Showing posts from August, 2022

Our Dog Whisperer!

Many of us have seen movies and shows on television where a horse or dog whisperer is featured. These trainers are gifted in dealing with animals. Famed dog trainer, Cesar Millan has been helping dog owners with their pets through his syndicated television series for years. Sometimes, I think it is the owner that needed more behavior modification than the pet needed training in basic manners! 😉 We have an unlikely “dog whisperer” in the family these days. Charlie, our eight-and-a-half-year-old grandson, has evolved in the last two years to become very adept at caring for his full-blooded boxer, Groot. Charlie hasn’t always been fond of dogs. In fact, he was petrified by the sight of them just a couple of years ago. I have an uncomfortable memory of one incident that happened near our home. The Whisperer and cousin, Eloise, getting acquainted with Mocha, the littlest New Mexican. Charlie and his siblings were riding their scooters on the nearby church parking lot when all at once h

The Butter Cow!

Monique and I have been going to the Illinois State Fair together since we were in college. Living in Springfield now more than thirty years, I can’t remember too many times when we have missed the event and when we did, it was likely because we were out-of-state on vacation. So, this past Friday, we made yet another trek to the fair to check out the Craft's Building for this season’s garden products and watch a live cooking demonstration, enjoy the equine exhibition in the Coliseum and of course, eat our favorites of Vose’s Korndogs in addition to a pork sandwich and a lemon shake-up at the nearby Pork Pavilion! 2022 Butter Cow by Artist Sarah Pratt After making our rounds, we closed out the afternoon with a visit to the Dairy Building. There, we capped the day off with a cold treat of twisted and swirling chocolate and vanilla ice-cream in a cone. While touring the dairy products, it was hard not to gaze immediately upon the butter cow on display in the center of the exhibit. It

Transparency Required!

Back-to-school is looking a bit different this year for many middle and high schoolers. Several schools are now requiring students to pack their textbooks, supplies and personal items in translucent plastic or mesh bookbags. School safety concerns are driving much of this. The thinking is that if the school gear is transparent, it might discourage mischief. I am not sure what impact this is going to have on the issue of mass shootings since some of these offenders come from outside the school population. Image credit: We recently attended an exceptionally large church with several thousand in attendance. As we entered the lobby foyer, I took note that uniformed police officers were strategically positioned throughout that gathering space. I have long advocated that churches should be more vigilant about their vulnerability as soft targets for violence. Back in the day, I encouraged training for our Sunday greeters to include being alert to any suspicious backpacks. We eng

Grilling With Family!

It’s a fact that a lot of what we do with family in the summer months involves food! If you were to track our gatherings, you would see that outdoor grills of every shape and size abound. It is a rite of passage that everyone from the youngest to the oldest become proficient in using these auxiliary cooking devices, especially, but not exclusively, the guys. It’s one way that the ladies get the guys out of the kitchen to make a mess they have to clean up! From H-E-B to the Grill! The outdoor grilling experience begins with a good product. When in Texas, our go-to store is the home grown and independently owned, H-E-B, founded in 1905 by the Howard E. Butt family. You can do the research on this grocery chain if you wish, but if you have lived in the Lone Star State any length of time, you know about the prolific H-E-B! ( The H-E-B Story ) While staying at Marc and Leslie's, we are conveniently in proximity to one of the companies’ flagship stores out in the Leander area. This 103,