Saturday, July 04, 2015

A ride to Dothan AL and other ramblings

Yesterday we took a ride to Dothan Alabama but for some reason, I completely forgot about taking photos. It was the longest ride we have taken with the Tri-Glide. Tristan and his wife were able to join us and I'm glad they could. It's been a long time since we took a ride with them.

We ate at Smokey Joe's BBQ and it was just run of the mill. The food was good, just nothing special to make you want to ride there for that particular restaurant. Plenty of other places we still want to try in Dothan. The day started off with cooler than normal temperatures so that was nice. By the afternoon when we headed back to Florida it was scorching hot. So glad I didn't look at my phone app where it gives the heat indexes. When we got home I looked - 102 F....ouch!

So. A few posts back I mentioned I wanted to combine my two blogs and just update one. I had a little poll on the side for a bit so I could see if anyone had interest in one spot over the other. I had three votes on this site preferring Squirrel Head Manor. I had three votes on Novel Meals preferring...Novel Meals. Folks that visit me are interested in either the bookish theme or this food-and-life-events. The paths do not cross. Well...mostly they don't cross.

Since I have joined in on several book challenges tied to Novel Meals I will continue to do my book reviews there for the remainder of the year. Squirrel Head Manor has been my blogesphere home for over 8 years, since 2007.

I will remain here. Possibly when my book challenges are done I'll start posting them here. I like Wordpress very much but I am tied sentimentally to this old site. Until the time Blogger abandons the platform (and yes I have heard rumors of them doing that) I'll hang out here and hope you continue to join me.

Happy 4th of July to my American buddies!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Storms and Kobe's ashes

We were hit with very bad storms recently and lost electricity. The actual amount of rain we received the other evening wasn't all that much but the winds were in excess of 65 mph. That's tropical storm weather! Our electric went out near 6 PM before we could heat some dinner.

After waiting around for an hour it was evident we were not going to get it back anytime soon. We went out and grabbed some Chinese takeaway and ate it by candlelight. A little bit of Rose went well. A cold beverage was very welcome with the steadily escalating heat within the house.

While the candlelit dinner was very nice as I was in good company, sitting around in the dark sucked. Doug lit a lantern and we were able to is read for quite a bit before resigning ourselves to an uncomfortable night without air conditioning or a fan. We finally had the electric restored at 5:30 a.m. and cranked the AC up immediately.

Some folks in the Tallahassee area are still without electricity and I sure do feel for them. Power poles were snapped and from what I have heard it takes 4 hours just to install a new one. Right now it's raining. Again. We were hoping to take Aja out for a ride but that would be fruitless right this minute.

Aja is adjusting to Kobe being gone now. She is still sulky about going in the backyard and lounging about as she used to. They always sat together. This is an older photo of her, smiling and happy. She is steadily returning to her old self.

Kobe's cremated remains were returned to us today. He was cremated at Pet Angel Memorial Center. They sent his remains back in a plastic bag which was inside a nice velvet bag. This is contained in a cherry stained box. It came with a certificate, which upon reading it made me cry all over again!

It's closure for us though, just as burying a pet would be. The finality and having him back is good.

Honestly, as much as we both love dogs and the fact that I have never been without a dog in my life would make it hard not to have one in the house.....but after Aja is gone (and I do not like to even think about that day) I don't know if we can put ourselves through this grief again.
People who have pets get it - they are part of the family. But they are with us for such a short period of time. I just don't think I can do this again.

My next post won't be as melancholy. I just had to share a little bit of our day today. I hope things are going well in your world.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lucy's Drumstick Bake

Recently I adapted a recipe inspired from Lucy at The Pie Patch. It’s a chicken and potato tray bake. Lucy used pepperoni too but we didn’t have any. Her original post is HERE


This is super easy and delicious. You can pop it in the oven and go do something else for at least a half hour. Take the dog out in the yard, faff about on Twitter, read a chapter or two in your book….whatever you want.

Take some drumsticks and toss into a roasting pan. I sprinkled salt, pepper and rosemary on the chicken, then let a good slug of olive oil drizzle over it. Open a can of tomatoes and tip that in over the legs. Now slice up some potatoes and place those in, give it all a good turn with a wooden spoon, mixing it up so everything is covered evenly coated in oil.


Pop it in the oven at 375 F for 45 minutes, give it a good sloshing about and check for doneness. Put it back in the oven for about 10 minutes longer.

I get some great ideas from Lucy at The Pie Patch. This is certainly one of them. We served this with pole beans from our garden and a bowl of watermelon.

The potatoes are particularly good after they have roasted with the olive oil, herbs and tomatoes. This can be adapted so many ways by combining any variety of veggies. Delish!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A New Ride
{Harley Tri-Glide}

We had quite a few things in the works this past week during our vacation. Obviously our pup took the wind out of our sails and I wasn't able to update our vacation as I planned. Let's talk about something fun now - we could use it.

Check out the new ride :-) What a beauty!


Doug started checking on used trikes a while back and a few caught his interest. After much looking (and even visiting a private dealer with a used Goldwing trike) we decided to check on this one at a Jacksonville dealership.

Adamec Harley Davidson in Orange Park, Florida came up with the best price and package for a used trike. This will be the "retirement bike" so to speak. Not a single regret in making the drive to pick this up last Thursday!


We started off from our place around 7 a.m. and arrived at the dealership near 10:00. Once there, Doug was able to test ride and see if this was a good fit. Obviously it was and let me say, dealing with Adamec Harley was one of the best experinces we have ever had in any dealership. Car or motorcycle transactions - this one was excellent and the customer service is spot on.


It was decided I should follow Doug home in case he needed to pull off for anything. Water and hydration were concerns as the heat index was well over 100 F in the afternoon. We stopped for lunch at a great little country place off highway 90 near Lake City. Home cooking with crispy fried chicken, corn casserole, veggies and homemade desserts. Hydrate and stretch before gearing up and heading back down the road.


That stretch of road was brutal. So much traffic and stop and go. There was construction and lots of sitting. I am in the air conditioned car feeling very sorry for my husband wearing his jacket, helmet and gloves as he sat on hot asphalt, waiting for lights to change. We finally decided to get back on the interstate and just get home quicker.


Since we've had this trike home we've been out as much as possible for errands and a dinner date with the kids. Tristan is happy for us to be riding with him again too. We all missed that. It's been a year since Doug sold his Road King and that was a good enough break to see if he missed it.

Sunday we rode with Tristan and his wife, stopping at the Apalachee Diner for breakfast. This has been a blast and I'm so glad Doug got another bike!

Look for more "ride to eat" posts soon :-)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Goodbye Kobe

Today I write with a deep sadness as we have lost a member of our pack. Our beloved Shiba Inu Kobe had to be euthanized.


He had a seizure Sunday evening & he had to be taken to the emergency veterinarian. We were able to bring him home after he received a morphine injection for pain. As you can imagine we had a fairly sleepless night watching over him.


By morning it was clear he was failing, the renal disease was more advanced than we knew. We did all we could and ultimately the kindest thing was to let him go peacefully.


We are torn up with grief about this. Our veterinarian Dr. Simmons gave Kobe the best fighting chance but the little guy couldn't make it.

Thank you to Dr. Simmons & staff at Cumberland for the excellent care since we adopted Kobe 9 years ago.

We'll miss your smile..........




Saturday, June 20, 2015


This past week we have been off on vacation. We like to take the week of our anniversary off and putz around, do some fun things we can't manage during the work week. This particular week has been a roller coaster of emotions due to an unexpected health issue which arose with our 11 year old Shiba Inu.

Kobe is the dog with an unfortunate genetic disposition who was hit with glaucoma 4 years ago. Recently the little guy started losing weight. When we dropped the shibas off for their bath last Tuesday we had him looked at by our veterinarian, Dr. Andrew Simmons. Kobe was diagnosed with a renal disease. Knowing his kidneys were failing him we worried he'd die very soon. If you know me, or have been reading about our dogs in this blog or my other site, you'll know our dogs aren't pets. They are family. We love them dearly.

FullSizeRender (17)

Many a tear was shed for Kobe as we awaited test results. Fortunately getting him examined and starting treatment early will make a difference in how long we will have him. Our vet is amazing. He gave us all sorts of treatment options, no pressure on one option over others and is always supportive and available for any questions we have.

I know most of you who are reading this aren't in our neck of woods but if you are, I highly recommend Cumberland Animal Clinic and Dr. Andrew Simmons. He spends time with you and you'll never feel rushed as he answers your concerns and gives great detail about a procedure, how a medicine or disease works in your pet's body, benefits of preventive care and any other pet related issues.

Dr. Simmons spent two sleepless nights attending to our Kobe, making sure the kidney flush IV and catheter were attached and doing their job. He was there in the wee hours of the morning and late at night to let Kobe out to relieve himself and re-attaching the catheter when Kobe pulled it out. We very much appreciate the commitment and dedication.

Kobe is home now and and is doing well. We'd give so much just to have more time with these little shibas. Fortunately, Kobe had excellent care and he will be with us many more years, barring anything else unfortunate coming up!

Here he is with the female shiba, Aja. She rules the roost but she certainly missed Kobe while he was away at the hospital for 2 days and nights.


So I guess we can't move to Wyoming or we'd have to change veterinarians and we just don't want to do that!

Thank you Dr. Simmons and let me give a big shout out to Cumberland Animal Clinic.

Coming up I have some fun vacation happenings to share and a few book reviews.
I hope all is well in your world!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June Garden update

There is the good news and the bad news, as the story always goes.

Here is some of the bounty we have harvested this past few days......obviously this falls under the good news.


Summer temperatures have moved in and many of our plants are not loving it. Fortunately the pole beans seem to be fine with the hot evenings and brutal, humid daytime temps.


The tomatoes are a lost cause. We ought to have gotten them in much earlier than we did but we were trying to grow them from seed. Under the grow light they did not flourish as the squash, beans and peas did.

By the time we decided to pop the little seedlings into the ground it was too late in the season. We managed to get one enormous, juicy beefsteak tomato. Very tasty. The rest of the little green tomatoes most likely won't ripen as the temperatures are not below 78 to 80 some nights. Oh well, live and learn.

The Little Finger eggplants are doing well.


The squash were excellent producers for a good while and we had many side dishes of yellow squash and a casserole or two. They developed a fungus recently and we had to pull out the remaining plants.

Look at our poor bush bean plants! It looked like a cutworms or some heinous bug snipped the little branches off.


Funny how the pole beans are doing so well but the bush beans are biting the dust. Every year we learn something new about gardening. Now we are aren't sure what to plant for the fall or even when to plant for a fall harvest.

If you are a fellow amateur gardener I hope your plants are doing better than ours. Any advice is always welcome!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Reader's Workout #10


Good day and welcome to my 10th link up with Joy at Joy's Book Blog for her Reader's Workouts series!

In addition to updating the exercise regime I would like to share with you this is our 31st wedding anniversary. Woo-hoo....this calls for celebration! We will plan out something fun for our dinner this evening and I will share with you later. :-)


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