My blog is a way for me to share in the wonder of each day. I know there are others like me that due to medical issues have our days numbered and would like to make the most of them in a positive and gifting way for ourselves and for those around us.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's Good for Our Pets?

Myrtle with her newest toy bunny

I haven't talked about Myrtle much lately cause I know that not all people think of their pets as members of their family exactly. I know I was one of those people for years and had the rule that pets belonged outside except for small dogs and cats and they had to be potty trained of course.
Well, since our kids all left home a few years ago, the house became awfully empty and quiet except when grandkids graced our home. Anyway, I bought my husband a 9 week old 'Ye Olde English Bully Dogge'.
She was precious and all teeth with all the puppy teething traits. She was so excited when someone came over and jumped on them and chewed on their shoes or any other hanging object she could reach. Of course we began training her and even took her for obedience lessons when she was about 6 months old.
She did great, but dogs only do as well as the humans who are training her. I decided that I would do as much as I could to make her a comfortable part of our family since I have so many medical issues at times that take all of my energy and strength away. I knew I had to get her inshape during the summer when I was feeling good and we could get her outside more to romp and train. She now knows about 20 commands and ignores several others when she's not in the mood to cooperate. She is a bull dog you know.
She is now turning 2 years old in April and I think she 'knows' she is one of us and expects all those special priviledges any child would have and sometimes more. Our bed is now a 3 person bed but I sure didn't intend for it to be that way in the beginning.
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves as well as her that she really is 'just' a dog and should not get everything she thinks she should have, like steak, chicken, cheeze, mashed potatoes, celery, peaches, oranges, chips, candy, and etc. etc.
We found a list of the no-nos for dogs that are dangerous and we are careful to not let her get any of those. Below is a list of dangerous foods that we all eat and may unknowingly share with our pets. This information was obtained from the internet and there may be other more sites with this information too.

1.Avacados - can harm heart, lungs, bodily tissues, it's high in fat and could cause respitory problems, severe vomiting, stomach upset, indegestion and more.

2. Chocolate - all chocolates are dangerous for dogs. Small amounts of dark chocolate could be fatal. It can cause seizures, coma and death.

3. Fruit Seeds - Seeds in fruits like apples, cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots contain high Cyanide doses. Cyanide in the body adds up over time and can be very dangerous.

4. Garlic - it can be injurious if large quantities are taken. Too much can cause destruction of red blood cells which causes anemia, weakness and respitory problems.

5. Grapes and Raisens - Even one grape or raisen could cause kidney failure in a dog.

6. Onion and Chives - can destroy red blood cells causing anemia, weakenss and respitory problems. Raw, cooked or powdered, even a small quantity might be fatal for your dog.

7. Tomato - intake of tomatos can cause weakness,lethargy, drooling, diffixculty breathing, colic, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, widely-dilated pupils, paralysis, heart problems, central nervous system disorders that include seizures and tremors.

8. Walnuts - flungus or molds in walnuts are extremely dangerous. Eating even a small portion could make your dog ill or die. Visible symptoms of walnut poisoning are vomiting, trembling, drooling, lethargy, loss of apetite, blood-tinged stool or vomit and jaundice.

Other foods to watch:

9. Except for rice, large amounts of whole grains may cause indegestion

10. Wild mushrooms can cause abdominal pain, liver damage, indigestion, diarrhea, coma, or death.

11. Coins can be extremely dangerous. A single penny can damage red blood cells and turn fatal.

12. Raw egg whites are high in protein called Avidin that can cause hair loss, weakness, growth retardation, or dkeleton deformity.

13. Cooked bones can spinter and tear internal organs.

14. Whole vegetables like lettuce, carrots, beans, yams as they are difficult to digest.

15. Dairy products with high fat content might cause diarrhea or indegestion.

16. Nutmeg causes tremors, seizures and death

17. Diet products containing Xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures.

18. Macadamia nuts can cause weakeness, muscle tremor and paralysis.

19. Too much salt, fat, ham, bacon or liver will cause disorders like kidney problems, bloating, pancreatitis, gas, indigestion, deformity of bones, weight loss and anorexia.

If you know of other's please share them with us so we can protect our little guys and gals covered in fur.

Wow, what a list, but I was surprised at some of the things listed and it made me more aware of what we were feeding her alot more.
Most people try to be safe and aware of what their children are eating but pets aren't always so particular what they eat and we let them eat alot more than we should. I know that some people don't feed their pets any thing but pet food from a bag or can and that's fine if they feel strongly about it.
I'm just from the group that always tasted my babies formula or any babyfood before I fed it to them to see what it was like and if I couldn't stand it I didn't feed it to them. I also know (especially after some extended hospital stays) how boring it is to eat the same thing day after day. (Jello and unsalted chicken or beef broth isn't my cup of tea for sure).


"What's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Old Man Winter is Feeling Better

Thought for the Day:

This may not be quoted exactly word for word but I have always thought it has such a strong truth I want to share it.

"Character is something that can be measured by what a person does when no one is looking."

Remember the last time you were in someone's house or car and you found another person's money or other items lying in plain sight? What did you do? Walk away? Stuff it in your pocket? or were you possibly tempted? Measure yourself by your thoughts and then how you respond to them. Are you someone you would want hanging around your house or money?

Now for the weather:
Yup, just as I thought. Winter isn't through with us yet, even though we had more than a months repreve.
As you can see, the flowers that proudly raised toward the sun yesterday are now blanketed in a nice layer of the white stuff. We are supposed to get more tomorrow too so hope the plants can bear the cold for awhile and still come out later in the spring.

I am confident that our Colorado weather will continue to keep us guessing as usual so Happy Day ya'll.

NOTE about David: They did not do the surgery last Friday either or take any more tests. The surgeon has planned another PET scan for March 31st and then a preop day on April 3rd and depending on all that, they will probably schedule the surgerly for a week following. It is frustrating to say the least to have this all postponed even again, and I hope this isn't allowing the cancer to spread even further than they last saw. I hope the melanoma isn't progressing as fast as it was before the Chemo sessions since he can't have that done again very soon if ever. As far as I know, surgery is the only hope at this time.

I want to thank you all for your continued support and prayers for my son. I'll update as I find out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Thought for the Day:

"Spring has sprung, although old man winter has yet to be informed in some areas we know. Winter gave up a few times and let spring weather walk on his creaking back and what a relief it was. Now that he's feeling better we will surely be revisited soon so keep those jackets close." rjm

Happy Spring!

I have been wanting to show how early we're getting plants sprouting here. In Colorado, with winter weather usually strong in March, the flower's usually poke through the ground closer to April.

This year, however, it has been so warm and so dry, just a little watering and the plants have begun to spring up, even though the lawn is still lying mostly dormant. Notice that around the flowers in my front flower bed, it's still dry and dead but the flowers, like my crocuses and dafodills and tulips don't seem to mind a bit.

I don't either, really, because it gives me some wonderful color to enjoy during this dry time and hope for a great spring and summer (allowing that we really do need more moisture). Notice all the beautiful blooms on my large bush, but no green leaves or even buds are showing yet.

I know that alot of places across the country are getting much more snow and moisture than they need, but we are currently about 83% behind in moisture for this time of year. Ouch!!

We enjoyed having alot of birthdays this month and have had get togethers and birthday parties every week this month. My father-in-law turned 80 years old on the 7th of March. Then my step daughter turned 30 on the 11th and my daughter also turned 30 on the 15th. We followed that up with my uncle's on the 17th and my Mom's birthday on the 18th. My young nephews was about the 19th but we celebrated it on Friday the 20th.
Our little nephew just turned 5 years old. When he saw my husband a few weeks ago as they all traipsed all over the hills looking for deer antlers, he innocently asked Rick, "My birathday is in 3 days. Are you going to give me a present?" Sounds reasonable to a 5 yr old. He get's presents on Christmas and on birthdays so why wouldn't uncle Rick give him one. So.. we decided to be sure and give him a special birthday party so he would know he is special to us too. Here he is about to blow out his candles.

Mariah and Ethan helped Grandps bake a cake for their Mom, Amber and Dad, Steve so we could celebrate their birthday's on Sunday. Grandpa has a great sense of humor and baked them a cake with oreo cookies, white chocolate chips and then pieces of prunes fort the now 'over the hill' birthday couple, ha! (If you look closely you can see the box of prunes he has opened.)
While we were plotting all this fun, Amber and Steve went out for a much deserved birthday dinner out together (no kids) to Outback Resturant, which is one of their favorites. The kids helped decorate and set the table and wore 'Happy New Year' hats and blew the favored expandable noise makers as they came in the front door.

Then Mariah and Ethan each made birthday cards for their parents and painted them with squirt paint on construction paper. Mariah is a natural artist and did an excellent job.

Next, one of my son-in-laws birthday was the 21st and the other son-in-law had his today, on the 23rd. If my Grandma on my dad's side had lived one more year, she would have turned 100 on the 2nd of the month. There are one or two others and at least one anniversary in our extended family this month but there is just so much one can keep up with in one month.

On Saturday I was actually able to get out and fish with my husband, father and father-in-law all day along with our faithful little (not so little actually) bulldog, Myrtle. The weather was perfect and we didn't get one single fish. That was ok, though, since after the first 30 minutes we were pretty sure we wouldn't get any but we brought our picnic lunch and enjoyed some visiting and checking our poles once in awhile just for the show of it. Myrtle sure enjoyed playing in the lake water again, even though the water was freezing. She would play along the shore awhile and then sit by us shiverinf awhile and then go back and do it again. It's good it was 76+ degrees out that day.
I'm not posting a recipie today but will try to again next time.
Note about David: He did not have the surgery on Friday as planned. He had a new surgeon get involved who didn't feel he could do the surgery without another PET scan to see it all clearly. They will be doing more testing before moving forward. I can't seem to get alot of details from him or his dad so will have to wait for more news, but sure want to thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Food, Food, Food...and gardening

Thought for the Day:
"Sneeze or cough and someone blesses you, choke and someone punches you in the stomach. No blessing given, just life. Think I'd still rather sneeze and get a blessing." rjm :)

This will be more of a fun and delicious blog than I usually put out. I have been trying to get some papers cleaned out and finally got to my shelf full of recipe books and recipe card boxes and notebooks and sheets and notes full of recipies. I decided to gather all the little torn pieces of paper and notes and loose recipes and type them all up in my computer so I can print them to size on sheets for my 3 ring binder.
It is fun going through and discovering long lost family favorites and many I made up myself when I was a new mommy and was learning to cook for my own new little family. There were plenty of bombs along the way but once in awhile I actually did something right and supper was yummy, even for kids.
Also, years ago when I was co-leading a non profit support group for foster and adoptive families through the Social Services Dept. here, we created a family recipe book full of tried and true meals from foster parents and case workers own homes. They were all easy to make and used regular ingredients that most everyone would have on hand. They were especially geared for families with children and my kids loved them too. I entered a huge amount of recipes from my own kitchen and from my parents and grandparents too. There were even crafts for kids and home remedies in the back.
I have decided that once in awhile I would like to share some of these recipes with you all, just in case you like to try new and especially easy things like me. If I print a recipe here it is garanteed to be delicious. Hope you like them.
I will try to take pictures when I get around to making them myself again, but sometimes your imagination will have to do.
Here's two favorites of mine. Try them and let me know how you liked them for your self or your family.

Tuna Veggie Cassarole
By Reva McCandless

2 – 6 ½ oz cans tuna, drained
2 cups noodles, cooked
2 cups diced potatoes, cooked until slightly firm
1 sm can mixed vegetables
½ cup canned milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 Tbsp onion flakes
½ cup drained peas
salt and pepper to taste

mix gently into microwavable casserole dish.

Mix together 2 large shredded wheat bisguits, crushed, with 2-3 Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over top of casserole mixture. Cover with clear baking roaster wrap. Microwave at high for 15-20 minutes, until hot throughout, or bake in moderate oven 30-40 minutes.

Here is a quick, easy and cheap chili recipi (especially good for new/young cooks)

Chile My way
by Reva McCandless

(this can be doubled or tripled easily)
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion (diced)
1 clove diced fresh garlic (can be substituted with a little garlic powder)
1 c. kidney beans
1 c. tomato sauce
1 c. diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp chili powder
black pepper to taste
2 tsp oregano

Saute beef, onion, fresh garlic. drain grease. Add kidney beans, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add chili powder, black pepper and oregano to taste. You may add more of any seasoning if you prefer but let chili simmer awhile before adding more to make sure it's well absorbed. If you use powdered garlic rather than fresh, only use about 1-1 1/2 tsp to start.
Let chili simmer at least 20 - 30 minutes for full flavor. (I don't add salt since the canned foods are well salted.

This is good when topped with shredded cheddar or mozerella cheeze in the bowl. Ymm.

Now it's almost gardening time for those fresh ingredients in our new recipe's so I incorporated it into Mariahs class.
Today Mariah came over for a day of Grandma home schooling and after all her school work was done we did science. Today we studied, hands on, about gardening. I cheated and bought those little starter kits for seeds to make it easier but it still works. Anyway, she had to gently wet the little starter soil packets until they swelled up. Then she had to loosen the soil and poke a hole in the center and then put in one or two seeds in each hole and gently cover them up. A last little watering and we put the little garden greenhouse lid on and will wait for them to sprout in a few weeks. We will continue to talk about weather and seasons and watering needs for each type of flower or vegetable we planted and when time is right she'll get to plant them in the ground and care for them. I love hands on lessons for kids cause they get so into it and will remember the lesson so much better because it is fun!
Good job today Mariah, I had fun being your teacher.

NOTE: David will be going to Denver for his cancer surgery tomorrow, so please remember him in prayer. I probably won't know much about the results for awhile but will report when I do know. Thank you all so much for your caring and your diligence in prayer, it's very much appreciated.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On and on and on and ......

I know my blogs have been spread over weeks instead of days, but I think I have a good excuse :).

I last reported that I was slowly getting my meds straightened out and allergic reactions cleared up and that's true. But... as usual lately, I had more symptoms show up that were confusing at first. Here's saga number 1,000,00....?

Just as I got some reactions cleared up and some infections cleared up I began to have quite a pinched nerve in my back. I even developed a steady headache that wouldn't go away so I was off to the chiropractor for a much needed adjustment. several days later when I got no relief I went back for another one and still it was no better. Now this was odd since usually one adjustment got things back in place and I could go about my days, but not this time.

After another day I realized my right foot felt like I had a spinter in it but I couldn't find one and hadn't been barefoot at all anyway. By that night I asked my husband to look at my foot (I'm not bending so easily at this stage anymore) and he saw a few red spots in a patch. Since I couldn't find a splinter and hadn't been in an ant pile I couldn't figure it out. Next day there were more and they began to look like white blisters under the skin. Maybe another reaction to something?
Pretty soon my whole foot was blistered and felt like I had cactus or glass shards in each of them and I sure as the dickens couldn't even touch the floor it hurt so bad. My back still hurt and the nerves down the back of my leg still burned and hurt and the blisters had me worried so I went in to my doctor for a look see.

By then the blisters had apparently burst under the skin and looked more like blood blisters and bruised patches. The doctor decided I probably had shingles and they cut one of the blisters open for a culture. I found out that the headache, the back and leg nerve pain and the blisters were all symptoms of shingles which is a herpes virus caused by the chicken pox virus. Anyone who has had chickenpox or the vaccine can get it but it is most commonly triggered in people with low immune symptoms like me. Since I'm on anti rejection medication for my transplanted kidney I am more suseptable to infections and illnesses anyway.

I was glad to find out what it is but it has been debilitating and kept me at home and off my feet and on pain meds for almost two weeks already. The doctor was surprised because it started showing first on the bottom of my foot instead of on my back or upper torso. Of course that shouldn't be too surprising since I seem to always do things backwards or weird medically all the time. I don't have normal simple colds or flu's, I skip 'Go' and go directly to 'Jail' (hospital or bed). Why fool around with the everyday stuff when there is more to experience? :)

I can actually touch the floor today, after taking my Vicodan that is, and sort of hop around without the crutches for a short distance. Yea!!!

Today I had a nice distraction because my granddaughter, Mariah spent the day with me and we did her homeschooling assignments her mom sent and then we did some painting together before her daddy picked her up this evening. We had lunch and supper together and she and her grandpa, my husband, played and teased each other insesantly. We all had a grand time.

Amber, my daughter, has been such a big blessing through all of this. Yesterday and today she drove me to doctor appointments and blood tests and trips to the pharmacy for my meds and even vacummed my living room for me twice and watered my house plants. I am glad Mariah and I could give her a little break from being teacher for a day at least.

Now I'm going to bed and get off my feet (foot) and rejuvinate after a full day so I won't put pictures up this time. Sorry, I know that's boring but maybe next time.

Thought for the Day:
There's one thing about pain and illness, when it's over even a cloudy day feels like sunshine and green meadows and rejoicing isn't work at all!