Monthly Archives: July 2018

a new beginning. again.

I woke up and just decided I’m starting it.  AGAIN.

What?

Healthier living.

To heck with the bum knee from tripping over the co-worker’s dog in February.

To heck with the UC from the past 2 years.

I’m about 90% healed from the emergency gallbladder removal.

I’m overweight, more than I want to be, because of all of the above.  Exercising came to a standstill.  Dietary needs overtook weight concerns.  (unfortunately, I’m in the minority of UC patients who actually has less inflammation from grains than from produce.) (but I’m in enough remission, I think, to test that theory.)

ANYHOW, I’m tired of excuses.  I’m tired of restrictions that may have only been temporary.

I will have to make allowances for certain circumstances beyond my control.  I can’t do the low carb/high fat diet that I’ve been so successful on in the past.  But I can do a modified low carb diet that is lower in grains than I have been the past year, for sure.  I can cautiously up the fresh produce.  I can certainly start walking again, even if dancing is out for now.

Baby steps are better than no steps at all.

So, I begin.  Today is a new day.  It’s the start of the rest of my life.  That’s the beauty about a new day.  The possibilities are endless!  We have nothing but the future in front of us!  We can carve that future any way we like, even within the framework of whatever restrictions we must abide within.  (poor English; sorry.)

So I am.  I will.  booyah!

Frankie Valli concert

For starters, was SO fun!  We had amazing seats!  Probably only about 50 ft. from the stage!
However, we blew it on the fair.  All concert tickets always include admission to the fair.  We didn’t realize that the fair doesn’t start until TODAY.  So we got there two and a half hours before the concert….with nothing to do because the gates didn’t open for about 45 minutes.  LOL  Fortunately, we found some bench seating, the weather was gorgeous, and we sat and talked.  Laughed about our screw up, grateful we hadn’t come even earlier, and plotted about coming back some other work night in the next 3 weeks to do just the fair.  doh.  LOL
Anyhow, Frankie was GREAT!  The guy is in his mid 80’s, but his voice is almost exactly the same!  The Four Seasons were young guys though, but that was okay.  Here are a few song snippets.  He’s had SO many hits, that there wasn’t a moment of the hour and a half concert where he wasn’t singing a hit song that the entire audience was singing along with him (except the slow songs; we mostly let him sing those alone.  🙂  )
The weather remained perfect; we didn’t need the light jackets we brought, and it was close enough to the beach to feel a light, cool breeze.  Just a perfect summer night!  Well, at least I didn’t have to say no to a bunch of fair food!  I was able to get the hamburger I wanted, and it was darned good, topped off with a small glass of white wine and some bottled water.  We’ll save the kettle corn for another day.  🙂
Love you, Frankie!!

Fair time!

We are taking off early, later this afternoon, and headed to the Orange County Fair.  We have tickets to see Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at 8.

We saw Frankie, alone, about 4-5 years ago; it was a fantastic show.  I think the Four Seasons was definitely one of my favorite groups of all time.  The concert area is, of course, outdoors.  I can’t wait!

I will NOT be having typical fair food though.  I am eating about 85% of normal for me, but all that deep fried crap?  Yeah, no way.  LOL  MAYBE a hamburger.  At most.  But it will be fun to snoop around the fair beforehand.  🙂

Anyhow, should be fun tonight.

And I wanted to say an extra thanks to everyone for your heartfelt comments yesterday regarding Zoe.  I’ll keep you up to date, in the future.  Your support means the world to me.  🙂

how do you know…?

Our oldest dog, Zoe, turns 15 July 30th.  If she makes it that long.  That’s her up above, a few months ago.

Zoe was called ‘Trilingual’ in the newspaper ad where I found her.  Her mom was a full apricot toy poodle, and dad was half Italian greyhound, half chihuahua.  So she had French, Italian, and Mexican in her.  That still brings a smile to my face.

Zoe (named after the Doctor Who character by my hubby), loved to run.  That Italian Greyhound in her.  And she is/was just the sweetest darned dog ever.  But she has the annoying habit of shredding any ‘potty pad’ that she is left in a room with, and whining constantly to get up in the morning.  Never could break her of that habit.

Anyhow, in the past 3 months, her quality of life has gone downhill fast.  Before that, we all used to joke, ‘are you sure she’s this old?’, because she was still so lively.  Although about a year ago, she started having pooping accidents at night.  She was sleeping downstairs at the time, alone, because that way she didn’t whine in the morning.  (yes, daddy has always spoiled all of his girls.)  Because you couldn’t leave her with a potty pad, hubby started laying out cheap bath towels for her.  That worked.  He dealt with the clean up.  She also started struggling to get up and get going in the morning, particularly cooler ones.  We attributed that to arthritis and age, and hubby just wouldn’t force her to take that early walk, and would just walk her a little later in the morning once she got going. (he works from home 4 days a week.)   If you can’t already tell, she has daddy wrapped around her little paw.

That’s kind of the problem now.  We had had ‘the talk’ when she was about 10, about how far we would go, financially, for any of the dogs (we have 3) as they got older, and agreed on that.  We didn’t have the talk about what symptoms would indicate it’s time for an elderly dog to be ‘let go.’  The unspoken was that it would be some obvious sign.

But now, we are here at that time.  In the past 3 months, she started throwing up several times a week.  This past weekend, I found 2 containers in the fridge that were a mix of white rice, carrots, and chicken.  I knew but asked anyway, ‘what’s with the big containers in the fridge?’  Hubby admitted that Zoe hadn’t eaten her (regular, dog food that is the kind made for elderly dogs) for 2 days; he was moving her to this food mixture he had made.  (fortunately, it’s worked.  She’s eating again and not throwing up, so far.)  She’s always been very lean (the Italian greyhound in her), but now she feels like skin and bones.  Her back legs occasionally will just shake, almost like shivering, sometimes when she stands up.  He now carries her up and down the stairs.  Sometimes, if she’s moving fast, or turning a corner, her back legs slip out from under her and she kind of stumbles.  He doesn’t force her on the 4 long walks a day he takes the dogs on.  (he admitted that recently, as soon as she’s done her business, she is DONE.  Before, she was the front dog on all walks.)  (he just takes her to the grass outside our unit for each trip now, alone.)  She sleeps so deeply sometimes now, that you have to check to see if she’s still breathing.  Every morning he’s now in the habit of half-joking when he opens their door  (she no longer stays alone downstairs, because I was smelling something foul about 6 weeks ago, and decided she’s doing something to cause the foul smell, so she’s upstairs in the room with the other 2 dogs.)  He says, “Zoe, you are still with us!” (or Zoe, you made it another day.)  But our hearts are hurting.  She doesn’t play with the chihuahua any more like she used to.  She doesn’t play with toys.  She’s mostly sleeping, even more than dogs normally do.  She isn’t in any apparent pain, but she doesn’t enjoy life anymore, either.

I’ve read the articles.  I know the time is now.  Hubby is trying to squeeze every last moment of love from and to her that he can.  When I’ve tried to broach the subject, he admits he knows it’s soon, as he picks her up and smothers her in soft hugs and kisses.   It breaks my heart.  I’m at the point that I can’t softly suggest it anymore; it’s gotten into nagging territory.  And trust me, at me being 16 years younger than my husband, it does warm my heart to see him being so faithful and loving and resistant to letting Zoe go.  I know that indicates (oddly enough), how he will be with me, too.  When my time starts to come.  (Heck, he already is with my recent UC diagnosis, and other sundry medical issues associated with my aging.  He is an absolute rock star with me.)

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Zoe too.  Although she’s always had a habit of throwing me the stink eye occasionally.  (I kid not.)  But that’s because I’m daddy’s ‘bad cop’ in the house with the dogs.  Just the rolls we have ‘parenting’ three little dogs.  Daddy’s the good cop, mommy is the Enforcer.

But I feel bad.  For both Zoe, and especially for my husband.  I know he still hopes she’ll give a definitive ‘sign’, (or just pass naturally on her own)…but I hate to have her circumstances degrade much further, but I can’t force this on hubby or back him into a corner on it.

ugh.  This just SUCKS.

Party shower?

No, I’m not talking bridal or baby showers.

I’m talking about a shower like this:

Now, when hubby and I were first married (first few years, actually), we DID like to shower together.  I mean, actually shower for the normal purpose of showering.  (with of course some kissing and caressing thrown in.  Don’t worry, not going into any more detail.  LOL)  Then, we just decided, mutually, not so much anymore.  We had a ‘normal sized’ shower.  I think it just began to feel a little stifling.
ANYHOW, I can understand and appreciate the splurge of having a shower big enough for two.  But we all chuckle at a shower big enough to throw a party in it.  Don’t we and everyone on HGTV that comes across one?
Do people with showers that big actually DO indulge in multi-people orgies in them?  (although frankly, the one above is big enough, but it would be a tight squeeze to get more than 2 people under those shower-heads at one time. Well, except for that GIANT one in the center of it all…)
Anyhow, do you think there are that many people throwing shower orgies, or is it just an “I can afford it, it looks luxurious, so I’m going to splurge on my shower” thing?
Just a stream of consciousness post.  I came across this shower in my Pinterest feed, and it piqued the thought.  (I don’t follow orgie shower people on Pinterest, I follow home improvement and dream rooms.  LOL)

Mud Pie (frozen dessert of the gods) recipe

Reading some of the comments here yesterday, I saw coffee ice cream mentioned, and I realized I hadn’t made my Mud Pie in a LONG time!  And for sure, it was the most loved dessert I ever made from scratch.  And since there was a real love for ice cream (coffee flavored or not) and chocolate, it would be a shame, in mid July like we are, NOT to post the recipe!

Enjoy!

Silver Willow’s Mud Pie

Important prep note:  take out the ice cream when you start, to soften.

Crust:

You can either buy a pre-made chocolate crust, or make you own…

1.5 cups chocolate cookie crumbs.  (can have nuts in them, or not…but no frosting or icing.) (I suppose you could try chocolate graham crackers, if they even still make those, but I never did.)

1/4 cup melted butter or margine

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool, then chill while prepping the rest.

Filling:

1 cup evaporated milk (not condensed!)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup (6 oz.) chocolate chips (semi-sweet.  not milk chocolate.)
dash of salt
1 quart coffee ice cream, softened and divided
1 small bag of nut chips (very small chips.)

Combine in saucepan over low heat, and stir…evaporated milk, marshmallows, chocolate chips and salt until melted and thick.  Cool.

Spoon 1/2 of the ice cream onto the crust.

Drizzle with 1/2 the chocolate sauce, and then 1/2 the nuts.

Spoon on remaining ice cream, drizzle with remaining sauce, and remaining nuts.

Do NOT become concerned if the sauce or nuts ‘disappear’ into the ice cream.

Freeze at least 4 hours.

******

Yum, yum yum!  Enjoy!


take your pick!

When it comes to ice cream….do you like (as a topping) hot fudge?  Caramel?  Strawberry sauce?

No sauce?

Nuts?

anything else?

How about the marachino cherry/cherries on top?

Whipped cream?

I’m a simple girl.  In fact, I don’t even need the ice cream.  On more than one occasion in the past year, when hubby had the urge for going out for ice cream, I just asked for a brownie instead, with hot fudge sauce on top.

I do love cherries though.  All types of cherries.  (even dried.)

So, what’s your pick(s)?  I mean it’s hot out; might as well talk ice cream (or today, toppings for ice cream.)