Friday, December 30, 2022

Canine S.A.D.

S.A.D, (Seasonal Affective Dog) is very unhappy it's cloudy out AND there are no sun puddles anywhere. 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas 2022 - Best Wishes to All

We hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas day, however you celebrate it.

Just some of our gifts to one another to bring a smile.

We miss Abby Lab - but my husband got some Lab suncatchers for our window, where she used to love to watch the squirrels.  
When you open your stocking to find a personal message from Elon Musk.

You can only laugh at your husband's sense of humor.

Two can play at that game!

But you'll need some matches for that candle.

A handmade Lab blanket (and some reading material for a "Dog Dad"

For teleworking - for automated "document approval process".

And when it's time to drive the dog nuts - squirrel finger puppets.
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night

Saturday, December 24, 2022

From our household to yours - wishing you only blessings this holiday season and in the coming year.

Brigid, E.J., and Lorelei Lab

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Where Did Dad's Pillow Go

Me: "Where did EJ's pillow from our bed go? 

Lorelei Lab: "I know NOTHING".

Sunday, December 18, 2022

A Tale of Two Trolls

There was a lot of stuff packed away in boxes when I sold the sprawling home that I had prior to meeting my husband, as well as things I'd shipped back from Dad's after my brother passed away. Sitting here this morning looking at an old photo on an even older refrigerator I remember the day I finally had a chance to go through it before moving here, where space is limited and only things most precious are on display. 

There was a storm brewing that night, the wind fierce off of the Great Lake, stirring things in the trees, stirring things in me. In the bottom of one trunk, I found something among things gleaned from my brother's belongings that I had not had much time to go through. And it brought me to tears - because of this photo which is always on display. Look carefully to the left and right of my brother to the two little creatures, dressed for the winter. My Mom was 1/2 Swede and 1/2 Norwegian, so although I think they are actually Danish in origin, we always had trolls around. In the picture, we're playing out in the snow, and Mom had actually made little coats for the trolls to protect their felt clothing. How little we knew that one day that well-worn photo would be held by a magnet on an ancient refrigerator, there as the snow fell down like the gift of grace on the frozen ground, there in the days of honor and play, before we knew anything of selfishness, greed and the uncaring faces of forgetful men.

There were just our toys of childhood, the toy soldiers, our trains, our collection of matchbook cars, and hot wheels. And the trolls. We played with them in quiet solitude, not because we thought others would make fun of us for "playing with dolls" but because they were an outlet for imagination. They weren't "dolls" - they were Vikings, bigger than all of our other toys, even G.I. Joe standing down in their presence. Their hair was tangled with the imagined salt of the sea, their countenance a grin in the face of any adversity. They were born, not of a woman or the earth, but by magic and myth. Others might not have understood, so they were our solitude, which was also our saving as Mom grew sicker and the waters grew colder.

I wondered what had happened to them, more than once. They were our companions on bike rides deep into the trails that formed as more subdivisions were built, they were the silent watch on deck as we drifted off to sleep at night, the moon outside bending low into our window as if to look onto our face as we dream of fast ships and high seas. My brother and I were perhaps unusual compared to many siblings as he was genuinely my best friend and not just my older brother. We'd play in the yard, in the woods, and even better, at the coast where we had a small cabin, running out by the waves until the sun sank round and blazing into the crest of waves as if they eroded that luminous circle with their power until only darkness and the sound of the ocean remained

He and I rarely squabbled. He held me on those rare occasions I cried and he protected me from any neighborhood bully, who knew better than to invoke the wrath of a tall redhead who would grow up to be a giant of a man, a gentle giant who handled those things he loved as if made of glass. We played hard and well, even if in adulthood it was sometimes just a game of pool and a beer, laughing as much as we did as children, throwing fates to the wind, and taking no prisoners, even if we had a designated driver. On, or in, my dresser is the matchbox cars and rocks. shells, and other things of childhood. But I had forgotten what became of those two trolls, there in that photo. Not long after those days, as we left childhood, I never saw them again. Like many things of childhood, they just disappeared. The earth takes some - toy soldiers buried in the yard with full honors. Others are simply cast off as young adults, not yet realizing how precious those little things are until we reach an age where the earth calls its account for all things we hold dear, taking them away before we are ready.

I lift them out of the box, plucking a strand of dust from the hair of the female troll, blinking in the hazy light. With them is a smaller troll - one my brother gave me when he went off to sea as a submariner. They rest on a piece of wood cut more than a hundred years ago, the same shade as that gate that Dad built some 60 years ago, in the house that my brother and I grew up in. They were not Vikings or adventurers, they were simply toys from which our adventures sprung forth, daring days of glory in the heat and the cold. But rather than be tossed out with the rest of the toys, my brother had carefully put them away for me to find someday among his things that were left to me on his passage.

As I gathered the box to place them back into safe keeping in the home I'd made with my husband, I blink in the diffused light, as shadows ebbed and flow outside the window. I look out to the East, to the lake and in my mind's eye see a shadowed vessel manned by a redheaded shade, there beyond the horizon, who sends me a wave of greeting as he disappears into a soundless gale. Someday I will join him, when the splash of the ocean bites into the Sun, when the end of all things earthly comes without furor or a whisper, that moment we release ourselves to the water and our hearts cease to beat as if an engine stilled. At that moment, in that perfect moment of immobility, there will be a new adventure awaiting in glory. But not for now, now is for living and remembering.

The trolls almost seemed to stir there in the play of light, as if remembering all of those days of joy and freedom. So many memories there - the laughter of a young girl, and the brave shout of a boy, running his plastic warrior up to the top of the hill, where we are stronger than the oceans, Vikings rule, and imagination never dies.  That old photo placed where it would be safe, I carefully put the trolls away, as I raise my hand into the gales of the east and wave goodbye. - Brigid

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Morning in the Johnson Household

I can't help it, every time I look at this I see "In the morning when I rise, give me coffee, Jesus".

Sourdough Barley Swedish Waffles with Strawberry/Cranberry Jam
Someone found their peanut.
It's a lot prettier when I don't have to shovel it.

Mr, Turtle has survived 7 moves and 3 Labradors over the years.  Lorelei just ignores him.

The buffet is open!

Did you forget my walkies?
Post-walk naps are the best!

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Where's my Security Labrador - Someone Stole My Apple!

I was attempting to take an artsy photo of my Rachel's Texas Kitchen dutch apple butter (seriously folks, try her jams, veggies, and salsas - Texas born and bred this family knows how to make good eats - the Texas Twister jam with berries and jalapeno is our current favorite on biscuits).

But I turn my back for ONE minute - and my apple is gone!

Still - the apple butter made for some wonderful pancakes.

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
¼ cup Rachel’s Texas Kitchen Dutch apple butter

In a medium bowl - whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt & nutmeg.
In a large bowl- stir together milk, apple butter, melted butter, and egg.
Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture just until incorporated.
Ladle the batter onto a preheated skillet or griddle set at 325 F, degrees & cook the pancakes for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Serve with additional butter and syrup. (also really good with some toasted pecans on top, but keep them away from the squirrel).

The Security Lab slept through the whole theft.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

A Merry Retro Christmas

Yes, 3 bucks at a yard sale in a small village a couple of years ago. 
And they threw in the color wheel.
I think I need to decorate the place up a bit more for Christmas before it gets dark and my husband is home.
There--a little 60's Christmas cheer in a 1916 Mission Bungalow.