24 November 2009

goodness blossoms

Not to jinx anything, but I sure have been feeling good lately. The past few weeks have gone very well. I've made it to work every day (except the one day after the beast came home and was not well). I've been able to keep up with things around the house and yard. I feel...renewed, somehow. I'm not certain what triggered the turn around, but I am enjoying every moment of it. I'm hoping that if I enjoy it, acknowledge it and focus on it, I'll create more of it. (See, Ren, I'm learning!)

The beast is doing pretty well. He did develop an infection at the site of one of his staples, but it is starting to heal and he seems to be doing well as far as his diabetes. That makes me very happy. He was also set free from the satellite dish. (Extreme Happiness ensued!)

I've had so much fun in the kitchen lately. I had forgotten how much I enjoy baking and cooking. This weekend was a kitchen frenzy! I made a delicious Squash Casserole for thanksgiving with my dad and family. I'd had this idea for cupcake that I wanted to try, so I experimented on Sunday.

Candy Kiss Cupcakes

They turned out pretty well, but there are a few little things I'll do different when I make them again. They seemed to be a big hit at work and I liked them very much.

This weekend I also made a chicken alfredo.

It was my first from scratch alfredo and was so easy and delicious. I can't wait to do it again. It just can't be too often since it has so many carbs. :(

Tomorrow is the last day of work this week. I'm hoping for an early release and if that comes through, I'll be sitting in the theater watching "New Moon". Most everyone I've heard from that has seen it loved it and have already seen it more than once. I'm hopeful that I will like it too. I hear they've already set the release date for "Eclipse". That was fast!

My mum's side of the family won't have our thanksgiving until Sunday so I have Thursday, Friday and Saturday all to myself. I'm already planning a few things I want to bake/cook and also want to get the house decorated for Yule. I'm hoping to put up a tree this year, if the finances can afford it.

Wow..it seems my new neighbors are in a band and practice in their garage. They are VERY loud. I can hear them as if I was sitting beside them even with windows closed and the TV pretty loud. Hmmm.. guess I'm an old fuddy duddy...but I really miss the quiet of the old neighbors. It's funny, because they had a band too, and practiced there, but it was never this loud. Sheesh...

Okay, enough with my old lady-ness... I'll leave you with a few photos...

flowers and pumpkin from the farmers market

a basket of blooms for thanksgiving (found on my doorstep when I arrived home today)

I hope you have a lovely holiday (if it is one you celebrate) and a wonderful night.


19 November 2009

bake, knit, look and listen

Well, it has been a grey few days here and I have to say I'm loving it. Winter gets closer with every raindrop. I think tomorrow the sun is to come out and the temps go back into the high 60's. I prefer cloudy and 30's with snow, but you take what you can get when you live in the south. :)

Tonight I made another batch of apple bread and this one seems to have turned out better than the first batch. I had a co-worker ask me to make them a loaf to take on a trip to see their family. She wants to pay me for it so now I have to figure out how much to ask. Weird. I've never been paid for my food before.

Speaking of food...

the addiction continues.... I need help... or to at least find a recipe that doesn't have as much sugar/carb count. :)

I worked on the black and white scarf last night and made a good amount of progress. I'm hoping to get it finished by Thanksgiving. I have an idea for a scarf that I want to try and am anxious to start it.

This weekend I have Thanksgiving with my dad's side. I'm to make a squash/zucchini casserole. Just as I was typing this I remembered that I forgot to get my supplies when I ran to the grocers to get supplies for the apple bread. Sheesh... guess I'll be going back to the grocers tomorrow.

Now for some color...

Japanese maple at the bedroom window

hmm... where did I leave that rake?

oh... this came in the mail today...

I think I'll check it out while I watch the UNC ballgame.

I'm loving this song...are you going to see the movie? I'm going to try to wait a few weeks, I don't like crowded theaters. So if you do see it, please don't tell me about it. :)


17 November 2009


I was checking email and cuddling with the beastie when I happened to glance out the front window. The color outside was such a pretty pink/orange mix that I grabbed my camera and ran out to try to capture it.

The picture is a little darker than the light actually was, but it is pretty close to what I saw.

In an effort to do more of my favorite things, I did a little experimenting at dinner tonight. I needed to find something to have with the chili that I made over the weekend. I can't stand eating the same leftovers after the third or fourth meal. So, I try to do some different things with them. What can you do to make chili different?

I had some potatoes and homegrown bell peppers in a bowl on the counter and I'd been contemplating what I could do with them. What to do, what to do...

So, I tossed some butter in a skillet...

...chopped up some bell peppers, a little onion and a couple of small potatoes.

I tossed the onion and pepper into the pan first.

I added the potatoes a few minutes later. Then I sprinkled on a little freshly ground black pepper, sea salt and nice dusting of garlic powder.

I gave them a stir and cooked them until the potatoes where just a little soft and browned.

I heated up a bit of this weekends chili, topped it with a little shredded cheese and...


It was pretty good, if I do say so myself. Simple, quick and a decent dinner.

I've been finding some very cool recipes online and am looking forward to trying some of them.

The apple and pumpkin breads that I took to work today were warmly received. I hope my co-workers won't mind being my guinea pigs when it comes to my baking. :)

A brief beastie update: Late yesterday afternoon, the amazing Dr. F (our favorite vet) called to check up on the beastie. I described his symptoms and his all night pee-fests. She prescribed a pain med which I immediately went to pick up. He snuck into bed with me last night and slept through the night. He didn't try to jump down at all and I was able to pick him up and lower him without too much trouble. He's still real wobbly on his legs and I can see some pain in his eyes. I think the pain medicine kind of drugs him a bit because he was very dizzy looking a few hours after he had it tonight. I guess we'll see how he does tonight. I'm to call Dr. F in the morning with another update. She is so fabulous!

Well, I'm off to do some more blog hopping. I need to work on the black and white scarf, but it is impossible to knit with this big satellite dish dog head in my lap. :)


16 November 2009

over the weekend

It's been a sort of lazy weekend around here. We've been letting the beastie rest. I slept the first night on the floor beside him, hoping that would help him feel better, to have me close. That was a miserable night! Saturday he continued to rest and recuperate and I piddled around the house and made pumpkin bread and homemade chili. Saturday night was pretty rough. The beastie didn't want to sleep and had to go out to pee every couple hours. I tried to keep him on his dog bed and moved it into the bedroom beside my bed, but he just couldn't get settled. He kept falling down the stairs whenever we went out for him to pee. His legs are just not steady or strong anymore.

Sunday, I mostly surfed the internet, tried to keep up online with the Steelers game (since it wasn't on TV here) and watched the Tarheels basketball game. The beast wouldn't eat breakfast and was very lethargic. I was trying to get some roasted chicken for him, but couldn't get out of the house and couldn't get anyone to bring me one from the store. I was finally able to get him to eat late that afternoon. Last night was another round of no sleeping and constant wandering around the house/needing to pee. We must have gone out every 45minutes to an hour from 9am until about 6:30 this morning. I decided to stay home with him today because I'm worried about the constant need to pee (but apparently that is only at night) and because I was exhausted. I was able to get him to lay back down and so I could get a little sleep this morning. Now he's conked out on the sofa beside me, snoring.

This morning I made apple bread. I used the same recipe that I use for my pumpkin and banana bread, it's my grandmother's recipe. I was a little worried after I mixed it all up because the batter was more like a dough. But I went ahead and baked it anyway.

It looks okay, but tastes better. The crust is a bit crunchy which I'm not fond of on sweet breads.

I've been in a cooking/baking mood for a while now. I love to cook/bake but I get bored with the leftovers after the third or fourth meal. Something that I want to do is try new recipes. I want to experiment a bit with my cooking and start eating outside of my normal range of foods. I also want to do more baking. I'm so inspired by most everything here, here and here.

So, as part of my ever improving outlook on life, I'm going to start doing some of my favorite things. (That is what this blog is about, isn't it?) I hope to post recipes and pictures of some of my fun.

Tomorrow is back to work, lack of sleep or no, and back to the regular day to day stuff. I'm trying to come up with how to spend my Thanksgiving. I only have to spend the Sunday after with family, but that gives me Thursday, Friday and Saturday all to myself. I wonder how much fun I can have in those three days. :)


14 November 2009

quick post

The beast came home last night. Yay! He's doing pretty good. He's not allowed up on the bed yet which means I slept on the floor last night... or tried to. :)

He has on an e-collar to keep him from picking at his incision.

Thanks for all your kind words, thoughts, wishes and prayers. It really means a lot to us.

Hopefully regular posting will resume...soon. :)

12 November 2009

keeping warm

It is 46 degrees outside, windy and very wet. Ida blew through our area yesterday bringing very high winds and pounding rain that at some times was falling sideways. The tree in my front yard has taken a beating. Pre-Ida it was still covered in beautiful yellow/gold leaves with just a hint of crimson. Now they are mostly on the ground. I watched yesterday as it seemed like it was raining leaves. I wish I'd taken pictures. :(

Beastie's progress is not so great. It was late Tuesday before they could get him to eat much. He apparently really likes Oven Roasted Turkey, but does not like plain mashed potatoes. :) Yesterday he ate really well, his regular dog food, and they took the catheter out and stopped giving him fluids. Today, he went back down hill. He wasn't eating and apparently was extremely lethargic. The doctor called me a little while ago and gave me the latest update. They had to put the catheter back in to give him fluids, mostly to try to flush the glucose out of his system. I'm hopeful that he will come home on Saturday, but at this point I'm not certain.

I can tell you it is a completely different atmosphere in the house without him. It's so quiet. I don't have to sweep the floor every day to clean up his shed fur. The biggest difference is I have room on the bed and sofa to stretch out. And I hate it. I always fuss at when he takes up most of the sofa or when I wake in the middle of the night to find he's pushed me to the very edge of the bed and he's all stretched out beside me taking up the whole thing. But now, I have it to myself. I can't stay warm. He's my heater and he's not here. I sure hope he comes home soon.

I've been drinking hot apple cider since I arrived home, hoping to warm me up from the inside out. It is delicious, but probably very bad for my blood sugar. :)

So, now to some knitting and then bed later.


09 November 2009

beastie update

I picked up beastie this morning and transferred him to his regular vet for monitoring. It took two techs to lift him out of the car and help him along to the building. We think the pain is causing him to lose control of his back legs and he is very, very wobbly. He's had a bit of arthritis for a while in those back hips and often has trouble with stairs and getting up and down from the bed/sofa.

He didn't eat until about 3:30 this afternoon and then it was just the teeniest bit. The doc says that isn't surprising given what he's been through but with the diabetes, it is a bit of a worry. The other worry is that his "PVC" (I think that is his platelet count/red blood cell?) was 44 before surgery but late this afternoon was down to 23. She thinks it is because of the liver biopsy they did but because of it being low they didn't want him to be alone at the vet all night. So he can be monitored all night, I had to take him back to the emergency place for him to spend the night. My brother (sweetheart that he is) met me up there and did the lifting so beastie wouldn't be hurt too much.

Tomorrow morning I'll go back to the emergency vet and transport him back to his regular vet for the day. If his "PVC" is good, he will spend a few more days at the vet before coming home. I have no way of keeping him contained (unless I buy a crate) and he must be confined/kept still and calm for at least 8-10 days. I have large steps in and out of the house and I know I can't lift him up and down the steps and don't think he could make them on his own. So, more than likely he'll be staying there for a few days.

I was so disturbed when I saw him this morning. He has a large incision down his belly and many, many staples sealing it shut. He couldn't lay down on his belly and couldn't get comfortable on his side, so he sat up on his butt, sort of almost on his back with his butt tucked under him. I don't think it helped me that his winky was sticking out. :)

Anyway, I didn't sleep all that well last night, weird dreams that I need to figure out the meaning behind. It is so strange not having him curled up beside me. Plus, he keeps me warm!

In other news...I did make it in to work today. Granted I was late due to transport of beastie, but I made certain I got in all 8 hours. It was weird being there, not as miserable as I expected it to be, but not as good as I'd hoped. I didn't have to plug up my ears with music all day. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. Wednesday is a holiday, and then there will be only two more days before two off. I have to figure out how to get myself through each day of work. I can't be off anymore.

Well, I'm off to watch the Steelers play the Broncos. My Tarheels already beat FIU in the college basketball opener. I love this time of year. :)


08 November 2009

Thank you St. Francis!

My beastie baby came through surgery just fine. The surgery took about two hours, they pulled out a big part of the cob that the surgeon said would never have been able to be passed through his system. They also got another small part that had the two toothpicks still in it. (I don't own any corn holders so I use toothpicks - which increased my worry about him having eaten it to begin with. He'd already vomited up the other two toothpicks and a small part of the cob.)

She did find some abnormal looking sites on one of his liver nodes and biopsied that, but said that for his age and as long as he's been diabetic, he looks pretty good. When she called, about 40 minutes after surgery ended, he was already standing up and moving around.

I'll go get him in the morning, take him (some food and his insulin) to his regular vet for them to monitor him and make sure he eats and his blood sugar is stable. Hopefully he will come home tomorrow night.

Thank you for your prayers. I just don't know what I'd do without him. I'm already plotting how I'm going to stay warm tonight! :)


please say a prayer...

...for my beastie. He will be under going surgery shortly to remove an obstruction from his stomach. What could be blocking it? A Corn Cob. That's right. He snuck one out of the trash while I was distracted by my mum. And after I'd been so careful since the last time. This one apparently is larger and is wedged in his stomach so they couldn't get him to vomit it up. (Don't you just love that word? Not!)

I'm at home, I would go crazy sitting up there waiting. At least waiting at home I can do things to keep me occupied. Who knows, I may end up going back up there anyway. I'm very worried. His age, his diabetes and the ever present "chance" when you have to sedate a pet. oy...

They let me see him before I left and I told him I wasn't ready for him to leave just yet and he'd best behave himself and come home safe and sound.


05 November 2009

sinking again...

i feel myself slipping

back down

under the shadows, under the grey

i'm afraid

of what? i have no idea...

there is so much

pain, anger, fear and uncertainty

today is the first day out since sunday

this causes more anxiety, more worry...

will they forgive me for not being there,

will they let me come back? can i make myself go back?

i feel like i'm on a runaway roller-coaster

one that has no breaks, no stops, it just spins...

round and round... will it ever stop?

i don't know who to talk to, where to go, what to do anymore

one minute, i want to just disappear

the next, cry out for help

by the time i make up my mind to do one or the other

my mind changes...again, so i have to start trying to figure it out

all over again...