on this morning.
But I always had my support system.

Today, I'm management- more likely to be felled by a paper cut than a bullet. My team still visits, but in doing so I'm "Ma'am" not "Brigid" as I'm the director. Times change, time slows. But I do know that there are those around me I can count on, both personally and professionally, in that enlightened compressions that dwell upon the approach of a storm.

Yet, on those nights I'm stuck in a hotel room, the bed linen cold and soundless under my hand, clinging softly to that hand in the quiet air as breathing vaporizes in the faint light as I wait for the phone to ring, I'm aware of something.
I still have those that watch my back, even if they are only friends and family, strong in my life, even if their numbers are as a shadow is larger than the object that casts it. They are there in those mornings where the red dawn crests in the sharp light as if beyond the horizon lay hell not heaven. They are there in those soft nights, where ice cubes tinkle and the air carries on it only the scent of mint and soft lemon verbena perfume as small children chase fireflies in the yard.

As I return from my travels, the taxi taking me from the airport, the old bungalows of Chicago pass by the window in grays and browns, lighter than dust and laid lightly upon the earth, as if one good hard rain would wash them away, I smile. I am simply another suit and a laptop, trying to make a little difference in an insane world, where those that work with me, risk their lives for what is right and good. This is not the life I planned, and it is not the life I imagined, but it is the only life I want, here with those who would walk into the night with me.