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Whether you live on my side of the planet or in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoying real heat on the beach or in your yard, show us your take on warmth. You can go from the literal (saunas! scarves! steaming cups of tea!) to the figurative (the embrace of family members coming together for the holidays, the look of affection on your pet’s face, or even just a photo with a particularly warm color palette, no matter its subject matter). (For more information, go here.)


And Mlle. Renee was snuggled in the warmth of her bed.

While visions of dog treats danced through her head.


Renee's Toy Box


Hurry, Christmas


Back when I adopted Mlle. Renee, one of the first toys I bought her was a chew bone with a ball in the middle and two bone ends that screwed off to allow you to add rawhide rings for extra chewing fun. Renee loved it, and whenever she wanted something to chew on she would bring it over to me and drop it in my lap for a rawhide ring replacement. This was our routine for about four years. As happens with most good things the manufacture of the rawhide rings was moved to China. Then one day I noticed the rawhide had a strong chemical smell when I opened a new package. Later I heard about dogs becoming ill from eating the product. And eventually, the pet stores stopped carrying the product. If something smells bad to me, I don’t give it to my faithful companion. So when she would bring her favorite chew toy to me for a refill, I had to tell her I had to go shopping to buy some. And when she wasn’t looking, I hide the toy away.

Not wanting to be a Grinch to my best friend, I worked on finding something to replace the rawhide rings. I found a recipe for a dog cookie made using oatmeal, peanut butter, pumpkin and vanilla extract, and my best friend discovered his grandmother’s old doughnut cutter that cut a ring the size of the old rawhide ring.  So yesterday I baked up a batch of edible ring replacements.DSC00839

Unfortunately,  they backed up at twice the thickness of the original rawhide rings,  so I could only add a cookie ring on one side of the toy.DSC00840

But when Renee saw it, this was her immediate reaction.DSC00841




And she really liked it!

I made enough rings to get me through the rest of the month, so I won’t have to make the next batch until after Christmas. Note: while the rings smelled very good cookie-wise, they did get very crunchy when they cooled. So I passed on doing a personal taste test.


Thanksgiving Turkey  I have always spent Thanksgiving surrounded by family. And this year was no different … I was again invited to share the bird with my younger brother and sister-in-law and their children and grandchildren.DSC00824

Naturally, Mlle. Renee didn’t like the idea of being left home alone with a few of her favorite play toys. Notice the fearful look on the stuffed fallen star who had just seen the unstuffed squirrel and bear. He wasn’t too keen about staying home with Renee and her unstuffed pals either.  But, after promising to bring a bit of turkey home for her I was allowed the get dressed. So as an unforecasted snow began to fall, I packed up my contribution to the family feast (fresh-baked dinner rolls and Carrot/Pineapple Orange Jello Salad) and headed off into the woods of the far western burbs.

I arrived to discover my great-niece and great-nephew working in the Kiddy Kitchen cooking up a storm of their own.

DSC00826Don’t know what they were cooking, but apparently they had to wear safety goggles to cook it. My sister-in-law was a bit luckier as her dinner was either in the oven or on the stove taking care of itself. Also, she didn’t have to wear goggles to do her cooking.  She was also able to take a break for a little family game session.DSC00825

And she was winning.DSC00831

My brother was playing on the floor with his grandkids. DSC00827Then Little Luke had discovered something better to play with on the floor.


It was the velcro strap on my lazy-man shoe, and he began to open and close it for just about 479 times.  Thankfully, the dinner finished cooking itself and we prepared to eat. We were seated at two different dining tables.DSC00829

This one was rather historic because it celebrated its 77th birthday this summer. It was the original dining table of my mother and father. My brother restored it several years ago. (They made furniture to last in the 30s.)  I was seated at the other dining table with the rest of the family. Which is why I didn’t take a picture of that table.

Naturally, dinner was fantastic and we all gobbled it up like turkeys!  And then we just sat around …DSC00832

… waiting for our dinner to settle down to allow for dessert!DSC00834

When I got home, Mlle. Renee gave me one of those It’s About Time looks that really means, “So, where’s my TURKEY!’GoofyTurkey

“That’s all, folks!”

This Thanksgiving dinner story starred one brother, one sister-in-law, four nephews, four nieces, two great nephews, two great nieces, Mlle. Renee, one very big turkey and me.



Mlle. Renee Takes Me For A Walk



Every afternoon Renee will walk into the living room and walk over to the rocking chair where her walking leach hangs. She will hit it several times with her nose to let me know it is time for our almost daily constitutional. (She doesn’t go out on rainy days. Smart dog, she hates getting her feet wet.) Some days I pick the route, other days I let her lead the way.DSC00712

She has her own favorite treks around the neighborhood.DSC00715

And most of them involve utility poles where she can check if anyone new has visited her stomping grounds. Recently, she discovered grasshoppers who seem to always hop into her path.DSC00707

Usually, they will hop away as soon as she sees them. Unfortunately, the other day a three-incher landed in front of her and failed to hop away. Naturally, being the great hunting hound, she caught him in her snicker-snacking teeth. One bite, and she spit him back out. Lesson learned, grasshoppers taste bad,

and she is not inclined to add them to her regular menu. And with that, she lead me back home where she could wash her mouth out with cool, clean water.

DSC00713She also knows there is a jar of little bitty-bones on the kitchen counter waiting for her return.






Over the weekend the outside overnight temps dropped into the forties. Since inside heating/cooling system was still on the summer setting, Renee and I woke up to a house with a temp in low sixties. Instead of coming into my room and jumping up on my bed as usual, Renee snuggled deep into her pillows and warm blanket on the sofa in the living room. When I got up, I added her winter sweater and she spent the rest of the morning snoozing in warmth until the furnace started sending up heat.


ME … Sailor Bob


What kid born during WWII didn’t have a sailor suit? My favorite uncle, namesake and godfather had just joined the navy.Three Sailors001

He was just a teen when I was born. So I was like a little brother to his big brother.

2 bobs001


This was the day I brought Mlle. Renee home and she is holding the first toy she ever owned.

She had been rescued on the streets of the city when she was six months old  by the Missouri Humane Society. They performed surgery on her and nursed her back to health. I was there the first day they put her up for adoption. When she saw me, she said I had to take her home with me. I did, and they gave her the Hershey Boy to take home, too.

dagwoodsandwich I also just realized that August is NATIONAL SANDWICH MONTH. And while I don’t want to go through the hassle of creating and eating a different sandwich for each day of the month, I did want to do something to honor the month. I also didn’t have a slice of bread in the house. So, since it was also Throw Back Thursday, I decided to make something I would have enjoyed when I was a kid. So, I whipped up a quick batch of my flakey biscuits and got out my Grandmother’s Throw Back cookie cutter  and made a pan of chicken shaped biscuits to serve as my bread.DSC00347

And I created a chicken shaped PBJ&M for my lunch.DSC00348

That’s peanut butter, strawberry jam and melted marshmallow …

On a chicken shaped biscuit with two mini-PEEPs on the side.


I even was able to make a pan of irregular-shaped regular biscuits that should last me a couple of days.

I guessed you probably realized that it has been raining all night and day so far.




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