Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Happy Birthday Calli!

This was going to be a more involved post, but I'm already a day late, so I'll just make it short and sweet.  Dear Calli hit 15 yesterday.  Here's a couple more videos of her.  She's having a lot more fun here than she was in the two in the previous post!  

And Jake is all 'play with me, play with me'

Sunday, January 25, 2015

More Pineapples

We had that whole Hawaiian Pineapple Express storm system dumping rain on us for two days straight.  Really ugly and a bit depressing.  The upside is that the temperatures are really mild. Bothers the dogs much less than us, so they still expect their daily exercise.  You will probably laugh at us walking out there through the bush with our umbrellas.  A bit awkward at times, but beats struggling into the rain gear, which would make me TOO HOT over the top of my other clothes.  Maybe it's my British background, but we use umbrellas a lot here.  This was yesterday morning.  Calli was not impressed.

You dragged me off my nice comfortable bed....for this?

Despite averaging 60" of rain here a year, we do not have rain coats for the dogs.  Some days though, you just kind of get fed up of towelling them off every time they have been outside. So Calli got the one thicker winter coat.  She doesn't move fast so no worries about her getting too hot. Luna and Jake wore reflective 'vests' that I got from the dollar store.  Any bit of rain being deflected from their coats was better than nothing I thought.

Luna has a new routine when we walk in the morning.  She HAS TO find her ball. Sometimes she is frantically running up and down the driveway, trying to find it.  Worst case scenario, if we don't know where it is, there are a couple of older balls that will fill in in a pinch, but this one is definitely her favourite.  She will roll it from down by the house, all the way up the alleyway, through the old riding ring, and out to where the old horse shed is.  She will usually leave it there, go through the bush with us, and make her rounds, and then when she knows we are on our way back, she will run ahead, get her ball and push it down the hill, and through the gate, and days like yesterday, pushes it half way up the trail.  She is pretty tired on the way back sometimes, and will sometimes abandon the ball, so you have to keep watch.  Don't want to leave it out there or the coyotes might start up their own soccer game.  (many years ago they played havoc with water hoses we left out there).  Here she is moving it through the big puddle just inside the riding ring gateway.

Other end of the riding ring, almost at the horse shed.

Waiting to be told that is is okay for them to go through the gate to the bush.

They run full bore up the field, Jake starts out in the lead but Luna catches up, and then they have a bit of snark fest with each other, and then turn around and come back, generally. Unless they pick up a hot scent out there, and then they just keep going.  Usually on the way back Luna will throw herself on the ground and have a really good roll.  And if she is extra hot, on the way through the bush she will lay in the creek in a deep spot, for a quick cool down.

Calli was not impressed with yesterday's walk at all.  It was kind of like, well You dragged me out here in the pouring rain, YOU can get me through the creek.

Sorry for the shaky filming. Holding an umbrella in one hand, the camera steady in the other, and NOT fall in the mud was a bit of a struggle.
Can you hear the rain.  Sounds like a fire crackling in the background.
A bit past the creek, she got moving under her own power.

Today was just the opposite. Still really mild, and the sun came out and it was like a spring day.  I was down to capris and a t-shirt on the way back from our fast walk.  We try to do a half hour fast walk up the road with just Jake and Luna, to get our heart rates up and get some decent exercise.

Day 25 of Whole30 for me.  Larry is five days behind me.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Out of the Fog

Yesterday started sunny and clear, a good frost overnight.  As we headed out for our morning stroll, (it's pretty darn slow these days as we go at Calli's speed), I dumped some coleslaw and some yogurt over the fence to the chickens.  The coleslaw we ate for 4 days as part of our Whole30 meals.  It had turned bitter and both of us had had enough of it.  The yogurt has been sitting in the fridge for the last two weeks, and being dairy, is off limits to us right now.  I'm just happy that nothing goes to waste though!  The hens didn't think much of the coleslaw either, but they sure liked that lemon yogurt.

As we were walking we could see the fog hanging at the edge of the land to the north, where it drops down into the river valley.  Once again threatening to roll over us.
As we walked down the trail, I spotted this.  Kind of looks like white fur doesn't it?

What it is is ice crystals.  Maybe you've all seen it before.  I just find it one of those amazing things in nature.
There is some more info here

Those strands of crystals are about 2 1/2 inches long.  We seem to get them if it is mild during the day, and then freezes overnight.

The old lady strolling along.
She will turn 15 in another 11 days.  Pretty amazing I think:)

This picture makes her face look really old, but she actually looks quite good.

She is usually following along behind us, at her own pace, but sometimes she gets sidetracked and we have to go back and get her.  She can't hear you unless you are within a few feet.  This morning she ventured off the trail and got stuck of course.  It doesn't take much to get her stuck these days.

And by the time we strolled back, the fog had rolled over the edge and down past us, but you can still see blue sky at the right.  It did fully clear up again and was a beautiful day.  

I went to visit my mum, who is now back at her care home.  She is pretty well doing what she did before, toileting, getting dressed, etc, on her own, much to the dismay of the staff.  Got to admire her independance, although the nasty tone of voice reared it's ugly head when I first got there.  After that it was fine and we had a nice walk and found a sunny spot to stop for a while.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stuck in the Fog

This morning when we went for a walk through the bush, it seemed like the fog was going to burn off.  It was bright and we could see blue sky overhead, and it had all the beginnings of a lovely Spring-like day in January.  A bit later when we did a fast mile walk down the road with just Jake and Luna, the sun was mostly out.  We drove away from home to run some errands and buy vegetables and not far from home we came out into beautiful sunshine.  We were sure by the time we got back, nearly three hours later, that our house would be basking in the sunshine too. Wishful thinking.  As we are heading back north, not far from home, we could see the fog bank rising up from the river valley below and spilling over the top of the hill, and of course, over our house. 

Around four we took the dogs for another walk, they expect it now in the afternoon, and it was like this. (It felt like all we did was walk dogs today) Yuk, socked right in.  We were extra careful along the road, I was wearing a florescent vest and the dogs were on leash.  The cars seem to be able to sneak up on you in the fog, and all of a sudden are right there.  These pictures are on the road allowance so no cars here.

After all that grey, here's some colour.  Larry and I are still doing the Whole30 meal plan.  No grains, no dairy, no sugar, no soy, no legumes (except green beans or snap or snow peas).  I'm having fun making the plates as colourful as I can.  Some examples of what we CAN eat.  Do we look like we are deprived?  Not at all.  I'm really happy about all this, I feel great, I've lost a very few pounds, I'm not hungry and not snacking, and have lost a lot of aches and pains.  
Breakfast on the left, lunch in the middle, dinner on the right.  I even ate out one night.  Didn't have the bun, scraped the sauce off the chicken and had oil and vinegar dressing as their vinaigrette had added sugar.  The friend I had dinner with started her Whole30 yesterday.

I did manage to squeeze a few minutes in at the thrift store today too, while Larry went to the library. 
An unopened bottle of Avon's Skin so Soft, a blue glass jar for Meredith (or me), both 99 cents each, and three new cotton dish cloths for 29 cents.  There was a 20% discount today, so for a grand total of $1.80......:)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day 6

A few days before New Years I read this blog post here.  It hit a nerve.  There was so much there that I could relate to, especially the chocolate chips part.  My go to comfort food.  It's a rare time that a bag of choco chips actually makes it into some baking.  And if it does, such as cookies, well you can be guaranteed I will have eaten my share of the total batch in the first few hours.  I am addicted to food, the wrong foods. 

For quite a while now I haven't liked how I've felt.  Not as much energy as I'd like.  Aches and pains, and other pains.  A whole bunch of different physical ailments that add up to a lot when I put 2 and 2 together.  A lot of it I blamed on the extra weight I've been packing around for far too long.  Between Meredith's and David's birth, I weighed 30 lbs less than this.  I'd love to get back to that. Who wouldn't.  

I looked into the Whole30 plan mentioned in that blog post.  The idea of a whole bunch of people doing it together sounded fun.  I joined the Facebook Page.  I was sick right up to New Years Eve, but knew at that point I was on the mend.  I decided to just dive right in and join along on the Whole30 ride.  What is Whole30 you ask.  This is taken from the whole30.com website.

Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

You can read the rest of it here - www.whole30.com/step-one/

The plan is to eliminate most things that can irritate or cause inflammation in the body.  For 30 days you eat meals that do NOT contain added sugar in any from, which includes honey, maple syrup and the variations of the words that end in 'ose'. Grains and pseudo grains are banned, as are legumes (including peanuts), dairy and soy, as well as alcohol.  Sulphites, MSG and carageenan are banned.  Basically the meals consist of vegetables, animal protein, and fat or oil, with some nuts and fruit.  We are to try hard to stick to three meals a day, with little snacking.  Coffee and tea are allowed as long as they are compliant.  

Larry got sick on New Years Day, but yesterday he started to feel better.  Today he joined me on the Whole30 plan.  He too has a bunch of physical issues he'd love some help with.

This was supper tonight.  Butternut squash topped with a ground beef and veggie mixture.  Sauerkraut on the side (that was a new one for us, but it was good mixed in with the ground beef)  and a few grapes and pomegranite seeds.  Loving the colourfulness of it all!

Breakfast one morning.

Today was my second time going out shopping for this plan.  I seemed to be constantly blocking the aisle with my cart as I stood and read labels, and had to put most of those things back on the shelf because they had sugar in the them.  If it wasn't sugar it was soy or some other 'banned' substance.  

I haven't weighed myself since I started.  It is strongly encouraged that you don't weigh yourself until you have done the full 30 days.  I don't feel like I've lost any weight yet.  My body is still sorting itself out.  One thing that I have noticed though, is the lack of stiffness in my hip joints after I have been sitting down for a while, either on the couch or at the computer or in the car.  Sometimes it was so bad that I could hardly walk for the first few seconds.  Yesterday I suddenly realized that that had seemed to have gone away.  I remembered to think about it after I got out of the car after driving for half an hour.  No stiffness!  
While I was shopping today I took my blood pressure at the pharmacy.  Now my blood pressure has usually been pretty good, but today it was even better at 108/68.  

I figured I deserved to stop at the thrift store!  Poked around in there and spent a whole $3.70.  These were my best finds.  

Red tags this week were 50 cents.  So for a whole $1 I got these two collectibles.  The round one is about 10" in diameter.

This one originally was $8
One of the smaller containers out of this one fill up the palm of your hand.  Anyone know what they are?  All I can assume is they sat on a dresser or desk and held 'stuff'.  Maybe jewelry or make-up or maybe they are collectibles holding collectibles.  They are metal, probably aluminum, as they are very light.  The clear lids are a thick plastic sort of stuff.  Pretty interesting I thought.

Just what I need, more 'junk'!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

and a Happy New Year!

A bit of an update before the new year starts....

My mother is still in the hospital, although they are thinking about sending her back to the care home any day now.  I told both the social services lady and the therapist all what she used to do on her own before the hip fracture, despite being mostly wheelchair bound, hoping to gain a few more days of therapy for her.  They called on Tuesday, and were going to discuss her case today.  I figure since tomorrow is a holiday, she will be there until at least Friday.  She is still a bit confused about where she is and what happened some days.  Mostly though she seems to be back to 'normal'.

I felt like death warmed over yesterday.  Started as a tickle in my throat on Monday, and then Monday evening I felt pretty crummy.  Yesterday was just awful, pounding headache and upset feeling stomach, and that all over yuk feeling.  Today was about the same in the morning, and then from noon on I have gradually improved and feel so much better this evening.  At first I thought it was the flu, but so many of the flu symptoms seemed to be missing, and it seems like it is over too fast, so I don't know what it was. Horrible while it lasted.

Jake was at the vet on Monday.  On Saturday he was chasing a little stick which broke on impact, and then he yelped and ran back to us.  I was sure he must have a piece of stick in this throat and was all mad at Larry because the 'rule' is that you throw a stick opposite to where the dog is expecting it to go, so that it is dead on the ground before the dog gets to it.  We checked out his mouth and throat and couldn't see any problems, but Jake was 'depressed' for about 6 hours after than.  He came into the kitchen when I cut up an apple, but didn't want to eat the core like he usually does.  I gave him a mushy supper which he ate, and then after that it was a relief to see him pick up at toy and give it to Larry to throw.  I did wonder if there was an issue in his mouth, as he had yelped once one morning while he was eating his breakfast, a couple of weeks ago.  I had made an appointment at the vets for Monday, right at closing time at noon on Saturday.  Then I worried all afternoon that maybe I should find another vet to take him too.  It was a relief to see him back to normal that evening.  So I decided to keep the appointment on Monday and have the vet check out his mouth, and I had also discovered a lump on his chest that I wanted to have checked out too.  Anyway, the vet couldn't see anything wrong in his mouth and said other than a bit of wear, his teeth looked great.  He did think that the upper left canine might be dead, due to the darker colour of it, but since it was not causing any problems, he suggested we leave it alone.  He did a needle biopsy on the lump and said it just contained fat cells, so nothing was done about that either.  We'll just monitor it.

Christmas was quiet, but was nice.    We used to have a sort of tradition of all of us going out to do the animal chores in the morning, and then all go for a walk through the bush with the dogs.  That didn't happen this year,  with both Meredith and David not living at home now.  We also didn't get our Christmas photo taken, which was kind of sad.  Meredith got here first, and then David stopped to see my mum at the hospital, so he was quite late.  Then after we did the gifts, Meredith left to go to the hospital, and by the time she got back we had lost the daylight, and then it just seemed to get forgotten.  In fact the only pictures I took were of the food on the table for Christmas dinner.  Despite being somewhat prepared, there still seems to be rushing around that day to get the meal cooked.  I brined the turkey and it was cooked about an hour and a half before I was expecting it to be done.  I was going to put potatoes in around to roast and found out that the turkey was already cooked.  I couldn't believe it, but tested it with two thermometers and they both said yes, this turkey is done!  We had turkey and stuffing, or maybe we should call it dressing since I just stuff it into a loaf pan, not into the turkey, and then pour turkey juices over it occasionally while it's cooking. Roast potatoes, yam casserole, brussel sprouts, carrots and broccoli, pickled beets, cranberry sauce and gravy.  I'm proud to say that the potatoes, carrots and the tiny, tiny brussel sprouts (it took me forever to peel the outer layers off those little suckers) as well as the beets were all from our garden.  

So here we are at the end of another year.  Larry has walked down the road to a get-together at the neighbours.  I'm keeping my germs to myself and didn't feel up to it anyway.  The days are getting longer already and there's a whole new year ahead of us.  I hope it's a good one.
Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A GOOD afternoon!

My son David worked at the farm across the road for a couple of hours this morning.  That is a job that he has had since he was 15, and has continued to work there while working at other jobs, going to college, university, and even when he worked and lived 3 1/2 hours away during the four month summer break. He drove home on weekends to visit his girlfriend (who he met at the farm), and put in a Saturday working there.  The owners are family to him. On his way to his home now,  he passes by the hospital where my mum is.  I asked him to stop by and drop her glasses off, and to give me an update on how she was.  This is the text I got. 

Hello.  Just leaving now.  She was in good spirits.  Recognized me when I walked in and remembered my name when the nurse came by.  We talked for over an hour.  Well she talked mostly.  She recalls most of what happened yesterday.  She recalled it in a sort of third person perspective.  Didn't seem at all upset about the situation.  Spoke about you and dad as well.  Remembered your name but couldn't remember dad's.  She was having lunch and managed to eat most of it.  She still doesn't seem certain how it all happened but doesn't seem worried.  I would say she was in an extremely good mood compared to what I imagine she was like yesterday.

I cried, happy tears.  
It was a beautiful afternoon, and we had taken the dogs down to the dyke for a walk.  I needed the outdoor time.  I have missed out on a lot of that the last little while.  I took a few not so wonderful pictures with the phone.  Should have taken the camera, but needed the phone to keep in touch with David and to let my sister and Meredith know the latest.  Thank goodness the dyke is flat and straight, so I was able to text and walk and not fall on my face! 

It was one of those dramatic sky kind of days.  We were walking in the sunshine more than the pictures show, and no those black clouds did not dump rain on us.

The dogs were game for a swim, and I think Calli would have taken the plunge if not for the leash holding her back.  She did stick her head underwater a few times to try find a big rock.  Jake and Luna usually need something to be thrown in the water to get wet, so we just didn't throw anything.  I think Jake was quite disgusted with us.

Christmas will be much better now.  
Thanks for following along for the ride.
A very Merry Christmas to you all!