Category Archives: holiday

Even more snow days

The next time I have to go to work on a Monday, it’s going to be a rude shock. As of tomorrow, it’ll be three in a row, and next week is Presidents’ Day, so I already know we’ll be closed (but who knows, it could be snowing then too, it probably will be if the last three weeks are any indication). I’ve enjoyed the extra time at home to sleep in, read more (including all three books I mentioned in my last snow day post), and cuddle with the dog, speaking of which (whom?)…

Sudo is certified as a therapy dog!

Sudo and her new friend Daisy, certified therapy dogs!

After attending three workshops with Dog B.O.N.E.S. (Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support), Sudo, Ben, and I are a certified therapy dog team. This does NOT mean Sudo can (or should) assist the blind in crossing streets, nor does it mean that I can take her on a plane as my “emotional support animal”; what it does mean is that we can visit places like assisted living facilities, nursing homes, colleges, and anywhere else where her presence might brighten someone’s day. Our instructors were great, and the classes were a very good start to what I hope will be a rewarding volunteer experience. (I think Sudo earned extra points for not trying to chew the tennis balls off the walker feet; unlike, say, golden retrievers, Sudo cares not a whit for tennis balls.)

I’m pretty certain she’ll enjoy visiting people who want to pet her. What she is enjoying less is this:



But until she learns to use the toilet – and I just can’t see that happening – three times a day we must rouse her from one of the below poses to go outside, at least for a few minutes.

Snuggling with stuffed alligator toy

Snuggling with stuffed alligator toy

Tucked under a blanket on the couch

Tucked under a blanket on the couch

Pretending that outdoors does not exist

Pretending that outdoors does not exist

Somewhat miraculously, Ben’s birthday outing was not snowed out. Six of us made it to Danvers to play indoor mini-golf, because nothing says grown-up birthday party like glow-in-the-dark monster-themed mini-golf. (Right, other grown-ups who read this blog?)

Par three? Are they kidding?

Par three? Are they kidding?

Cool, right?

Cool, right?

Both before and after indoor mini-golf, we stood around in the parking lot and ate homemade cupcakes out of the trunk of our car. This is also a very grown-up thing to do. (Hey, we knew enough not to bring outside food into the establishment. If glow-in-the-dark monster-themed indoor mini-golf can be called an establishment.)



While I was planning that classy outing for Ben’s birthday, he took me to see Nick Hornby. So yeah, I think we’re even.

What will tomorrow’s snow day reading be? Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug, Howards End by E.M. Forster (it was mentioned in Vanessa and Her Sister), another book from my TBR list? We shall see…

Last, and least, the rose bush got another haircut:


Almost a year old – it was a Valentine’s Day present last year.



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Lucky Number Seven(th Birthday)

Two years and two days ago, we brought her home.

Sudo on her first day with us, July 14, 2012.

Sudo on her first day with us, July 14, 2012.

She settled right in.


If “settled in” is synonymous with “took over the couch.”

She’s a little grayer in the muzzle now, and has a touch of arthritis in her toes, but she’s just as cuddly as ever, and she’s even braved various bodies of water (up to her belly, at least).

Car ride!

Car ride!

Here’s to several more years of snuggles and walks.

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From snow to spring

Winter was especially long this year. Here’s a post I started back in February:


Nothing like being at work, watching inch after inch of snow fall, and feeling glad you put a shovel in the back of your car this morning. (That’s got to be on one of those “You know you’re a New Englander when…” lists, right?)

Please excuse the glare from a light on the window (above); I took this photo from inside, ’cause I ain’t crazy.

But it is pretty when the sun comes out…




Winter was especially long, and spring was especially poky in its arrival. But the snowdrops and crocuses began coming up a few weeks ago (though they got battered again by snow, ice, sleet, etc.), and now we’re seeing daffodils, early hyacinths and grape hyacinths, and a few tulips.

Today was finally warm and dry enough to take a blanket in the backyard and read outside for a few hours (until our delicate little flower of a dog got too warm and had to retreat to her fainting couch indoors).

"I don't know about this whole 'outdoors' thing. I like my couch."

“I don’t know about this whole ‘outdoors’ thing. I like my couch.”

In addition to the flowers growing outside, I’ve been indulging in some fresh cut flowers for inside. The blue glass bottle we brought back from Barcelona has been an excellent vase for these mini gerbera daisies:


Is it ridiculous that aside from postcards, chocolate, and slightly-reduced TBR (to-be-read) lists, the only thing we brought back from Barcelona was an empty one-liter blue glass bottle? Probably. But it was just too pretty to leave behind.


In other news, I can report that this flourless chocolate cake is as easy and as delicious as promised by both its creator and Deb at Smitten Kitchen (“17 flourless dessert ideas,” 4/16/08). Should you need something to get you through the final day of Passover (sorry I wasn’t more timely with this), this one is a winner.

Finally, for the two? three? loyal readers of this blog who have missed more frequent greyhound photos, here are a couple more:

"What's down there? Floor. Hmm. Floor looks comfortable too."

“What’s down there? Floor. Hmm. Floor looks comfortable too.”

"Helloooo down there."

“Helloooo down there.”



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That once-in-a-lifetime holiday, Thanksgivikkah (sp?), proved at least one thing: cranberry sauce is just as good with latkes as applesauce is.


Thanksgiving food was center stage for the first few nights of Hanukkah, but by night six, I roused myself to make latkes.

I’ve never posted my recipe for latkes on this blog before, so here it is now. I am presupposing you have a food processor; if not, you can chop potatoes and onions by hand, or use a box grater. I hope you have onion goggles.


2 potatoes
1/2 onion
1 egg
salt and pepper
cooking oil (several tablespoons. Now is not the time to be sparing with the oil.)

Scrub potatoes and cut out any eyes or bad spots. (You can also peel them entirely if you’re finicky about potato peel.) Cut them into large chunks (but not so large they won’t fit down the spout of a food processor). Cut the onion likewise. Feed potato and onion into the food processor.

In a separate, medium bowl, beat the egg. Transfer the potato/onion mixture to the bowl with the egg, add salt and pepper, and mix until combined.

In a skillet (preferably cast-iron), heat the oil on medium heat until it pops and spits when you flick water into it. Spoon the latke mixture in; I can fit about three latkes in a 10″ skillet. (You don’t want them to be too crowded or they’ll be hard to flip.) When they start browning on the bottom and will stick together, flip them until they brown on the other side.

When the first batch is cooked, transfer them to a cooling rack lined with a paper towel (or, if you’re making a larger batch and you need to keep them warm, put them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 F).

Serve with your choice – applesauce, sour cream, cranberry sauce (Thanksgivikkah!), a sprinkle of sugar, or nothing at all.

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Happy Halloween




In case you can’t tell, that’s supposed to be Sudo’s face carved into the pumpkin.


And round the back of the pumpkin…

Happy Halloween!

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Apples and Honey

The most inventive presentation I’ve ever seen:



Apples and honey are traditionally served on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), but this is the first time I’ve ever seen honey served from inside an apple. Apparently it can be done with a melon baller.

To a sweet new year!

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Sudo Anniversary

One year ago today (Bastille Day!), we brought Sudo into our house and our lives.


Also, onto our couch.


She has kind of a love affair with the couch. I think she likes us, too, but I’m 100% sure she loves the couch.


To many more happy, snuggle-filled years.

For those who live in New England and are considering adopting a greyhound, I’d be happy to answer any questions. If you’re looking to adopt,  Greyhound Friends and Greyhound Options are both excellent organizations. 




Filed under animals, holiday