Friday, July 30, 2010

She Really IS Making Progress

I never thought our dear Miss Elsa could come so far in such a short time.  She came to us in February, more of a wild animal than a house pet.  Ruled by her fight or flight responses.  Always on the ready, always on the watch.  She only ever slept fitfully in a tight ball -- a horseshoe actually -- covering her belly.

So tonight, after about 15 minutes of bunching that blanket up, she's sleeping softly and quietly, her belly fully exposed.  I'm not saying she's fine -- I'm just saying she's more comfortable than I've ever known her.  Such a blessing!  I am DEFINITELY going to disturb her so that we can all go "night nights" very soon.  I wish to be sleeping as soundly as she is!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

At Some Point, Patience "Might" Cease to be a Virtue

It was not a happy homecoming today.  Miss Naughty Pants, aka Elsa, took advantage of the fact that we forgot to make our bed inaccessible to her today.  So she busied herself with digging a hole large enough to bury her kong.  In the mattress.  Again.  Another hole in the mattress.

So I'm very unhappily sewing up the damage tonight in my 2 day old lovely 600-thread-count sheet set.  Grrrrr....  I'm really tired tonight and would much rather be sleeping on these sheets than repairing them...

It's a good thing that love means we never, ever give up on those we hold dear...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh dear...It's a Good Thing Ricky Loves Lucy...

Big Steve fixed the dryer yesterday...that is a very good thing!!!!!  HOWEVER, whilst he was upstairs making said repairs...Little Miss Elsa was downstairs making her

If you have ever wondered what those confounded springs in your mattress look like, here's your chance to have a gander.

So last night, there was a trip to a department store for a new set of sheets to replace these BRAND NEW sheets, a project of restuffing and attempting to screw that spring back into the mattress, and of course, a stern word or two to little miss naughty pants.  It was not lost on us, however, that the dear girl really is doing wonderfully in terms of overcoming her shy behaviors.  She smiles broadly most days, wags her tail in our presence, she has even barked a time or two recently.  Hooray!!!

Yes, it's really a good thing Ricky loves Lucy here at the Haney Place!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunny Sunday

It wasn't supposed to be sunny today.  In fact, the weatherman promised us thunderstorms for most of the night and lots of rain today.  Yesterday, the heat index was around 100.  The humidity is stifling.  It only cooled down to 76-77 last night, and the humidity just kept hanging around almost 80%.  Thankfully, the weatherman was wrong.  I say thankfully because our dryer went kaput yesterday.  Big Steve has it in several pieces in the laundry room, and the parts store won't be open until tomorrow. 

So....I'm truly thankful for our big generous clothesline to help us get our laundry all clean and ready for the workweek ahead. 

In the meantime, we had sausage, eggs and grits for breakfast this morning.  Yummy!!!  And I believe I'll make up a batch of sausage/egg/cheese breakfast sammiches for the freezer.  I had a thought about a loaf of grits/meat/eggs that could be sliced up and frozen for individual servings.  I might just have to try that.  Wouldn't it be good heated up on a skillet with a little bacon grease?  Oh boy....

At any rate, it's sill morning, and already Big Steve has deposited some monster blueberries and lovely purple
eggplants in the kitchen for me to figure out what to do with.  Oh boy -- it's really going to be a great day!!!

Now, to figure out what to do with the eggplant now that it's coming in  hot an heavy...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pictures - As Promised

Here is a slideshow from yesterday's graduation celebration.  I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all!  It was really a blessing to have such honored guests to share our happy day.  The weather was gorgeous, even if it was a bit on the hot side (think "oven").  Big Steve put up a caopy so that the young people could enjoy some relief from the relentless sunshine.  Tuffy and Elsa even enjoyed a canine guest!  Everyone looked really happy.  There was so much food that we completely forgot to cook the hotdogs or cut the cake.  Absolutely incredible!
At any rate, here is a slideshow.  My photographic skills were really lacking yesterday - and I apologize for that.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stephanie's Graduation

We had such a wonderful day!!!  Suffice it to say, a graduation from the Center for Natural Wellness and Healing is a bit different from the stiff, formal, pre-scripted graduations I have become accustomed to.  Stephanie sobbed throughout the entire program -- my eyes were wet as well.  I felt like a better person when I left.  I heard many people refer to it as a "service" -- it was a really moving expience.  Right now, I'm pooped, plain worn out, so I'll leave you with this video of the "dance" portion of the program.   This authentic dance was taught by the lovely Armenian woman in the front.  Stephanie is far right after I move with the camera.  Enjoy.

Tomorrow we'll post a slideshow of the festivities from home!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Big Doings at The Haney Place!!!

This place is a flurry of activity today.  Tomorrow marks Stephanie's graduation from her Licensed Massage Therapy program!!!  We are so proud of her -- and we intend to really do it up!!!

The menu:

Main Course Type:

Baked Ziti
Sausage & Peppers
Cold Cut Platter for Sandwiches
Franks with Meat Sauce/Onions/Mustard...

Side Type Stuff:

Deviled Eggs
Shrimp Cocktail
Assorted Vegetables w/Ranch Dip
Haney-made Hummus w/chips
Potato Salad (courtesy of Nonnie, and might I add OMG!)
Seven Layer Taco Dip
Barbecue Beans (church beans my first pastor's wife taught me to make DECADES ago!!!)

Italian Bread
Rolls for Sammiches

For Dessert:
Watermelon Basket filled with fresh fruit
Graduation Cake


I think that just about does it.  Needless to say, there is a flurry of activity going on here.  Food, cleaning, cleaning up the yard.  And bless poor Big Steve's heart, it's about 90 degrees outside, humid as all get-out, and he's out there mowing, trimming (picking up the droppings)...

Will post pictures tomorrow!  This is so exciting!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Freezer Cooking - Breakfast Style

It was very exciting -- we had our first sunflower open up here today.  Apparently, it couldn't breathe in this suffocating heat, so it decided to open up and show us it's face.

So what does one do when the heat is stifling?  Well, here at The Haney Place you try something new for a bulk cooking - breakfast style.  This recipe is so easy, it's almost embarrassing.  And it's a natural for freezer cooking.  I can't eat it, so I am only going by what I smelled and observed.  But if smelling and observing is any indication, oh boy!  Also, I observed Stiva helping himself to seconds this morning.  I'm just sayin'.

So you start out by generously greasing a 9x13 pan.  Then you line it with two cans of store bought corned beef hash.  Next, use a spoon to make 12 little divots, evenly spaced, in the surface of the hash.  Then you take a dozen eggs and crack a whole egg into each little divot.  The whites spread out some, which is what you want.

Finally, mix up some cornbread batter and drizzle it on top of the whole mess.  Thicker if you want more cornbread, thinner if you want the finished product more of a moist casserole.

Bake at 350 till that cornbread is done and the eggs are set -- about 30  minutes.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

The First Garden Gloat

Stiva picked a MESS of beets this morning, and I was only to happy to do something with them.  This is SO EARLY for putting anything by.  But we are not the sort to let an opportunity pass by.  So this evening, before we try to walk a few blocks to see the fireworks, if our dogs can handle it....we're taking time for a canning gloat.  You see, when you spend the better part of the day processing vegetables for canning, you can't help but to stand back and enjoy a really good gloat when all those boiling water bath jars have sealed successfully.  Thank you Lord!

Musings on Independence

If you have known me and Steve for any length of time, you would know that we have a four year plan to retire to a life of farming up on Prince Edward Island (what I consider to be the most beautiful place in the world).  It is a dream!!!  A very good dream, and one we are working hard to see through.  You also know that we LOVE this country, we love our neighbors and our community.  OKOKOK, maybe not the politicians, but the rest of it we truly love.  It is sobering to think of somehow "rethinking" our patriotism.  I don't think I should have to.  No matter where life finds me, I will always love and defend this country.  I have been blessed my entire life thus far, and not many days go by that I don't understand that my blessings flow from the way God has blessed this place.  I have had good health, good teaching, good name it.  You also know how I feel about caring for the precious ones who give their all to maintain, defend and preserve my freedoms.

With this puzzle in my mind, I asked a dear Prince Edward Island sister to give me ONE PARAGRAPH on how she perceives her freedoms.  She is much like me -- not to be constrained by one paragraph.  She has given me great comfort in her response.  I know that we can be happy, useful residents in a land with attitudes like hers (only different from ours by the circumstances):

It occurred to me this morning as I was discussing life, my way, with my Morning Glories, that this is basically the cost of freedom for me. I am free to sit on my verandah and discuss life with Morning Glories.  
There are young men and women who will be arriving home in body bags and even if they arrive home walking or limping, they will not be whole because their spirits and psyches have suffered terrible wounds. An Honour Guard ceremony down the Highway of Heroes should never be the end of our commitment to the men and women who carry our ideals of freedom to other nations.

My personal freedom has come at the cost of families being split apart -- part on this side, part that died in POW camps, part that were divided by the Zonengrasse. Some made it over in the cargo holds of ships.

Some were herded off to Canadian POW camps because they did not speak English and their religious belief was to offer no resistance. These were individuals who had fled religious intolerance to make a new, safe home that allowed freedom of religion and language and culture (including dress that was different).

Some lost their citizenship (my Grandfather) because their passports and immigration papers bore the stamp of the Axis Nations (citizenship being determined by who drew what border the day you were born). Some had their citizenship tied into the existence of the spouse -- my Grandmother. Then WWII came along and sons were fighting against nephews and cousins and brothers.

Then the war ended and pleas were sent for aid and they were ignored because those needing the aid were considered, once again, the enemy -- not just victims. We didn't fully understand the ramifications of surrender and the Soviet threat. Life went on.

We entered an era where military personnel -- like Paul -- fully expected there would be another war and were prepared to provide the ultimate sacrifice. That's his personal history. There have always been military in his family -- even if they had IRA leanings. Then came a generation who joined because the military was the best employer available, peace had been so long, they never expected to go into a war zone and so were shocked at the first hint of war in the Persian Gulf in 1991.

Meanwhile, Canada's military were so disrespected by the Canadian public and politicians alike that it was in a sad state of disrepair.

Now we have a generation (not in my household, guaranteed) who have no real knowledge of the sacrifice that has gone before. And, as Canadians, we still do not provide for or pay respect to those who are members of the First Nations of this country.

Canada came of age as a Nation at Vimy Ridge and, as citizens, we must be ever vigilant about the freedom dearly bought that allows me to argue with Morning Glories while some son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister will not make it home whole. As Sir John McCrae expressed: "To you from failing hands, we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep. Though poppies grow, In Flanders Fields". Probably why I also have poppies in my garden -- bright, red ones.

We must ensure that the freedom that is Canada's birthright is extended to all its citizens -- old and new. We must ensure that the freedom dearly bought not be allowed to be diminished by imported hatreds or imagined hatreds.

We must make sure that politicians are held accountable and when they hedge about having their personal expense claims examined by the Federal/Provincial Auditors General, they be forced into the light of truth.

We must always hold the torch high.

I hope this provides the answers/throughts you were looking for. Every time a death is reported from Afghanistan, my heart breaks.

So...we here at the Haney Place are fully cognizant of the fact that freedom isn't free, and IS NOT A RIGHT.  It is a privilege and a blessing, which we have been blessed to experience our entire lives.  And when men and women stop taking our freedom to heart, it will be all over for us.  Let's savor our freedom, yes, but join in the fight.  Let's take it personally.  Let's support our men and women in uniform.  The bible teaches us this: 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends




Saturday, July 3, 2010

Old Dogs, And Freezer Cooking

Honeysuckle smells just like sweet perfume...old dogs sleeping by the door.  Watermelon rinds Momma puts up in the jar...and the city folks, they call us poor...

That is....a big IF...IF your old dog doesn't have any health issues or procilvities toward unhealthful behaviors, such as eating dead birds whenever the situation presents itself.  OK, I am the first to admit that when I make a poor, life-threatening decision, I would hope to learn from it and not do the same thing next time around.

Now,  I am NOT implying that Tuffy is not the sharpest crayon in the box, but here we are, for the second time in less than a years, and we're dealing with a really unspeakable horror in terms of excretionary verbage.  Already I have gone too far.  Egads!  Suffice it to say that it's a really good thing we really love him!! And after several days of (diarrhea-related) stress, we're really mindful of why we love those who are important to us...

Oh, but I promised Freezer cooking!  We had an extrmely fulfilling day in that we were able to replace my mother's side view mirror without costing her $400.  Oh, and we put by almost 2 dozen breakfast sandwiches in the freezer this afternoon.  Sausage/egg/cheese/ or ham/egg/cheese.  A BUNCH of breakfasts.  A freezer blessing.  Tomorrow we'll tackle the french toast/pancake freezer cooking blessing.