Spring Is Here, Springer Spaniels, Spring Vegetable Soup

July 2, 2010

This is another great guest post. I have entered into a contractual arrangement to be her agent.

We all grieve the passing of Erma Bombeck and her column. No no one can fill her shoes but Susan Nelson is definitely following in her footsteps. I have posted one of her columns on my site as a guest blog. My goal is to have her column in all of the newspapers that Erma was in. I have contacted Bill Bombeck her husband and asked for his endorsement. Believe it or not there is actually an Erma Bombeck writer’s workshop every year. I have asked for the endorsement of the director of that workshop.
What I am asking for you readers is to copy this and send it to your local paper and ask them to carry the column. We would appreciate it.

Blessings on you and yours
John Wilder

I lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, from 1980 to 1984. My children were in 5th and 6th grade when we moved there, and my stepdaughter was three. As mentioned in previous blogs, my husband at the time, travelled about three weeks out of four so I was on my own with three dogs, two cats, a rabbit and two hamsters. Busy me.
My stepdaughter flew up from Southern California every other weekend. Most of the the time my husband made it home on weekends but, if not, I was in charge of the brood. This particular weekend, that was the case. It was a Saturday morning. My son was in the back yard with our golden retriever, Barnaby, picking up fruit that had fallen from our trees. Our neighbors to the left had two springer spaniels. They were caged because the male was agressive, but it was open topped. Springers are aptly named because of their ability to jump great heights. This morning the dog managed to get over the fence into our yard.
I had my head in the kitchen sink trying to wash the dye, yes, yes, I dye my hair, out of my hair when I heard yelling. The two girls were in the family room watching TV. Grabbing a towel, dye running down my face I ran to the back door. My son was in between the two growling dogs, and our dog was definitely not coming out on top. The closest thing to a weapon handy was a shovel standing by the fireplace. When I got out there Barnaby had a huge gash by one eye and my son had a bite on his hand. Running after the springer swinging my mighty shovel he high tailed it (no pun intended) back to his side of the fence.
Barnaby’s eye was a mess. I called the vet and was told to drop him off. After checking out the bite mark on my son’s hand, I called his doctor and said we were coming in. Sarah, my stepdaughter had lost her mind and was hitting decibels with her screaming that probably were picked up on satellite. Wrapping the towel around my head, brown dye drying nicely on my face and ears I managed to rally the troups and get them in the car, the still screaming Sarah hanging around my neck.
People in the vet got out of my way. I’m sure that a crazed woman wearing a Grateful Dead tee shirt and cutoffs, brown dye running down her face, toting a bleeding dog, wasn’t a sight they saw every day in Danville (a rather snooty town).
Back in the car I went on to sit in the doctor’s waiting room with four equally uncomfortable patients giving us a wide berth.
Finally, bite addressed, Sarah’s mouth gone silent, and hair dye glued to the top of my head, the crisis was averted.
After determining that Barnaby had needed surgery and would be spending the night at the vet’s I decided to take my disgruntled crew out for ice cream. I ordered four triples, felt we needed it, and when I went to pay the kid behind the counter who, at this point, had stopped blatently staring at me and was now avoiding any and all eye contact, I discovered I’d left my wallet in the doctor’s office.
An hour later, home and somewhat calmed down I went to wash off the rest of the dye and discovered that by leaving it on so long it had actually colored my scalp as well as my hair so I looked like I’d had a run in with the Tar Baby. Like I’ve said before, some people have normal lives, I have mine.
Spring Vegetable Soup
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1 zucchini, sliced thin and halved
1 yellow squash, sliced thin and halved
1/2 cup torn spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped cabbage
4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade, but canned works fine)
6 ounces egg noodles
1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the onion and garlic until tender. Mix in tomatoes, potato, broccoli, squash, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, bay leaf, and seasonings. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Stir egg noodles and white beans into the pot, and continue cooking 7 minutes, or until noodles are tender and beans are heated through

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