A Dog’s Love


Our Riley….

Change is inevitable.  While I am a person who thrives on change, this type of change hurts and brings with it the fear of the unknown and dread.

The past few days the matriarch of our family is starting to show signs that he is not going to be with us forever.  He is 14 1/2 and we have had him since he was about 9 weeks old.  Our children know no other life than that with their dog Riley.  Riley has been the most wonderful farm dog you could ask for.  He is a faithful companion, loving friend and fixture in every aspect of our lives.


Riley showing the new puppy the ropes around the farm


Meeting the newest member of our family in 2012


Warming his bones while waiting for Santa

It’s hard to explain what a dog brings to your life especially one that was perfect from the start and never brought anything but joy and companionship.

I am hoping he perks up and things settle down in his tummy over the next few days but reality is staring me down and I need to be strong for my children.  And while I know it’s the circle of life, I am not ready for the 2 ends of that circle to meet.  I can only hope for a little more time.



Rainy and Gray..but that’s ok


This was the scene out of my office window all day today.  And while it’s great to have rain, we have had too much already this spring season as you can see by the following pictures


poor strawberry plants trying to grow


Front of our yard


chickens looking for worms


break in the rain and a male and female finch came to our window feeder

And while the forecast predicts 2 more days of rain, I will count my blessings as there are terrible storms in the middle of our nation ravaging homes and people with tornadoes.  I will take the rough spring and be thankful we are warm, safe, healthy and dry.


Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroon Cookies


These are my “go to” cookies when we don’t have any sweets in the house and I need a dessert for the kids lunches (or a late night sweet attack like I had last night!!)  They are perfect bits of heaven with only 4 ingredients. I could barely take this picture as my daughter was loading up her green plate with 3 of them.




Recipe that I use is:

2 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2/3 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (easy clean up and you can bake multiple batches on the same piece) or grease well

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl

drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet and press center slightly down (place about 2 inches apart)

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until slightly browned at edges (very lightly)

let sit for a minute on cookie sheet and then transfer to wire rack to cool

store in air tight container (for as long as you can before they get eaten as they will go fast 🙂 )

Hidden Treasures


I am 47 years old and moved into the house we live in when I was 6.  It is an old farmhouse over 100 years old.  Growing up we did not have much money and the house took the brunt of not being looked after.  When my parents moved my then boyfriend decided to buy it and together we have revamped the house starting with having a new foundation poured (yes the house was on support beams with a 15 foot hole beneath it). But that will be a different post!!


I am fascinated with the things my kids find on our property with their metal detectors.  Today my son and his friend (yes the one who looks just like Ralphie from a Christmas story) decided to go on a treasure hunt as they did not have school.  They worked all around our ice pond which is about 2 acres back from the house and found a quarter from 1974. The area prior to us building an ice skating pond was always a wet area under water and my siblings and I we would skate on the little areas as kids in the winter. They wandered around in our new horse pasture which is about 4 acres back and found a hot wheels car.  They went back to our creek which is about 1/4 mile back and found many chunks of metal, a bottle cap, and an old hook. 

These hidden treasures draw me in and I only wish they could talk and tell me the story of how they ended up to be where they are.  Growing up these were all wooded areas with only deer trails through them that we would walk as a family on Sunday after church.  We would explore and maybe eat a picnic lunch while our dogs darted around exploring and us kids playing.  We rode our horse all over back there, pitched tents and slept out there, and spent countless hours playing in the creek that runs through our property.  At the time we did not own it.  We bought the 30 acres back there about 6 years ago but I always felt it was ours.  We have since cleared many trails with our tractor and chain saws so the kids can walk for miles, ride 4 wheelers, snowmobiles, horses and sometimes even their bicycles.  And while there are trails, it is still very wooded and home to wildlife such as deer, rabbits, mink, possum, coyotes, fox, hawks, raccoons and even skunk (YUCK!!) and a great place for our kids to explore and do all their mother did!!

So when items are found, I wonder if these are our hidden treasures of my childhood or possibly the family before us.  I wonder how a huge chunk of an old wagon wheel could be found in an overgrown area or a heavy duty rusted clip could be found in an area close to the creek.  Did it hold a horse for a drink while the farmer rested?  Was it children of long ago playing back there? If only the earth could talk and share all it’s history!!!


Chicken Salad (keeping it light)

After a busy exhausting weekend, fast food in between games and a pot roast dinner, I decided we needed to lighten it up for dinner last night.  I made chicken salad wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves along with some boiled potatoes and sweet pear slices. Everyone was happy 🙂

I am not a fast food person.  I actually dislike most fast food places and will utilize them ONLY when we have to with our crazy schedule.  And it was crazy this weekend.  So by Sunday night I was feeling the effects of too many carbohydrates from the bagels I chose instead of burgers and fries and for the kids chicken pieces and fries.  It’s amazing what you feel after eating this type of food when you do not eat it often.  I felt sluggish, thirsty and just bloated.  I am sure the kids did not feel that way, but felt they should have a light dinner also.

Regardless….today I feel much better!!


I used 2 organic chicken breasts cut up, light mayo, celery, splash of ranch dressing, and pepper


Pot Roast


A comfort food dinner in our house (one of many) is chuck roast pot roast.  Being a chilly 46 degrees in Buffalo today with rain, we needed this comfort dinner.  This has been a very cold, wet, gray spring.  The natives are restless as well as their parents.  I want to get my gardens going, the flower beds are now sprouting very big weeds but unless I want to weed them in the rain in my snowsuit, they are going to keep growing.  I want to get a horse trained for a horse show but the arenas are under water.  UGH…I need some comfort food.

This morning before we left for Canada for a hockey game I quickly browned a chuck roast in our cast iron dutch oven.  Once browned I threw in some carrots, onions, and broth for gravy and set it in a 200 degree oven to cook for the day.  Fast forward 6 hours and dinner was served. 

I guess I can face another cold day tomorrow now 🙂


4 lb chuck roast

2 cups baby carrots

one small onion

2 cups water

2 beef bouillon cubes

4 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 16 oz package egg noodles

Biscuit recipe is on the Bisquick box

Brown the chuck roast using a little plain or garlic flavored olive oil in a dutch oven (or use a frying pan if you don’t have one)

After browned put all the ingredients in the dutch oven (or a roasting pan) and cover

Place in a 200 degree oven for 6 hours

serve with egg noodles, biscuits and a nice salad.  PERFECTION!!




ready for oven



Healthy Kids snacks

Being in a 2 game a day hockey tournament for a 9 year old is a workout just as it would be for an adult.  I know how important keeping his body fueled is and I know he will be hungry after each game.  I try to prepare snacks ahead of time so he can grab something healthy quick rather than a sweet item or chips.  I also prepare his meals such as turkey on wholegrain bread with a slice of cheese, watermelon and some carrots and ranch dressing.  Being busy I find buying a vegetable tray every week may be a bit costly but it’s a great item to grab on the go when they are looking for a quick bite.

Today my snacks of choice for him were rice cakes with hazelnut spread and blackberries.  I find keeping berries in pretty bowls in the fridge will call to any child to choose them and sure enough he came in after his second game and headed straight to the fridge to snack on those while I prepared his rice cakes.  I knew this would hold him over until our dinner which was oven baked chicken, green beans and he chose a clementine and made his own plate.

Quick, healthy, energizing snacks to help in replacing all the vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals he worked off during his games!! 




Chance #87

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Playoff Hockey


You may know from my past posts we are a true hockey family.  Right now I am averaging about 5 hours sleep staying up late watching the playoffs but how can I turn it off when so many of the teams have some of our beloved former Buffalo Sabres on them????  And yes this prayer is for last nights Blues / Blackhawks game.  While Patrick Kane is from Buffalo, I am sorry Ryan Miller and Steve Ott rule in our house.  It was a hard loss and I did yell a few choice words at the TV.  I did feel better though knowing Lindy Ruff tied his series!!!  So our new tagline at home is GFBS (Go Former Buffalo Sabres)!!