Sunday, May 10, 2009


David, Becka and Murphy

Murphy/Beagle-Basset Mix

Their Home in Royal Oak, MI

Table Set For Mother's Day Dinner

Homemade Potato Salad

I had a Mother's Day dinner at David and Becka's. Becka is quite the Betty Crocker. Their new home is so inviting and her culinary skills are great. She cooks with health in mind. "Preservative free, lower fat, cut that sugar" her motto. She does it all with seemingly little effort and tasty results!

She whipped up a batch of homemade Potato Salad. New potatoes, fresh dill, eggs from her brother Mick's chickens. Oh, did I mention Murphy??? Well, of course his picture is above.

Now Murphy is a sweet, lovable beagle/basset mix. Becka & David found him wandering on Mack Ave. the day Ann graduated from Nursing School. We were going to dinner, and there was Murphy wandering the busy street. Oh, did I mention Becka is an animal lover...a stray magnet, a dog rescuer? Well, she is. I don't think there is an animal she's met that she doesn't like. Well, Murphy found a home. He joined the Clifton household and immediately got on with Cooper the big yellow lab(the other dog in the family household). Murphy is solid, low to the ground and long bodied, but he is very, very agile. He can walk across the back of the couch(on the frame, mind you) without a stumble. He's like the Flying Walenda's when it comes to balance and agility. So, yesterday, while we sat in the Living Room, visiting, watching the hockey game, Murphy quietly, gracefully managed to get onto the table and eat most of the potato salad. There was not a glass, a plate, a piece of silverware out of place....just an almost empty bowl and a dog, sitting quietly licking his chops! I think he was surprised that anyone noticed. Without hesitation he walked down the basement stairs and readily entered his crate. Now, that is unusual, he generally won't go in without being accompanied by Cooper. After dinner, he was allowed to come back into the loving fold of family. By then he had long forgotten why he was asked to leave the party; and so without reservation we all decided to just drop the topic of Potato Salad. We never figured out how he got up there. The chairs were all in place under the table top. The only possibility was my Mom's Cedar Chest that sat under the window. Just the height an agile Beagle/Basset could use to "leap" onto a table with such precision that only a ripple was noted on the cloth sitting under the vase of flowers. I mean the boy has TALENT!

There seems to be a history in our family of our dogs eating our food, especially on special occasions. Mandy our little stray ate part of my brother Leo's and Linda's wedding cake while we were out taking pictures. My cousin Barb's dog, Duke ate an entire Honey Baked Ham which was to be the main course at a farewell dinner for Lara and Brian. Tom's dog Penny ate a bowl of my Mom's great homemade Pirogi. For some reason I think these events say more about us as a people than the dogs as animals. We may need a Dog Whisperer in the family!

So, we have been promised Potato Salad on another visit. We are waiting and hope it won't be too long. Family gatherings are the glue that holds us. It is interesting to watch the "passing of the place". First my Grandmother's, my Aunt's, my Mom's, then my house and now on to my children's. Traditions that change a little with each generation, but that hold on to that spirit that makes us Family. I'm so glad my clan is mine....including the dogs!

Until next time....Always, Kathleen

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