Friday, October 29, 2010


On Tuesday we buried our dear Caspar, down along the fence line next to Miss Roo, whose grave is now covered with Meadow Rue.  What will we plant to remember this wonderful companion who has given us so much joy these last fifteen years?

Lately he spent much of his time sleeping, as many elderly gentlemen are wont to do.  His little boney spine reminded us that quite possibly he was suffering arthritic pain, and sometimes his back legs collapsed under him.  He was blind and deaf, so that we were careful not to move anything out of its accustomed place. He gave up begging for treats, sitting up ramrod straight and waving his paws in the air, all eagerness and happy anticipation.  When Dot, the dispenser of biccies, came for coffee in the morning he often slept through her visit, and when Frank cut the Thanksgiving Turkey there was no little dog at his feet, impatiently awaiting whatever might drop to the floor or be handed down surreptitiously.

 He hadn't bitten our grandson's toes for some years, and the toys he used to run for and retrieve sat in their basket, forlorn and lonely for his attention.  Life had lost its glow.....

As his needs grew I spent more time with him, - very aware of his bladder, walking him half a dozen times a day, with our first outside visit at five a.m. and the last at bedtime.  We learned to move quietly and not to make any sudden noises that seemed to startle and frighten him.  And now our freedom from these concerns are little darts that remind us he has left us.....

A few years ago we stopped taking him with us when we were out in the car, as he whined and was uncomfortable, but for all the rest of his life he was Charles' companion in the truck, - his little paws up on the dash, watching the road and any stray animals along the side that merited his barking attention.  Charles built a little platform behind the back window of the truck, inside the canopy, at just the right height to sit in the Commodore's Chair and direct operations through the open sliding window.

We have always loved dogs, and never been without their loving companionship, but they were outside farm dogs.  Charles had a special relationship with Candy, his precious Border Collie partner and keeper of the sheep, but we had never had a small, indoor dog before, and I had misgivings when Charles brought him home, - the runt of the litter who had not sold and was beginning to challenge his father's authority!

He stole our hearts immediately, and kept them to the end, so that now they are temporarily shattered and we miss him dreadfully.

As does Miss Callie, as she searches through doorways, up and down halls, and finally
lies on the couch to sleep - alone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ABC Wednesday

OOOH the letter this week is a nice, round fat O

O is for the Onion pie we had for supper last night.

Here is the recipe......

Melt 3 tsps of butter in a large skillet.  
Fry over medium heat until golden 3 cups of onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
Beat 3 eggs with 3 tbsps of sour cream.

Add to the Onion rings with salt and pepper to taste
and just a smidgen of sugar.

Spread into an unbaked pie shell and bake at 350F
for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Then bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve  hOt

The Onion is always delicious but baked in this pie it is Oh so good.

For more interpretations of the letter O visit here, at ABC Wednesday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn's gentle rain inspires reading, amongst other things!

We have gone from brilliant blue skies and sunshine to gentle mists and subdued colours in 
fall's foliage.  It's lovely......but not the best weather for getting the last 
of the apples picked, alas.

Once the moon has set the mornings are dark before sunrise, and we ate our breakfast this morning with the lights on, and outside Calli prowled until she thought she might join us at the breakfast table and her yellow eyes showed up by the window where she knows Charles will let her in and out.

I have been seduced by the library and the literary columns in the papers.

A few weeks ago, when I was listening to Wallace Stegner and "All the little live things'
while I knitted, I was reminded that there were later books of his that
I had not read, written after my great enthusiasm for his writing about the West, 
and also that of Ivan Doig.

I have snatched moments from busy outside days and lengthened my bedtime reading, and
 now have these to go back to the library.....

Which did I enjoy most?  "Crossing to Safety" was a book I could relate to, 
remembering past friendships, but the Essays on the environment, the West
 and appreciations for other western writers kept my interest to the end and coaxed me into
ordering these Ivan Doig books, to see where he has gone with his writing
since I read Dancing at the Rascal Fair, This House of Sky, English Creek and The Sea Runners.

If you will look closely you will see in this current stash the latest book by
Alexander McCall Smith,  "The Charming Quirks of Others"

Would you like to guess which book my hand falls to as I pass it over
the selection?  Ah yes,  my current delight with the writing of
McCall Smith, with the characters of Isabel Dalhousie, Jamie and Charlie,  will cast a spell over the Charming Quirks, but it will be a quick read and then I can
immerse myself in Doig's stories of Montana. and
Robert McCrum's take on the English language.

And when will I get those blessed socks knit, you ask????