Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

The girls enjoying a cup of vanilla ice cream. First red fawn is foster girl Red who was adopted today. She kind of took to that ice cream, didn't she? No one had to show her twice or even once for that matter. Turn up your volume!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Surgery

Well, I made it through it and I think I did so without mentioning Dr. McDreamy or Dr. McSteamy. At least the anesthesiologist said I didn't say anything, short of warning him to avoid seeing the new Will Smith flick, Seven Pounds, as I had heard it was horrible. Don't remember that conversation at all nor any others so I am hoping he wasn't pulling my leg and that is all I did say!

Dr. McGlamory was wonderful. I went back to the surgery center around 9:45 a.m. to get prepped. After that, I think I walked over to the surgery area around 10:00 a.m. I remember nothing after that except a bit of what felt like someone flopping my foot around. I was wheeled out and was recovering around 12:15 p.m.

While in there, he removed or fixed (not sure which at this point) quite a bit of damaged cartilage. He asked if I had had an injury on that foot that would have caused that and I said no. Only thing was the previous foot surgery. Anyway, it's fixed now. As well, he took care of the bone spurs, a bunion on the outside below the little toe and then he put internal wires in the little toe bone as well as the big toe bone. I think both required drilling in the bone. Sorry about that, that's probabably TMI, as it certainly is for me!

Despite the Percocet, I'm in quite a bit of pain. Of course, I am hoping it subsides sooner rather than later. As I've mentioned to a few friends today, it feels like I've had my foot in a bucket of ice cold water for about 24 hours and then it was shot about ten times with a nail gun. That about sums it up.

I go to see Dr. McGlamory this week for a bandage change. I'm sure I won't be able to look at my foot but I'll be sure to provide an update here. Thanks for all your warm wishes and phone calls. Pin It

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How Totally Embarrassing . . .

Today I ran to the Atlanta Farmer's Market (Clairmont Road and Buford Highway, just inside the Perimeter) to get the girls some chicken backs. I had picked up about 5 packages and went back for one more. As I reached over to grab one, a lady was there surveying the chicken parts. She looked at me and I looked at her and quickly said, "These are for my dogs". She replied back in a very thick Jamaican accent, "Oh, I love chicken backs - more so than the breasts". Stumped because I made the comment about buying the chicken backs for my dogs, I replied back "Oh, my dogs love them, too". I can't imagine a person eating them but I suppose they do!! Hey, you learn something new every day.

And boy did I learn something today - comments are not required when choosing meat items at the farmer's market. Everybody there is purchasing something odd so you certainly aren't alone! Pin It

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's a Date!

Yesterday I had my pre-op appointment with Dr. McGlamry for my foot surgery scheduled for Friday, December 26th. Yes, the good Doc is working the day after Christmas. He says they are really busy this time of year because alot of folks are trying to get in their surgeries by the end of the year, so yes, he was available when this was scheduled three weeks ago. So, that's the day we're going to do it. I'm off that day and will have the weekend to recoup, somewhat, before the next workweek. That week is a short week also due to the New Year's holiday so that will help, too.

Back to the Dr. visit - we chatted about what he was going to do which includes correcting the bone spurs, putting a screw in a bone to move it inward, cleaning out the gunk that is in the area (I think it's a Ganglion cyst but we won't know until he gets in there), and correcting a small bunion below the little toe. Basically, an overhaul, you could say.

The last foot surgery I had (on both feet) corrected bunions, removed a Ganglion cyst (in the same location where the "gunk" is now), and corrected ingrown toe nails. That was about 15 years ago. I can't complain since that surgery has lasted this long. I'm hopeful this next surgery will last as long or longer because as I told Dr. McGlamry, foot surgery is NOT fun, not at all. He laughed when I said that and I said, "You probably hear that at least once a day", at which time, he admitted he heard it very often so he was not offended at all. In fact, he had been on the receiving end before so he totally understood.

After the chat about what he was going to do, he talked about what could possibly go wrong. Not something you wanna hear, but I guess it's something you gotta hear. I did mention the previous experience during foot surgery - hearing the saw, feeling the pressure, etc. and he said I surely needed to mention that to the anesthesiologist who could keep me on the "deeper" end of twilight. There was no need to go completely under but being on the "deeper" end would suffice. The anesthesiologist will call next week to chat about that, so we should be set on the 26th to do what needs to be done.

I filled out the necessary paperwork for the outpatient surgery center, received my walking boot (a lovely contraption which will certainly NOT start a new fashion trend), received an ice pack I need to keep on the foot during the first two days, received my folder with copies of important instructions and paperwork, and I was on my way. It was all set.

I absolutely dread this as I know how painful it can be but I do realize that it needs to be done sooner rather than later. The sooner it gets done, the sooner I heal and can be on my way.

My only real fear in all this is that while I'm in the "twilight zone", I'm going to ask Dr. McGlamry where Dr. McSteamy and Dr. McDreamy are! Pin It

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nesting 101

Sugar wanted to share with Seka and Roxie this little video of her nesting in her newest Orvis bead bed. As you can see, she is quite comfortable when it's all said and done. Sugar is hoping Seka and Roxie will soon enjoy their Orvis bed, too! If you guys need any pointers, feel free to give Sugar a ring!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Raw Food Incident

Well, I'm learning folks is all I can say. This is still so new or so it seems!

Yesterday it was raining "cats and dogs" so I decided to try the canned mackeral out on the girls so they could eat inside from their food bowls. I'd had the three cans in the cupboard since Day 1 of the raw diet and was itching to let them try it. So, I said, "why not?" I had heard from Addie that her boys just loved theirs so I imagined my girls would as well - hey, what did I have to loose? They haven't refused anything, thus far (well, except for the raw egg/Sugar incident) and I've fed them some really gross stuff (turkey butts come to mind). Canned mackeral fits right in with that description so I decided to go for it. I opened the first can and almost gagged. UGH!! I can't believe how disgusting it smelled and looked and probably tasted but you know how dogs are, the nastier it is, the better it is!

I poured the first can in Sugar's bowl and sat it back down for her to eat it. She went right to it like a martin to a gourd, as my mother might say. She ate the mackeral first and then licked up the juices. Lucy was next. She also went right to it, eating the mackeral and then the juices. Remi, on the other hand, licked up the juices first and then ate the mackeral. Go figure.

They all enjoyed the stuff much to my dismay. That means I'll probably have to give it to them again at some point in the future. UGH, again!!

After dinner was over I washed their food bowls and cleaned the floor (trying to get rid of that stinky fish smell). It was then time to get ready for pet therapy. Yes, we had pet therapy last night at the nursing home. I gave all the girls peppermint candies and each received a Greenie, even Sugar, who came with me.

On the way to the nursing home, she emitted the most awfullest gas that has ever come out of her body and she can be quite gassy at times (the only one out of three who often gets this way, so I can't complain). We drove the entire trip to the nursing home with the back window half-way down so I could breathe and not pass out while driving. She, on the other hand, seemed quite content to lay in the back enjoying her Greenie. Of course she had no idea she was about to kill me.

We finally arrived at the nursing home where I practically burst out of the SUV - ahh, fresh air, fresh air. It was delightful! It was sprinkling a bit, but I didn't care. The air was awesome. I unloaded Sugar and took her to the grassy area to potty. She pee'd but no potty. I thought she might need to go after all that but she didn't.

So, we went inside. I warned Kim (and Lindsey), who met us there, to beware of what might come out of Sugar's behind. It was lethal, I tell you. Fortunately, during the entire visit, she never did have any gas. However, she was still quite lethal . . . it was her breath. She had fish breath! Mackeral breath to be exact! I tried to fix it with the peppermint candies and then the Greenie but neither worked. It was awful. You could smell her a mile away. The patients were quite nice though, never mentioning it until we were visiting with two ladies who we see every month. They petted Lindsey and then Sugar. Lindsey tried to give them kisses at which time I warned them not to ask for any from "fish breath" Sugar. They both laughed and one lady said, "Oh my, I thought that was me!" Funny . . . I assured her it was Mackeral Sugar and it wasn't her. We all laughed, and yes, at Sugar's expense. Again, she was oblivious!

Thank God our visit was rather short and we were soon on our way home. Another bit of gas in the car but then no more throughout the night. This morning, I couldn't really smell fish on anyone.

(Another) lesson learned - never, never feed mackeral the night of pet therapy.
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Taste of Heaven

Yes, heaven - to die for - can't live without, you get the picture! And I'm talking about homemade marshmallows! I made them on Sunday and finished cutting them and dusting them last night.

While cutting them, Remi, Sugar and Lucy were patiently standing behind me waiting to be the taste testers. As to be expected, they loved them! I think all of us had at least three each during the testing process but in the end, we all agree, the marshmallows passed the test without a doubt!

They are most delightful - light and airy and yummy, yummy, good! As always, much better than store bought!

I actually used Alton Brown's recipe which is below. The only change I did is that I added about a 1/2 teaspoon (or a tad more) of clear vanilla.

Homemade Marshmallows (Alton Brown)

1/4 cup powdered gelatin
1 cup cold water
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla
2 egg whites
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting pan and marshmallows
Butter for greasing pan (I used PAM)

In a medium sized saucepan soak the gelatin in the water. After the gelatin has softened (approximately 10 minutes) add the regular sugar and then gently dissolve over low heat for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add vanilla.

In a mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the sifted confectioners' sugar. While the mixer is on low, slowly poor in the cooled gelatin mixture. Increase the speed and beat until white and thick. The volume should double in size.

Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with high sides with foil, grease slightly with butter (or PAM), and coat with confectioners' sugar. Alternatively, you can use a baking sheet, but the marshmallows will not be as tall. Pour marshmallow mixture in and top with more sifted confectioners' sugar. Leave out overnight or for at least 3 hours to set. The marshmallow should be light and spongy when set.

Loosen marshmallow from edges of tray and invert onto a large cutting board. Peel off foil and use a large knife to cut the marshmallows into cubes. Dredge each piece in confectioners' sugar.


I honestly can't believe I've never made these and it's another one of those things on my list that I've always wanted to make and now I have. They are super easy and as I said, the end result is well worth it. You will probably never go back to store bought mushies once you've tasted these!!

Remi, Sugar, and Lucy are hoping we don't and that I will continue to make these wonderful sweet confections just for them! I probably will. Remember, it's all about the dogs . . .
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Monday, December 08, 2008

More on Raw . . .

Just a quick note – Saturday I thought I’d try giving the girls raw eggs to supplement their raw diet. They are suppose to get these at least once a week, I think, and I had forgotten to give them any this entire time. I cracked one in each of their bowls, leaving the shell as well because this is also very good for them. Remi enthusiastically ate hers as did Lucy, crunching the shell as they devoured the egg itself. I didn’t doubt these two would enjoy their egg treat.

Sugar, on the other hand, is the princess of the bunch. She looked at it, looked up at me as if to say, “What the heck is this and do you really expect me to eat it?”. She then lapped a bit up, looked at me again, drank some water, picked up the shell and dropped it on the floor, lapped a bit again, looked at me again, drank some more water and then she walked away.

Remi and Lucy tag teamed it and finished all that Sugar had left, which was about 90 percent of what was there originally! She sure didn’t take to it but I’m hoping she will the next time. As Scarlett would say, there’s always tomorrow! Pin It

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mushie Breakthrough!!!!

It has happened! Sugar actually consumed her marshmallow this morning. I tossed it into her crate along with two small cookies. She ate the cookies first and then turned around and lo and behold, she smurfed up the mushie! I was very surprised and ecstatic, to say the least! (It's the little things in life, you know?)

Yesterday's mushie was missing, too, but I assumed that Remi or Lucy had snuck in there after their dinner to smurf it up but I guess it was probably Sugar who ate it then as well. Whoo hoo!

This is certainly a breakthrough at the Peterson household. I'm so psyched that I think I will attempt to make a batch of homemade marshmallows this weekend. As with the English Muffins, I've heard and read that once you have homemade mushies, you'll never go back to store bought mushies.

I found this recipe for making your own marshmallows and I think I'll try it:

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the cornstarch and confectioners sugar into a bowl. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch square baking pan and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch-and-sugar mixture into it. Tilt the pan to coat the sides and the bottom. Leave any excess in the pan.

Sprinkle the gelatin into the water in a small saucepan and let soak for five minutes. Add the granulated sugar and stir over low heat until the gelatin and sugar dissolve.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the gelatin mixture, corn syrup, salt and vanilla and beat for 15 minutes on high speed, until peaks form.

Spread the fluffy mixture in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Leave for two hours or until set.

With a wet knife, cut the marshmallow mixture into quarters and loosen around the edges. Sprinkle the remaining cornstarch-and-sugar mixture on a baking sheet and invert the marshmallow blocks onto it. Cut each quarter into nine pieces and roll each one in the starch and sugar.

Place the marshmallows on a cake rack covered with paper towels and let them stand over night to dry the surface slightly. Store airtight; the marshmallows will keep for a month.

Do you suppose making the girls homemade marshmallows is spoiling them a bit too much? :)

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Childhood Memories

After reading my friend's blog about eating fresh crabs over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was reminded of something that happened when I was much younger which really has nothing to do with Thanksgiving and very little to do with crabs. But here's the story anyway!

While growing up, my family enjoyed boating around the bays and Gulf around Panama City, Florida where I was born and reared. Our boat was a 30-foot Trojan cabin cruiser which we docked at the downtown marina in a private berth.

One day my brother decided to drop a crab basket off the dock just for kicks. He checked it one day and no crabs. He checked it again and alas, no crabs but instead there was a little seahorse inside the basket. He pulled it up and we took her from the basket and placed her into a cup full of salt water. We called the seahorse a "her" but I am not certain how we decided that she was indeed, a she. I have since read that the males have a brood pouch and the females do not but at the time, I don't recall if we even noticed that or not. In any event, we decided she was a she and henceforth named her Charlene.

We took Charlene home with us and put her into a very small aquarium, complete with a long mixing spoon so she would have something to hang onto. I don't remember if my Mom ever put any plants in there to dress up her landscape or if any other creatures were added. I don't believe so as I remember Mom taking such special care of Charlene and just Charlene. She would drive down to the bay and scoop up a pail of salt water and bring it home for her. You see, the water would be swimming with brine shrimp and plankton which is what Charlene liked to eat. Sometimes Mom would go to the pet store and buy her some brine shrimp but she much preferred the fresh stuff.

I remember being fascinated watching Charlene eat and just hang out. She really didn't do much else mainly because her living quarters were so small and she had no friends to play with. We suggested we get her a boyfriend as we thought it would be cool to watch them have babies. Mom and Daddy didn't think so. We once found a baby octopus in a scallop shell and wanted to take it home to be with Charlene but it was decided that would be a bad idea since the thing would probably ink constantly in the tank. Charlene would be miserable!

At some point, a hurricane came our way and we were evacuating. We decided to take Charlene back to the dock and let her go. Daddy figured she'd be safer there than in her tank at home. I couldn't see how that would be the case but we took her anyway. It was sad - no more Charlene to feed and watch.

But you know something, I am so forever grateful to have had that experience and the many other experiences we had growing up around the salt water - boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, skiing, you name it, if it had to do with salt water, we were doing it! We would hop in the boat and head to Pensacola for lunch or head over to Apalachicola to eat at the Greasy Spoon (I truly think that was the name of the restaurant or it might just be what my Dad called it) or take weekend trips to Carrabelle or Mobile. We would travel to places in and around Panama City by boat so often that it would be years before I would actually know how to get there by land. Oh, I can't forget the yearly trips to Islamorada to go lobstering which was very awesome. We ate lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was great fun!

It's all we knew and quite frankly, was the best childhood anyone could ever want. As you can tell, I feel quite privileged. Thanks to my wonderful parents for being so good to us and providing such wonderful experiences and memories.
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Monday, December 01, 2008

A Future Vegetarian?

Last night I fed the girls their usual chicken thighs. They woofed them down as they have every night since starting this RAW diet. I also had three small chicken legs in the microwave defrosting. Before I could even get those ready, I stepped outside to find Lucy had found her own munchie while awaiting her chicken leg.

Seems I hadn't dug up all the sweet potatoes in the garden and the little villain found one and dug up her own side item to add to her dinner. She didn't even offer to share with Remi or Sugar (figures).

As you can see from the video (be sure to turn up your volume), she is certainly enjoying her "find". I can't blame her as I love sweet potatoes myself . . . but raw? You don't suppose it will hurt her tummy, do you (pray it doesn't come back up)? Do you suppose she is trying to tell me something though? Perhaps she isn't getting enough food on this RAW diet? Or perhaps she'd prefer to be a vegetarian? Or perhaps she just wanted some sweet potatoes to go with her turkey tail I gave her Thanksgiving night?

I honestly think she is taking this RAW diet a bit too far!! Who knew she'd be such a convert?

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