Sunday, November 30, 2008
1 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 Cup shortening
Mix all ingredients. Roll into balls, then roll in sugar (I used white candy sprinkles). Bake on top rack in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Yields: 35 cookies.
Now, wasn't that easy? And you'll be such a hit with family or friends! Well worth the 45 minutes or so it'll take to whip up a batch of these delightful yummy ginger cookies!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
To start the season off, last night I made a batch of homemade Buckeye's for my BFF's mother for her birthday. A box of homemade Buckeye's (think Reese's Cup). Now, what more could a person want for her birthday? And let me tell you they were most delicious. I only had one (remember WWs) but that one was absolutely so heavenly - I definitely could have eaten quite a few more! But at 151 calories and 9 fat grams per ball, that was my limit!
Best Ever Buckeyes (makes 40-50 balls)
My love for candy making started a long time ago. I remember as a kid going to Disney World and standing outside the window of the candy store on Main Street just marveling at the workers inside making every sweet confection you could think of. I've done the same thing at the candy store in Savannah, Savannah's Candy Kitchen. They actually pull their own taffy there with a machine that's been in operation since 1924 and if I remember correctly, it pulls, portions, and wraps each individual taffy piece. As you can imagine, it's quite a show and the taffy is to die for! Very profound experiences, I guess, since I now have this same love to make sweet candies.
Buckle up and prepare yourself for the next sweet delicacy to come out of my kitchen! It's going to be quite a ride!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It's a known fact that kennels at Greyhound tracks use these rather inexpensive mushies as treats for the dogs. So, it's something they've known most of their lives. And they've loved most of their lives. Who doesn't like a mushie, I ask you?
Well, up until sometime in August. Specifically, I think it was August 15th (see blog post, http://patemarie.blogspot.com/2008/08/uwo-unidentified-white-object.html). Ever since that day when the mushie attached itself to Sugar's side and she ran around the backyard with said mushie attached to her, and I laughed hysterically and took photographs as evidence for the blog, and then laughed hysterically some more . . . well, ever since then she has not eaten a mushie. That is also the timeframe when her liver began having problems.
I've tried countless times in an attempt to get her to eat said mushie - tossing it in the air, making her sit for it, putting it into her food bowl, covering mushie with enticing things ie peanut butter or honey - everything and she refuses to eat it. One time she grabbed it mid-air with her mouth and immediately spit it out. She can be such a little defiant creature at times but I love her anyway! That's what makes Sugar, well, Sugar!
In my quest to get her to eat said mushie, every workday I put one in her crate with her along with a cookie. Everyone gets the same thing. Every day I come home from work to find the uneaten mushie stuck somewhere in her crate - sometimes under her crate pad, sometimes in the corner (see picture) sometimes on the side. (I'm surprised she hasn't figured out how to push it through the wires of her crate on either side of her so Remi or Lucy could enjoy the thing.)
And every day when I let them out after I come home from work, Lucy and Remi both dash into Sugar's crate in an attempt to see who reaches the uneaten mushie first (that is also hysterical). Sugar silently just stands there and watches. She really doesn't care who eats the thing because she knows, for sure, that she isn't going to!
I have found, though, that during her recent illness, there are many things she wouldn't eat then that she is eating now. Basically, what was old is new again for her. So I am hopeful, yet again, that she will eventually eat a mushie and will, once more, fall in love with the things.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Perhaps if I had seen it back then I would have a different opinion, but as I watched it Saturday night I thought it a pretty feeble attempt at science fiction and I couldn't quite understand how it became such a hit. From Wikipedia, "By the end of its theatrical run, it had grossed $359.2 million domestically. Spielberg earned $500,000 a day from his share of the profits." I guess with the 26 years of wonderful movies since, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial seems quite basic. That's probably it more than anything else and I love Spielberg's work, don't get me wrong. He is an incredibly gifted producer. He has learned and grown since then as we all have. We can also thank the improvement of movies today by the wonderful advances in technology.
Although I was disappointed in the movie, I'm glad that I can now say I've seen it even though it definitely wasn't the highlight of the weekend! The highlight of the weekend, my friends, has to be the finale of True Blood which I watched Sunday evening. Thank you HBO for that wonderful series and thank you for airing E.T. or I might never have seen it! I love HBO!!
Well, the first batch of sourdough English Muffins I made contained some whole wheat flour which I think attributed to their lack of nooks and crannies. A bit disappointing for a nooks and crannies lover like myself. They were delicious, don't get me wrong, but were missing that most important attribute of the perfect English Muffin.
So, I tried again. Yesterday I made another batch of muffins. I omitted the whole wheat flour this time and used bread flour instead. The result is another wonderful batch of homemade English Muffins, this time complete with nooks and crannies. Not as many as I'd prefer but they are definitely there. I'm quite pleased but will work to make the next batch even better. We have not quite achieved perfection but I will get there.
In the meantime, I have read that once you have homemade English Muffins, you will never, ever purchase them in the store again. I have to believe that is true. The difference is remarkable! I hope to continue making mine myself. It's well worth the extra effort!
Friday, November 21, 2008
1. I'd donate about 5 million or so to SEGA so that they would be able to continue doing the work they do (adopting Greyhounds) and I could finally, formally, and completely, retire from Fundraising.
2. I'd pay off my debts, including the house, which I would then sell.
3. I'd purchase a large house with acreage somewhere outside of Atlanta, complete with a large dog kennel and a barn with horses (fully staffed, of course). I'd also purchase an apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York, a chalet in the mountains near Aspen, and a beach house in Costa Rica. I love New York and I love snow skiing!!
4. I'd give a few million to my Dad, sister, brother, and my BFF and her husband.
5. I'd put some away so I could live on interest alone.
6. I'd start planning and paying for many, many trips abroad. In my opinion, seeing different places is the best way to learn about different cultures, people, and places, and well, is just plain fun!!
I've often pondered what I'd do if I won the lottery so these things were already in my head. I can't get too creative with it because, well, it's just what I would do since I've planned it out already!! Now, to win the lottery . . . which, tonight is about 86 million. That's certainly enough for me to accomplish my six goals!! And all it takes is one lucky winning ticket!
I now tag Kathy, Amy, Scott, and Christie.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
What is most disturbing about this diagnosis is the cause of the darn things. One cause is ill-fitting shoes. Another is simply it's part of the aging process. Obviously, I much prefer the cause in my case to be ill-fitting shoes but in fact, I'm not so sure that it's not the other (which I can't even mention twice in one post). But there is some history here.
About 13 years ago I had surgery performed on both feet - at the same time!! Hindsight is everything (as my Mom used to say) and if I knew then what I know now, I would never have done both feet at the same time. I had bunions corrected, a cyst removed (interestingly, from the same spot where the bone spurs are now), and ingrown toenails corrected. That's probably more than you wanted to know but it was basically an overhaul on my feet. Mind you, recovery was pretty difficult. I remember keeping myself on pain meds and asleep so I wouldn't have to walk anywhere. I remember wanting (more than anything) to be able to shower my whole self at one time!! I remember not being completely anethesized when surgery began and I could hear the saw and feel the pressure of it as he cut away bone (the bunion) on one foot (yes, yikes!).
So vivid are those memories, even so many years later, that I am pondering exactly what to do about the bone spurs I now have. Having surgery performed on one foot doesn't sound all that bad when I think about all that I just mentioned. I have excellent insurance so that isn't an issue. I'd also have to wear one of those ridiculous surgical boots for three weeks. He would repair the bone spurs and also move that bone over toward the rest of my foot. Basically, it has eased itself out of alignment. Everything else looks good he said, so that's good to know that the previous surgery has lasted all this time!
After years of wearing pumps to work and years of waitressing and bartending, it's only to be expected that my feet would bear the brunt of all that wear and tear, I suppose. So I must face the consequences - either deal with the pain or have the surgery. What to do, I ask? I'll probably do the surgery but not right now. Some time in the future. And yes, I am procastinating - for obvious reasons!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
You can imagine what I must have been thinking and saying and spouting right about then (yes, it sounded as if a sailor were in the room!). I quickly ushered everyone outside where poor Lucy commenced to "going" and "going" until finally she was finished. Everyone had to be hosed down and yes, it was about 40 degrees outside right about then. I dried everyone off and let them back in. Unfortunately though, dear Lucy was afraid to venture back inside because she had slid (on her own poop on her feet) on the kitchen floor on her way out. So, she was very afraid that the "mean ole floor" would get her again. She stood outside in the cold for about an hour and a half, during the entire time it took me to clean their crates!
Anyhoo, I cleaned their crates, washed their crate pads (each had to be washed twice), cleaned the walls, cleaned Lucy's ribbons I had hung on her crate, and cleaned the dogs . . . again. It was about 8:30 p.m. when everything was said and done.
Lucy then finally did venture back inside the house. I didn't know what I was going to do if she didn't come back in. I did grab the leash and tried that but it was like pulling Eeyore through the backdoor and she wasn't having anything to do with that! As you can imagine, I was about to kill everyone I was so frustrated. But I finally coaxed her in with a pumpkin muffin (dog treats I had made on Sunday). Food usually is the motivator for her.
Yesterday morning they had cooked chicken and rice. I came home from work to see poop (and pee) free crates. Last night it was a turkey neck and small chicken leg each. They were happy dogs again. Finally . . . all is well at the Peterson household.
After pondering the weekend trying to determine what the culprit was, I do believe it was the beef fat I gave them on Sunday. I think I probably gave them too much. The butcher told me it would be good for their coats. Well, they get fish oil pills daily so I think their coats are fine, I've determined. NO MORE BEEF FAT!!
I guess I'm still on that learning curve for the BARF thing but I hope for my sake and their sake that I "get it" soon!!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Back in September her ALKP was 2552 - today it was 568 (normal range 23-212). Her ALT back in September was 1966 and today it was 761 (normal range 10-100). Her Biliribin in September was 13.1 and today it was .5 (normal range 0.0-0.9). Obviously she still isn't in the normal range for ALKP or ALT but it is a HUGE improvement over the 2 1/2 months we've been dealing with this. As well, her Bilirubin is perfect. Her doctor said that is a huge improvement and means more about the liver than the ALKP and ALT although those numbers do signify some liver cell damage which I'm hoping will continue to heal itself.
Also, at the last visit on October 24th, she weighed 54 pounds. Today she weighed 58!! Yeppie!!
She is very energetic, is happy, is eating well, is peeing normally, and is doing everything else that she should be doing. I do believe we are out of the woods, thank God!
Remi and Lucy are happy to hear this as they are pretty tired of the "little one" always getting extra attention, extra food and extra treats! Oh well, I tell them, I'd do the same for them, too!
Whoo hoo . . . now to celebrate!!!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Which means, Bones and Raw Food (or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) is what I've begun feeding the girls of late. I still feed Innova Evo for breakfast but for dinner they are on a BARF diet. I may completely switch or may continue as I'm doing, just because it is so much faster to feed them Evo in the morning, especially on work days.
In any event, they are loving life!! They've had a variety of things which I'll list here.
- Chicken backs
- Chicken necks
- Chicken legs
- Chicken thighs
- Turkey necks
- Turkey tails (which they absolutely love)
- Beef heart
- Ground rabbit
- Ground beef
I have some mackeral I may try in the next week, just to see how they like that. I've heard most dogs just love it. It's suppose to be really good for them as it has Omega-3 fatty acids and even some Omega-6 fatty acids, although they are still getting daily fish oil pills.
We also have some beef fat to feed them on occasion - it's suppose to make their coats shiny. I gotta be careful with that, though, as I don't want to put any pounds on Remi or Lucy. Sugar, yes, but not the other two.
Once a week they also get a frozen veggie "popsicle" that contains pureed spinach, carrots, yellow squash, broccoli, raw eggs (shell and all), cottage cheese, raw hamburger, and peaches. I'm sure I've forgotten something in that list as I put all kinds of things in their veggie mix. They love it though!
So far, everyone is doing well. As I've reported before, Remi and Lucy are slimming a bit and Sugar is gaining a bit. By the way, we have an appointment Saturday for another blood test for her to see where her liver values are. She looks good and is PINK!! So, I am hopeful the test will show her values are going down, perhaps even at the normal level at this point. We'll see. I'll update the blog with the results, as soon as I know them.
Back to the diet, I just have to say how thrilled I am at this BARF diet. They seem to really like it, are satisfied, and I hope will thrive even more than they would on kibble (which our kibble, Innova Evo, is the next best thing to feeding raw). I hope I'm giving them enough variety, too. I will try to get some venison or buffalo, both of which I think will be expensive. The butcher in Douglasville can GET anything, he says, and he does have alot of variety there as well as a large customer base who also feeds raw to their dogs. He also has tripe which we'll try and I know I need to throw in some organs. I have some beef liver I'll probably feed them this weekend.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Here, my friends, is the end result. Don't those look just wonderful? I can't wait to have one for breakfast in the morning. I'll be sure to let you know how delicious they are!!
Friday, November 07, 2008
"Speed is a 1994 American action/thriller film directed by Jan de Bont, and set in Los Angeles. It focuses on police officer Jack Traven who tries to arrest an insane bomber/extortionist. After the bomber escapes, he sets up a bomb on a city bus which Traven boards and must keep moving above 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) or the bomb will explode. He endures a race against time with the help of a beautiful passenger, with whom he falls in love. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton and Jeff Daniels."
Well, yesterday, on the way home on the bus, I had a dejavu and could have sworn I had taken over the role of Sandra Bullock in the 1994 movie Speed. I was wondering where the bomb was and how incredibly calm our bus driver was during this incredible and horrifying ordeal! I kid you not!
Our GRTA bus picked us up at the Five Points Station on Pryor Street (downtown Atlanta) at 4:35 p.m. At 5:05 p.m., I was in my SUV in Hiram. And that was after a stop at the Powder Springs station to drop off about 50 folks. That, my friends, was record time!
Between the jostling back and forth from the fast movement of the bus, and being half scared to death, I did manage to sneak in the proverbial cat nap. I don't know how, but I did (remember previous post about being able to sleep anywhere, anytime)! Actually, I wasn't that scared as this particular bus driver is the one who drives that bus like its a Miata. I have full faith that she will get us to our destination and she always has, thus far!
Yesterday's trip was no exception. All I can say is - WOW!!!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Actually my niece who was present at the now infamous lasagna dinner, prompted me with my latest project. You see, I was in the middle of putting some rolls into a basket for the table when she asked, "Are those Granny's rolls?" Unfortunately and sadly, they were not, I told her. "Granny's rolls" are these wonderful and tasty and light and warm and fresh (and did I say wonderful?) sourdough rolls that my mother, her Granny, would make every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since her departure from this earth in 2001, I have yet to taste a roll with similar qualities.
I have never attempted sourdough anything mostly because the thought of making a sourdough starter and keeping it alive in my refrigerator for weeks on end seemed a daunting task, one which I was unsure I could conquer.
But alas, I have accepted the challenge and have begun the process to make my own starter (as opposed to cheating and buying starter that is "ready"). It is currently growing in a Mason jar on my counter where I feed it every night. The "feeding" as it is known, simply means stirring in equal parts of flour and warm water. You then lightly cover and leave it to grow until it's next feeding, 24 hours later.
At the end of 7 days, it will be ready to use in recipes and it's then that I can store it in the refrigerator to use for many weeks to come. Some bakers have starter they first began 25 or so odd years ago. Isn't that something? Supposedly you can't kill it and as long as you take care of it and feed it from time to time, it will continue to prosper and you will always have some on hand.
I think the first thing I'll try will be a loaf of sourdough bread! Then I want to try sourdough English muffins and perhaps some pancakes. Then, I'll tackle the rolls. I'm hopeful to have some decent rolls to present at my next dinner party. Keep your fingers crossed! I will probably take some pictures of the process along the way so be watching for those in future posts.
It is obviously such a long process but I hear it is well worth the extra effort. We will see.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Plus, if I had ridden home with Russell yesterday, I would have missed the most awesome sight I've ever seen in downtown Atlanta. It was a beautiful and spectacular Peregrine Falcon, just meandering from light post to light post, staying long enough at each one to fully survey everything and everyone below it. I'm sure he was hunting for dinner or for a snack but honestly, from the look of him, he appears to be pretty well fed.
It was a spectacular sight for sure. Right there at our bus stop on Pryor Street at Underground Atlanta, barely a block from the Capitol. Who would have thunk it?
You never really know what you'll see on the commute . . . never!!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
This all came about when Sugar first became ill as she would not eat anything but raw stew meat and raw hamburger. Obviously the other two were so jealous as they were still eating kibble so I played around giving them turkey necks one weekend hoping they would all feel engaged in eating this different type of food. Lo and behold I noticed an immediate change in their tooth color and breath. They were whiter and no doggie breath to speak of!! "Yeppie", I thought, "we're onto something here"!
Then I was at a lure coursing trial and saw the most beautiful, fit Greyhounds with gleaming coats. They also ran as well as they looked. This was the icing on the cake for me - I was a convert. I promised the girls and myself that we would try this new eating regime and see just what results we could obtain. Thus far, everyone is doing well, even me who has the weakest stomach known to mankind. Remi and Lucy are also slimming down a bit. You see, they've been the recipients of anything Sugar wouldn't eat in the past which was largely and unfortunately, not something I could control (long story). So, they are slimming and Sugar is gaining which is exactly how it should be, oh, and I'm managing to continue to prepare their meals and mine as well. I don't doubt though, that I may very well become a vegetarian before this is all said and done but I digress.
The other day they were all outside after downing their weekly turkey necks when I looked across the yard to see Remi had something in her mouth. From where I stood, it looked like a stick. Then she turned another direction at which time the thing looked like a cross. She came a little closer and it was then that I realized it was neither a stick nor a cross but was, hold your jaw . . . a starfish. A dried one, of course, but still a starfish. Obviously I have no idea where it came from. I went to her and immediately yanked it out of her mouth. The look on her face was priceless. It was if she were saying, "but hey Mom, I found that treat all by myself now give it back". I tossed it in the garbage and that was that, well, until this past Sunday night.
They had just finished their chicken backs and I hadn't yet called them to come back inside. I normally muzzle them when they are just outside pottying or doing whatever but if they are eating, that doesn't really work so well. So, they were unmuzzled, yet again which leaves the door wide open for them to get into trouble. I go to call them in when I see Lucy beginning to sit down with something in her mouth. She was obviously getting ready to hunker down and "go to town" on whatever it was she had. I got a little closer only to see she had a dried and dead bullfrog carcass in her mouth. Again, I have no idea where this one came from. I yanked it from her mouth and received the same look from her that Remi had given me over the starfish.
But this behavior begs the question, what am I doing wrong with their diets? Are they missing some vital minerals or vitamins that I'm not providing or is this just a case of "dogs gone wild" in their very own backyard?
What on earth will they come up with next, I ask? I can only speculate but hope that they've now cleaned out all the nuisances that are apparently at their very reach.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Last night she ate two and a half chicken backs!! And about a cup of ground beef.
I do believe her appetite is back. Thank God!