Monday, July 2, 2018


The memorial to our three Golden Retrievers is all but complete. The Golden overwatch is in place. Ashes of all three will be spread soon near their markers. Fifteen years here with three Golden Retrievers have set deep roots of wonderful memories. They have been a core part of this family. Not a day now will go by where we will not continue to see the impact they had on our lives. They lived their years happy, free of restraints, giving as much love as any Golden can. God we miss them but are so thankful they came and spent time in our lives.

*Standing in a litter of puppies in 1997, Lucy chose me. Of all the puppies running around, she came right over to me and stood on my foot. I set her back in the pack and she came right back again to sit on my foot. I was the one chosen.

*Peaches (aka Star Feet Commander) was Lucy's aunt and came to us on a long flight from Washington State to New Hampshire. Poor girl did not take one pee on that long flight till she got off the plane in Boston. Three steps out of her cage, in the middle of the airport, she could hold it no longer. I swear she peed for 5 minutes. Never have I seen the look of relief as at that moment on her face. Never caged again.

*Baby came to us from a small litter just down the road from where we live. She was the one we wanted from the last two remaining, but the family son had first pick of those two. He chose the other one. Baby came home on a cold snowy November day on my wife's lap, all wrapped in warm puppie blankets.

None of us ever looked back.

The passing of Baby over Memorial Day weekend set us back as the loss of any family dog will do to a family. After a few days, my wife set off on the net looking for a Golden statue to stand overwatch in the memorial setting here. The only one she found was located in Canada, weighing in at 100 pounds. To ship it here would have been prohibitive, not to mention all the work to build a special shipping crate. We decided a road trip was in order.

The owner/maker said he could save us three hours one way driving if he drove the statue to Moncton, New Brunswick. “Would that work for you?” It did, we ordered the statue and set a date for pick-up. It meant a three-day road trip into Canada and about 1500 miles round trip. A road trip is one of the most enjoyable times for the wife and me and it has been years since we have ventured far from home. We use to travel and go quite a bit when we were riding motorcycles.

Crossing into Canada at Calais, we noticed that our cell phones and GPS quit working. Poor planning, but it was too late then. Old time map reading skills, and stopping to use someone else's phone put us a ¼ mile from our destination. A stop to ask for specifics from an older gentleman who knew exactly where we needed to go.

Simple instructions put us in the driveway of our destination within minutes. I hate fist bumps, but felt it was a thing to do with the wife as we did the Canadian portion of the trip the old fashion way w/o any technology.

Three days, just the wife and me, no news, no radio; just us. We had uninterrupted time to visit about everything under the sun. Small talk. We slept two nights next to the Atlantic ocean with a sea breeze coming in through the open window. Life has always been a little bigger and a little brighter for me when is spent near lakes and oceans. 

Boats at anchor and a dock slapping against its moorings all night long was music to our ears. Sun rise started at 4 am and peaked over the Canadian horizon at 4:45.

Hash and eggs for breakfasts, the most wonderful find of fried chicken at a Shell Gas station just south of Moncton; lunch and seafood dinners in diners nestled next to the Atlantic Ocean. It was good. Nice, helpful, polite people the whole way coming and going. (Who knew) One nice gal at a Walmart near St. Johns wondered and commented why our government leaders had such a hard time getting along.

The restraints of having to stay so close to home to take care of dogs are gone now. It will take a little time for us to just up and take off. Old habits and worries have to be overcome. But this little trip on behalf of our hearts, love for our dogs and years lived with them has many lessons. It was all good; very good!

Here is a quick video.


We are enjoying cooking with a wok these past weeks and the simplicity of some olive oil with meats and veggies tossed in. Spices from salt/pepper to this past week's experiment with shrimp, Kielbasa, a variety of vegetables and two tablespoons of my wife's home made Cajun spices. An explosion of flavors and textures that is so easy to achieve. I am not a fan of hot for the sake of hot spicing. Foods that are are too spicy all but kills the meal for me. Spicy is flavor with a hint of heat.  

With the cast iron wok, it is in with some olive oil, in with meats til about all done, remove and finish up the vegetables. 

        Homemade Cajun Seasoning              Cajun Shrimp and Sausage

We used the largest (un-cooked) shrimp the supermarket had in the freezer.  Followed the two sites listed above. Cooked the sausage in olive oil with a table spoon of the seasoning pre-mixed in a bowl. Set aside after browned. 

Then cooked the veggies with olive oil, a table spoon of seasoning and a splash or two of water. Set a lid over the mixture twice for about a minute each time. Stirred as needed. Vegetables still had a slight crunch. 

Mixed all together with raw shrimp, stirred and a minute or two with lid on till shrimp turned pink.  Shut off the heat, stirred and served. 

Give this a try. A little work in prepping the veggies and making the seasoning. The up-side is that we have Cajun seasoning that is flavor over heat. 


Thanks for your visit this week. 

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