My little buddy

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Meet My Saviour: Midget

Since Sunny passed away, my mother has been very depressed. She literally cried every day. We could be talking about the pets or Sunny and she would start getting teary or I could look over and she would be in tears. It just didn't seem to be getting any better.

The worst times were when she got supremely bitchy at me. Out of the blue, she would take pot shots at me or bite my heat off for no reason. The last time she got that way was the last time. For me. I'd had enough.

That meant I had to come up with a plan. Something to change the status quo. One night, Mum asked me to bring up the SPCA webpage to have a look at the pooches. No luck ... and let's face it - she really wanted a Golden ... soooooo I popped on to Kijiji and did some looking. There I found a breeder that I had met last year in my search for my own Golden. She had another litter ready to go for Christmas!

I called and made arrangements for us to go out on a Sunday evening. Mum worried about it every day until we went out. The puppies were soooo cute! And little chubs! Except for one. The runt. And that was the one Mum was taken with. She oohed and aaahed, hummed and hawed. Since the pup was so small, she was going to have to stay a week longer than the rest of the pups, so Mum said we would check back later in the week. The next day I called the breeder and arranged to buy the runt - the one they had nicknamed Midget.

I never told Mum about buying her for almost a week. One day, she said out of the blue - we should have gotten that puppy, shouldn't we? So I told her then. We made arrangements to bring the runt home on a Sunday evening ... Mum worried herself sick about it for days before.

When we brought her home, Gus fell totally in love. Mum had been scared that Gus' nose would be out of joint ... but it wasn't. You see, since Sunny died, he's been incredibly lonely. Well ... not anymore! He's got a buddy. And even though she's small, he still gets to play.

By the way, Mum hasn't cried once since Midgie came home!

So here's some pics of the Gus and Gus's dog Midget:






















































































Friday, December 18, 2009

Day Fourteen

So Day Fourteen is another recipe! It's one that I made up out of neccessity because it was discontinued. Last year, Philly Dips had a Sweet'n'Tangy Thai dip ... it was deelish! But, it's now discontinued. I LOVED that dip! Sweet with a bit of hot bite! Yummy! So I came up with this homemade version this month .... everybody coming to the Secret Santa party will be able to sample it!!

Sweet'n'Tangy Thai Dip
by Jeanette Norcott

8oz cream cheese, at room temp
4 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce (such as PC Memories of Thailand Sauce)
1-1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
2 tsp dried chives
1 tsp dried toasted onion

Mix all ingredients together. Refirgerate at least 30 minutes before serving to allow dried herbs to soften. Serve with dippers of your choice.

NOTE: I used VE Minced Garlic, Chives and Toasted Onion in this recipe. They worked very well!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day Thirteen

So Day Thirteen's MFT is a recipe. It isn't one I have tried yet though .... it's a new one. And it's one we will be having for dessert at the Secret Santa Party!!!!!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans before serving.
Serve with chocolate wafers, graham crackers and Nilla wafers.

Day Twelve

Today's MFT of the Season is another list! Not just any list - but a tasty one!

Top 5 Christmas Chocolates To Receive

5. Ganong Mint Patties
4. Lindt Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate Truffles
3. Ferrero Rocher
2. Toffifee
1. Toblerone

So what are your Top 5 Chocolates of the Season?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day Eleven

Day eleven of My Favourite Things of the Season is going to be a list! The top five Christmas songs - MY top 5! Feel free to post what your top 5 are!

Top 5 Fave Christmas Songs

5. O Holy Night - Charlotte Church or Il Divo
4. Here Comes Santa Claus - Elvis
3. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer - Ray Stevens or Irish Rovers
2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
1. So This Is Christmas - John Lennon

Day Ten

It struck me this morning as I sat down at the computer that I hadn't posted anything for Monday or Tuesday! Bad blogger!!! And what's awful is that I was actually complaining the past two days that I was bored! That being the case, I will post twice today and twice tomorrow.

This is a recipe I haven't made in a few years, but is sooooo tasty! I think I will have to make it for the Secret Santa party this year!

Creamy Baked Bruschetta

1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup grated Mozza cheese
2 medium tomatoes seeded and finely diced (see tip below)
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese (or 2 tbsp dry)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 baguette, sliced in 1" slices
Olive oil, to brush

Mix the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl.

Brush baguette slices with olive oil on one side only. Arrange oiled side on a baking sheet. Divide tomato mixture evenly among slices. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.

Serve warm.

NOTES: For the tomatoes, you can also use 1 cup canned diced tomatoes that are well drained. You can also substitute the herbs with 2 tsp VE Bruschetta Herbs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day Nine

So, since I've been so bad about posting the last few days, here's another recipe for you. I got this one from an old friend. It sounds odd to put crackers in it, but it is soooo good!

Breton Brittle

28 Dare Breton crackers
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter (I've used margarine too)
1 pkg. (300g) Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans) or it can be optional

Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil. Arrange a single layer of crackers over bottom of pan. Arrange a second layer of crackers to cover spaces between crackers in first layer, breaking some crakers if necessary.

In medium saucepan combine sugar and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat; pour evenly over crackers in pan.

Bake in 400F pre-heated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow to sit for a few mins. When chips are soft and melty, spread evenly over top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Chill until chocolate is set. Break into pieces to serve. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day Eight

Here's the second post I promised yesterday but forgot to do until I was in bed last night ... one of my absolute FAVOURITE THINGS for Christmas is Peanut Brittle. I've made it both ways - the long, more labour intensive stovetop method and the easy microwave method. Guess which one this recipe is?

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1-1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts ( I just used the cheap blanched, salted NoName peanuts)
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup (I used what I had on hand - golden corn syrup)
1 tbsp butter OR margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda

1. Grease a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and, here's the big tip, put it in a 250 degree oven. This will allow you to spread the brittle a little easier later.
2. In a glass bowl (I used a Pyrex 8L glass measuring cup/bowl), mix sugar and corn syrup. It will look like sand, because there is so little moisture. Pour the peanuts on top. No need to mix them in. Microwave for 6 - 7 minutes (I went with 7).
3. While the mixture is in the microwave, measure out the rest of your ingredients. This is important because you won't have time to do it later as you go through the steps.
4. When the 7 minutes are up, remove from the microwave and stir in the butter/margarine and the vanilla. Microwave for 2-3 minutes (I went with 3).
5. Remove your cookie sheet from the oven just before the timer goes off on the microwave.
6. When the 3 mintues are up, remove from the microwave and quickly stir in the baking soda. Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet and quickly spread it around.

That's it! No candy thermometers, no soft and hard boil stages. Just set it and forget it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day Seven

So sorry ladies! It totally slipped my mind yesterday to post! It was a crazy day! So I will post twice today - two recipes even!

Zesty Cheese Spread

8oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp green onion, sliced thinly
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers

1. Mix cream cheese and Miracle Whip together until well combined.
2. Add cheese and onions; mix well.
3. Spread into a 9" pie or quiche plate (or dip baker).
4. Sprinkle top with crumbled bacon and crushed crackers.
5. Bake in a 350F pre-heated oven for 15 mins or until bubbly round the edges. Serve with a variety of crackers.

NOTES: You can use a 1/4 cup of Maple Leaf or Oscar Mayer bacon crumbles instead of cooking your own bacon. Use Miracle Whip instead of mayo to give it that extra tangy-ness. You can also use low-fat or reduced-fat products to save a few calories.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Day Six

Today's MFT is a list of My FAVE Claymation and Cartoon Holiday Shows. Christmas just isn't Christmas without seeing these.


My Top 5 Christmas Claymation/Cartoons
1.Frosty the Snowman ... I watch this every year. I cry like a baby at the end every year. It's a tradition!


2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer .. what's Christmas without Rudolph and Hermey the Elf who wants to be a dentist?
3. Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas .. I even have a CD of this to listen to in the car!

4. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town ... it's how Santa came to be! Need I say more?





5. And finally ... A Charlie Brown Christmas ... no holiday is complete without a Charlie Brown tree!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Day Five

So today is another recipe! It's my Faux Eggs Benny - I make this every year for Christmas morning. It's one of those "wife-savers" that you prepare the day before you need it and keep refrigerated. There is some work to it, but it's sooooo worth it!

In the past, I have added VE Fine Herbs and a dash of VE Poultry Seasoning to the sauce and it was super tasty! My version calls for Cheddar cheese. I have also used a combo of Cheddar and Gouda which was superb! You can also use Swiss or Havarti.



Faux Eggs Benny

4 English muffins

16 bacon slices

8 large eggs
Water

Sauce:
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups grated Cheddar
1/2 cup white wine

Topping:
1 tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes

1. Split English muffins and toast. Arrange English muffins in a greased 9x13" pan.

2. Fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Arrange two slices of bacon on each muffin half.

3. Heat water in a large saucepan until it comes to a simmer. Poach eggs, one at a time, just until set. Remove egg with a slotted spoon and arrange over bacon slices. (Further poaching instructions below)

4. For the sauce, melt the butter/margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Mix in flour, paprika, and pepper. Cook flour mixture for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in milk. Stir until it comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add cheese and wine. Stir until cheese melts. Spoon over the eggs.

5. Melt second butter/margarine in a medium bowl in the microwave until melted. Stir in cornflakes until combined. Sprinkle over sauce.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 375F. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Poaching An Egg
This can be easy or tricky. Just depends on the method! The easiest way is the egg poacher. It comes in many different forms, from a stand-alone appliance for the counter to a saucepan with egg cups to silicone cups that float in any saucepan. If you are able to use any of these methods to poach your eggs, go for it!

If not, here are a few tips that I've picked up along the way:
1. Use a a medium saucepan - you don't want a pan that's too small. And make sure your pan is half full - you don't want the water too shallow.
2. Bring your water to a good simmer, not a rolling boil otherwise you will lose most of your egg white.
3. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water when it comes to a simmer - this will help keep the egg together.
4. Crack your egg into a small prep bowl. This will allow you to quickly and gently slip your egg into the simmering water. When slipping the egg into the water, do it all at once - no hesitating!
5. No matter how many times you've poached an egg this way, you will ALWAYS loose some of your egg white. It's inevitable.
6. When poaching an egg for recipes like this, always cook the egg until the white is **just** set and the yolk is still runny ... you still have to bake the eggs in the oven so they will have more cooking time.

Well, that's it! Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Day Four

So one of My Favourite Things for the Holiday Season is making and giving quilts for gifts. I always try to make one for my Secret Santa recipient. And usually a couple of other smallish gifts. In the past, I've given away throw quilts (perfect for the couch), twin quilts, wallhangings, and tablerunners. This year is no different. Here are a few examples of some of the quilts I've made in the past and a current one!



This was Kayin's Christmas gift last year. He was in to the whole marine biology thing ... I found the the shark fleece at Joann's in Portsmouth and couldn't resist.




This is actually a quilt I was paid to make as a Christmas gift. It's a jeans quilt with corduroy borders and a flannel back.



This was my Grammy's gift ... a lap quilt because she is always cold. The border is a cardinal print (she loves birds).

And this is a gift for someone this year! For my Emma-bug, actually. It's not too big .... basically enough for her to curl up in. She already has a cute comforter, so I didn't want to make a quilt for her bed ... so this is good enough.
So, if you have a quilted gift from me, send me a pic and I will post it here!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Day Three

Ok, so this isn't one of my favourite things, but if I can save someone the pain of watching any of these holiday movies, then my job is done. Today's MFT is a list - The Top Five Crappiest Christmas Movies. Now, some of them you may disagree with ... remember, this is MY list. I genuinely dislike all these movies and wouldn't EVER recommend them.


The Top 5 CRAPPIEST CHRISTMAS Movies

5. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000) - You know, the one with Jim Carrey. Major disappointment. Just because Jim Carrey thinks he can "do" the Grinch doesn't mean he should. Stick with the original folks!










4. ANY "Home Alone" Movie! If I ever see Kevin trying to outsmart a bunch of half-wit thugs again, it will be way too soon.









3. This slot is a tie! I don't know which is more painful "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993) or "Elf" (2003). But if I was forced to watch one of these movies ... I would have to lean towards "Elf".








2. "A Christmas Story" (1983) - let's just say that I wanted Ralphie to get his coveted BB gun so he could shoot me between the eyes and put me out of my misery! One word - BORING!








And the number one crappiest Christmas movie goes to ......

1. "It's A Wonderful Life" (1946) - I am in complete agreement with Phoebe Buffet on this one - it should be called "It's A Sucky Life" and when you think it can't suck anymore, it does! Sorry folks, but I can't stand this movie - it's one depressing thing after another ... for what? A few happy minutes at the end? No way! And it's unfortunate because acting-wise, Jimmy Stewart was great in it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Day Two

So Day Two is another recipe! It's super simple and way yummy!

Honeyed Chocolate Pastries

1 pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed
3 Hersheys Milk Chocolate bars, broken in pieces
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Honey, to drizzle
Milk, to brush
Confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 425F. Unroll both rolls of puff pastry. Cut each sheet into 12 squares. Divide the Hersheys Milk Chocolate bar pieces and semi-sweet chocolate chips evenly between the pastry squares. Drizzle honey generously over each square. Fold each square in half and press edges to seal. Don't worry if it isn't perfect, that's ok. Place pastries on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets. Brush each pastry top with a bit of milk. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Dust pastry tops lightly with confectioner's sugar and serve warm.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Day One of MFT

So my first post of My Favourite Things of the Season is a recipe. And not just any recipe, but my absolute fave appetizer recipe. I only make these babies at Christmas because I love them soooo much. I literally can eat all of them by myself. For that reason, I only make them once a year .... or I'd end being an even bigger blimp.

Lazy Sausage Rolls

2 cups Bisquick
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup water
1 lb sausage meat, casings removed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional

Stir Bisquick and onion powder together. Add water and mix together. Form into a ball, turn out onto a floured surface and knead it 8-10 times. Roll the dough into a 15x18" rectangle.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix sausage and pepper. It's easiest to do this with your hands. Yucky, I know, but easiest. Spread the meat across the rolled out dough, leaving a 1/2" border on all sides. Starting at a long end, roll the dough up like a jelly roll. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm. This will make slicing easier.

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease baking sheets with aerosol spray. Remove sausage rolls from freezer and unwrap. Slice sausage rolls into 1/4" thick slices. Place on baking sheets. Bake about 15 minutes.

A Couple of Notes:
I like to use the Superstore Atlantic Choice sausages - both the Hot Italian and the Sun-dried Tomato. In fact, most of the time, I will use a half pound of each and mix them together. I don't usually use the cayenne pepper because most of the people I make these for aren't good with hot, spicy foods. When I do make these, I bake them till they're just barely cooked or slightly undercooked. Then I cool them completely, layer them between waxed paper in a freezer container and freeze them till I need them. When I reheat them, I simply bake them at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until they are heated through.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One More Day

Just one more day and the countdown is on! 25 days of My Favourite Things - Christmas-style!

Since Princess has requested recipes, I will start the first couple of days with them ... then hit a few other faves of the season.

So check it out tomorrow! You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You

Well, this blog ...

December will be the Month of My Favourite Things!

A friend suggested that I since my blog was so sparse lately, that I could post recipes inspired by the Christmas season .... Well, I guess I could make myself do that ... or something like it.

I am thinking that I will post recipes, crafts, gift ideas, lists, and more recipes.

So check back here next Tuesday, December 1st for the first MFT.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One of My Favourite Things

One of my favourite things is the Serenity Prayer. It was written more than 60 years ago and has been adopted by AA as their mantra/prayer. But it's most definitely applicable to any area of a person's life, for any person, any time ...

"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Crazy October

I'm here! I'm alive! Super busy and not enough time, but I am breathing!

On the table the last month has been back problems, Sunny passing away, scrapping weekend with the girls, Halloween, working in a new little boy for daycare, sitting with my grammy when needed, organizing Secret Santa (Oh yeah!), trying to keep orders straight, and a million other things. Oye!

November isn't going to be much better, I am sure. Almost every weekend is booked already - Nov 7 is ROAD TRIP! with the girls and Nov 8 sitting with my grammy, Nov 13 and 14 is shopping trip in Bangor, Nov 21 will probably be sitting with my grammy and 22 is a CROP. Still not sure what the 28th and 29th will bring, but I am sure they will book up pretty quickly.

I'm exhausted just typing that out!

But I am sure I will manage to get through it all. I hope. LOL!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Donair Night!

I really like this Donair recipe! The main reason? I can make it lower fat than the meat you buy at the grocery store. I LOVE donairs, but they aren't fat-friendly by any means. This recipe allows you to use lean or extra lean ground beef. Now, you should know that the texture is different from the store bought stuff. It's not as 'smooth'. It's also a little drier. That's the trade off for making it lower fat. If you want more of that store bought texture, you will need to use regular or medium ground beef (ugh). I am going to post the recipe for the sweet sauce, which I haven't tried yet. But if you aren't able to buy it (say if you're all the way across the country LOL), then this might be an acceptable substitute. I got this recipe off Allrecipe.com and I've tweaked it a bit.

Donair Meat
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt (no more or it's WAY too salty)
1 tbsp flour OR 2 tbsp bread crumbs (made it both ways and they are both good)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 to 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder (I love garlic to I use the higher amount)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients by hand. For a smoother texture, you need to knead the meat mixture vigorously for 2-3 minutes. OR, if you have a Kitchen Aid standing mixer, you can place all the ingredients in the bowl and knead with the bread hook for 2-5 minutes on medium-low speed. Place the meat mixture in a bread loaf pan and pat down. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly before removing the loaf to a paper towel lined plate. Allow to cool for 1-2 hours before thinly slicing. Any leftover meat can be frozen. A loaf can generally make 8-12 donairs, depending on how generous you are with the slices.

Sweet Sauce
1 12oz can evaporated milk
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp white vinegar

Mix milk, sugar and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in white vinegar, 1 tsp at a time, until thickened to your desired consistency.

Hope everyone likes it!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Day 3

And I am totally freaking exhausted.

My mother is going to kill me with lack of sleep.

She can't sleep well, so apparently I must not sleep at all.

She is totally depressed. Who wouldn't be after losing the Super Dog? Man, I wish I'd taken a pic of Sunny in a cape! That would have been an awesome LO! I wonder if I spiked Mum's tea with some of my zoloft if she would notice? LOL.

Seriously, it's going to be a l-o-n-g time before she stops bursting into tears. Gus is super depressed. He's rarely his usual jackass self.

I know a lot of people don't understand why a dog's death is so important. Obviously, these are not people who have had furbabies; they are people who have never had pets or their pets were just animals, not your baby and companion.


On another note, my aunts went in together and gave my mother a sympathy card with almost $400 in it to help with the vet's fees. That sent her into tears again. I had to tear up too cuz it was pretty awesome of them.


And jumping to another subject, I am now on the lookout for the breeder we got Sunny from. We can't remember the woman's name, but she lives in Penniac. She breeds Golden Retrievers and Golden Labs. Sunny was actually a half and halfer. It's too early to think about getting a puppy, but the search for this breeder may take a while. And who knows when she will have a litter ready to go, right? So, if you hear of this breeder, could you let me know?

And here's something to check out ... the calendar I made my mother for Christmas and Sunny and Gus's first meeting:
http://prittykitty-catsmeow.blogspot.com/2008_12_21_archive.html

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Unreal

Mum and I are just trying to get through today. Mum is going to have a really hard time. It took her six months to stop bursting into tears over Lukey. It's going to be much longer with Sunny.

I am drowning my woes in bad food. I've had a bag of chips, regular coke, and two slices of german chocolate cake. I am actually feeling better .. the chocolate totally releases the endorphins.

And because I know I am eating emotionally, I did it in small quantities. I only let myself get the small bag of chips and the small bottle of pop. Enough to soothe, but not enough to gain 10 pounds.

Gus is depressed now. Probably because of us. Perhaps he can smell it on our clothes, who knows? But he knows she gone. We're going totake him down to play with my aunt's dog Chloe. Chloe will thump him a bit and raise his spirits.

It feels like it happened days ago, but it just happened this morning.

Today just seems like time is totally suspended. There's an unreal quality to everything.

I keep coming back to the same question: what are we going to do without the Sunny Bubble?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Last 36

The last 36 hours have been horrendous.

We are both exhausted.

All we did Sunday was try to keep the meds and some water in Sunny. She vomitted several times. By the evening we had figured a system that worked - 1/2 cup of water once an hour, gravol and pepto one hour before the steroid, and all the pills were cut up in small pieces for easier digestion. Sunny was able to walk outside to pee. Granted she was weaving like a drunk, but she still managed to do it. She only vomitted once over night, and a very small amount at that. She is no longer peeing blood, thank goodness.

I arranged to take the day off so Sunny would have one more day of rest. And I am so glad I did.

This morning Sunny was worse. She couldn't manage to get up anymore and she wet herself three times. She was pretty listless. I gave her gravol and pepto dose at 9:30, Mum gave the steroid at 10:30 and she had some pedialyte about an hour after that. Shortly thereafter, we noticed her gums were slightly yellow. An hour later they were very yellow, as were the whites of her eyes. Even the flesh in her ears. She had become very jaundiced in an hour.

We arranged to bring her into the vet shortly after that. I brought the truck up to the front steps and we moved Sunny to the back of my truck on a blanket. She never struggled once. When we got to the vet's, I carried her in and they took her out back. Dr. Lewis checked her hematocrit and it was bad! Really bad. So they started her on a slow drip IV and double dose of dexamethasone (by injection).

We went home, then returned three hours later to visit with her. Sunny is going to be at the vet for at least another day or two. Her hematocrit dropped even lower in those three hours, but with the steroid and the IV, she seemed a bit better. At least she could lift her head and hold it up for a couple of minutes, which she was totally incapable of doing earlier in the day. We brought Gus with us for a visit too. He was happy to see his Sunny, but soon lost interest when he realized there was sooooo many other animals in cages to torture. Little bugger.

Mum is going over tomorrow morning at 8 and I will go over while the kids do naptime in the afternoon. Gus won't be going anymore. What an asshat he is.

Although, I have to say that he has been wonderful since Sunny got sick. He didn't pester her, he's been much calmer than ever, and he's been extremely patient. I just hope he can keep it up.

Hopefully tomorrow will be much better than today - hopefully Sunny will be on her way to getting better.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Death's Door

So the hits keep on coming!

Friday night, I went to my grandmother's for the weekend. I took my moron dog with me, of course. Gus and Sunny played outside for a bit and all seemed well. When offered a piece of buttered toast before bed, Sunny turned her nose up at it. Highly unusual.

The next morning, Sunny had a hard time coming down the stairs and was very listless. She wouldn't eat a scrambled egg and toast at breakfast. Totally unheard of before! She wouldn't drink any water. Another never before! She looked like she was severely ill.

As she lay in the dining room, we discussed calling the vet. We weren't sure what to do. I looked into her eyes and I swear, I could see death. She was miserable, in pain, and helpless. So I told Mum to call the vet. She said she would as soon as she came back in from a smoke. I told her no. Do it right now. You're going to get the answering service. It then takes time to track the vet down. It could be a while before they get back to us.

Sure enough, it took almost an hour before the vet called. She told Mum it could be pancreatitis from eating a pork sausage at lunch on Friday. Mum was still worried so the vet told us to come in. She sat in the back seat with Sunny while I drove. Thank goodness we didn't meet a mountie all the way there ... I'm sure the fine is pretty steep for 130km/h in an 80km/h zone.

We got there and the vet looked her over. Not our normal vet, one of the other associates. But that's ok, she's pretty good. Sunny has a fever and slightly enlarged liver. The vet did blood work. Her haemoglobin came back really bad. The lowest threshold is 12. Sunny was at 5.9.

Diagnosis? She has haemolytic anemia. FROM THE FUCKING BEE STING. It was something that Dr. Lewis mentioned a month ago. That is was a possibility, but less likely. Basically, Sunny's allergic reaction to the sting has messed up her immune system so that it's now attacking her red blood cells. If we hadn't brought her in Saturday morning, she would have been dead by nightfall.

The vet gave her a shot of fast-acting steroid. We then had the option of taking her home with us and giving her the meds in pill form or leaving her at the vet for the night. We decided to take her home for several reasons - we could keep an eye on her, whereas she would only be looked in on by the vet every six hours; she would be severely stressed if we left her there; and if she did die in the night, I wanted Mum to be with her, not alone in a kennel.

We went back to North Tay and Sunny settled in the TV room for the day. She wouldn't drink any water or touch her canned food. I went out for a walk with Gus, then went out to Mel's for a visit. By the time I got back to the house, my mother had worked herself up again. I got her settled down and we made supper. We decided we would take the dogs home. Mum wanted to be closer to the vet in case something happened. And if Sunny died in the night, she didn't want Grammy to see it. Grammy already feels bad enough (because the sting happened up there originally, but really could have happened ANYWHERE) and she really loves Sunny. Well, who wouldn't? Sunny's the sweetest dog known to man. When we left, Grammy was in tears. We called once we got home and reassured her Sunny was ok.

By 10pm, Sunny still wouldn't drink much, so we syringed some water into her. Then we gave her the steroids and famotidine (for her stomach) and syringed some more water. At about 3:30 am, she threw up a bunch of bile, some food from Friday's supper and water. An hour later she popped up and tried to make it to the back door. Unfortunately, or fortunately actually otherwise we wouldn't have known, she peed all over the kitchen floor. It was a river of red. She was bleeding.

Mum woke me and told me what was going on. She immediately started to clean up the blood. I called the vet. Dr. Lewis was on call for Sunday (thank goodness! she's our regular vet) and she called back within 10 minutes. By that time we were dressed and ready to go. For no reason apparently. She told me it was typical of high-dose steroids. It causes bleeding in the bladder and colon. It can cause bleeding in the joints. We needed to keep track of how much blood she was passing, how often because she might need a transfusion. If her gums and tongue lost the pink colour or her joints swelled up with blood, she'd need to be brought in immediately.

We went back to bed and Sunny settled on Mum's bed. At 7:30, she threw up again. Once she was done, I carried her outside and she peed another litre of bloody urine. She came back inside, had another drink and settled in the living room.

Since then, she has layed on the floor, looking miserable. But she has kept the water down. She is keeping the famotidine down right now. She got her steroid a few minutes ago and has now thrown it up. It was crushed so maybe she digested some.

Tomorrow we are going to see if we can get her transfused. It will give her more energy and hopefully help her feel better.

If things don't improve, we may have to put her down. I don't know how we will cope. We put Lukey down only a year ago. Mum will be crushed. Gus will be devastated without his Sunny. But it's looking bad. Really bad.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Miracle Worker

Soooo ... things are progressing. The last week has been good.

I went for my fourth adjustment at the chiropractor today. I gotta say, I love my chiropractor!

This is how much pain I was in - after the first adjustment last Friday, I felt like a million bucks!

I am practically pain free now. After only 4 adjustments! I still have three weeks to go ... I want this problem fixed, rather than just patched so I will do the whole course of treatment. It's looking good!

I would totally recommend him ... looking for a Freddy chiropractor? Check out Dr. Aaron Johnston ... he works miracles!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Step 2

So I have embarked on Step 2 of my "me makeover". What's that?

That would be the oft attempted, but never reached goal of weight loss and maintenance.

Fun fun!

So a week ago Thursday I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting in ... well never mind how many years. Let's just say it's been a while.

The first meeting was ok, did the whole "new member" meeting at the end of the group support meeting. I have shelled out a good portion of money for this ... prepaid for 4 months, in the hopes that I will stick with it.

Weighing in .... I was shocked! Shocked, I say! Totally shocked at the numbers on the scale. But not for the reason you think. I actually weighed 25 lbs less than I thought I did. You know how people think they weigh less than they actually do? Well, I guess I am just the opposite.

The system is about the same as it was the X number of times I have tried it before. There are a few changes with the 'Filling Foods' and extra points you get ... it's actually pretty damn easy to follow the plan. So I say now, with all of my food points. But for every ten pounds you lose, you go down one food point ... man that's going to be a bitch if I lose what I want.

So, I went to my second meeting this past Thursday. I totally thought I had gained. But I didn't. I lost 4.4 lbs. Yay me! Of course, the first few weeks are the easiest to lose. Specially when you have so much to lose. It will be a real challenge when I get to my 10%. After that, it's usually all downhill for me.

But we'll see how it goes. Right now I am totally psyched to do this. With back and hip pain and my aunt's recent diagnosis of congestive heart failure, I need to do this. I have to do this. And I am totally motivated to do this. I just hope I can keep it up.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Removed

My post about FB Status' has been removed. One of the authors of the status e-mailed me about it. After thinking about it, about her reasons, I decided to remove the post to be fair.

So now it's gone.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Do You Think?

Ok, I have been told that I need to go to physio for my back. (Yes, by a doctor.)

I don't have health insurance so whatever I do, I pay out of pocket.

So my question is - should I go to a physiotherapist? Or should I go to a chiropractor instead?

Back problems tend to be an issue in my family. I know my mother, an aunt and an uncle are almost singlehandedly keeping the Johnstons in business. And they seem to get good results.

I just don't know which to see. I know doctors tend to look down on chiropractors, so maybe they don't refer them?

I have never been sent for any kind of treatment regarding my back even though this a recurring problem, only told to lose weight. Gee, ya think? But that's easier said than done. As most of these skinny-assed doctors wouldn't know.

So I just don't know which to do. Anyone been to a chiropractor and/or physiotherapist? Any advice?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's Been a While

I know, I know! I have been delinquent in posting lately. There are reasons. Some of them mundane like being exhausted, some of them very personal like upheaval with my health and a friendship. Needless to say, I have not had the desire to post anything lately.

The past month has been a whirlwind of:
  • vet's visits for Sunny's bee sting (we're up to 4 now and three medications)
  • daycare goodbyes for Jessica
  • daycare hellos for newby Foster
  • a wonderful visit with Lauren
  • trying to do as much as possible with Sarah before she headed back to GM
  • an impromptu trip to NH to see my aunt who was suddenly hospitalized and diagnosed with congestive heart failure
  • being exhausted, dealing with back & hip pain
  • coming to the conclusion that the end of a close friendship is actually much healthier for me than trying to cling to it, trying to be someone I'm not just to conform (thank you Mary Magdalen Horrowitz! LOL!)
  • dealing with a snotty dog who is going through his terrible twos!
  • trying to get out and do some mini vacays
  • finding out that my doctor's staff has totally dropped the ball and never scheduled any of the things my doctor wanted done ... IN JUNE!
  • trying to get my doctor's nurse to fix the mess she has created ... I am on my third week of calls
  • dealing with the construction on my street ... wasn't that big of a problem until this morning when the excavator almost crushed my truck as I was driving out of my driveway
  • planning field trips for the kids

My biggest problem that makes all the other problems seem so much worse is my health - the weight, the exhaustion, the pain. And because of that, I have made the promise to myself to try and put more effort into me and my health. I have been accused of being selfish and self-centered and maybe I am. And maybe my deciding to do more for myself makes me more selfish and self-centered, but I believe if I do not do this I will be dealing with a whole host of problems that will make everything pale in comparison.

The first step for my health has been to let go of relationships that aren't healthy - it's actually been a great relief mentally and emotionally. The last two years have been a mental and emotional rollercoaster. This last week, after having given a lot of thought to it and making the decision to move forward, I have been feeling great mentally and emotionally. That just reinforces to me that I made the correct decision.

The second step has been harder. The first week of June, my doctor told me she was scheduling a full abdominal ultrasound, a gynie referral and several other things. I called Central Scheduling three weeks ago to find out what was going on and lo and behold - NOTHING! The nurse has screwed everything up. I have been on the phone with the doctor's office several times trying to resolve this. I am getting nowhere. I had a couple of prescriptions that needed refills so I went to Dr. Tingley's walk-in clinic this morning at Brookside. While I was there, I asked Cheryl for advice on what to do (since Dr. Tingley used to be my doctor), so now I know what I need to do this week to get results. Hopefully this works.

Third step is getting my eating under control. And that is going to be the hardest of all. I love to eat. I love food. But unfortunately, I also am a big emotional eater. And that is something I have to deal with. It's going to be an uphill battle. But after watching something yesterday, I now know that if I don't do this now, I never will.

Fourth step is getting on the go. I have to move. I have to get out and move my ass. I love exercising when I am actually doing it. It's just making myself do it that is the problem. I need to rediscover that love of working out.

And the fifth and final step - I need to have more fun. Fun is underestimated by all of us. Just pure, simple fun ... something I was reminded of when watching Randy Pausch's lecture again.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunny Update

Well, the swollen ear flaps are angiodema ... her face is slightly swollen, her neck has hives, and her ears are on their way to being footballs - that's actually what the vet told me. And it's all due to the bee sting.

The benadryl was working for the most part ... but her immune system is still screaming from the sting hence the angiodema. She is now on a steriod/anti-histamine combo pill to fight it. The unfortunate thing about the ears is that if it gets worse, they may get so swollen that they articulate and cut off good blood supply which will result in the vet aspirating the fluid from her ears. Not good. So we are trying to get it under control now.

Poor Sunny is feeling it now ... she's quiet and doesn't have the energy to really do anything but lay there. Hopefully this new med will help her out.

We also have to get an epipen to have on hand in case of any future bee stings. Since she had this kind of reaction this time, chances are her reaction will be much worse if there's a next time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Hasn't Been Sunny's Week

Poor Sunny Bubbles. She's had the worst week ever!

On the weekend, she developed a red area on her left shoulder .... Mum was telling me about it on the phone Monday. I told her it was probably a hot spot, she needed to clip the fur so that it could dry out easier. Well, she didn't do it. She tried to keep the fur as dry as possible, but it just wasn't working.

THEN Tuesday rolls around. I was supposed to go to my grandmother's for dinner .... but I get a call from my grandmother telling me that my mother is on her way to town because Sunny got stung by a bee around her right eye! Oye! So I booted it to the vet's and met them there. Poor Bubbles could barely see out of her eye - it was almost completely swollen shut! I was so worried the whole way there that she was going into anaphylactic shock ...

Anyway, the vet gave her benadryl for her eye .... the swelling was starting to go down within an hour! The vet also shaved all the fur off the infected area on Sunny's shoulder - which was 4x the size of what Mum thought! And red! Holy, it was red. And soooo swollen. Poor Sunny!


Well, today I went to dinner at my Grammy's. I actually made it up this time! Sunny's eye looks wonderful. Her hot spots are looking great!

BUT NOW HER EARS ARE SWOLLEN!

Seriously! Her ears are swollen ... when you feel them ... it feels like aloe vera leaves ... it's tooo funky! Needless to say, Sunny came home with me. So she can make a second trip to the vet's Friday!
Poor Sunny!




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Crochet ... Is it worth it?

Well, last night I would have said no, quite emphatically.

Tuesday night was my first attempt at this type of needlework. I mastered the chain stitch, did lousy at the single crochet and pretty good at the double crochet.

Tonight, I sat down with my book, yarn and hook yet again and I nailed it! Yay! I finally have the single crochet under control ... my swatch looks pretty good!

Tomorrow night is the double crochet again ... I just want to do a bigger swatch for practice.

Then I just might try another stitch.

While it's not as hard as I thought it was going to be, I think I might prefer knitting ... I might have to dig out my knitting needles and compare. So I am still on the fence as to whether this is worth it .... but I am slowly being swayed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BB Munchies

Usually I don't have any munchies while watching BB. Mainly because I PVR it and then just forward to the good stuff, so I'm not actually sitting down for an hour ....

.. but tonight is different! I'm going Latin! I can't wait to dive into the Pico de Gallo that I made ... and I've already downed one Mojito, onto my second for the show!

So when you watch Big Brother, what is your preferred snack?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kinda Worried

So I am paranoid about a few health problems. I accept that I will develop CVD, if I don't already have it. In fact, I have accepted that since my early 20's - it's totally a family problem. I have also accepted that eventually I will have to have knee surgery - yet another chronic family problem.

But the area that I worry about the most is the plumbing. I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) that makes me a candidate for a lot of nasty problems. And the one that I am currently obssessing about is a very real possiblity. I picked up a flyer at the pharmacy regarding my current worry and that just made me worry more .... here are some of the symptoms:

  • abdominal swelling, bloating, pain, cramping - check!
  • increased frequency of urination - check!
  • change in bowel habits - check!
  • fatigue - check!
  • upset stomach, gas, indigestion, nausea - check, check, check, check! (Got worse in the last couple of months)
  • lower back, pelvic or leg pain - FREAKING GREAT BIG CHECK FOR THE LAST 4 WEEKS
  • pain during sex - check
  • weight gain or loss - check to the first!
  • loss of appetite - this is the only one I don't have!

So any one of these on their own wouldn't mean much ... but almost all of them? Something's up. So now I am seriously worried about it. Now I am seriously, and I mean seriously-this-isn't-me-being-paranoid-worried that I have ovarian cancer. Not only because I have all these symptoms, but also because of the risk factors.

So what increases risk factors?

  • family history of breast or ovarian cancers - no thank goodness!
  • increasing age - well, I'm not menopausal, but I'm certainly no spring chicken!
  • never having a child(and this is apparently a big one) - check!
  • never having breastfed a child - check!
  • being unable to become pregnant due to infertility problems - check!
  • PCOS - check!

Great huh? I always knew I had to be on the lookout for problems like endometriosis and ovarian cancer ... I have always worried about it, but now I am seriously scared.

I plan on calling the doctor when they open up to make an appointment to discuss possible testing. Although, at the rate appointments are made, I might get one in two or three months. Then another 3-4 months for test appointments. Other than that, I don't know what to do.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Big Brother's Biggest Loser


Yes, folks, that would be Chima.
She gets awarded the Big Brother Biggest Loser title.
She and Nasty Nat have been the pettiest sore losers since Jessie's eviction (from what my sister has told me of the live feeds and what I've read tonight).
In a wonderfully petulant, excessively childish move, Chima has gotten herself evicted from the house! Before even playing for the POV!
I am sure she will backpedal and use her mother's illness as an excuse.
Hats off to you Chima! Good riddance!

Monday, August 10, 2009

BB Rundown

Usually I post right away about BB. But after last night's epi, I wanted to wait, digest, look some stuff up first.

We'll start with the "elephant in the room" so to speak, Chima and her revelation. For the first time, I actually felt sympathy for her. Ok, I'll be honest, she made me cry. It's one thing to watch it on TV or in a movie about a fictional character, but when you see a real person, talking about a real rape ... it's different.

This morning I started to think, she wouldn't lie would she? About something that heinous .... and no she didn't. After some looking around, I found out that she was one of four women who survived this serial rapist/murderer. His name was Dale Scheanette and he raped and murdered several women. The four that survived were lucky. He liked to strangled his victims in a half-filled bathtub, facedown. He was put to death earlier this year.

However, that doesn't mitigate her behaviour towards the people in the BB house. I'm not saying this to be mean, but, what happened to her doesn't give her a free pass to being so horrible to people.

Ok, that's over. On to less serious matters.

Chima putting Russell and Lydia up. HAHAHAHAHA! Your noms are going to yeild you NOTHING!!!!! I get why she put up Russell - for both personal and game play reasons. But Lydia? Why? Because Nasty Nat is jealous? Boohoo, sucks to be a grown woman! Wait. What am I talking about? Nasty Nat NEVER behaves like a grown woman, more like a petulant 16 year old.

Doesn't matter though! Cuz you KNOW Jeff will taking Russell and Lydia off the block! And putting Jessie and Nat up there! Yeah!!!!

Jeremy Piven visited the house! I love this guy! He's sooo funny. I think my fave Piven role has been that of Paul Spericki in Grosse Pointe Blank. I was very disappointed that the "shirts" won the luxury challenge ... too bad. And too bad that Chima automatically gets to see it. Boooo!

Anything else? I think that's it!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

SATURDAY

Saturday was a lazy day .... my mother and I went to the market and let me tell you, I regretted it! It was soooo incredibly packed. I hate it when it's that busy ... people get stupid in big groups like that. You know, they stop in the middle of the aisle to chat with people instead of moving to the side; they bump into you and glare at you like it's your fault; they can't form a line to save their lives; people butt in front of you like it's their God-given right. All that lovely behaviour. I was gla to get the hell out of there once I got my goodies, like Yummy samosas and fresh BLUEBERRIES!

In the early afternoon, Livy and I went to Lauren's 4th birthday party. It was so good to see Lauren again. The kids had a blast! I decided to include some pics. Ok, I decided to include A LOT of pics. Close to 30.




Emily doing her K-Fed impression.









Look at that shiner!












Three crazy loons!









These two were inseparable the whole time!










Jacker Cracker ... you might notice the mouth is agape ... that's because he was trying to deafen us with his ear-drum splitting scream ... I kid you not!














Bubble blowers












Emily is quite the loner ... that's the way she likes it.










Miz Jess-i-ca








Then came the pinata pounding. They each got a chance to whack the pinata ... then pull the streamers at the bottom. That thing was almost unscathed .... it was indestructable!

































Then came the gift opening. I didn't get a lot of good shots ...




This is the framed LO that I made for Lauren.






Then the books - Karma Wilson's Bear Snores On and Bear Wants More.



She's one of my favourite kid's authors ... even I enjoy her books!







Ok, so I got the kid too much candy! But I know she will enjoy it!










From Livy: A Ni Hao Kai Lan backpack with a top and a HUGE box of sidewalk chalk in it!











She's actually cheering about the chalk. What a nut!








From Jessica and Emily: The Chipmunks DVD











From Jack: A plate that you "decorate" with your food. Neat, huh?








Cake Time!





A Barbie cake that was made by cousin Roxanne ... and it was deeee-lish!























Goodbyes from Jessica ...










Like I said ... inseparable.