Friday, December 21, 2007

"An Angel in the Post Office"

From the "Best of Craigslist:"

Date: 2007-11-23, 10:55PM MST

This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service. Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith.

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by. Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

(Meredith & Abbey)


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father

(My Dad took the great photo of Madison exploring the grass at a local park)

"A three-year-old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm."
Bill Vaughn

"Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!"
Lydia Marie Child


Happy Birthday Zoe!

(Zoe on Her Fourth Birthday, Dec. 16th, 2007)

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to YOU!
Happy BIRTHDAY dear ZOE!!!

We love you Pups. It's been a fun four years. Here's wishing for many, many more!

(Zoe coming home with us from the breeder at Six & a half weeks old)


Big Update On The Little Man

Jacob is two and a half months old. He is doing a lot better the last couple of weeks. He is really starting to look around and focus on things. It's really neat to see the person inside him just starting to peek out into the world. He likes to play peek a boo and bouncy rides on his Dads lap. The "colic" and nightly screaming sessions have tapered off quite a bit (although they have not gone completely away). It is very exciting to see him grow.

Here is a video I just took of him this afternoon. If you watch it until the end, he shows off his huge smile. Definitely worth a look! Click on the video image to watch it in a new window:


Friday, December 07, 2007

Garlic Lovers' Pot Roast and Real-Deal Rice Pilaf

(Nicole made eggplant as well, that recipe is omitted)

I made this Recipe for the first time last weekend. It was excellent! It has a strong garlic flavor (which I LOVE!) . This hearty dinner tastes great, but expect the mellow but present garlic flavor to last for a while after dinner. It was a no knife dinner. The meat just came apart right on the plate. Pair with a good strong red wine and enjoy!

This is the first time that I have cooked a roast and, needless to say, I am very happy with the results. Send me your favorite roast recipe and I'll try it next time!

Here's this one:

Garlic Lovers' Pot Roast
1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 pounds)
10 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in 1/2 lengthwise
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery (I used Zucchini since we had no celery)
2/3 cup water Red wine

Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, make 20 evenly spaced small slits about 1 1/2 inches deep all over the pot roast. Using your fingers, insert the garlic cloves as deep into the slits as possible.

Season the roast on all sides with the salt and pepper.

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. Add the oil and carefully add the meat. Sear the meat on all sides until very well browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Add the vegetables, carefully add the water and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low to medium-low and cook until the roast is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, turning 2 or 3 times during the entire cooking time, adding a little more water, and wine if desired, as needed so that a little liquid always is on the bottom of the pan.

Transfer the meat to a platter and let rest 10 minutes. Slice or pull the meat apart into serving pieces and drizzle the pan juices over the top.

Real Deal Rice Pilaf

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup water
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup frozen green peas, optional
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, optional

Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque and nutty in aroma, about 2 minutes. Add the water, chicken broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Using oven mitts or potholders, transfer to the oven, and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.

Using oven mitts or potholders, remove the pan from the oven and add the peas and scallions, if desired. Toss gently to combine, then replace the cover and allow the rice to sit, undisturbed, for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: 5 cups, 6 servings



Saturday, December 01, 2007

Drunk Moose on the Loose

Only In Alaska!!

Tipsy moose beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Bull moose strung with lights and tipsy on crab apples
Published: November 28, 2007 Last Modified: November 28, 2007 at 06:44 PM
What do you call a bull moose tangled in Christmas lights and drunk on fermented crab apples, standing glassy-eyed and dizzy in the front yard of a downtown bar?

Buzzwinkle? . . .


For the rest of the story: