56 Comments#MondayMusings, Blogfests, Life


Out with the old year, in with the new year

It’s been difficult getting back into the swing of things post-holidays, so I’m keeping it simple, to start. This is a short list of raves and rants, originally published last year, with a couple of new embellishments. Naturally, it’s in alphabetical order: (pedantic! 😉 ) Click on the red links for more info.

rants and raves, thumbs up
What’s not to love?

Raves and rants - holiday dogs
How ya doin’? We’re good!
Christmas with the dogs
♫It’s a Holly Doggie Christmas♫



A fabulous taste sensation we first experienced on New Year’s Eve, 2015,
with pan-seared scallops and fettuccine. Delizioso!

Traditional German holiday bread.

Delicious, economical Italian alternative to French champagne.
Makes a great Mimosa (mix with orange juice) for a holiday breakfast.

Prosecco and Orange Juice, Raves and Rants

New Year’s Eve 2016 taste sensation, served with balsamic glazed salmon


Especially during the Winter Festival of Lights.

Niagara Falls, Raves and Rants
This never gets old!


Haha! Obviously still in a holiday mood here, no doubt because of our stringent January diet plan. We don’t count calories for the month of December (it would spoil the fun) and of course, are paying for that now (see Rants).


thumbs down


…who don’t scoop their dogs’ poop – especially in the winter! DO THEY THINK IT’S GOING TO MELT IN THE SPRING, JUST LIKE THE SNOW?!! Please excuse the caps. MAJOR pet peeve. Gives the rest of us a bad name, as well.

raves and rants - scoop that poop



As someone who works at home (with dogs), it can be bedlam when there’s an unexpected knock at the door. (We have a gate to contain the dogs, otherwise.) In an attempt to avoid these scenes, there are two signs in the front window, visible to anyone coming up the front steps. One says, “NO SOLICITING” and the other, “BEWARE OF DOG”. Do you think these work? Not a chance! My response to these people: “You can read can’t you?”, while pointing at the sign and slamming the door in their faces. GET OFF MY PORCH! Added a new sign in 2016 (see below), but it still doesn’t work!

NO SOLICITING! window sign



Hubby and I are a couple of “foodies” and also enjoy fine restaurant dining. We refuse to count calories during the holidays and there’s an over-abundance of goodies around, which means we have to make up for it. Time to pay that proverbial piper. UGH!

Raves and Rants, The Doglady's Den
Too sad!

For those of us with asthma and arthritis, working out can be difficult and painful, but I found this one doable, sitting on a chair and using an exercise band:

Now, to find the self-discipline to keep at it! (AGAIN!)


“ONLY” 69 more days until Spring. Can’t come too soon for me!


What are some of your raves and rants?
Do share!


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Raves and Rants - #MondayMusings, The Doglady's Den

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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  1. One of my pet peeves are the robo calls (and other types) that I get on my cell phone. The other day, I got one on my cell phone while I was talking to someone on my work phone. I simply hit the talk button on my phone and continued with my work call. Apparently, it hear the right mix of background noise because when I’d finished with my work call, the robo call still was in full swing.

    1. Robo calls are definitely annoying, but I don’t answer the phone unless I can see who’s calling and I know the person. Anything with “unknown number” or “private number” goes to voicemail. That was a good trick you played, George; wasting their time for a change. 🙂 Thanks for dropping in and Happy New Year!

  2. Debbie, we didn’t do much calorie counting last month, either. This month there hasn’t been much change there but we’re beginning to wean ourselves a bit but we still have too many goodies in the house. This week I finally started using my elliptical after abandoning my routine more than a year ago when DH got laid off. Now that he’s working again, I have no excuse to not be more active. I actually like it. Now to curtail my eating. Oh, Bah-hum-bug! I know this will melt off the unwanted weight faster. It’s time to get serious! BTW, your holiday eats sound yummy, especially the Christmas Stollen. I made another this Christmas which turned out better than last year. 🙂

    1. So many of us struggle with that post-holiday weight gain. Sigh….Wishing you much success with your fitness program. The hardest part, for me, is keeping at it consistently. You make your own Stollen, Cathy? Excellent! I don’t have that baking gene, but our local German deli is well-stocked. Thanks for dropping in.

  3. Hi Debbie! Happy new year 😉
    I’ve always cracked up at epic stories of snowmelts; when oodles of poops and scores of brown bottles magically appear – right where they left them. Loved the pics of the dogs, they sure love people beds don’t they? My two girls argue over who gets in first, after me, of course.
    I can’t drink orange juice, but I like those drinks made with cranberry juice.
    The Niagara lights are gorgeous – thanks for sharing!

    1. Happy New Year, diedre. (I’m learning 😉 ) Yes, spring can be disgusting after a thaw. 😛 Most dogs I know would always sleep on people beds if given the chance. We don’t mind, as long as there’s room for all. Cranberry juice is a great mixer for vodka. I’m glad you enjoyed the light show. Thanks for dropping in.

    1. Happy New Year, Carol! 🙂 Stollen is a once a year favourite treat. Yes, the diet thing gets old, fast, but I do try since the weight has piled on in recent years. Thanks for dropping in.

  4. It’s hot and sunny here in Australia – but I still over ate at Christmas and during the holidays. My weight just keeps creeping ever upward 🙁 I also agree wholeheartedly about people who don’t pick up after their dogs – it’s just gross! Your dog pics always make me smile.

    1. I’ll take hot and sunny over cold and grey any day, Leanne. 🙂 This would be a great time to visit Australia. Hopefully, one day! It’s impossible to fully enjoy the holidays and maintain a strict diet. Life is too short, yes? Sounds like the poop dilemma is widespread. What is wrong with these people? 🙁 Dogs are so photogenic and most of them like to pose. Thanks for dropping in. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Myke. It’s been a struggle, trying to get back into it, after the layoff. You’re welcome at the house as long as you’re not shilling for something. 🙂

  5. Everyone’s ranting about the dog poop and I’m over here like, champagne? 😀 Seriously that whole not picking up the dog poop is irritating especially to those of us who do. Even with doggy poo posts all over our neighborhood people won’t utilize the FREE bags and pick up the poo and put it in the PROVIDED bins. Ugh. – I would LOVE to see the falls during the Festival of Lights by the way. Love the pic of the pups too. – Happy New Year!

    1. Champagne is definitely more fun that dog shit. 😀 It’s a sad state of affairs when people are still too lazy to pick up when all the tools are provided! If you click on the Niagara Falls title it’ll take you to a Festival of Lights slideshow (or click on the post link, below). More spectacular in person, but it gives you a good idea. Thanks for dropping in. All the best for 2017!

  6. When people don’t pick up the dog poop, one wishes we knew where they lived so we can deliver it to their home. Actually, I did that once and left a note saying that “you left this behind, so this gift has been returned to you.”. I live 10 /15 minutes from the Falls and have not seen the lights this year. Maybe I should do this since they are still on I think. I watched the Golden Globes last night and my rant is for the women to please keep their ta-ta’s hidden a little bit. With the front down to their belly button, it just gets so old to see their fake boobs in some pretty ugly dresses. As for exercise, I like to dream I’m doing them, does that count?

    1. That’s so funny, Birgit! 😀 I would have loved to see the person’s face when the returned “gift” was discovered. I’ve caught a few people in the act and shamed them into picking up by saying: “Did you forget your bag? Here’s one.” Of course, a couple of them also told me to “fuck off”. Pigs! 😛 The Festival of Lights is on until Jan. 31 this year if you want to go. Always beautiful! ♥ I missed the Golden Globes but agree about the fake boobs in ugly dresses. Getting into an exercise routine is always difficult, but I keep trying! Thanks for dropping in and have a great 2017!

  7. Good rants. As you know, I’m a big fan of ranting.
    Door to door salesmen still exist? I had no idea. Still, I’m sure their intention is not to annoy you. They are just trying to do a job. At least they are not leaving doo-doo all over the place. Unless maybe they are???? 😀 LOL
    Also, I’m in the same boat as you, I have not been tracking for the past two months and it SHOWS!!!
    I’m trying to do so now.

    1. Hi, Jeffrey; Yes, I thought you might appreciate these rants. 🙂 What pisses me off about the door to door solicitors is that they are completely ignoring my sign, which clearly states: NO SOLICITING. So far, they haven’t shat on my porch, but I have been tempted to fling some at them. 😉 The dogs go insane when someone comes to the door, which is unpleasant if they’re not contained behind the gate. I don’t like to do that unless someone is expected because it makes them nervous.

      Yes, the holiday excesses always catch up with us, don’t they? Thanks for dropping in. I’ve got a fun BOTB for tomorrow. It’s a “double dog dare you” challenge from our good friend Shady. Hope you’ll have time to check it out. Cheers!

    1. Hi, Myke; Door to door solicitors are extremely annoying, especially when you have dogs. A little champagne at breakfast is a nice thing, but it’s reserved for special occasions. Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  8. Pedantic – A little bit of German goes a loooonnnnngggg way. I guesstimate that I am about 1/3 German and this is where I get the quirk of being pedantic. My mother has it too. You could say I learned it at her knee, or I came by it honest.
    I get what you mean about the dog pooper nonscoopers and soliciters. I don’t have a problem with that where I live. There is the problem who want what they want and could care less how that puts me out problem that frustrates me.
    Dieting – The story of my life. It sounds like you and your hubby have a nice balance worked out. We are lucky people in our worry is eating too much.

    1. Who knew we had this in common, Ann? 🙂 I’m pretty much mostly German; born there, German mother, Canadian father of German descent. My mother in her prime was much worse than I am, but I have relaxed some over the years.

      Selfish people can certainly make one’s life miserable. Learning to say “NO” is an acquired skill and a good one to have. Hope you get it sorted out.

      Yes, we do have a nice life and I recognize how lucky we are to have so few real problems. The weight issue is an ongoing struggle, but there are starving people in the world and we try to “pay it forward” by donating to food banks, etc.

      Thanks for dropping in and Happy New Year! 🙂

  9. Your doggies are beautiful and the one black one reminds me of my Katie. I enjoyed all the chocolates (Dominoes) but now I must behave since my fat acquired more fat. Loved the lights my hubby put up and am happy now that all is down and packed away to play late this year again. I hate dog poop too and gum! Please put the gum in the garbage, I hate it under my shoe. People are complaining about the cold where I live. We live in Ontario Canada not Florida or New Orleans so suck it up and enjoy the season! Happy New Year again to you

    1. Happy New Year, Birgit! 🙂 Ah yes, the black Lab. Your Katie must have been a beauty as well.

      We got some Dominoes at the German deli, along with a few other goodies, like the Stollen and as a special treat, Asbach Uhralt brandy beans. 🙂 The holidays are great, but yes, now it’s time to behave.

      We do limited Christmas lights these days, as the labour involved (ie. climbing on the roof) is becoming a bit more difficult. For next year, I’ll be getting those new spotlights that cover your house in coloured dots and give a similar effect.

      Agree about the gum. That is nasty too, but at least, it doesn’t smell as bad as dog poop.

      Complaining about the weather is like a sport around here and makes some of us feel better. 🙂 Winter is especially difficult for me, as I have a circulatory disorder and always feel cold, no matter what. All the good things about living here certainly outweigh that one bad point, though.

      Thanks for dropping in. Cheers!

      1. I am not one for brandy(bad time when I was 19) but Asbach Uhralt is my mom’s favourite which she devoured on Christmas Eve and my hubby loved it too

  10. I don’t even bother to answer the door. Unless it’s a neighbor or someone I recognize the door isn’t opened. It’s rude, and with dogs excited by such a visit not worth the effort to even get to the door. My rant would also include unwanted solicitation via the phone. If I don’t recognize the number I don’t answer but now they leave extensive messages, and all by computer!
    Happy New Year – I’m with you on the diet fix after a holiday – my goal is to increase my walking, even out in the cold. Wishing us both good luck!

    1. Happy New Year, Yolanda; I often just push down the window and yell at them from there. Disrespecting my sign really pisses me off! 😀

      Call Display works well for me. Luckily; few of these pests leave messages and I also have a function from Bell that allows me to block callers altogether so they can’t even get through. Pity it only accommodates 12 numbers!

      So many of us are in diet mode now. Increased walking in winter is tough for me, as I have a circulatory disorder and freeze easily, but I do a fair amount anyway, because of the dogs. The chair workout is great, but I need more self-discipline. 😛

  11. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I enjoyed reading your rants and raves. Mrs. Shady uses arugula in salads. I told her about the pesto idea and she’s excited to try it. She is also familiar with stollen. I thought he was a Soviet leader! 🙂 I love the picture of the five dogs. I wish I could be there to roll around and play with them. Dogs love me because I pay more attention to them than I do to the people in the room. I love to give them affection and talk to them. That’s a great illustration of “stepping in it.” I think I’ll use it as the new header of my blog! 🙂 I have a set of stretch cables and use them every day for my workouts. They are an excellent choice for people with arthritis and other medical challenges. I don’t have any particular rants except for the fact that “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” on the home shopping channels. Can’t they at least wait till the 4th of July to kick-off the holiday season? 🙂

    Good news! As it happens I will be visiting your neighborhood in the very near future. When I knock three times please let me in so that I can dump a huge mound of dirt on your living room rug and then proceed to demonstrate the awesome new vacuum cleaner I am selling door-to-door. Be sure to tell me how many of my vacuums and accessories you would like to buy. Remember our miracle vacuum’s slogan: “It really sucks!”

    Happy Monday, dear friend Debbie!

    1. Good day, Shady! Please excuse the tardy reply, but better late than never, yes? 🙂

      That was the first time we tried arugula pesto and it was a great taste sensation! Let me know what you think, if Mrs. Shady tries it out. I love arugula in salads, too. Adds a lovely spiciness.

      You said: “Dogs love me because I pay more attention to them than I do to the people in the room…” Same here and dogs naturally gravitate towards me. They KNOW who loves them! 🙂

      Some of us have a helluva time getting down on the ground and back up, so I’m grateful to have found a chair workout using the bands. Helps to keep the asthma under control as well.

      Christmas commercials now? Probably leftovers.

      You’d be welcome in my home anytime, but leave your vacuum cleaner out of it or I’ll sic the dogs on you! 😉 (Rimshot for your bad pun!) I actually did that once with a pushy real estate agent and a feisty Jack Russell. He high-tailed it off my porch like his ass was on fire, never to return! 😀

      Your “double dog dare you” challenge is coming up on Friday and I’m really looking forward to it! See you there!

  12. I love dogs. I used to have a pet dog in my childhood but more than a pet of the house, me and my brother used to treat him like our little brother and he too competed with us in everything. He stayed with us for 4 years. Needless to mention, I loved all the dogs in the pics.

  13. Eating healthy again and having to lose that holiday weight is definitely on my rant list! On the other hand, still being on holidays until next week is on my raves! 🙂

    Love your doggies! So cute. And the Festival of lights at Niagara Falls looks spectacular. When I went to see them, it was summer so there was no chance of waiting till night as we were just doing a day trip.

    1. That’s the story every January. Enjoy the last few days of your holidays, Sanch. A day trip to Niagara Falls – what fun! 🙂
      The lights in winter make it even more spectacular. Happy New Year!

  14. Such a cute post, Debbie! Loved your raves! Tasted stollen bread for the first time two years ago and found it delicious! Later found a recipe but I am yet to try it.

    Ugh – non-poop scoopers! Nice to know you found a do-able exercise! No dogs, but the doorbells and phone calls – not all of which are meant for me are annoying enough!

    Happy 2016 to you!

    1. Happy New Year, Vidya! 🙂

      Stollen is a once-a-year treat that we always enjoy. My German mother and grandmother used to bake their own, but I have no such talents. Good thing there’s a German deli in town.

      Due to osteoarthritis (old injuries), getting up and down from the floor is extremely difficult, so finding an effective chair workout was quite the challenge. This is a good one!

      With Call Display, I never speak to annoying telemarketers any more, but the door is hard to ignore.

      Thanks for dropping in and have a great week!

  15. What a healthy topic! Great to rave… makes me more aware and thankful… Great to rant… helps let all the frustrations out.

    Is this your bed the dogs are on, or do they get their own bed? I swear I want to visit you if I should come back as a dog.

    My biggest rant are politicians… stupid stupid politicians. And my biggest rave are smart smart politicians, who are realisitic and truly care about their country citizens, instead of glorifying themselves. whew… I feel better now.

    Thanks Debbie, and I wish you a wonderful day full of smiles and calorie reduced goodies.

    1. Hi, Angelika; Yes, there’s nothing like a good rant to make you feel better! 🙂 I’m with you about the politicians. Sadly, the former are more plentiful than the latter. 😛

      Yes, that is the master bed. I invited the dogs up there to take the photo, but many also sleep there with us. Some have their own beds, too. They all enjoy coming here. It’s their “vacation resort”. 🙂

      Have a great day yourself. I’m trying to acquire a taste for “rabbit food”. Not working so far, but will try to persevere. We relax the restrictions slightly on the weekends.

  16. Happy New Year to you, Debbie

    Such cute dogs..I especially liked the second dog photos…My husband wants to get a dog in the future..I’m not yet sure what I want, thinking about it though..Is it a lot of work?

    1. Happy New Year, Nabanita! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes, dogs are a lot of work, almost as much as babies, especially in the beginning, because they need to be properly trained. Some breeds also require lots of exercise and are what you would call “high maintenance”. Other breeds have various health issues. Best to do some research. 🙂

    1. Yes, December is a no-holds-barred month for us and we always enjoy it but are of course aware that we will have to make up for it. The dogs are all trained properly and well-behaved. They like to pose. 🙂

    1. Hi, Corinne; Many people travel over the Christmas holidays and we always have the house full. Two dogs can sound like five if they’re both making a ruckus. 🙂 I didn’t know Pablo had a companion. How nice!

      1. HA HA HA — I like you but probably could live with you! I adored the dog photos — forgot to say that in my first comment. We put Lily to sleep last night — was sad about dogs today.

          1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Carol! Dogs are wonderful, but it never gets easier to say goodbye. ♥

            Yes, we would drive each other nuts, under the same roof, I’m sure. 🙂 I overworked myself into a severe burnout and am set on taking life much easier these days. You’re an amazing whirling dervish whom I greatly admire.

  17. I’m with you on the poop. When I came back home from vacation there was a fresh pile in my yard. I’m refusing to pick it up and hoping the rains wash it away. So far it’s still there, but tomorrow the gardener comes and that will hopefully remove the problem.

    We’re in a gated community so we don’t get many doorbell ringers. Get mostly annoying phone calls.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Disgusting, isn’t it? I wish I could catch some of these people in the act! It would have to be a major downpour to wash the poop off your lawn.

      Those door to door people are so annoying! Phone calls are easier to ignore, especially with Call Display. If it says “Unknown Caller”, it’s likely a telemarketer.

  18. Hi Debbie,

    Ahhhh, I loved seeing all the dogs. How adorable. I too am having to make up for the holiday festivities and food. I see you found a great resource with Sparkpeople. I am a proud supporter of Sparkpeople. I lost a mass amount of weight in my past through their website, support and resources. Great site. : )

    Happy New Year.


    1. Good day, Irish; The dogs like to pose. 🙂 So many of us are suffering those post-holiday consequences. Yes. the Sparkpeople website has some fabulous info and I’ll be exploring it in depth over the next few weeks. Glad I found a workout that doesn’t involve getting down on the floor! Thanks for dropping in and have a great week.