Unexpected Treasure

Fall 2007ish?

Fall 2007ish?

Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful Thursday!

The Knight got lost in his photos on Christmas afternoon.  He found one that made me laugh and cry.  That’s Mugsy, on the operator’s platform on a fire truck.   That little guy was fearless, and at least for the last few years of his life, Mugsy followed the Knight whenever and wherever he was allowed to do so.

I’m pretty sure not many dogs have operated a quint.  (Ladder truck + pumper/engine/wagon – whatever you call them in your neck of the woods)   I now work for the company that was demo-ing said apparatus, as an aside.  Those truly in the know might have already realized that isn’t one of our fire trucks, because it’s not hunter green.

Anyway, happy Boxing Day too.  Back when I was a paid firefighter, there were several years we celebrated Christmas on the 26th.  I hope you have time today to say hello to a friend, neighbor or relation you didn’t catch up with yesterday.  And if not, there’s always the weekend.  I’m never in a hurry to stop celebrating.  In my family, there’s a lot of emphasis on shared meals, and I have three more in the next four days.

For those looking for the fur-girls, they’re resting up.  They didn’t go to any of the dinners with us, but they did make sure I burned off the calories from said meals with several extra miles, and Sissy even insisted on running today.  Smart girl.  I think our daytime high was something like 27 degrees, so there was no reason to doddle in the woods.

Why yes, they had presents too.  Like most girls, they got clothes, toys and some special treats.  Sissy even got a Basset Hound calendar from Shadow (Pop’s dog, now living with my inlaws).   They also partook of some macaroni and cheese last night, and had strawberries with their dinner tonight.  Do your pets celebrate with you?


Happy PANK, pink and red day!

I hope it’s just my relic at work (both internet and computer) and you can see the girls’ valentine.   I know at least two of you have seen it, so that gives me hope…

Anyway, happy Valentine’s Day, Thorsday, thankful Thursday, little friday and everything else!  

December 2011 010On a day about sweethearts and love, of course I’m thankful for the Knight and the sweet fur-girls.  They really make my life complete, and joy-filled.  I’m also thankful for my friends and family, and for each of you.  I’ve met some truly inspiring, special people through blogging, and I’m so grateful for your friendship and wisdom.

You’ll forgive me for recycling last year’s Valentine’s Day photo, right? 

What are you thankful for today?

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, Thorsday, and thankful Thursday!  The girls woke up just long enough to mention a few of their blessings, and I’m delighted to be composing this post with Gg stretched out on my legs and Sissy pressed up against me while I watch the Macy’s Day Parade.

I had thought I’d write a long, pensive, thankful post, but I think instead, I’ll set about frogging two long rows on an infinity scarf (note to self: when you think, “I’m really too tired to be knitting” put down the knitting!), right after I get another cup of coffee.


Chief Knight and a furry friend at the firehouse

I wish you some peaceful moments today though to ponder the blessings in your life, but please also remember those who do not have the day off to spend with their families.  Remember the firefighters, medics, doctors, nurses, dispatchers, police, cab drivers, food service personnel, etc., and most especially, our military folks on active duty.  Also pause to think about those unable to go home for the holidays because their homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy or some other force of nature this year.   Bravo to Macy’s for promoting the Red Cross throughout the parade!

Full disclosure…  I am affiliated with the Red Cross.  Not only to I always have a JLC pin in my purse, I have my special Red Cross pin in my notebook.

How do you give thanks?

15 and counting

Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday! 

photo.JPGSo… we didn’t have much of a pawty last night, but I think we celebrated just the way Sissy wanted to.  We went for a REALLY long walk, which is normally reserved for the weekends, and then they had shrimp for dinner.  I was going to bake, but the Knight brought home mini pumpkin spice cupcakes, and then we all watched Duck Dynasty together.  I’ve never been a fan of comedy or reality TV, but I can’t get enough of that show.

The girls were gracious enough to pose for a quick photo with my pumpkin in the boys garden before our walk, in lieu of waiting and drooling while we tried to get proper birthday photos later.


12-08 Dadaw Pawidcure time!

My thankful thing is easy today.  It’s our 15th wedding anniversary!  As I said over on the girls’ blog, I’m so very grateful that the Knight is such a hands-on Dadaw to our dogs.  He’s also my best friend far more supportive than I give him credit for being.  He’s been known to get a cover for his firehouse duty crew so that the girls aren’t alone when I travel, although he and Sissy are still in regular, nightly negotiations about the pillow on the other side of the bed.  (He believes it is his and prefers a cool, not-compressed pillow on which to rest his head when he comes to bed.  Sissy is quite sure it is HER pillow, and routinely warms it up and dampens it with a little drool before he gets there…)

What are you celebrating today?

Just another manic Thorsday

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday, new member meeting day…  Well, that’s quite enough to celebrate, isn’t it?

June 2012 007The follow-up on my vet rant is on the girls’ blog.  I do feel ALMOST unreasonable in my demands of a local vet, but then I look at those sweet, loving faces and I know that finding the right person to fit into the already remarkable care team we have is anything but unreasonable.  I’m certainly biased, but it seems that everyone who meets Sissy recognizes there’s something truly special about her sweet heart, so paws crossed that the new to us vet we’ll see Saturday is right for the part of local vet in our play.  If not, we’ll keep looking.

Thankful?  Oh how I wish I had a photo of the most-awesome Wondervet.  I know several people with remarkable vets, but to have found one with the specialized training Sissy needed, who cares enough about “her girl” to remain involved in Sissy’s care over a year after moving half a country away is a blessing I can’t take lightly.

Same goes for the staff at the eye clinic.  I want to meet their HR – human resources – folks.  I want to spend a day with them, picking their brains and learning how they interview, because to a person, they are the most complete package I’ve ever seen.  I was pouty for months when the former front desk gal left, and while I’ll never forget her patience and kindness during some of the darkest days of my life, they did manage to find the perfect replacement.

December 2011 001

The Knight and his girls 12-11

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give the Knight a shout-out.  He’s not that husband who shows up at all of the League events, but he quietly fixes dinner and has a plate waiting for me, even when I wander in closer to midnight than dinnertime, all while tending to his own chiefly duties at the firehouse.

I also couldn’t be perky and counting blessings on a long, LONG week (no matter how few work days it has in it) without the remarkable women on the League’s leadership team.  Their dedication and collaboration continues to inspire me, and I’m really looking forward to spending more time with the newest members this evening!

What are you thankful for today?

We are athletes too!

January 2011 021

Gretchen in training, 2011

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday.  Like lots of households around the globe, the Olympics are on at our house almost around the clock.  It’s what I leave on for the fur-girls when we go to work, and while the Knight claims not to watch sports, he’s suddenly an Olympic medal-counter, and an expert on swimming, volleyball and more.

However, before I talk about our sports of choice, I’d be remiss if I failed to note that Sissy is so worked up this week she composed her own post.  I’ve had busy weeks before, but for some reason, she’s knotted up over my meeting schedule this week.  Crazy dog…

So, what sports would we compete in? 

Well, the humans are easy.  The Knight is a remarkable marksman, and a natural in the weight room, so we’ll go with shooting, weightlifting… or table tennis.  He’s evil with a paddle and I refuse to play against him.

I played tennis and basketball and both sprinted and ran cross country in school, but these days, race walking is about all I could really do.


Sparring, 2009

But the furgirls are another story. 

Sissy would like to do boxing or wrestling.  Sure, she logs almost as many miles as I do in a week, but that’s just her training program.

Gretchen would like to do handball and hurdles, and says she’d like to do racewalking with me too.

I always get interesting in fencing during the Olympics too.  What are your favorite sports to watch?  To play?

Thankful…  I know you’re probably tired of hearing it, but I am ever-thankful for the remarkably talented, inspiring women in the League.   We had our new member interest social last night, and every single woman I spoke with was awesome!   It’s also pure delight to work with highly competent women who collaborate and support each other.  I know the whole year isn’t going to flow smoothly, so I truly treasure these moments where I am proud of our leaders and inspired by their passion and ideas…

I’m also thankful for my husband and the other very supportive significant others in our leaders’ lives.  One friend’s husband stopped by last night and was sweet enough to share some Prosecco with me.  I happen to know he brews his own beer, but he was a good sport and had bubbly with us!  When I finally got home, the Knight had a fabulous salad waiting for me…

What are you grateful for today?

Tree huggin’ holiday?


Sissy fall 2008 by Anita

Happy Thorsday, little friday, Hanukkah, almost Christmas, Thankful Thursday and… anything else I forgot.  Yesterday, I learned that hugging a tree is one way to celebrate the solstice.  Immediately, I thought of one of my favorite photos of Sissy, taken by her too busy to blog these days  Auntie ‘Nita in 2008.


Gretchen 11-2008

Turns out Gretchen’s been snuggling up to trees since we got her too!

For Thankful Thursday, I’ll share a couple of bloopers from our Christmas card photo shoot.  You can see the version I actually used on the girls’ blog.

December 2011 002

That’s one of my favorite bloopers…  it really kinda’ sums us up well.  I’m behind the camera, trying to set it up so I can put the camera on the timer and race to join them, Gretchen is worried about what I’m doing, Sissy is   showing her   doing her own thing and we’re all plucking the Knight’s only nerve.

The hydrant?  Yes, we posed with the hydrant.  The Knight is very proud of his hydrant and I’m just shameless enough to stage the holiday photo by the RED hydrant to make it a little less painful for him.

December 2011 007

This one makes me laugh too.  Clearly, I didn’t rush enough and there’s nothing happy about it, is there?

December 2011 010

This one was the best of everyone… except Sissy.  Someone suggested I should have used it anyway, because… well… at our house, Sissy marches to her own drummer and does what she wants.

Regardless, we hope your holidays are filled with laughter and love.  We wish you peace and joy, now and always.  I’m so thankful for each and every one of you and the thoughts we’ve shared here and there.  I’m thankful that 2011 had more ups than downs… but we’ll talk about that later, maybe.

What are you thankful for today?

Birthdays Abound


Dadaw Knight boxing with his best girls...

Today’s one of the most important days in my life.  It’s the Knight’s birthday!  Facebook also reminded me that two other delightful friends were also born on this day.  Only one blogs, so wish Frank well in your heart (he does field trials with his dogs, so I know y’all’d love him) and pop over and visit Barbara

There are several other special birthdays coming up but I hesitate to mention anyone for fear of overlooking someone.   Still… I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that the kind and wonderful Alison and the sweet and funny Barbara (yes, a different one) will be celebrating in the next few days too!  (That 2nd Barbara is having one of those milestone birthdays, so if you only click over for one…)

Photo from Recipegirl.com

I didn’t get any photos at the cookie swap, nor were there any recipes to share.   I will borrow from Recipe Girl via Pinterest and show you what I took and the link to the recipe is within as well.  Sissy does want it known that she unwillingly donated the peppermints to the cause.  No candy canes were harmed in the making of said cookies at our house. 

If you’re game, go visit Amy and share your must-make-eat-have holiday recipe!   I think I’ve shared mine before, but it’s that time of year when I need to create my baking list and make a plan…

What’s ahead for your weekend?  If you’re local, look for the League “float” (golf cart) tomorrow in the Downtown parade.

I still do…

September 2010 005

Chief Knight

Fourteen years ago tonight, I married my best friend.  The poor guy doesn’t get much press here, but he’s our ever-present rock, the doggy Dadaw and much more. 

My trip through Flickr makes me all the more determined to get new “family” photos done.  We haven’t had one done since our engagement photos, and we were engaged over a year…  Hem. 

The fur-girls wish to thank everyone for their good wishes.  We had a grand birthday celebration last night, complete with pumpkin muffins and milk – two of Sissy’s favorite things, but I’ll share more about that later. 

Time for some brainstorming.  What does cabaret themed attire say to you?  It’s not too soon to be thinking about what I’ll wear to Vintage Vegas Casino Night in February…

Oh – and happy birthday to Mr. gMarie and to King Tut!

Meat Lover’s Lasagna

DSC00010It’s a cool, WET day here, so it’s the perfect time to think about a hearty pasta dish for Louise’s on-going contest.   October is also Pasta Month you know!

Now, I confess that as many times as I’ve made this, I have no photos.  So… here’s a photo of the Knight opening presents before his 40th birthday dinner, where I served this very dish to 40 of his nearest and dearest.

Warning:  This is a firehouse or dinner party portion.  It serves a dozen or more hearty eaters.  However, I think you could easily enough scale down to feed a smaller group… unless you’re Marjie and cook for a crowd regularly!

Helpful hints:  Pre-arrange for someone else to clean up the kitchen when you’re done.


  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef, cooked with fresh garlic, salt and pepper to taste, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, uncased, cooked, drained, patted dry
  • 40-60 ounces of your favorite spaghetti sauce (no meat varieties are best)
  • 2 lbs. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups fresh grated mozzarella cheese or Italian blend from the cheese case at your grocer
  • 2 cups grated Parmeasan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Pampered Chef Italian Seasoning
  • 4 boxes no-boil lasagna noodles  (trust me…)

Prep work: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Crumble meats.  Blend both together with 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning in one bowl.  Set aside.
  • Combine ricotta, eggs, parsley, 1 T Italian Seasoning in a LARGE mixing bowl.  When well-blended, fold in Parmeasan cheese and half of the Mozzarella or Italian Blend.  Set aside. 
  • Pour 1-2 cups of sauce in bottom of large baking dish with deep sides.  (I use the Pampered Chef Roasting Pan, rack removed.)  Spread sauce evenly along the entire bottom of pan.  Add more if necessary; the sauce is your “non-stick spray”!

Assembly:  Repeat these layers until you are either 1″ from the top of your dish or running out of ingredients.  Be sure to save some of the Mozzarella or Italian Blend cheese and meat for the top!

  1. Noodles.  Follow the instructions on the box for spacing, but basically, keep in mind they’re going to grow and spread your toppings/layers with that growth.
  2. Ricotta mixture.  I use a fairly thick coating, but know your audience… some people aren’t fond of ricotta’s texture, so if in doubt, thinner is better.
  3. Meat.  Just sprinkle it on top of the cheese.
  4. Sauce.  Trust me… just pour from the jar then smooth a bit.
  5. Repeat!

Top layer:  Noodles, sauce, meat, and then top with the remaining Mozzarella/Italian Blend cheese.  Tent with foil.  That means… cover, but don’t let the foil get near the grated cheese topping.  Bake at least 75 minutes, maybe up to 2 1/2 hours.  Sauce will bubble and corners will start to brown when it is done.  Remove foil for the final 15-20 minutes of baking, or get impatient and use the broiler for about 2 minutes – but always check every few seconds when “broiling” cheese!

Pampered Chef Skillet Lasagna

Allow lasagna to stand at least 15 minutes before cutting. 


(Bonus recipe – click on photo for quick & easy skillet lasagna.  I couldn’t leave you without some sort of lasagna photo!)