miss lillie, andrea and peaches

Yesterday I peeled 40+ peaches.  Today I will most likely do another 30, but I’m not sure.  I just put up three batches of apricot jam this morning and I’m pretty happy to be out of the kitchen, so peach-peeling decisions will be postponed for a while.


Stirring for 30 minutes, but worth it.

When you are settling in to peel fruit at the kitchen table for a couple of hours, you want to watch a movie (we don’t have television here, but we stream Netflix, etc.).  I picked “Silence of Music”, the story of Andrea Bocelli’s childhood and rise to fame.

I own a lot of Bocelli cd’s.

The movie, while not very exciting, was the perfect movie for peeling peaches.  Andrea was a sullen, miserable, mouthy kid.  He completely lost his sight at age 12, and then his voice changed during puberty and killed his dream of being an opera singer.  I loved his big Italian family, especially the uncle who could coax some smiles and life out of his moping nephew.

Bocelli really wasn’t happy about much of anything, except maybe his cute girlfriend (and eventual wife).  His big break came when he was supposed to replace Pavorotti on a rock tour and waited two years for the agency to call him.

Every time he sang, though, the movie came alive for me.  The ending showed a montage of his years as a success and I loved it, especially while his music played in the background.  It looked as though he’d cheered up substantially.  For his family’s sake, I certainly hope so.

So what does this have to do with someone called Miss Lillie, you ask?

You’ve heard this story before:  I rescued a very elderly Pekingese who had been tossed out of a car on the side of a road in West Virginia.  Rescued by passersby, she eventually found her way to Rhode Island (via PUR, the Pekingese Underground Railroad) to be my foster dog while she underwent surgery for mammary tumors and healed enough to be adopted.

But who would adopt an old lady like Miss Lil?  I decided she would stay with us, though Banjo Man took some convincing.

This one-eyed old lady had a lot of things wrong with her:  eye infection, ear infections, stomach issues and a lot of missing teeth.  She was the sweetest dog you’d ever meet, though.  She shouldn’t have trusted humans at all, but she decided she loved me on day two and became my constant companion until she died six years later (at the age of eighteen, the vet thought).

In those early weeks I had to treat her eye and her ears with medicated drops, something she barely tolerated.  I would hold her in my lap like a baby and put on an Andrea Bocelli cd and play two of my favorite songs while applying the medicine.  Miss Lillie learned to relax and associated all that snuggling with the sound of Bocelli.  There was nothing wrong with her hearing and any time I played “Sogno” she would come racing down the hall to look for me and wait to be picked up and held.

So while the “Silence of Music” isn’t a movie I could wholeheartedly recommend you watch (unless you’re a huge Bocelli fan), it certainly brought back a lot of good memories of when we were owned by an elderly Peke.

An excellent way to spend a morning.


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