Sunday, December 29, 2013

Morgan watching Fox and Friends

Morgan watching puppies on Fox and Friends this morning!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Just taking it easy

It's 8:00 am and I am still in my robe and slippers and on my second pot of coffee!  That never happens on a week day, except when I'm on vacation!

One of the nice things about vacation is not having to set the alarm. . . but I don't know why I need an alarm clock with two live alarms clocks in the house in the form of two Black Labs!

Molly is holding her own.  The medication seems to be working.  I am not delusional.  With the type of cancer she has, her days are numbered and I have accepted that.  As long as she is not suffering and shows at least minimal interest in life, I will keep her alive.

For now, I'm going to have another cup of coffee and think about the things I have to look forward to in the New Year.  My brain is enjoying the rest from the frantic, high pressure job I have at the Medical Center.

Go out and make it a Great Day!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

To all my readers and your family, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Update on Molly

Molly seems to be stable since being on her medications.  She perks up when company comes or if I give her a special treat - her favorite is a beef bone to chew .  I'm clinging to what the vet said that some dogs can live weeks or months with this type of cancer.  I don't see any signs that she is suffering.

I am off work till Monday so, other than some last minute Christmas preparations today and having Christmas dinner with my son and daughter in law tomorrow, I'm home and trying to spend as much time as possible with both the dogs.

I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A tough post to write

This week has been a challenge just trying to stay on track.

My older Lab, Molly, began showing symptoms that I thought needed a vet's attention. I'm a strong woman, and can take whatever comes my way, as I have proven many times over the years.  But don't throw the "c" word at me if you are talking about one of my dogs.  Molly has cancer of the bladder.

I honestly don't remember driving home.  One minute, I was listening (or trying to) what the vet was saying.  The next thing I knew, I was in my home trying to make sense of what had happened.

The next day I called the vet and asked him to repeat what he had told me and apologized for not remembering what he said.  He explained everything in detail.

I read everything online that I could about canine bladder cancer, then called the vet back and asked what he thought of what I was thinking.  I will not consider surgery, given Molly's advanced age. . . not to mention, if they did do surgery, and found the tumor inoperable, the surgery would be in vain.

She is on medication and it is possible the medication could shrink the tumor.  The vet says he has known dogs to live weeks or months with Molly's condition.

I'm a strong believer in quality of life.  Tonight I gave her a beef bone.  She got really excited about that and chewed away on it in pure joy.  Later, the UPS man delivered a package and she ran to the door. . . all these are good signs.  Right now I am focused on the good signs.

My neighbors across the street, who take care of Morgan and Molly when I am away, were upset to hear about Molly.  Sara is a mother of three young children.  When I was away over Thanksgiving, she said coming over to care for the dogs was her "me" time.  She is especially attached to Molly, as Morgan, with her young, rambunctious personality can be trying to someone not used to that.  One night, she put Morgan in her cage and just spent quiet time with Molly, petting her and talking to her.  I'm sure Molly ate that right up!

I really love the Labrador Retriever.  I've owned four of them dating back to 1985 and can't imagine living without one.  When it is time, I will give Molly a peaceful, dignified death.  But now is not the time.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Great Northeastern Snow Storm

This is what it looks like outside my house this morning!  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bean and Ham Soup

Today I am making Bean and Ham Soup - something I make often in the cold months.  It not only is high in nutritional value, but it just plain tastes great!

It's an all day process.  I begin with a smoked ham hock (from my farmer who only raises grass fed animals - no hormones, preservatives or other yucky additives).  I  put maybe 8 cups or more of water in a large pot and let the ham hock simmer with celery, onion, and carrots.  After that has cooked for several hours, I remove the celery, onion, and carrots and discard.  I let the ham hock cool until it can be touched.

I chop meat off the bone and add that to the pot along with a package of 16 bean soup mix that has soaked overnight, and salt and herbs and spices and let that simmer most of the day.  Towards the end, I add a large can of chopped tomatoes with the juice.  Sometimes I add pasta during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Can't beat it!  It is economical, tastes great, and adds excellent nutritional value to your diet.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my son and daughter-in-law, John and Jen, and my three grandsons.  It was cut short, however, due to that ugly storm that decided to strike right at the peak travel time.  My plans were to drive down on Wednesday, but instead I drove down early, VERY early on Thanksgiving morning, leaving long before dawn.  I had to get there. . . I was bringing the Thanksgiving turkey!

First order of business when I arrived. . . get the turkey in the oven!

On Friday, we took a walk through the grounds of an old mansion in Richmond.  Here are some pictures of that.  You can click on the pictures to make them larger and easier to view.

This is an animal sanctuary for birds and animals.  All of them have been injured, or otherwise rendered unable to survive in the wild.  There is a huge area that is home to a black bear, double fenced because someone in the past who wasn't too bright, got too close and was mauled by the bear.

John, Jen, Andrew, Kevin, and Jake.

Kevin, Jake, and Andrew

Jen had a fantasticThanksgiving feast.  One dish, in particular, was extraordinary - and so simple to make.  It is a cranberry orange relish and here's how to make it.

one 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
one orange, peel and all
sugar (here you can add an amount to suit you - 1/4 cup up to a cup)

Put everything in the food processor and blend well.  It is not only eye-catching but tastes great.

This has been handed down in her family for years.  It's no wonder!

I hope your Thanksgiving was as memorable as mine was.  It is good to pause, in this rat race world we live in, and give thanks for those things that really matter - family and friends.