Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oliver J. Rascal MacDonald

Sept 02, 1998- Dec 4, 2012 RIP my furry little soul mate. Mama loved you so much.
I'll be back after the bar exam( at the end of February) to post a tribute to Oliver. Its still too raw.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Harley Bear MacDonald

Harley Bear MacDonald November 20-1999- June 30 2012
When my first ex and I broke up, we had 2 tweenie doxies. Allie and Stanlee. Susan took Allie and I kept Stanlee. At the time, Stanlee was 5 and I felt like he needed a brother, so I got Oliver. I don’t know what made me decide that I needed another one, but I originally went looking for a long haired girl. I went to a puppy show that Oliver’s breeder told me about. Harley’s breeder was there. She told me she had a 7 month old wire at home and if she didn’t find a home for him, she’d have to put him down. She was a breeder for show and since he was only born with one testicle, she couldn’t show him. My aunt was living with me in Long Beach and she told me she would buy him for me. I went to the breeders house in Orange and she showed H to me. At the time, his name was Marty (short for Martini). He was so cute, but oh so dirty. He slept outside with his mother Bonnie. There were flies buzzing around his mother and my first though was “ I gotta get this boy outta here”. I paid 250.00 for him( the best money I’ve ever spent) and brought him home. My aunt gave him a bath right away. From that night on, he always slept in the bed with me. I took him with me everywhere, and let him walk off leash. He was already potty trained and he rarely ever had an accident in the house. He was a really fast learner. There were so many words he knew, but to me, the most important was “wait”. When we would walk off leash, I would tell him to “wait” and he would stop in his tracks. He would “wait” at crosswalks, not moving until I told him “Ok”. I don’t remember how he became afraid of other big dogs. That was the only “quirk” he had. He would bark like a lunatic and lunge at them. Julie felt like he was protecting me, more than anything. Even at the dog park, he would run up to the fence that separates the big dog side from the small dog side and bark and lunge. Before I moved to Canada, I used to take him to the dog beach in Huntington Beach and he was fine with the other dogs. He loved kids, especially Chelsea. I have so many pictures of them together. My most favorite was taken in the car. Chels was maybe 6 or 7 and she fell asleep buckled in, she is slumped over and is sleeping on him. He was so patient with her, but he also tried to hump her numerous times. I remember hearing “ No Harley” many times while Chelsea spent the night . Because he spent almost 8yrs of his 12.5yrs of life in Canada, I have so many memories of Harley with Chelsea. He loved going for walks at Morrison Damn, he loved the beach, he loved the snow. When it was cold and snowy, Oliver would run right back into the house. Harley would get so excited if he saw his dog sweater. Robin took him faithfully for walks, no matter the weather. Sometimes, he’d get chunks of snow or ice in his paw. He’d stop in his tracks and not move until we came over to him and pulled it out. Then, he’d continue on his merry way. When I had kidney stones in 2009, he never left my side. Everytime I took a nap, Oliver and Harley slept with me. He sat next to me on the sofa too, keeping me company. Something changed in him when I left Canada for those 3 weeks. By the time I came back to get my stuff, I hadn’t seen him for over a month. I’ll never forget that day, July 2nd 2010. We drove up in the morning from London to meet the moving van. Robin let them outside, they both jumped in the car and wouldn’t leave for anything. They say that dogs have no concept of time, but I believe they both knew that I was gone for a while. We left for Wisconsin on that day. We spent the first night in Kalamzoo, MI. Julie still tells the story of Harley crawling up between her and I and giving her a big kiss. He loved giving us kisses. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, Julie would turn over and he’d plant a big kiss on her. He was the sweetest, most loving dog. There are so many great things about Harley, I don’t want to forget any of them. He could poop and potty on command. Seriously, we’d go outside and I’d say “Go potty poops” and he would. Every single time. I never worried about him having an accident anywhere. Before I left Canada, I made him a service dog. I do have a legitimate disability, but I did it so he could travel on the airplane and stay in hotels when we drove to Wisconsin from Ontario. I didn’t want my boys going into cargo on the airline. Of course, he was an angel on the flight. Over the last 2yrs, we took him with us almost everywhere. Because he was a service dog, he could go into restaurants. He loved it. He loved going with us to the mall, walking around the outside patio. He loved going to Costco where I’d give him my samples of meat. He loved going to Target or Wal*Mart. We’d put a towel in the cart and he would sit there, keeping a watchful eye. On one particular trip to Target, he was so quiet, I forgot he was there as I haphazardly tossed toothpaste and deodorant into the cart. He didn’t make a peep. Everywhere we went, people smiled when they saw him. They often thought he was a mixed breed, but Julie and I were quick to say “No, he’s a wirehair dachshund”. Wirehair doxies are wirey, but Julie didn’t mind. She loved having her wire sleep next to her at night. Harley didn’t have a very full beard or eyebrows, we often joked around that because he only had 1 testicle, he didn’t have that much testosterone. He had the bark of a much bigger dog, and when he’d bark, he’d bounce a little off the ground. Harley loved to eat( most dachshunds do). He’d twirl around for his kibble, he’d twirl around for his treats or his chewies. Oh how he loved his chewies. He was super protective of us. Whenever we’d come home from anywhere or when we would go outside in the morning, he’d wait for us. He would not go upstairs until we were behind him or in front of him. One time, we took the girls and Harley to the dog beach in Long Beach. Bella took off running and Julie had to run after her. Harley never left her side, he stayed with her while she ran up the beach to find Bella. Harley LOVED going into Julie’s station. He walked around like he owned the place. He loved walking up and down 2nd street in Long Beach too. He’d stop and drink a little at all the places that had doggie water. Julie took such a shine to him, that I gave into my “no more dogs stance” and we got another one. My hope was that Harley would teach Wally a few things. Now that Harley is gone, I can see more of him in Wally. Someone told me that they’ve heard that the soul of a departed pet can reappear in another pet. Looking at Wally when he kisses me, makes me think that’s true. Harley had a couple of things he did that were annoying, but I loved him so much, I forgave him. If we didn’t take him with us( especially when we were in Long Beach), he would find a shoe( most often my aunts) and destroy it. Then, he’d be sick the next day, throwing up parts of the shoe. I don’t remember how he ended up destroying my Steve Madden platform shoe. I had those shoes for a long time( bought at Nordstrom). He also loved to throw himself onto other dog crap at the park. He’d rub his neck into it. It would dry before we figured it out and then we’d have to scrub his neck with baby wipes or throw him in the shower before bed. On Monday, June 25th, we took Harley and Wally to Santa Barbara. I had a hysterectomy the previous Wednesday and I’d been home for 5 days. Julie was on vacation, so we wanted to get out of the house. It turned out to be too soon for me, I wasn’t feeling well, and I think Harley knew that. Everytime I looked at him, he was watching me intently. I’ll never forget how he walked around town, with Wally keeping up the rear. I’m glad we were able to take him on one last trip. He threw up Wednesday morning and wouldn’t eat anything. I asked Julie to take him to the vet, because I had a doctor’s appointment. I drove to the vet afterwards and after numerous test and x-rays, the diagnosis was acute pancreantitis. Harley had to stay at the vet for 2 days for fluids, antibiotics and pain meds. The house was empty without him for those 2 days, but Julie and I were hopeful that he would get better. When we picked him up on Friday afternoon, my heart sank. He didn’t look good. The vet said he was on pain meds and was still somewhat out of it. We brought him home and put him on the sofa. He didn’t move. He began to pant and shake. I fed him water with a syringe. I did that for the next few hours. We put him in the bed with us, but he wasn’t comfortable. We made the decision to let him sleep in the large crate that we use for the dogs. Julie woke up every 2hrs to check on him. By the time morning came, he wasn’t any better. We called the vet, who said we could bring him back for more fluids. I knew he didn’t need fluids, because he was still drinking. He still wouldn’t eat though and that is when I knew. I offered him chicken and he wouldn’t eat that. He wouldn’t kiss me either. I knew it was time, my heart was broken. I didn’t want him to suffer any longer. This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I just knew he wasn’t going to get better. Julie, my aunt, uncle and I surrounded him and told him we loved him and that he was going to the park ( his favorite place). I’ve never had to put a dog down before, and it was hard. Its hard for me to put into words how much I loved him. It hasn’t even been a week yet, but it feels like months. The house is empty without him. He was so filled with love and personality that we all are feeling his absence. Its hard for me to hear that “ he is in a better place”, because honestly, it all came on so suddenly. Its not like he was sick for a long time or that he suffered. He had a great life and I was an excellent mama to him. One day I will see him again and until then, I’ll think about him and miss him every single day.

Friday, June 08, 2012

New Addition....

Meet Wally He's 3 months old( born Feb 25th) and we picked him up on Tuesday. He is fitting in nicely with the crew.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Crockpot cheesecake.....

If you hadn't heard, I moved from dark and dreary Exeter, Ontario Canada to very sunny Santa Clarita, CA. It gets really hot here so finding things to make that dont involve turning on the oven is a priority. I decided to whip up these cute single serve cheesecakes because Julie loves cheesecake and I bought some wonderful blackberries for .88 a pint. This is a very simple recipe. I used 8oz jars, but next time I might use 4oz jars or break out another crockpot and made 10 instead of 5. When I made these, I added melted butter to the graham crumbs but as I watched Julie eat this, I saw that it was hard to remove the crust. Next time, I wont add any butter. You can do whatever you'd like.
Recipe Crust 10 graham crackers, pulverize in blender 2tbls brown sugar option, 1 stick melted butter filling 2 bars cream cheese( at room temp) 2 eggs( room temp) 3/4 c. sugar 2tsp vanilla( I used vanilla paste) 1tbls flour pinch salt Mix all ingredients in blender or stand mixer. Put some crust mixture in bottom of canning jar, pour in filling. Put jars in crockpot and surround with hot water( careful not to splash water into jars). Cover crockpot and cook on high 2-3 hrs. Filling will puff up, but will fall when the jars cool. Refridgerate overnight before serving. Serve with your favorite topping, fruit or sauce.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Lighter Flourless Chocolate Cake...

My aunt and uncle hold a Passover Sedar every year. I always make potato pancakes and a couple of different desserts. I had a great idea this year to make an apple crisp. I thought I'd use Matza cake meal for the flour. I baked up a trial run using 2 apples that I sauteed in a skillet. I made a really nice topping with the cake meal, almonds, brown sugar and oats. I was so proud of myself. Then I had a though " Hmm, I wonder why no one ever serves crips for Passover". Well, it turns out that oats are one of the ingredients that are not allowed. So, then I thought I'd make a flourless chocolate cake. The only problem is those cakes are usually so rich and heavy, more candylike( think truffle) than cake. I wanted something light and chocolatey. Enter Martha Stewart. I received an email with Passover Dessert suggestions and this cake was one of them. It was light, chocolatey and just what I wanted. It only has a few Tbls of butter and relies on egg whites for lift. I served the cake with a goat milk caramel sauce and some whipped cream. The recipe contains an espresso glaze, but I left that off. Unbaked
Flourless chocolate cake is a crumbly and dense classic everyone loves. This version gets subtle coffee flavor from espresso powder used in the batter and in a rich, creamy dark-chocolate glaze served at the table. Martha Stewart Living, April 2008 Yield Serves 8 FOR THE CAKE 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, plus more for pan 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt 1 tablespoon vanilla extract FOR THE GLAZE 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or nondairy margarine 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/3 cup heavy cream or plain soy milk 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt Directions 1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, and line with parchment cut to fit. Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. 2. With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Add espresso and salt, and beat for 1 minute. Add vanilla and chocolate mixture, and beat for 1 minute. 3. In a clean bowl and with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Pour batter into prepared pan. 4. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. Remove pan sides. Carefully lift cake with a spatula, and remove parchment. 5. Make the glaze: Place chocolate, butter, and vanilla in a bowl. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil, stirring, and pour over chocolate mixture. Whisk until smooth. Serve glaze warm with cake.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

I want to start blogging again.....

Wow, how did a year go by and I didnt post once? So many things have happened. I'm coming up on my second anniversary with my wonderful Jules and I couldnt be happier. We have a brand new kitchen( thanks hon) and we're soon to have a brand new addition to our family. Yep, Julie and I are having a baby together.


This is my first choice. We're waiting until the breeder decides which one she is going to show. So, it could be the one above, or the this one.

If you dont know, we already have 2 dachshunds. Oliver and Harley were mine that I brought to Canada with me when I moved there in 2002 and back when I came home in July 2010. They are now 13 and 12. I know someday( hopefully later rather than sooner) they will be going to rainbow bridge. I figured that while they are around, it would be the perfect time to get a new puppy since the boys can teach the newest boy. Julie is in love with the wirehairs too and since she recently turned 50, this was the perfect birthday gift for her. We wont be taking him until the 2nd week in June. We have a legal conference to attend in Florida at the end of May and we dont want him to bond with anyone else while we are gone. Btw, we're naming him Wally ( short for Walter) after my uncle Walter who passed away.

See you soon.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Year, a New Foodblog!!

Wow,its hard to believe that I havent blogged in over a year and a half. My last blog post was tragic and everytime I came back to my blog( to read other blogs), I was sad. However, I had a rough year( 2010) with a lot of changes and I couldnt bring myself to blog. I am no longer living in small town Ontario, Canada and I'm no longer with Robin. Robin is a wonderful person and I wish her all the happiness in the world. Our breakup wasnt exactly friendly. I didnt want to work on the marriage( we're still legally married in Canada, although we are now legally separated) anymore. Robin did. I was taking my dogs( that moved to Canada with me and lived there longer than they lived in California) and moving back to SoCal. I was leaving our beautiful house(that we renovated together) and the life we made. I'm going to be completely honest here. I met someone else. Actually, I remet someone that I was with in 1993 and in 2000( the timing was never right for us and I always put my feelings for her on the backburner). Isnt Facebook wonderful? LOL. The last thing I want to say on this is that Robin's story is " Randi left me for another woman" and she can have her story. Obviously, its not that simple. Robin and I had problems for years prior to me finding Julie again. There are 3 sides to every story. Yours, Hers and the truth. Maybe one day when Robin is over the hurt and anger, she can see the truth. I know this is a public blog and she might read it. Frankly, that is another reason I resisted blogging. However, I've since found out( thru very devious means) that Robin is in a new relationship and has been for awhile. In fact, Robin and her married( to another woman) girlfriend were together 3 weeks after I left Canada. If that is what is going to make Robin happy, than so be it.

So, there is my backstory. Here is my present and future. I'm back in Socal living with my girlfriend Julie. As I said, I met Julie in 1993 when I was 26. We were together for a summer but for many reasons that I dont want to get into, we didnt end up together. I wanted to be with her, but I couldnt. Flash forward to 2000 and we meet up again. Same story, just 7 years later. When I found her again on Facebook in the summer of 2009, I never expected anything to happen. I just wanted to find out how she was doing. She is a police officer and I've always thought about her and worried about her if I heard a news story about the LAPD. We didnt speak until October 2009 and then she went to Iraq for 5 months and here we are 1.5 later. I moved back to California in July 2010. I'm incredibly happy and I LOVE being back in California. Unfortunatly, I've eaten out way too much since moving back and I gained back 20lbs( of the 40) I lost in 2009. I decided I needed to take control back in the New Year and cook more at home and only eat out as a treat. Yesterday, we joined Weight Watchers and I'm excited about the new program ( all fruits are zero points!!). We spent the day in WLA/Santa Monica too. We had pizza for lunch and I bought some wonderful seafood for dinner. Unlike myself and Robin, Julie does eat beef so as much as I hate buying red meat, I do. I made myself 4 large shrimp as a shrimp cocktail and I grilled some swordfish chunks that I turned into fish tacos. Julie had steak and a sourdough roll( she loves bread) and salad. Since Julie had to work on New Years Day, we just had a quiet night at home with our four dogs( Julie had 2 before I moved in) and a movie.

Today is the Gym and turkey tacos for dinner.

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