Oh Deer!

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This week has been busy, jam-packed and mentally draining.  Work is traditionally slow during the summer months, but for some reason July has been crazy busy and this week was especially off the charts with cloud computing opportunities.  On top of that I’ve been answering inquiries all week about my boat that is for sale.  I’m hoping to get it sold this weekend so I can move on to a pontoon boat, which will suit me much better.

Lizzie has also started something new this week.  She dashes out into the garage when it’s time for me to leave for work, wanting to come with me.  It breaks my heart when she runs around the garage trying to get in the truck.  I know she wants to come with me, but they don’t allow dogs at work.  Imagine if they did?  She knows when the weekend is upon us and usually gets rambunctious around Thursday/Friday.  For some reason this week she started right in last Sunday night and hasn’t stopped since.  I decided this week I would take her for longer walks with the hopes of burning up some of her additional energy.  It seemed to work during the early part of the week when it was very humid.  As soon as we got back she would lay under the fan on the cool tile floor and stay there for a couple of hours cooling off.  Then of course, she’d wake up with a second wind and want to play all night.

I went to bed early last night, but my attempt to fall asleep was futile.  I got a disturbing phone call which I just kept rolling around in my head while I tried to sleep.  Nonetheless, I was up early, groggy and foggy and decided I would take a different route for our morning walk since I had so much extra time.  With lots of new smells to check out, early morning critters and dogs in yards, Lizzie had a ball trying to keep up with it all.  We saw a racoon race up a tree ahead of us, which I thought was the highlight of the morning until all of a sudden I didn’t feel any resistance on the leash.  Lizzie had stopped dead in her tracks.  If you didn’t know she was alive, you would have thought she was stuffed and mounted in a perfect stance.  She was barely breathing as I looked to see a deer standing about ten feet in front of us grazing on tall grass just about in my backyard.  As I fumbled for my cell phone I kept praying it wouldn’t dart in the woods before I got a picture.  Being the pro that I am, it took me what seemed like 10 minutes to get the damn phone out of my pocket to take a picture.  Lizzie was perfectly still while the deer stared her down.  I was able to snap a few pictures and noticed the deer wasn’t even scared or attempting to bolt.  In fact, she kept grazing in between stares.  She continued to eat and look up at us.  Was she someone’s pet or something?  I looked around for more, but there were none.  She was alone.  Thinking the 8 pictures I took would be clear I decided to try to walk past the deer with the hopes of snapping a close up shot.  Right.  The deer was fine until Lizzie barked.  Like lightning she was gone!  I think she took one step before she was out of sight.  Lizzie looked at me with a questioning look like “Where’d she go?”   With that I brought Lizzie in and smiled knowing I had taken prize-winning photos. 

I really enjoyed the new route, the longer walk, and of course the deer encounter.  Lizzie still fought to come with me when I opened the garage door, but today she seemed to accept it when I brought her in the house to go to work.  My pictures of the deer were blurry and terrible. What ever made me think I’d be able to take pictures on the fly when I can hardly answer the phone when it rings?  I managed to salvage three of the eight pictures of the deer. 

First glance:










Getting closer:












About ten feet away before Lizzie barked, causing her to bolt:




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Time seems to be flying by so fast these days. Looking back at the sequence of bizarre events that unfolded last week, and then the decompressing, relaxing weekend that followed, I reflect back on a quiet conversation that took place on my porch in the waking early morning hours.  The speaker was different, but the words were the same.  I recognized the pattern right away.  I began to look at similarities and wondered if this was coincidence.  Interesting…  I will continue to ponder.

The weekend was fun, productive and experimental.  The pasta pizza recipe on PROUD ITALIAN COOK blog looked amazing except for the eggs.  I modified the recipe by skipping the eggs, adding cheese (the glue) and put the whole thing between garlic pie crusts so it was like eating your pasta between garlic bread.  It cooked up well, was easy to prepare and our local Food Champion gave it a two thumbs up with his “I wouldn’t change a thing” blessing.  There it is… one for the business.

The weather was perfect, and one night I actually had to pull out a quilt because it got so cool during the night.  Of course the quilt was way too hot, but the cool nights made for amazing sleep.  I hadn’t gotten nearly as much sleep as I needed the week before and as I hit the pillow and fell sound asleep, I didn’t stir until the dogs woke me up early the next morning.  I love morning, it’s the best part of the day.  The whole world is asleep except for the animals and a random jogger here or there.  The lake is still except for a quiet fisherman and the plunk of his line hitting the water.   The sun spills across the tree tops onto the lake and you know within minutes this peaceful scenario will quickly change.  The dogs are on alert on the deck, just waiting and watching every little thing that moves.  It’s going to be a great day, I can feel it.

Captain Bottle Cap got my boat out of the water and left to do his own thing for the day.  My plan was to clean up the boat nice and pretty to put it downtown for sale.  The Boston Whaler is not the boat for me.  I need a baby Pontoon boat.  I have my eye on the perfect boat, but first things first.  I need to sell the Whaler.  It took me hours to clean up that boat.  Scrubbing, vacuuming, oiling and bringing it back to life.  It  wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but it did come out good enough to put downwn for sale.  Hopefully it sells soon.

We ended up at Camp Eureka three days in a row!  It’s so much fun over there, the dogs play nicely, and hanging with the folks is always a high point of my weekend.

Lizzie seems to have taken quite nicely to being the boat mascot.

Things are finally coming together full circle.  It was worth the wait.

Move The Block


The weekend took an interesting turn from the norm.  A different spin on fun, but still fun nonetheless.  Most importantly, there was a new sense of awareness from someone who’s been treated unfairly and how he’s dealing with it.  Sometimes stepping back and giving yourself time to reflect on current events is the best medicine.  I think my friend had a totally different scenario of the way things should have panned out, instead of the way things actually did pan out.  However, the awareness proved to be more rewarding, inside and out.  He’s a better person for working through it.  We talked for hours on end while the fire in the chimenea burned bright.  The ripple rings of fish jumping were highlighted in the background by the dim lights of boats passing by.  The dogs slept after a hard day and even the bugs decided to give us a break and not eat us alive.  It was a nice way of making progress and realizing that true colors are not always bright.











It was an easy drive home, no traffic and lots to see on the sidelines.  Summer brings out the creativity in people and I enjoyed all the street glamour in full glory.  Before I knew it I was home, thinking I would settle in and ramp up for the work-week ahead. 

It was a thousand degrees when I stepped out of my truck with humidity at about 200%.  Thank gawd for central air.  I unloaded my truck and walked into my kitchen full of pesto everywhere.  On the floors, table, counters, stove, island, sink and all over every handle.  Silly me for thinking I’d just take it easy and relax with the dog when I got home.  After I got the kitchen cleaned up, I threw in a load of laundry and decided to take Lizzie for a walk to see if I could win her over.  She was still harboring anxiety for leaving her friends at the lake.  She was visibly upset.  I totally get it.  We went for a walk but she was panting so much I turned around and headed back to the nice cool house.  Again, I’m thinking I’ll just do a few chores and take it easy…

The sequence of events that took place in the next couple of hours took me totally by surprise, leaving my head spinning.  Ridiculous accusations left me feeling so disappointed and alone.  People fear what they don’t understand and when they spin out of control, there’s just no stopping them.  All you can do is wait for them to stop spinning and talk it out.  Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one who thinks like that as everyone I know that spins out of control, usually bolts at the end of their tirade.  Nothing ever gets accomplished by leaving.  Today was no different.

I called my friend to vent.  We talked a good long while and as always, she made me feel better.  She then told me to ‘move the block’.  Huh?  Every issue is a block that’s in your way.  She said put your arms straight out like you’re lifting an imaginary block.  Whatever is bothering you, or whatever negativity is in your path, pick it up and put it to the side.  I chuckled, but did it.  Then she told me to lift another block (issue) and lift it to the other side.  Before long she had me standing up while we talked, lifting damn blocks from side to side, reciting each issue as I named the blocks.  What now, I said when I was done.  She said you have just cleared a clean path to move forward while you deal with the issues on the side.  Use the clean path to get what you want.  Move forward with positivity and leave all the negative issues and people to the side.  Negativity is like a fungus, it needs dark places and more negativity to breed.  Step into the positive light and the negativity will go away for it cannot survive in successful brightness.  On the other end of the phone I half-heartedly rolled my eyes and chuckled while I listened to my friend, who had morphed into a Zen Master, guide me to move the block. 









So I did.  My path is now clear to move forward in positive light.  There’s a part of me that says what do I have to lose?  It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning.  The crap doesn’t just go away, but the point is to not to let it get in the way of progress.  Keep your path clear… grasshopper.









“Work hard towards your goals, no matter what obstacles get in your way.  Even if you think you can’t do it, just be disciplined, put your mind to it, and then do your best.”  – Female Research Scientist (name unknown)

Seems Like Yesterday


Has it really been 11 years?  Yes, it really has.  I remember it like it was yesterday.

Dad was a blast,  the life of the party.  He was funny, smart, handsome and the coolest guy to be around.  He had all the latest and greatest inventions, gadgets, boats, cars, houses and toys.  He even had a pet Chimp and a waterfall in his house.  Yeah, he was the Mac-Daddy of all dads and my brother and I cherished every second we got to spend with him.  It was always an adventure, no matter what we did or where we went.  We spent so much time laughing and having fun with him, we thought he was immortal. 

Sadly, he wasn’t and his passing 11 years ago today left a void in our lives that still remains today.  Even though dad isn’t physically here, he still lives on in spirit.  My brother looks so much like him that when he’s telling a story or cracking up, it’s just like being with my dad.  It’s uncanny how much they are alike.

Every year on this day, my brother takes dad’s ashes for a motorcycle ride.  He gets the strangest looks from people when he stops at a bar, orders two drinks and takes them outside to drink with dad’s ashes.  When people question him, my brother tells them he’s having a drink with his dad.  Then of course they freak out when they realize he means literally having a drink with dad, whose ashes are strapped to the back of the bike.  I can just see my brother drinking and talking to dad’s ashes while people quickly walk by muttering to themselves with furrowed brows.  Just like in life, my brother and father are tearing it up, not caring what anyone thinks and having a grand ole time for themselves.  HA!  What a riot!

We have great memories, and we still laugh with him.

Miss you dad, every single day.


Coyote Collaborative 2012

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The first annual Coyote Collaborative was held in the Lakes Region of NH this weekend with state experts from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Canada.  My job was to feed the people, and feed them I did!  I decided to use a medley of recipes I’ve been saving for a special occasion and I never served the same meal twice.  The first guest arrived Thursday night and the last guest left Monday morning.  As they worked off a detailed Agenda, I stayed in the background chopping, mincing, dicing and preparing the next meal.  A circle of totally different people coming together for the same cause.  While I kept to my tasks in the background, I observed each and every one of them and delighted in their knowledge, skills and experience with wildlife, people and common laws.  My goal was to try out different recipes on them and see which ones got the best reviews.  It was a tie through and through… they loved everything.

Southwestern Breakfast Casserole – Eggplant Stacks with Marina Sauce – Mini Omelets – Marinated Stir Fry Chicken – Pasta with Alfredo Sauce – Stuffed Peppers – Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms – Chocolate Mousse – Granola and Yogurt Bar Fresh Fruit Salad – Green Salad – Stuffed French Toast – Fresh picked Corn on the Cob – Appetizers – Snacks – Desserts, etc. (you get the idea)…

In between Agenda topics and meals (lots of both), the crowd took advantage of the perfect weather and went hiking, walking, swimming, and boating, with fireworks on the lake as a bonus!  We did have a bonfire one night, but the bugs were so bad, we let it burn out and went inside.  We crammed a lot of activities into three full days and two half days.  It was a great event and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.  As they got more comfortable with each other, they shared their howls, yes howls.  Before long, they were greeting and saying goodbye in the form of coyote howls.  No Kidding.

  I’m putting together a newsletter, but in the meantime, here are some pictures:




Dogs and Blogs

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What a gorgeous weekend!  It was hot and dry and a true summer-time setting.  I’m so excited to report that Lizzie had her best day ever on Saturday.  I was so proud of her!  Saturday morning started out with Lizzie playing, and staying with her best friend, J.  I was asked to do a simple project for a friend so Lizzie and I headed over to Camp Eureka where we met up with Captain Bottlecap and the Camp Eureka crowd.  The dogs had such a blast playing, swimming, running and behaving themselves.  Exposure really is the greatest lesson of all.  Lizzie didn’t have one single incident of misbehaving all day long.  It  really made all of us feel good, especially me!  The simple project turned into a little bit of a task when the sewing machine didn’t cooperate.  I offered to take the project back to my place to sew it up, but Captain Bottlecap was quick to offer up a fix, (that man can fix anything!) so the rest of us watched the dogs play as he made his way down the basement to work his magic.  He emerged from the basement a few minutes later with a metal part in his hand and an explanation of the fix on his lips.  Without questioning whether it was fixed or not (we all knew it was), we just watched as he installed the piece and started  the machine.  Of course it worked (I never doubted).  While he was fine tuning the newly installed piece, I had to mention that I’ve never sewn in a more serene environment.  The sewing machine was set up on the porch overlooking the lake.  Because I sew a lot, I could only imagine every project being set up like this.  It was perfect and I was anxious to get this project going.  Every time I looked up, I saw the dogs playing, the boaters boating and the gorgeous lake that I’ve come to love.  Lizzie was the happiest I’d ever seen her and I totally enjoyed sewing overlooking the lake.  As I watched her romping with her friends, it was evident, she’s figuring it out.  Good girl, Lizzie.

The rest of the day, the dogs continued their good behavior.  It was a thousand degrees out and they took advantage of a nice opportunity to sleep on the boat in the high heat of the day because they were tuckered out from playing hard all day long.  They weren’t even upset when we brought them home to eat and rest for the night.  Yep, Lizzie had the best day ever.  I was so happy, and so proud of my girl!

On another note, as I ramp up for a couple of events in the near future, I came across some awesome recipe blogs I thought I’d pass along.  I have made some of these recipes and have been served some of these recipes, all of which are awesome.  I’m looking forward to making lots more!  There’s something for everyone, check them out!  Enjoy!





Have a safe and happy 4th of July everyone.  Do good things…