"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
Mother Teresa

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beside Myself

Hmmm....I'm not really sure what that expression means but I think it describes how I have felt for the last 24 hours.  I have been beside myself with worry.

Two of my granddaughters were diagnosed with strep throat on Friday.  Of course they have been at my house everyday this week.  I was feeling quite in control of that situation.  As a retired RN, taking care of sick little ones is right up my alley.

Then I lost control.
At 3 pm Friday my beloved 14 year old cat threw up.  This wasn't a little cat vomit or a hairball.  This was a huge pile of undigested food.  This cat never throws up like that.  Then he crawled under the bed and refused to come out.  The warning bells in my head started going off.  The cat is sick!.....could he have picked up a strep infection?  I tried to be rational....a trip to the vet, antibiotics, he would be ok I told myself.  I tried to knit on the baby top that has been so uncoopertive lately.  I knit slowly, and counted carefully.  I started to feel less worried.  Knitting can be great therapy.

About 6 pm the cat came out of the bedroom and tried to come down stairs (1/2 flight).  He got part way and seemed to stumble.  I managed to grab him and set him at the bottom.  Alarm bells!  DING, DING! Something very wrong here.
My poor kitty walked like he was drunk, staggering into the living room.  He found a spot under a chair and stayed there.  I brought him food and water and he just turned his head away.  He stayed crouched under the chair and I began to imagine the worst.  He had a stroke?....he couldn't see?....he was dying!?  I couldn't eat  and felt queasy.  And the uncertainty....should I call the emergency number and take him to the city an hour away?  None of the local vets do weekend emergency care....they refer to the emergency clinic an hour from here.  Should I wait til morning when our vets office is open?
Truly, I was beside myself.

End of story....I slept very little, checking on him frequently during the night.  He seemed stable.  Off to the vet this AM with a diagnosis of vestibular disorder.  Could be an inner ear infection causing it.  The vet is pretty sure he didn't have a stroke.  He was given a steroid shot, and we have antibiotics for him.  He is able to walk a bit better today and did eat a little tuna fish tonight.  According to the vet, cats don't catch strep throat from humans....BUT they can be strep carriers.   Hmmmm....what a coincidence then that he got sick right after the girls.

He is like one of the family, like one of my children.  We have had a lot of pets and have our own pet cemetary in our back yard.   I handled all those losses pretty stoically most of the time.  But once in awhile you find a special one.  Salem is a special one.

I am feeling better tonight, hopeful that he will recover over the next couple weeks.

Do you have a pet that you have a special bond with?

Til next time,

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Knitting Woes

I swear, this is an easy pattern.

I have made this little top several times without a problem.
Suddenly I seem to have forgotten how to count or maybe I have forgotten how to read a pattern.
I got this far.....

And discovered this.....

Can you tell the button hole is on one side on the top (right side of picture) and on the other side in the middle?   

To make it worse, this is the 3rd go at this sweater.  I have had to frog it (rip it out) twice before because I apparently forgot how to count and messed up making the little holes design around the top.  

Now it looks like this.........again.  (sigh)

Third time is the charm...right?  Well, we will see.  It's really an easy-peasy top if you can count.  

Sometimes knitting is fun and relaxing.  

Sometimes it requires fortitude and persistence.  I think this is one of those times.
Stay tuned.

Til next time,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Me Time

I spent Father's Day all alone today.....and it was blissful!
Hubby was up north at a friend's vineyard helping out at a wine festival.

I slept late, and spent a leisurely hour or so (more like two?) on Facebook and blog catch up.  I ate leftover spaghetti for breakfast.  I watched some DVR'd shows and caught up on those while I did a little knitting.

Then something came over me and I decided to declutter the kitchen a little.  My intention was to do 1 cupboard today.  Well, you know how one thing can lead to another and I ended up going through all the cupboards. I filled a box with glasses we don't use and don't need.  Really, how many wine glasses do 2 people need?  I got rid of over a dozen....then hubby came home with 3 more from the wine festival!  Do you see my problem?
I filled another box with dishes and stuff that I never use and rearranged some things.  Then I moved some food storage around.  I was able to clear a spot in a cupboard to store my bread machine.  It has been sitting on my counter and I rarely use it.  I put my toaster, crockpot, and blender on one side of the sink and that freed up the counter on the other side.  I love the clean uncluttered look of nothing on the counters but I wouldn't like to get the toaster out of the cupboard almost every day.  So, I have one clean uncluttered side and it works for me.

When Hubby came home I made a nice shrimp stir-fry with fresh veggies for dinner. We also had salad with our very first harvest from our garden.  Look at this leaf lettuce...isn't it green and pretty?

I am pleased because we have never tried growing lettuce before and it is looking good.  The garden has been Hubby's thing in the past but he plants it and then ignores it.  This year I took command!  I helped plant it, and mulch it and weed it.  "I am woman, hear me roar!" LOL.  It looks like we are going to be eating lots of salad for awhile.

I hope you and your families had a blessed and happy Father's Day.

Til next time,

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Beach Day.....Finally!

We packed up lunch and went to the beach today.  This is the place that makes Michigan winters worth it to me.  This is where I find peace.

It was a perfect day....sunny, not too windy, not too humid, not too cool.

The perfect place for kids is the channel from a smaller lake that flows into Lake Michigan.
The water is shallow and warmer in the channel.  Lake Michigan water is still pretty cold.


You can always make a new friend at the beach

Sissie and I get along at the beach!

Going on an adventure

Dodging waves in Lake Michigan

We feel very blessed to live only a few miles from this beach.  This is one of many great beaches on the West Michigan lakeshore.   

It is the perfect place to take an almost 11 year old pre-teen and an almost 3 year old and have them both be able to have fun and play together.  There are generally quite a few kids so they often find someone their own age to play with....bonus! 

(And Nana and Bapa stay sane!).  

Til next time, 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Searching for Butterfly Eggs

Have you ever watched a caterpillar turn into a chrysalis and then a butterfly?
It's a little bit magical to see the beautiful butterfly that emerges.

Last year we found a monarch butterfly caterpillar for our oldest granddaughter.  We put it in a jar with mesh material over the top.  Those little critters will chomp through milkweed leaves like crazy!  She loved watching the transformation and then we released a beautiful butterfly.

The lifecycle of the monarch butterfly is interesting.  You can read about it HERE.
Their habitat is becoming endangered.  There is less milkweed and their winter migration areas are also smaller.

I have been looking for some monarch eggs all week.  This involves walks and drives around the area looking for milkweed plants...then looking at the underside of leaves for eggs.  I am surprised at how few plants I am finding along the road.  So far I haven't found an egg or caterpillar.

You can go HERE to see what an egg and caterpillar look like, and the process of metamorphosis.  This is a great project for kids.  HERE is a link to show you how to raise your own.  You don't need to find an egg, just a milkweed and a caterpillar.

I also want to add some milkweed to my yard or garden.  But where to get it?  I have found one variety of milkweed at a local nursery, but it's different than what grows along the road.  I was told that you can root it from cuttings so I am trying that.  I have a friend that is going to give me some seeds.  She released over a dozen butterflies last year.  I recall seeing monarch butterflies fairly often throughout the summer when I was a kid.  I hope I can create a habitat for them in my yard. While it is fun to watch a caterpillar in a jar for the kids, I would rather not have them in my house...a little creepy I think.  They belong outside in nature.

So...that's what I've been obsessing about this week.  How about you?
Hope you are having a good week.

Til next time,

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What's Growing Here


I took a walk around the yard today and thought I'd share what's growing around here.

The chives are flowered.  I use fresh chives once in awhile, but mostly I just enjoy the flowers.

I love the hostas around my happy old tree.  They make me feel peaceful when I look at them.  The old tree has held a tire swing, climbing kids, and a cat or two in its lifetime.  We have lots of trees around our house....this is the only one I am really attached to.

Around to the left side behind the tree.....

The deer must have decided the salad bar was open last night.  In the past we have had luck placing clumps of dog fur in and around our plants to keep deer away.  We no longer have a dog so I guess I need to find another way to repel them.  Any suggestions?

At least they couldn't get into this salad bar!  Lettuce and cauliflower starting to look good.

My blueberry daylily opened yesterday.  It is cream color with a purplish blue center.

I planted 2 hanging baskets with impatiens.  I bought a flat and did 2 big pots on my deck and 2 baskets.  I knew I had a mixed color flat but the plants didn't have any flowers so I wasn't sure what colors I was planting next to each other.  Looks pretty good I think.

I love impatiens....they will flower all summer.  And you can't beat $5 to fill 2 big pots and 2 baskets.  

The sun is shining today.  Hope you are enjoying a beautiful day where ever you are.

Til next time,

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Birthday Party and Weight Loss Update

Well, first of all, I want to say that the owl cupcakes were a hit at the birthday party.  My daughter said she was ready to call off the party because our sweet little birthday girl was having a tantrum about something, and declared it "the worst party ever!" before it even started.
Once the party started all was fine, and she declared it "the best party ever!" at the end of the day.

How many 6 year olds does it take to open 1 present?
  I could write a whole post about my daughter's worst birthday party ever...it was a sleepover disaster....but this post is supposed to be about my weight loss attempts.

How am I doing you ask?

I set a goal to get on my elliptical every day....even if it was only 3 minutes, my goal was to start an exercise habit.  EPIC FAIL!  I did it one day.....after that things kept getting in the way or I totally forgot a couple days.  I'm not very happy with myself but I'm not surprised really.  I'm not the athletic type and I don't like to sweat.

One of the comments I received suggested the 5/2 diet.  I have done a little research about it and think it might be worth a try.  The idea is to eat very low calorie (fast) for 2 days out of the week.  The other days you eat normal meals.  I am sure that means healthy and proper portions, not eating 3 cupcakes at a birthday party (which I did).

So the struggle continues.  I need to exercise for heart health reasons.  I am going to try to get some form of exercise every day except Sunday.  I can't do the blasted elliptical everyday.  The plus with it is that it doesn't hurt my bad foot, but I really don't enjoy it.  I can bike ride, I am going to try walking a bit more, and I can do yoga ( as long as I am careful with my foot).

And so it goes......

Til next time,

Saturday, June 6, 2015

WHOO wants cupcakes?

Tomorrow is my 6 year old granddaughter's birthday party.  She wanted an owl theme this year and the kids are going to paint birdhouses.  My daughter saw some cute owl cupcakes on Pinterest.....and I volunteered to make them of course.

What was I thinking?
42 cupcakes.....for a big family party.

42 cupcakes means 84 Oreo cookies to try to twist apart and keep the filling on one side.

Oops!  There were a few cookie casualties that had to be disposed of.  That was Hubby's job.

They aren't perfect but I think they turned out pretty cute.  I went through 3 packages of cookies and had just enough.  Now I will have to figure out what to do with the leftover plain cookie halves.   Any suggestions?

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Til next time,