Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don’t…

 Edwin’s adventure at Culinary School.

Bo finds a home, and other blessings

Posted by on Jun 23, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 0 comments

  We received news today that Bo, our most recent foster dog, has found his home.  A family with a stay-at- home mom to help him continue to train and 3 children to attend to his endless energy and passion for life.  This is exactly what he needs and we are all celebrating – including Dakota who is likely thrilled to know she is firmly an "only dog" again for a while.  Other blessings over just the last few days – Tom, my brother-in-law in Traverse City successfully came through surgery and Meadow, our niece who is really another daughter to us, has provided care and compassion for both Tom and my sister above and beyond the call of family duty.  I am so proud of her and the woman she has become. Our home has been filled with laughter and conversation for two days since the arrival of Bruce and Flossie, two of our longest-term friends who are visiting from Port Townsend, WA for the annual conference of the UUA.  Bruce and Flossie are among a very small group of friends originally from MI who I knew prior to meeting Ed, and were the foundation of my life (and Nik and Malina’s) for a number of years – and who welcomed Ed into the "family" with open arms.  We have wonderful remembrances of Thanksgivings together when all of our children were very small and many of our parents were still with us, of Hilde the rotweiler who ate the turkey carcass and of challenges we all passed through along the way.  It is so good to have them near, to share a glass of wine and a conversation about the past, current events or our dreams for what is yet to come.  Ed, of course, has prepared only delicious and creative food for us – 3 kinds of bread which are complimented by cheeses Flossie and Bruce brought from Mt. Townsend Creamery. (Ed and I may have a new vacation mission – visiting cheese farms!)  Dinner last night included souffles with whitefish that Ed smoked yesterday afternoon and a salad of beets, apples and mizuna.  And Malina, a graduate with honors from Wellesley, has a job as a cashier at Walmart!  She continues her masters/Ph.D. work at Duke and this is a position to assist in filling in the financial gaps from her fellowship stipend – and yet it is a blessing as it took nearly a month and 50+ applications for her to find a part-time position in Durham, even with her resume which includes working in the US Senate.  These are, indeed, tough times for everyone and especially for our young people.  And my last blessing of the day – my thanks to Terri to introducing me (and Ed) to Janet Evanovich…I’m on page 125 of Sizzling Sixteen.  Sometimes a guilty pleasure is just what we need. ...

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Posted by on Jun 13, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 5 comments

  It rained here yesterday…and one of my first communications of the day was this on facebook from a dear friend who was celebrating her birthday with a summer outdoor party in the afternoon.  Raining? Really? I can only imagine her disappointment – this is a woman who has been battling cancer for nearly a year and the breaks seem to be rare and far and few inbetween.  And then it has to rain on her birthday party.  Whoever first warned me that life isn’t fair sure spoke the truth.  And yet, it is a warm and wonderful celebration – the large garage filled with friends and family of all ages and relationships.  This is a woman who defines family with a hug and hers is large and loves her in a way that is evident throughout the afternoon.  She is never alone for even a second, which I know must be tiring.  There is food all around, the mid-west tradition of "bring a dish to pass" at its best – lovingly prepared pasta salads, burgers on the grill, homemade chocolate chip cookies, brownies, carrot cake.  Young men sit atop coolers filled with beer, soda, wine coolers, water bottles.  The Twins game plays on a small TV behind them.  Beautifully wrapped gifts gather on the freezer in the corner. The rain stops and the yard fills up – children playing bean bag toss in the driveway, a neighborhood dog wanders in to scavenge for a snack, Tori puts on her sunglasses as if we were suddenly in Jamaica and it’s a joy to behold. To celebrate a life, a year of life passed for a woman such as this, is a joy for us all.  To celebrate the days ahead with her is the biggest honor of all. Happy Birthday, Mary, and remember every day that your life is filled with people holding umbrellas for you. ...

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Windshield wipers and Coffee shops

Posted by on Mar 20, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 0 comments

  I recall once asking my maternal grandmother, then in her 90s, what was the best invention in her lifetime – and her response was "windshield wipers".  I’m sitting in a neighborhood coffee shop (1 of perhaps 20 within 2 miles of our home) thinking how recently the event of spending time, working, networking in a coffee shop came into my life and how prevalent it is now.  I don’t recall ever engaging in coffee shop hang-outs in Grand Rapids, so it was following our move in 1990 in Traverse City that these small retailers of caffeine and relative quiet became walking (and sometimes driving) destinations for me.  I love the rules, even when they vary a little from spot to spot.  Todays I’ve chosen as it’s largely a working place and when you run into someone you know the interaction is kept short and sweet.  There is another where you pull up a chair and join in at any table in site.  If I travel out of the neighborhood I have the advantage of likely anonymity, however, when I’ve done this there seems little advantage over my office at home, short of not being surrounded by piles of stuff I need to clean up.  Coffee shops certainly are not the best invention in my lifetime (I wonder what is?) but I appreciate them just the same.  The change in our culture, whatever it means, that allows me to sit here on a sunny Saturday afternoon and write and work and listen to the music until it’s time to move on.  Again today, my list of complaints is exceeded only by my list of blessings....

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What dogs eat: dresses, sofas and laptops

Posted by on Mar 13, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 0 comments

  I returned from a week in Las Vegas to be reminded that 2 dogs in the house seems very much like 100 dogs.  Beau, the new foster dog, is so full of energy and eager and big – he’s gained 10# in less than 2 weeks with us (now 82 pounds) – a sorely needed weight gain and what an eater he is.  A few days ago he took a bite out of my brand new IBM ThinkPad – really – there is a hole right through the cover and you can see the "guts".  Ed says I lost a few lines of pixel (I guess it’s lucky he chewed on the corner only) but I don’t imagine I’ll notice this.  We reminisced that every dog has eaten something not included in their doggie diet – with Albert it was one of my dresses that he removed from the closet and shredded and Dakota ripped up the skirting of the sofa one day.  Is this something dogs do to prove to themselves that we’ll love them (and keep them) anyway…even when they are very, very badly behaved?  This dog fostering business is serious stuff and difficult and we take only "difficult" dogs – due to Ed’s incredible talent and patience in working with them.  Beau came to us exactly 2 weeks ago knowing not even the command to "sit" and already he can sit and stops at the threshold before going through an outside door and sometimes will "go to bed" when told.  He seems to not yet understand "stay" and any other commands and yet for having learned nothing in 3 years, it’s amazing what 2 weeks of love and hard work and discipline can accomplish.  And, of course, he adores Ed…these 2 follow him wherever he goes making like a thundering herd.  I am reminded that I wanted a good man, a smart man, a man who would make me happy and I got it all – what a good man Edwin is to serve as pack leader to these dogs and how fortunate they are to follow...

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It’s all about the dogs

Posted by on Feb 28, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 78 comments

  Oh my, we have again taken on a foster dog…one should see his sweet face before I begin to write about our first day together.   We picked him up at 1PM – a mere 8 hours ago and we both feel as if we have been tending 2-year old quintuplets for days on end.  He’d been in a car for a number of hours with 3 other dogs, having come from Sioux City, IA.  We knew little about him – that he was an owner surrender and likely lived outside most of the time.  We stopped at the vet on the way home (kudos and appreciation to Bloomington Vet, one of the clinics that provides services to Pet Haven – without which it not would be possible for this all-volunteer organization to foster dogs and cats) – we learn he is 15# underweight, is recovering nicely from 2 severely infected ears including one with stitches where he had scratched at it before getting medical attention.  He was spayed on Tuesday so he’s sore in a number of places.  He was a pleasant patient overall, a good sign.  We leave with a bag of meds and Beau, a dog with a new name, a new vet and a new foster family.  Quite surprisingly, our resident dog Dakota and Beau got along fairly well.  Dakota (who made us failed fosters when we adopted her last year) has successfully overcome all of her challenges short of dog-to-dog aggression which shows up all too often, however, always over food.  So we had a few tangles today, some our own making – why didn’t it occur to us that bringing in a giant bag of dog food might  not be such a good idea with these two?  And being opposite genders, Beau thought he might get to know Dakota in the biblical sense but she handled that quite well herself. Saddest and most difficult was discovering that Beau is terrified – coming into the house the first time took nearly an hour.  Coming up the stairs has taken 30 minutes each time, up or down and more treats that I could count.  However, having vomited in Ed’s closet a while ago, Beau is now laying on his bed and Dakota on the floor and all is quiet.  Welcome, Beau and and sweete doggie dreams to you...

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Posted by on Feb 6, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 28 comments

  I’ve discovered that the #1 characteristic required of successful bloggers is discipline, which I clearly lack.  However, I am the queen of denial so I am going to sit right here and start writing as if the last time I blogged was…yesterday. I spent 5 long and luxurious hours today engaged in my favorite hobby – reading.  And I read, from cover to cover, Chris Bohjalian’s new book Secrets of Eden.  And it was worth most of the day, and then some.  My favorite line, from page 260: I remember the first time I saw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, I thought it was a home movie. If you don’t see some really dark humor in that line, hug your parents.  Call them right now and thank them for your childhood.  And if, like me, you understand, know you are not alone. I love this man’s work – from Water Witches in the 80’s which I believe is when I first discovered him, to Midwives which made him famous to almost everything he’s penned before and since.  I find most amazing that he is so successful at building female characters and in every story I find a personage that stays and accompanies me on my journey.  What a...

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