Tag Archives: tomatillos

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Oakley, our Colorado-born-and-bred Aussie, turned twelve this Halloween. We credit one-year-old Wynn, our rambunctious but lovable Washington-born-and-bred Cardigan Corgi, for keeping Oakley young.

Neither dog looks particularly young (or even alive) in this photo. I think the elephant is wearing them out.

Wynn has learned a lot from Oakley…how to drink from the toilet (we keep it flushed), how to bark crazily when someone knocks on the front door, how to react when raccoons are on our roof at 3 in the morning. See today’s Andy’s Corner for more entertaining looks at Oakley’s teaching method.

But it’s worked the opposite way too. Oakley has learned from Wynn. About bully sticks.

Wynn is clearly a very astute and concerned teacher.

Bully sticks entered our lives after Apollo, a vivacious Aussiedoodle, visited us last Thanksgiving. Apollo’s “parents” brought along bully sticks. And Wynn fell in love. Not with Apollo but with bully sticks. Now keeping a supply of them is jeopardizing our children’s inheritance (and we’re not kidding).

After observing Oakley learn about bully sticks, we realized that we too might learn new tricks – even at our age. Though I haven’t taken the time to really understand “mindfulness” – which seems to appear on every news site I read these days, we decided that being more focused on the good things in our life – on a daily basis – would be…yes, good. So now each day in the late afternoon Andy pours us wine or a homemade shrub and we spend a few minutes talking about three good things each of us recalls from the day. It hasn’t always been easy. It’s actually a little tricky. In fact, I have enlisted my neighbor Deb – who is way more of a positive thinker than I am – to send me a cheat sheet!

ANDY: I’m happy that on my bike ride outside of Healdsburg I got to witness amazingly beautiful cloud banks over the fall-colored vineyards.

ANN: I’m happy that I cleaned out a kitchen cupboard and decided to give away 16 of our 51 dinner plates.

ANDY: I’m happy that a dog park friend told me that my Andy’s Corner made her grin.

ANN: I’m happy that I just ordered 8 new Marrimeko dinner plates.

ANDY: I’m happy that I watched a UPS delivery guy pause to get our maniacally barking and jumping dogs to “sit” while he gave each a treat through the fence.

Ann: I’m happy that we’re still harvesting tomatillos from our huge, lovely, healthy tomatillo plant. And the bees are still loving it up. And it’s November and everything else in the garden is totally done for (pleeeeez, can I get credit for 3 “I’m happy that” responses for this?).

Tomatillos growing and thriving in our garden – in late October

If you decide to try this (and we do recommend it), feel free to substitute “grateful,” “thankful,” “pleased about” or whatever expression suits you. We had a wee discussion as to whether each response had to be serious, and our decision was no – we could use whatever came to mind, serious, frivolous, funny, whatever, though we do encourage a little introspection on both of our parts

After some of that introspection we both came to the conclusion that cooking and sharing recipes for dishes that we really like are some of our happier moments.  The recipe we are including in today’s blog falls in that happy zone. And (SURPRISE!) it’s got tomatillos in it. AND it can help use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey in a delicious and different way.

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