Little Red-Haired Girls “New” Wheels

Little Red-Haired Girl taking her new wheels out for a try. Gertie taking the lead.

The first time Ms. SpoolTeacher met Little (Old, Senior) Red-Haired Girl, she was just a puppy of about 6 months. She had taken a trip from California to Arizona to visit her sister. This time, she was sharing a ride with her boyfriend, who was continuing on to New Mexico to visit his sister and would come back a week later for them to make the return trip home together.

Ms. SpoolTeacher had a roommate in her big (mansion to her) home in CA; so she left Stevie Weevie at home in good, loving hands. Here roommate was a life-long friend and animal lover extraordinaire, so she felt comfortable doing so.

The trip to AZ took several hours. As they pulled up to the gate in front of Ms. SpoolTeacher’s sister’s house, out ran a herd of doggies. Trailing among them to the rear was the cutest little red-haired puppy she’d ever seen. It was love at first sight. What struck her was how the little red-haired girl’s ears flapped as she darted to the gate. It looked as if she would go airborne at any time. “ar, ar, ar, ar, ar!….ar, ar, ar, ar, ar!” There was a string of about 5 of them. One of which, by then a senior, her sister had had for many years, Princess. Princess had gone to live with Mr. Pits for a time, several years actually because Mr. Pitts loved her so very much. But Mr.Pitts, in his retirement, decided he had to go to Hawaii and didn’t want to put Princess through the plane ordeal and quarantine at her advanced age, so Ms. ST’s sister acquired her back. Ms. SpoolTeacher loved princess with her old tattered nose and missing teeth. Her little growling rumble when she parsed her lips just so, was so very cute. “Awr, awr!” Still part of the pack. Princess had a lot of funny smells but it didn’t matter. She was adored.

So, while Ms. SpoolTeacher was there, she paid a lot of attention to this little red-haired girl whom her sister had named Faith. Faith had little Christmas tree-shaped teeth that she liked to show and if you put your hand anywhere near her such as to pet her….”ar, ar, ar, grrr, arr, grr!” For some reason, Faith liked Ms. SpoolTeacher too and wanted to crawl down into the covers where she slept; but if Ms. ST even dared try to reach down to pet her…”arr, grr!” Out came the Christmas tree-shaped teeth.

Ms. ST noticed Faith sneaking morsels of kibble from the dog food dish and scurrying off to a hiding place to eat it. Back to the dish for one at a time, stealthily, and then back away to eat it. She was skinny, then, but she was just a growing puppy. Later she would be a food hound, as if she couldn’t get enough. Little piggy.

Ms. ST spent a week loving her sister and her sister’s menagerie and then the boyfriend appeared at the gate to pick her up. By that time, Ms. ST had implored her sister to let her have Faith, “I’ve fallen in love with this little dog, Sis. Can I please take her from you?” Her sister said yes, that she had not liked her so much anyway. So they decided that it must have been meant to be for Faith to go to California. The next issue though was to convince Boyfriend to let her take the dog in his truck. He didn’t mind, but no sooner did they get on the road than Faith threw up all over the floor boards. I guess she hadn’t experienced motion like that before. She never did it again, but was never a restful traveler.

Fast forward…Faith turned into Gingersnap, into Mudgie, into Bungee, into Little Red-Haired Girl and has been a light of love in Ms. SpoolTeacher’s life for about 12 years now. Stevie Weevie and LRHG lived with Ms. ST in her big house for a couple more years and then they all went up to Northern CA for a month on a venture to develop a property that didn’t pan. They, and two cats, lived in a two room tent and the back of her truck for the duration and then headed back down to So. CA again to try to pick up where she had left off. She couldn’t make herself content, so decided to join her sissy in AZ to start a new life.

They (several fur people and Ms. SpoolTeacher) bought a little house and started anew. Stevie Weevie went to heaven about 3 years ago. Ms. SpoolTeacher’s sissy followed just a year ago and now Ms. SpoolTeacher has another of her sissy’s doggies, Gertis The Mertis Turtle. They all get along just fine.

Little Red-Haired Girl has gotten quite old and has trouble getting around as well as when she came raring out to the gate all those many long years ago. Stevie, LRHG and Ms. ST used to all trapse around the neighborhood on daily walks. They went quite far. First Stevie started stopping mid way and it wasn’t unusual to see Ms. SpoolTeacher lugging a 36 lb. Queensland Heeler/Beagle in her arms the rest of the way home. Soon, she realized they would have to keep the strolls to a minimum. Sometimes they just went to the park to sniff the grounds for other dogs.

Then, not long ago, LRHG started favoring certain legs and eventually would be quite lame by the time they got home. Ms. SpoolTeacher stopped their walks and just took them to the Park now and then; but Gertie was still frisky and it started grating on Ms. ST that they were all missing something.

Three wheeled throne for Little Red-Haired Girl to ride around the neighborhood on.

No sooner did she think about getting something for Little Red-Haired Girl to ride around the neighborhood on, then did she go to her local thrift store and find this contraption for two measly dollars. $2!! However, the handle clasp broke right away and she put it back together with spit and wire. It isn’t holding well and she will have to rig it up another way somehow. It is the perfect thing for them all to get out with and smell the roses (and a little dog poo too for The Girls).

free at last, free at last

Freedom run at the park…

"Come on you guys!"

“Come on you guys, hurry up, this is where the good stuff is!”

Okay, I'm with ya

Gertis The Mertis Turtle is a reluctant free person dog. She looked up at Ms. SpoolTeacher for permission to venture off. What a good girl. She’s a great walker. Just strides along, peacefully, happily.

So after they get home, Ms. SpoolTeacher checks their garden, plucks something for dinner and then does some more sewing.

how does your garden grow

All is well with the garden. Things are growing good….tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, beans, squash, cilantro, chard, beets, peppers, zinnias, marigolds and bees.

Happy Hour at the Bee Trough Bar

Happy hour at The Bee Trough Bar.

first beets of the seasn

These beets were the first of the season and were steamed for 15 minutes to so tender they didn’t need their skins removed…num, num! The tops will be sauted tonight with some other chard greens.

two little aprons flying in the breeze Apronology 101

These two little aprons were made for a friend to give as a gift to two little girls.

all is well, all is well with my soul

“All is well, all is well with my soul.”

Girls sleeps outside sometimes on hot hot nights

Little Red-Haired Girl sleeps outside sometimes on hot hot nights. She’s got clover to sleep in too, but she chooses the dirt. Grounding herself, must be. She comes in eventually, she doesn’t like to be very far from her pack for very long.

Gertis The Mertis Turtle

Gertis The Mertis Turtle, “Come on, let’s go for a walk.”

We’ll catch ya on the flip side.

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Crock Pot, Kitchen Sink Stew

All ingredients ready to crock pot cookMs. SpoolTeacher has to make the most of what she has, so a stew is a great option to stretch her food budget and at the same time, utilize things that might otherwise go to waste, (like a hunk of onion that isn’t good for dicing for her Super Anti-Inflammatory Salmon Salad/Dip). She’s made this once before but she decided that she wanted to add a few new ingredients, like mushrooms, onions, garlic and cilantro. This is a crock pot recipe so she added all the ingredients that take awhile to soften first, most everything. She adds the mushrooms a little later, since they cook quickly, as well as a can of precooked black beans and a can of chile beans in sauce that will only need enough time to heat within the stew. Hence: Crock Pot Kitchen Sink Stew. Just about everything but the kitchen sink goes into it, eh? Criteria? All ingredients must be organic. She leaves the skin on the potatoes. Vitamins right? And she likes the added texture. The skins cook off for the most part and float as a separate entity. Note: Her Safeway Market had the soup stock and the beans marked down but they were missing from the shelf. She went back two different days looking for them, and finally asked for the check-out clerk to mark down an alternative brand to the same price. The clerk obliged without flinching, though she did get flustered to figure out how to do it. (Ms. SpoolTeacher’s thought was that her request might inspire the associate to implore her manager to do a better job of keeping the shelves stocked with on-sale items)(This is a frequent occurrence and Ms. ST thinks it is a strategy to discourage customers and make them buy the higher priced items)(conspiracy theory?). Anyway, so… Gather ingredients: Red Potatoes Carrots Red Onion Garlic Cilantro Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Pepper Turmeric Rice and Lentil Medley Baby Bella Mushrooms Can Black Beans Can Chili Beans in Sauce Wash/scrub potatoes, leave the peels on or scrap them off if you prefer. Cut off sprouts if there are any. Four Organic Red Potatoes washed and scrubbed, buds removed She had this many left so just cut them up into about 3/4 – 1 inch pieces. Red potatoes cut about 3/4 - 1 inch thick She cut up about the same volume of carrots into approximately 3/4 inch pieces. She didn’t scrape them either but washed/brushed well before chopping. It really helps to have a sharp knife. Organic Carrots cut about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick It amounted to about 1/2 package of Organic Carrots.Organic Carrots cut about 1/2  - 3/4 inch thick Carrots and Red Potatoes about even in quantityusing up 1/2 piece red onion using up 1/2 piece red onion This was a piece of onion she had been dicing off of for salads. It was just about enough, almost 1/2 of a large Red Organic Onion.using up 1/2 piece red onion about 1/2 Red Onion chopped thick Cut the onions in chunks. They will soften and be sized similar to potatoes and carrots. One small garlic bulb, peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch Use a whole bulb of garlic, peeled and cut up into about 1/8 inch slices. One small garlic bulb, all cloves peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch If you don’t already know, hold the knife over the clove and smash your fist over it to break the peel and it will practically fall off. (Or visit here, to see how this “chef” does it in less than 10 seconds.) Cut off just the hard end where it was originally cut from the stem. Garlic added, about 1/8 inch slices (Sorry for the blurry picture(s). She had the camera set wrong but didn’t realize it in time!) Cilantro Add a handful of Cilantro, chopped up. st.stew 023 organic rice and lentil medley about one cup Add about 1 cup dry Rice & Lentil Medley. Rice and Lentil Medley, Organic Organic vegetable broth, whole container to increase flavor Add the whole 32 FL. OZ. (1 QT) of Organic Vegetable Broth. st.stew 031 Ms. SpoolTeacher adds Turmeric to everything she possibly can because disease is all about inflammation and she is all about finding ways to anti-inflame her body to fight that unwanted disease. Turmeric is great to accomplish this, and is becoming well known for fighting many ills. She has acquired a genuine love of the flavor. It is used widely in Indian Cuisine.

Wikipedia: Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell. Curcumin has been a centre of attraction for potential treatment of an array of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic illnesses.[5]

Crock Pot Kitchen Sink Stew Here it is bubbling away, about 45 minutes into a high setting on the Crock Pot. It’s starting to smell really good. Be sure to put scraps in compost She makes sure to collect all the scraps into the compost receptacle to eventually make it out into one of the many heaps in her yards, at various stages of decomposition.. Compost Heaps out in Ms. SpoolTeacher's yard Someday the hope is to have soil good enough to have a thriving organic food production system of her own… st.stew 038 Add about one half package of Baby Bella Mushrooms, cut coarsely. Add pepper Add pepper to taste and additional salt if needed. Add one can each of Black Beans (drained) and Chili Beans in Sauce (she must confess, she ate a few of these waiting to put them in..) and additional water to bring level up to top of pot. can each of Chili Beans w/ Sauce and Black BeansAt this point everything is just about tender enough to eat. An additional few minutes will make it perfect. The onions were still a little crisp as were the carrots not quite al dente. Her timing may be off as she didn’t watch the clock. You will know as you go along, checking only  very occasionally. Here it is, ready to finish cooking Here it is now, ready to finish cooking. She knows with this that she needs another, a little larger crock pot and that she can feed the neighborhood; but fortunately for her, if she makes something she likes, she loves to eat it until she gets sick of it. Oh, my gosh is it Good, Good It was 10:30 pm when it finished cooking; so she just took a little to taste it. Oh, my gosh was it good, good. Good enough to go back for seconds. Spicy, warm, cooked just right. De-e-e-lish! And just enough cilantro. Please let her know if you like it if you try it. Next time, she may add some fennel. For some reason, fennel makes her think it has meat in it (for meat eating friends) and the mushrooms give a similar texture. She’s (mostly) a vegetarian (almost a vegan), don’t ya know? Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!