Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bazoo was sweet enough to turn me on to Adagio Teas. Wait that sounds weird. But in reality these teas are so good I was sort of turned on so I am sticking with my prior statement.
This little starter kit is so cute, so fun and perfect. You steep the tea, set the pot on top of your mug , it releases all the tea in your cup and there you have it! Viola! A perfect cup of tea.

The Chamomile was wonderful, so was the Spearmint. The Blood Orange - NASTY! Ick. Did not like it at all. However, it smells really good so I am going to use it as potpourri. Ha!
Bazoo also gave me some wonderful Elder Berries to try. Very nice, smooth and sort of fruity tasting. The whole kit was only $19! Best $20 bucks I ever spent.
Sunday, I attempted to make BBQ Seitan Coleslaw sandwich from Veganomicon. However, I don't think I did it right. The seitan looked to lumpy and bumpy, therefore, it was hard to slice into strips. Is it supposed to be that way? Anyway, the flavor of the seitan was really good and frying it in the Backyard BBQ sauce was brilliant! The bbq sauce from this book will be the only one I make from now on. It is sweet, thick with a bit of a kick.



Next was the Creamy Tomato Soup with vegan grilled cheese. I made this on a very cold, dreary, wet, crappy Monday evening. It really hit the spot. I used roasted sun-dried tomatoes and fire roasted Muir Glenn Tomatoes. It really gave it a great depth of flavor. Last night I made Vodka Penne and today I am in love with this recipe. It is out of this WORLD. It is a must make from this book because A. It is so freakin' easy !! Seriously. It took me minutes to whip up a batch. B. It will make your toes curl in delight. This picture speaks for itself on how good it is.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Warning - TVP

I am going to suggest to change the name of Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) to TVPG:

Terrible
Vicious
Powerful
Gas

Good Lord Man! It really should have a warning label on it. My house last night smelled like one great big ASS. And it wasn't from the dogs! Yesterday I made breakfast burritos using TVP and by the evening was gassing the dogs and husband out of the room. It wasn't the type of 'loud' gas either. It was the totally silent, but violent kind. Where it swirls up like a big smelly green cloud and hovers for awhile before dissipating and by that time another one is forming.
Thankfully, I am still married this morning and the dogs will come around me.

I did manage to create a little poem in honor of TVPG:

There was no where to run, no where to hide.
A bug has seriously crawled up my butt and died.

My husband, just don't oven bake me he cried!
I can't help it, a bug has seriously crawled up my butt and died

They called it Textured Vegetable Protein, but they lied
The should call it Holy crap, what crawled up your butt and died.

Thank you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving

Thank you to everyone for their support and kind words. Thanksgiving was hard not having Sally here to share it with us, but we had two guests help us through. Malcom and Cosmo came to visit for a few days and having them was the best therapy. They made the house feel full again.

So here is what happened. The vet was pretty positive that the tumor was an aggressive cancer (he gave a name, but I was numb at that point) and it was slowly bleeding into her chest. To make matters worse it was pushing against her esophagus making it hard for her to swallow. There wasn't anything that would make her better. The vet said as direct as he could, the best thing to do was put her down.

It just happened so fast. Now we are down to three hounds and the house feels so empty. It is hard to believe that when I started blogging we had five and now after only a couple years we have three. Should I adopt two more to live up the name of this blog? Tempting.

Onto Thanksgiving. I cooked a traditional fare for my husband and the pups. Yes, the dogs get a full Thanksgiving meal. An hour after dinner, the dogs and husband were all passed out in the tv room. Mission accomplished.

Cooking is another great therapy tool. There is something so relaxing about it. It makes you focus and think only on what you are doing. With that said, this week I plan to make more dishes from Veganonicom. Such as -

Roasted Fennel and Hazelnut Salad w/Shallot Dressing - I've never had fennel before. But this recipe captured my attention and I can't stop thinking about it!

BBQ Seitan and Crispy Coleslaw Sandwich - Just the name makes me drool.

Creamy Tomato Soup w/Vegan grilled cheese - Sometimes you just have to have that comfort food.

Penne Vodka - And then there are times you just need some booze.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sally
September, 1995 - November 21, 2007
We Miss You - Fly Free Baby

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

When your hound is sick the night can seem to last forever. You start playing games with yourself. If we can get through the next half-hour it will be better. I am going to wait till 5 a.m. then...then....then...

I hate not having control. I hate sitting by and not able to help, to do something. To make it better. This morning, not matter what I will make it better. It isn't fair to her to have another night like this.

Sally is having trouble breathing. And she has started coughing. What is it?! The tumor? Pneumonia? Combo of both? My suspicion is it is a combo of both.

It is horrible to see the creature you love like a child hurting. Especially in the wee hours of the morning when hopelessness can wrap around you like a thick blanket. It was so hard for her to get comfortable and laying on one side seemed worse than the other. She would lay there and hold her head up with her nose pointed up like she was holding it above water. Her little mouth opened slightly trying to breathe. At 3:30 I gave her another Lasix and had her switch to the other side. It helped. At 4:30 took her out to relieve herself and gave her the pain meds. Since everyone was up (Rim, John and Maggie) I fed breakfast. Sally ate everything. Now she is resting comfortably and breathing better. Now we wait the 4 hours till our appointment.

When Bill got up at 5 a.m. he was surprised to see me watching tv, drinking coffee, and then he knew. I told him that she can't go through another night like tonight. It isn't fair to her and if there isn't anything to help, then I will make the decision to release her from the pain today.

Many, many, moons ago I worked for a vet for about 5 years. I've learned many things, and one is that it is better to let them go too soon, than too late.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What the hell? Infomericals. I am watching one right now at 5:45 a.m. for a product called "Extends" You have an older gentleman, the 'doctor' and a younger guy that is the 'talk host' and a barely dressed, large bosom woman that is the 'co-host' They are talking about how the product 'Extends' can make a man 'larger' Is this what is on while I am in blissful slumber? This and a million exercise informericals? Are you telling me that the test market research has shown that overweight and the sexually frustrated are watching tv between the hours of 4 a.m. - 5 a.m. for products to get that perfect body? Holy crap are we screwed up or what.

I know I am rambling and going from one thing to another. I can't help it because I am a little loopy from no sleep and watching these damn informericals.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Today is my birthday and the best gift was Sally. She is feeling much better. Not a 100%, but worlds better than on Saturday.

Another gift is from my talented husband who made me the most beautiful cutting board EVER! He used three types of wood: Cherry, maple and walnut.
Then he added these great feet on the bottom so it doesn't budge at all. Genius!!!!

It is so freakin' cool. At first I was afraid to cut on it because it was so pretty, but I got over it. To break it in I made Acorn Squash, Pear, Adzuki Bean Soup w/Sauteed Shitaki mushrooms, for Veganomicon. It was delicious! The sweetness from the pear with the savory of the mushrooms was a nice combo!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pupdate

Good news! Sally is improving. I slept downstairs with her last night and it was tough. She was definitely hurting. I got her out at 1:30 a.m. and then again at 5 a.m. At the 5 a.m. potty (GROSS ALERT) she had an explosion of diarrhea. Poor thing, but I think she felt better afterwards. Around 8 a.m. Bill got her to eat 4 treats and some kibble!

She has perked up and is not as depressed as she was yesterday. Still very slow moving, but at least she can get up by herself. Plan of action is to give the lasix once a day instead of twice because of the diarrhea. Too much of a risk of dehydration. And we will keep her on the pain medicine and we added some Tylan powder to firm her up.

I can't tell you how happy we are with her improvement. We know she is far from out of the woods, but at least she has some light in her eyes. Sally is one tough old bird!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Trouble in Houndsville

Sally, our 12 yr old little lady is having a rough go of it. Last night, she ate her milkbone biscuit and must of swallowed too big of piece because she coughed (hard) and then yelped. After that, things went down hill.

We thought she wrenched her neck again, but in the morning she refused to eat breakfast. That is when I knew something was VERY wrong. Sally is not one to turn down food. Plus, she didn't want to move and went upstairs to hide in our bedroom. Again, very strange.

Got her in the vet that morning and they did a chest x-ray. There is fluid in her chest cavity and they are pretty sure there is an ugly tumor hiding behind the fluid. Right now, we are treating her with Lasix and Metacam. The goal is to get rid of the fluid and handle the pain. Once the fluid is gone we can see what we are dealing with and how long we have with her.

All Bill and I hope is that we have more time. Just a little more time.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Unfair

People who I thought were wonderful greyhound owners, who loved their dogs as much as I did, have broken my heart. They are returning TWO 15 year old greyhounds. Why? Because they have become too much for them and they are always taking care of the animals needs and have no time for themselves. My disappointment in the owners is immense and my sadness for the two sweet greyhounds is deep. I just don't get it.

Enlarge Within Us a Sense of Fellowship

O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers to whom Thou hast given the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty, so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song, has been a groan of travail.

May we realize that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for Thee, and that they love the sweetness of life even as we, and serve thee better in their place than we in ours.

-St. Basil

Sunday, November 11, 2007

There are times when I think I am seriously deranged. Today is one of those days.

This week I decided it would be a good idea to drive 2.5 hours to take a 9 hour class on becoming a PiYo instructor so I could teach it at our local YMCA. How it started was the fitness director at the YMCA wanted to add it to the schedule and asked if anyone wanted to take the training. So I decided what the hell, I'll do it.

PiYo is a combo of Pilate's and Yoga, but with a twist. Instead of it being a class that is slow and methodical, it is full of constant movement to keep you engaged. You can modify and add to all the poses. Basically you can be a real sadist if you want too.

Today I learned 45 poses (15 Pilate's, 30 yoga) Yes, 45. I am a hurting puppy right now. Every part of me is screaming...WHY?! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WHY?!

Not only did we learn 45 different poses, we also took a master class that KICKED MY ASS. It was so freakin' hard and FAST. Obviously this isn't what I will be teaching at this point, but I hope to get there some day. Right now I am just teaching the beginner's class. God help us all.

You know the sad part is that I am SO not ready to teach this class. I have lots of practice to do and plan to take it out on friends. Oh, you all know who you are!! Be afraid, be very afriad.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Daylight Savings Time

How do you explain Daylight Savings Time to a greyhound?

John is at a total loss with moving the clocks back an hour. I have been trying to explain to him that it isn't 'time yet', but his internal clock is too strong. It is very scary how he can tell time. He is the first to let you know when it is breakfast, treat time and dinner. Like clockwork, 30 minutes before he will start to pace, stand in front of you, stare at you, paw at you and/or try any combo to let you know HE knows it is time. The worst is when he gets a stampede going. If we even flinch he suddenly stands up, wagging his tail, which then signals to everyone else to do the same. Yesterday, he just couldn't figure out what the hell was going on and why we were waiting soooooooooooooooooooo long to feed him.

I think he was so out of sorts that it was the reason why he was a little cranky today. I was just starting to blow dry my hair when I heard a scuffle breakout between him and Rimmy in our bedroom. I rushed in to break it up and thankfully, neither one of them were hurt. Rim ran, John just sat there looking at me like "it wasn't my fault." After checking to make sure everyone was okay, I went back to the bathroom to find that I had dropped the hair dryer in the toilet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My worst nightmare. A plugged in hair dryer laying at the bottom of the toilet. Damn. Bill unplugged it for me. I was too scared to touch it. I fished it out and water just flooded out from every opening. WAH!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I am having a bad hair day today.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Food, food and more food

My two new cookbooks from Amazon arrived this week. I was like a kid on Christmas morning! Ripping into the cardboard package and squealing with glee. One was the holy grail of vegan cookbooks, Veganomicon by Isa and Terry.

This cookbook has a mind boggling array of recipes. It makes you wonder how in the hell did they found time to create all of these recipes! I am sure this cookbook had to be like giving birth and I am happy to own one of their babies.

It was hard to decide what to make first, but when I saw the recipe for Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes I knew it had to be made...immediately.

These puppies are a MUST make from this cookbook. They are so good and I LOVE the coriander in them because it gives them such a great pop of flavor. I brought these to a little dinner party I went too and everyone gobbled them up, with oooh's and ahhhh's.Last weekend I picked up some beautiful eggplant at the farmers market and needed to us them up quickly. Veganomicon has the answer: Spicy Peanut and Eggplant Soup. This picture blows. My camera skills suck, but it really did look pretty on the plate.

This dish is very time intensive and will take the full hour 20+ minutes, but it is well worth it. The flavor was exactly as the book describes: rich and savory. It is a stick to your ribs soup and I am excited for the leftovers because this is a soup that will get better with time.

The other cookbook I bought was The Everyday Vegan by Dreena Burton. Haven't had a chance to make anything yet, but plan to this week! On the agenda is Pesto Portabella's and Eggless Sandwich filling.