Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Puppy named Piper

In the summer of 2012, my daughter Heather was looking for a dog.  They really liked the duck-tolling retrievers, so they went to the rescue website.  After a long vetting process, they were approved to get a dog.  The Wisconsin rescue center called one day and matched them up with a seven year old dog named Sammy.  She was being given up by a family in northern Illinois.  They met at an agreed upon location.  The man was upset but said they couldn't keep her because they couldn't give her the attention she deserved.  The first thing my daughter did was take Sammy for a check up.  They found out that she had a thyroid problem and allergies.  She needed thyroid meds and benadryl every day.  She was a wonderful dog, but was sicker than they knew.  We think the people gave her up because she was sick, and they couldn't deal with her death.  A few months after they got her, Sammy died.

They wanted to get another dog, but they were afraid to rescue another dog.  They decided to get a puppy this time.   About a month ago my daughter got her new cockapoo puppy.  She is a cute little thing.   She is all black and weighs about eight pounds now.  She is eleven weeks old and her name is Piper.  Three and a half years ago my daughter was expecting a baby.  It was supposed to be a girl.  They were going to name her Piper.  Well, when Piper was born, we had a surprise.  Her baby girl was a boy.  They named him Ewan.  He is the little firefighter I write about regularly.  Since they liked the name Piper and my son in law is into aviation, they named the dog Piper.

Everything was going good until four days ago.  They played outside,  and then went down in the basement.  Piper was doing what puppies do, nosing around.  When they came upstairs, she had something in her mouth.  It was a small sliver of a hard blue item.  Panic took over, and they thought they should make her throw up in case it was poison.  They used hydrogen peroxide.  They weren't sure what it was, but our daughter thought is could be a piece of D-con.  About seven years ago when they moved into their house, they put out mouse poison.  They live on the river and one day by their garage they saw a mouse or rat.  They put the poison out and they forgot about it.  Fortunately my daughter lives in a small town, and she had the cell phone number of the vet.  She called her at home because the clinic had closed and met the vet at the clinic.  The vet couldn't tell for sure if it was poison, but treated her aggressively as if it was.  Piper got a vitamin K shot and pills to take for 42 days.  She had to be watched for bleeding and lethargy for at least 72 hours.   I'm happy to report that she had no effects.  She is as wild and peppy as ever.  She is chewing on ankles and anything that moves.  Raising a puppy is hard work but well worth it.  They are watching her like a hawk and puppy proofed the house again.  It was scary but she is fine.  As she grows, I will write how she is doing.  Hopefully she will turn out to be just as nice a dog as Sammy was.

Piper is growing up.

Sarah, Heather and Piper

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crane Migration

I have been watching the Operation Migration team attempting to migrate to Florida with eight young cranes.  These cranes were raised and trained about five miles from our house, so I have an interest in their welfare.  They left October 2 and are only as far as Southern Illinois.  They have gone 345 miles so they have a long way to go before they arrive at St. Marks Florida. The total trip is about 1100 miles.   I was worried that they would be late.  What they would be late for, I don't really know.  My worry ended when I saw a photo today of 4 young wild whooping cranes near the side of the road at the Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin.  I am also encouraged by the Sandhill cranes who haven't left this area either.  Supposedly the last of them migrate by Thanksgiving Day, so we shall see.

As long as the Sandhill cranes have water and food, they are in no hurry to leave.

They just hang out together deciding how long they should stay.

Some geese standing on some ice that formed overnight.

I'm pretty sure all our ducks and geese know they are protected from hunters in our pond.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Amazing Work of Art in Nathan Strong Park

Last month I went trick or treating with my grandchildren in Berlin Wisconsin.  While they were going door to door, I walked around in a nearby park.  It was a park that my dad and mom would go to during the short time they lived in Berlin.  Their apartment was nearby and in the fall they went to the park, just to get some fresh air.  It was a little sad to think of that time.

While looking around, I noticed something new in the park.  It was a special clock built by a local man and donated to the community.  It was put in place in a temperature controlled gazebo by the Rotary Club and Friends of the Park.  It is made out various types of wood.  The gears are made out of plywood glued together at different angles to avoid warping.  The sides explain the history of the cannons and a monument in the park.  It also has engravings of all 49 past mayors of the city dating back to 1857.  Although this is in a neighboring community, it is a pretty amazing work or art.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Recycling Pumpkins

Every year when Halloween is over and it is almost Thanksgiving, we have a lot of pumpkins to dispose of.  My son in law's parents grow many different varieties of pumpkins.  They share many of them with the family.  They make beautiful fall decorations, but as the fall comes to a close and Christmas decorations are about to be brought out, we feed the leftover pumpkins to the wildlife.  They get eaten little by little throughout the winter.  By Spring there is nothing left but empty shells.

Here are a few pumpkins we have to put out yet.

The Gray Squirrels really like them,

          and so do the Black Squirrels.

We have birds pecking away at the pumpkins as well as the deer.  All the forest creatures get a nibble.  I also put out the apple peelings and cores from all the fall baking with apples.

This photo is from exactly two years ago.  See the snow on the ground already.

Today November 13, 2013, there isn't any snow.

This little buck was looking at me.  I think he likes corn more than pumpkins.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tangy Meatloaf Comfort Food

It's Tuesday, the day I usually post a recipe.  I recently mentioned that my husband makes the meatloaf for our family.  He has made meatloaf for years.  In fact, his favorite recipe comes out of a 1979 Workbasket magazine.

Tangy Meatloaf

1/2 cup Ketchup (They call it Catsup, but I don't like that word)
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 Egg
3/4 cups ground up Oatmeal or quick cooking Oatmeal
(original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of Wheat Chex cereal crushed to 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef (less lean ground beef makes a better meatloaf)

In a large bowl combine ketchup, brown sugar and dry mustard.
To this mixture add Worcestershire, salt, onion and garlic powders, pepper and egg.
Blend well.  Stir in oatmeal crumbs (or chex crumbs).  You can add 2 T. of finely chopped green pepper and/or chopped onion at this point, if you like.  Mix everything into the ground beef.  It works best to use your hands.  Shape in a shallow pan if you like a crustier outside or into a bread pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or until done.

He just puts all the ingredients in a bowl and mixes it together.

He likes to put it in a bread pan but free form is fine too.

Cooked meatloaf ready to slice.

If you would rather, the raw meat can be made into meatballs.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day 2013

Today is November 11, 2013.  It is Veteran's Day.  I have written about my dad who is a World War II Veteran a few times.  He understands so many things in the news.  Thank goodness he still has a good mind.  He was wondering today if the typhoon that recently struck the Philippines destroyed the island that was their home base during the war.   His birthday is November 14th and he will be 89.  That is pretty remarkable.
Just when I think I have heard all of his stories, he says something that I hadn't heard.  He told me today that his name is engraved in granite in front of his old high school in Owen Wisconsin.  He said the old school has been converted to something else, and he wonders if the names are still in front of the building.  He told me the names of all the young graduates who went to war from his high school are there.  Next time we get to the area, we will have to see.

As a gift to him from us, my sister and all five of his grandchildren, we have purchased a Legacy Stone.

A Legacy Stone is a stone that will be placed in the walkway at the Highground Veterans Memorial in Neillsville, WI. Dad's information will be engraved in a 12 x 12 x 2 granite block and placed in a ceremony on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 1:00pm. The ceremony will begin with ringing of their Liberty Bell.  Colors will be presented and then the pledge of allegiance.  Earth from the previous legacy stone ceremony is mixed with the earth from the day's ceremony.  Each family then places their stone.  When all the stones are in place, everyone forms a circle.  People are encouraged to share their thoughts.  We can submit any additional materials we would like to share in the Registry.  That is kept in the Highgrounds Learning Center Library.  It should be a good day.  Anyone is welcome to attend.