Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday???

This is the day they refer to as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when the Christmas shopping gets off to a ridiculous start. It is a beautiful day around here as Helen and I have no intention of venturing out today. It has been quiet and we had a nice time this morning playing with the three adult Labs in the yard. Jodie and Coco love to play fetch, Coco being absolutely obsessive about it. Today Helen tried to interest Freckles in fetching. At first she didn't have a clue and is quickly intimidated by our two. Soon though, Helen would throw the ball and Freckles would fetch it and drop it at Helen's feet. She a quick learner.

Yesterday was a super day! Quiet and peaceful! We had the Barita Girls over (Barbara and Rita) and it was a wonderful day. The puppies were good and Jodie, Coco, and Freckles behaved very well. Barb brought a special dish that was delicious.


2 apples - sliced and placed on the bottom of a 9 x 12 pan (but you can use any kind of bake ware)
Next place 1 large can crushed pineapple - drained - over apples
Next spread 1 can whole cranberries over pineapple


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together - I use a pastry cutter to get butter cut into other ingredients - Mixture should be so all of the butter be in little pieces.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes - until bubbly

Trust me! This is a recipe well worth trying!

Well, now I've got to run, there's still some cranberry-pineapple bake left.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Quiet Thanksgiving

Yes, it's a quiet Thanksgiving at the Tempesta's in Inverness. It's just us and the 11 dogs. The puppies grow so fast that it's hard to believe the difference in their behavior from one day to the next. Oh, they're still puppies, so there's a lot of eating and sleeping, but there are also times of great activity, sniffing and wrestling and running around and playing. Then it's back to sleep again. They are on half solid food and are well on the way to being able to turn Momma loose.

Now Momma is another story. She was so shy and cowered whenever we would move. Raise your hand to pet her and she'd shy away with fear. Now she knows that a hand means petting and she is as friendly as can be. The last two days I've been running her out in the woods without a leash and she has become a member of "the pack". She joins Jodie and Coco for a run out back to do her business and is even getting to play with our two. Jodie was a bit of a bitch at first, but she has warmed to Freckles and is mesmerized by the puppies. One day she was laying outside the puppy enclosure with her nose pressed against the screen. On the other side several puppies were either amusing Jodie or being amused by Jodie. It lasted about half an hour, so it must have been good for them. The Momma was even up on our bed yesterday, along with Jodie, Coco, Helen, and me. It didn't leave a lot of extra room, but it was a civilized gathering. Though we love the puppies, passing Freckles on to her new family is going to be more traumatic for us. She is a beautiful, sensitive dog that has had a life of abuse. That she has rebounded so well is a tribute to her inner strength. She had a deep bark, which she uses to great effect. Coco will sit in front of us and stare until we do what she wants. Most of the time it's for a cookie, but can also be because she wants to go out or there is no water. Freckles will make eye contact with Helen and bark and yowl, almost talking. This means that she wants to be fed or she wants to go out. She has done a remarkable job of training us in only a couple of weeks.

This is a lot of work. The washing machine and dryer are running almost non-stop. With eight pups, some one has just pooped or will poop in another moment. This brings up another situation that I didn't forsee. Those of you who have changed diapers know how different it is once a baby goes on solid food. Well, the same is true for puppies., phew. I was watching TV yesterday when an odor reached my nose and I was certain that the Momma had done a job in the house. Nope, it was one of the pups.

At least having the pups hasn't prevented Helen and me from eating out. We're going to Carrabba's on Saturday! Helen is going at 3:30 PM and I'm going at 7:00 PM, Ha HA.

Among other things, this year I'm so thankful that we got a chance to raise these marvelous little pups.

That's all I'm saying for now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's been awhile

Yes, it has been quite a while since I have added to this blog. I have apparently caught the "I hate to Blog" virus from my friend Rita. Tonight I'll try to atone for my sins.

When I last chatted, we were down the Keys trying to enjoy the late season weather. The weather is like a box of chocolates, as Forest would say, you never know what you're gonna get. What we got was weather right out of the dog days of August. Hot, hot, hot and oh so humid. We didn't do much and we didn't see many people in the campground. Everyone was hiding out in their air conditioned campers. Our air conditioner ran constantly all day and most of the night.

October 28th was our 42nd Wedding Anniversary and we decided to try a place called Louie's Back Yard, the "in" restaurant in Key West. I got on the internet and looked up the menu and the ratings. Dinner for two would cost well over $120.00 and that didn't bother us for this important occasion. However, the customer ratings were so low with a lot of people complaining about the poor service and the worse food. What Louis has, is a view of the ocean, but little else.

OK, we scrapped that and looked for other restaurants. There was an Italian restaurant that was listed as the best restaurant in Marathon, having excellent food and the best rating by customers. Bingo, Italian it would I guess it wouldn't, since the restaurant is out of business. So we've been driving up and down Marathon and each restaurant we decide to try is either out of business or closed for the week. Just a short walk from out campground is Chappy's and we reluctantly ended up there.

AS we entered, just before sunset, the hostess reached for menus and I told her that we were not there to eat, we only wanted to watch the sunset across the Keys and the 7 Mile Bridge. "OK" she said and was prepared to lead us to the other side to see the sunset. Of course I said I was only kidding and she sat us right near the rail overlooking the Atlantic, 7 Mile Bridge, and the Keys further west. Very beautiful!!!! The service was excellent. The food was excellent. The sunset was excellent. What more could we ask.

The next day, Friday, my brother and sister-in-law arrived and Ricky and I went fishing. We took a tour around the island and Ricky caught a number of Barracuda. It was so hot that we elected not to go to Key West on Friday. We went out to dinner at a place called Keys Fisheries, I think. It's a small place right on the Gulf and there are many large Tarpon plying the waters. Helen and I ate there earlier in the week and found the food to be very good so a return visit was warranted.

Saturday we sort of rested for much of the day, electing to go to Key West late in the day. Helen opted to stay behind to care for the three dogs, our two and Linda's Daisy. Late in the day we went to Key West and I admit I was pretty beat from lack of sleep. Ricky drove and we chose to park at the high school and take the shuttle to Duval Street. It worked out pretty well. Duval Street and the section given over to Fantasy Fest had a lot less people than we usually see. We walked down Duval to Mallory Dock for the sunset festivities. There was one man with a guitar and a few people standing around, but that was all. Every other time I've been to Key West there has been a carnival atmosphere at the dock with many vendors, people selling trinkets, paintings, or cold drinks. In addition, there are usually a dozen, or more, street entertainers performing for tips. I was surprised that it was so dead.

Normally, my brother and I have been back to the camper a little after 10 PM, but this year was different. This was the longest parade ever and it didn't finish until almost 11 PM. We got back to the camper well after midnight. Sunday November 1st we sprinted for home.

At home we had the usual job of cleaning out the motorhome and getting it ready to stow away for awhile, thinking that we'd take it to St. Augustine in a few weeks. That was the idea.

Then, we got an email from Lab Rescue saying that there was a momma lab and 9 pups at Animal Control in Taylor County. All 10 of them would be euthanized on Thursday if no one took them. We called and offered our services and Wednesday afternoon we drove to Perry, Florida to get the dogs. The puppies were not two weeks old yet! While there we found another Lab that was also going to be put down on Thursday, so we took her too. Momma and the pups were in our cage and the single female black lab sat behind Helen. What a sweetie! As we drove, she rested her snout on Helen's shoulder and mine. She was a very beautiful specimen. With the mom and her pups we had our hands full, so we passed this one, Amanda, off to Linda Mau, who ferried her to Pat's in New Port Richey.

Now Helen and I had quite a litter on our hands. The mother had been dropped of at Animal Control pregnant and had the litter there. She was emaciated and the pups didn't look so great either. I don't know how her body was producing the milk for the 9 pups. We had one pup that would not nurse. We couldn't get her to suckle at all. Helen tried to get a little water into her but she refused that too. She took a turn for the worse around 3 AM and died shortly after. Helen and I were devastated. What a horrible thing to happen, losing a puppy entrusted to you.

As soon as our Vet opened, we called and made arrangements to take all the dogs in. They are all doing fine now, but we could very easily have lost more, according to the Vet. In cases where the mother has had no medical care and the puppies have not either, the puppies usually die a week or two after being born. This is when the parasites passed on from the mother mature and sap the strength of the puppies. Thankfully, we're past that stage now and we still have the remaining 8. Momma has put on about 10 pounds and is looking so much better.

Today, November 18th, all the puppies seem very healthy. We took them outside today and they seemed to enjoy toddling across the lawn. They are developing sharp teeth, so we're pressed to get then on solid food, and soon. The Momma has enough work giving the milk, she doesn't need to be chewed too.

It seems like we will have homes for all the dogs, at least all the puppies. A retired couple is coming over tomorrow to see the Momma. She is such a dear dog and had such a hard life that we would like her to find a home where she enjoys comfort and luxury.

That's about all for now.