Pets & Critters

now browsing by category


The Zucchini Are Coming the Zucchini are Coming! BEST RECIPES

zucchini glass 010

                                                                                                                    Zucchini 101-preparation is key

                                                                                                           It took only two little plants and

                                                                                                            Lots of little squash babies were born.

Now I better get cooking ’cause the zucchini are exploding in the garden.  I mean they are rapidly producing cute  little squashes, that turn into big huge monsters. They multiply like rabbits if you don’t watch out.   Luckily I have several wonderful recipes that I depend on for my bounty. 

This bowl in my kitchen is filled with zucchini and Peter Pan squash. (I sent my husband to the nursery to select zucchini seedlings and he brought home a Peter Pan varietal!)

This Peter Pan squash can be used just like the zucchini squash.  Dixie is hypnotised by this curiosity.

No Dixie, this is not a food for doggies! 

Wash and dry a bunch of summer squash.  No need to peel. Chop into food processor size chunks.  You can remove any large seeds that look tough, especially in large squash.

Insert the shredding disc into a food processor or use an old-fashioned box grater on largest side. My Cuisinart is more than 20 years old and still works like a charm. Start grating squash, emptying bowl as it fills up with shreds, several batches should do it.

The shredded squash should look like this.

My large metal bowl is full of shredded zucchini and can be used in my recipes.  It is nice to have a bowl of this, on hand, in the refrigerator for lots of great recipes. From stir fry, soups, breads and my favorite savory appetizer, zucchini  pancakes, you’ll be actually glad you have so much squash. And yes, Dixie does eat raw zucchini and I can get my son, John to eat it too, if it’s hidden in these recipes. 

Now we are cooking.  Coming soon, the recipes, stay posted!

Dixie Goes To Washington

washington 033

We just got back from a wonderful overnight buying trip in Southern Maryland and on the way stopped at our Nation’s Capitol for some sight-seeing and culture.   On our week-end trip, we decided to leave on a Sunday and spend the day in Washington, D.C. which is about 60 miles away from our home and store in Washington County, Maryland.   Sundays are an excellent time to see Washington, the government is basically closed and traffic is lighter.  What a great plan, not only did we find parking right on the street, it was free on Sundays with no time limit.

Did you know that the Smithsonian National Museums are totally free?    According to the literature, the Smithsonian Institution consists of 19 national museums and the National Zoo, in Washington, D.C.   Most are open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM and they are located right on the National Mall.  The telephone number is 202-633-1000 and information can be found at www. .  We parked very close to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.  This is right next to the  fascinating Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Castle and information Center. 

I dove right into the Hirshhorn and enjoyed the modern art from Andy Warhol to Alexander Calder and many other masters of fine art.  Outside on the mall it was a mild winter’s day and Dixie enjoyed the sights , not to mention the grass. If you bring your pet make sure to bring an emergency bag for any indiscretions! We walked all the way to the reflecting pool outside of the Capitol Building. The view is amazing and at the other end of the mall is the Washington Monument, truly breathtaking.  Dixie was very impressed.

Other places not to miss are the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum  and the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue,near the Washington Monument. Be prepared for plenty of walking  on the cinder walkways, so comfortable footwear is a must.  Fast food is available at  kiosks selling hotdogs, pizza and pretzels if you get hungry.   There is also a children’s carousel that is sure to delight.

While Dixie was allowed at the outdoor areas of the mall, pets are not allowed inside the museums.  We love to travel with our little dog, Dixie.  Lucky for us several major hotel chains now take pets free of charge.  The two we have had good experiences with are La Quinta’s Inn and  the Drury Inns chains.  Pets are welcome in any room and according to staff the pets are often better behaved than many of the human guests. Make sure to pack your pets food, water bowl and a few dog biscuits to make them feel right at home. 

All in all it was an enjoyable trip, and one that everyone should experience at least once, including Dixie!

Attack of the Free Range Turkeys

schooley farm 052

  It was bound to happen, living in rural Washington County, Maryland.  We were on a routine call to a country farm to decorate the front porch with fresh greens, just in time for a New Year’s Day party.   We were greeted by a flock of Guinea Fowl.  Then I saw the rooster and chickens, peacocks and turkeys.  It was a bird lovers paradise.                                 Me: Oh look beautiful birds.  There are hens and Toms everywhere! John:  We have work to do.  Concentrate on the flower boxes.  Me: But look PEACOCKS!!! John:  Go get the greens out of the van. Me: And they have barn cats…..                 John:  Get to work!                                                                            Me: Ok…..Let’s get these flower boxes finished Me: These birds are everywhere and they are watching us. John: Let’s finish up so we can get out of here. Me: But there are turkeys in the van!!!! John: There are turkeys in the VAN???? Me:  They must be relaxed after the holidays and all. John:  Keep those $%^@***!@*%$# out of my van….., remember those terriers that ate the porterhouse out of my van?! Me:  I love living in the country!

A True-Life Dog Story


Ok this is what happened. The dogs were ignoring me after their playtime in the Christmas Blizzard of 2010. Maybe they were tuckered out or something.                                                                


 I wanted to take a picture of the dogs for Christmas but they would have none of it. 

 I decided to bribe them with some delicious treats.     That really got their attention.  Good dogs, smile for the camera.  Want a yummy bacon bite….

and then a very funny thing happened…..

My 19-year-old son a sophomore in college no less, was offered a $20.00 bet to eat a yummy dog treat, by his loving brother.   And he did and so did Dixie….

and so did Jed.  The End of the dog story.

Dixie our Four Footed Friend

Dixie Wearing her Winter Coat

Dixie our rescue dog!


Dixie Wearing her Winter Coat

We made the decision several years ago to adopt a shelter dog.  It was one of the best decisions ever!  Making a house a home often includes loving a pet.  Dixie came into our lives about two years ago.  Our local Humane Society of Washington County, has a very clean, modern facility.  I was impressed with the friendly, dedicated staff and the healthy looking animals.  The cats had a private area and seemed happy, content and playful.  The dogs had their own kennels and there were even two roosters in the outside kennels!   

I walked around the cages, each individual kennel had a card on the outside, telling the animal’s name and short history.  Lots of Pit Bulls, I noticed, some amazingly cute looking.  I wanted my first dog to be on the small side, a lap dog would be nice.  I walked around, noticing the shy dogs, the Saint Bernard puppies, too big already for me,  and the friendly dogs.  Some of the tags said adopted already.  Too bad for me, I thought.  I found a name tag and photo of a smallish dog named Trixie.  She was out for the day at a dog obedience program.  Wow, the  Humane Society actually sent dogs out for training.  Seemed like a good sign.  I pulled Trixie’s tag and told the staff I was interested.
I came back twice more to visit with Trixie, before my final decision.  On her canine profile, it said the previous owners gave her up because they didn’t have a fenced in yard.  She had been raised with children and other dogs. Already house trained was another plus of adopting.  She already knew the basic commands and had never bitten anyone.  All positive traits.  Then came the behavior profile.  The question was, how often does this dog like to be petted?  The answer was, constantly!  Words to describe dog?  Answer, Affectionate, playful and vocal.  Vocal, ok I could deal with that. After all she is a little mixture of terrier and maybe Lhasa Apso, originally bred to bark to warn of intruders.  My mind was set, I wanted Trixie.
Not so fast, the shelter had to check me out too!  After I passed inspection, I was allowed to bring our new family member home.  The day I got her, she pranced right into my car and into our lives forever.  She is a wonderful pet, loyal, smart, playful, obedient and yes still vocal.  I wouldn’t change a thing!  Except her name, we dropped the “TR”  and added a “D” and call her Dixie!