Taking a Break

So I know I haven’t been posting much at all, and not for lack of going ons! I did work on that commercial I talked about, it went lovely. My good friend got married in a beautiful ceremony. My brother had a wonderful birthday. We’re dog sitting a very silly collie named Dolly. I discovered one of my old friends is a bee keeper. My dad is building his dream home. I’ve been crocheting away.

But I just can’t. And, here’s where I ramble and get overly personal.

Lucia the cat is better. She’s responding to fluids and the antibiotics. She getting a ridiculous amount of foods she deems tasty, chicken, tuna. She is getting a constant lap to cuddle on, as she prefers it. She purrs, she kneads. She’s has another vet appointment next Tuesday. We’re basically on kitty dialysis and it reminds me of when my mother was sick before she died in 2003. I’m just so sad and worried. Lucia has been with me, ever since I moved out of my dad’s home. I found her sitting in the passenger seat of my jeep two days before I moved. She was friendly. I took her to my new place. She was with me when I was counting change for food and gas. She had food, obviously. I never could afford to get her fixed until she was entirely too old for that nonsense. She cuddled lonely cold nights away, when the heat went out in the winter. Right next to me, like a little spoon. She does this still. She was with me when I screwed up, when I was a horrible excuse for a human. When I was mean and bitter. When I lost my grandparents to old age. When I lost my aunt to cancer. When I lost my childhood best friend to cancer. She mothered a rescued kitten that was not her own. She mothered Angie, the dog. She protected a roommate’s hampster from another dog, on of her friend’s dogs was too keen on it. Jumped right on the hamster and turned teeth and claws to the dog. She grooms Angie. She’s very tolerant of bathtime and purrs and tries to cuddle with the vets. She got out once, it was New Year’s Eve and she got into the hallway of my old apartment and a neighbor threw her outside. Despite her collar. This was before I tagged her, I figured she’d have to escape two doors. I didn’t notice because I was tired and it was late. A girl found her, right outside the window.  Thankfully, she was a friend of a friend of a friend and word got back to me. I was so happy when I took her back home. I moved shortly thereafter. She was there when my old cat, Vincent died. She called and looked for him. He was a rescue too, from a parking lot.

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My three idiots. Years and years ago. In order, Lucia, Angie and Vincent.

I love my kitty very much. Who’s going to check if my crochet is comfortable enough to sleep on?

So I’m taking a break, even though I’ve sort of been on a break. Until this is over. I will let you all know. Who knows? Maybe she’ll perk up and I’ll have a good laugh about how much of a downer I’ve been about this later on the road. Maybe I have months left with her. I don’t know. And it’s breaking my heart. Thank you for reading.

We’re on Borrowed Time.

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On Thursday evening, my old cat, Lucia,  made it quite obvious she was not feeling well. We’ve known for a quite awhile that her kidneys are slowing down. The next morning I called the vet like a forlorn ex girlfriend and rushed her in. He ran the usual battery of tests, but our initial concern was the fact that she smelled like infection. We were given clindamycin and sent home. The next morning, Lucia smelled much better and we received word from the vet that her kidneys are almost tired out. However, Lucia insists that she receive her quota and beyond of cuddles before she leaves this mortal coil. Our option is to make her comfortable by providing fluids, through an IV starting Tuesday. Since the infection seems to be clearing up and her attitude is much more lively, we are of course doing this. We’re on borrowed time, but we’re going to make the best of it. If you pray, I ask you please drop a note for a comfortable hospice for Lucia and for us, the wisdom to know when to let her go home.

She’s is currently glued to my lap (pretty typical for her, she loves her cuddles) and purring away.

Thank you, and I will keep you updated,

brittanymary.

Oh Greyhound, My Greyhound

So, aside from yesterday being absolutely crazy, I had the in-laws coming over and I had to work so my morning was cleaning, afternoon was work and then hanging out with the in-laws! It’s all fun and games until the greyhound, Angie, while zooming off after a tennis ball, suddenly stops, howls in agony and is carrying her leg up close to her.

*drops beer, runs after dog*

It was six pm, which is precisely when you are least likely to find an open vet. I scooped her up, she wouldn’t put weight on her leg. I fiddled, fondled, nothing broke that I could tell. I pinched, nothing…hmm…Unfortunately, as I said, it was either take her to the vet immediately or wait til morning. If it was morning, I would have given her an hour as I could see no external injury and feel no broken bones and could pinch her toes, leg, knee and move her hips with no complaint from her. Still she wouldn’t put weight on it. And then she put just a little.

“All right, who’s the most sober?” (fortunately one of us was!)

We called the emergency vet and got ready to take her in. Then she started bouncing around like normal, mostly, just a little limp. I decided it was worth the money to not wait til morning and just take her in. I’ve seen a dog break it’s leg and no one was the wiser until the next day at the vet. The owner felt awful, she thought the dog was just a little dazed. I wasn’t risking that with my little stinkhound!

So we got to the vet and Angie was acting quite herself, insisting on sniffing everything in the waiting room. I felt better, she wasn’t whimpering or carrying on anymore. We finally got to see the vet about a half hour later. She checked her over and pronounced:

Vet: “Ah, it’s her knee, I can pop out her knee cap, I just put it back in.”

Me: “Luxating patella?”

Vet: “Um, yes.”

WELL THEN MISS ITALIAN GREYHOUND OF STINK GLORY. You big faker, you. She’s had that since she was a puppy, very mild, her first visit they caught it, the next visit, they couldn’t find it. I assumed it had righted itself, the prior vet had told me that was possible. It explains a lot, I’ve seen her limp, just barely, on and off on that leg. I’ve kept my eye on it, but she runs around like a lunatic most of the time so the occasional boo-boo isn’t exactly rare. Or she’s buried under as many blankets as she can find and asleep. She’s a 2-speed greyhound.

I am quite relived that she is all right, though, I can tell you that. I was in totally freak out mode for a minute. By the way, as I write this, she is chasing the cat, Lucia, around the house. You go, Angie, get that bad kitty.

 

Humphrey Says “OH HAI!”

Ah, my beautiful 3 Seasons Porch. I love when I can leave the door in the living room open and enjoy the breeze, or just sit and relax with the houseplant hoard.

wpid-20140610_143647.jpgrelaxing…

Today, we had a visitor while I was attempting a nap. Obviously, since I was in a prone position, I had a dog and a cat on various comfortable spots on my body. I looked out at my beautiful porch,

wpid-20140610_124955.jpgIT’S HUMPHREY, a wild chipmunk that hangs around. He obviously speaks lolspeak

Humphrey: “O, hai! I’z in ur portchez. Looken at ur plantz. Dey nice. Lol.”

Cat: *shrug*

Dog: *shrug*

Me: CEREALLY?!!!!??! (see link and or video)

Humphrey: *dives back into hole in the floor*

Quick Update!

Hi!

Okay, I have to go to work in a bit, but I did get a chance to read some of your posts which were, as usual, awesome! I didn’t get all the way down the line, but hopefully I will have some more time tonight. I just wanted to give you a preview of what’s going on.

Illinois still hates me, it hailed. HAILED. Like giant ice chunks from the sky. Our garden looks like it’s going to be okay, but SERIOUSLY, Illinois, go home. You’re drunk. Take a pill and go to bed.

wpid-20140521_082119.jpgwe love you!

Also, I’ve got a monster load of bread to make tonight, I am pulling out my “cold” ingredients now so they are at room temperature when I get home. This is a huge tip to get a better rise out of your bread! Warm up your ingredients! Your bread will rise much better! Seriously, humor me and try it on your next loaf.

wpid-20140521_081903.jpgit’s not like these items are going to turn into a giant mold pile in 7 hours.

Also, little secret between you and I and the fence post. I am using kefir in my bread rather than buttermilk. I don’t feel like buying buttermilk and I have a load of kefir I have to use up. Don’t tell anyone that I am experimenting on them! I highly doubt the bread flavor will change much, so sometimes I just do and keep my mouth shut!

I should be back this evening! We’ve got to abandon the cat and dog at the future in-laws, plant my lazy seedlings that just loved this whole freezing/windy/cloudy spring-winter we’ve had in lovely Illinois and start packing for the vacation! Bare with me guys! It’s been a crazy week!

Vienna Bread, Pitas, Trouble Makin’

well done, sir!

Just want to get this out of the way:

My goal from last Monday to this Monday was to not drive my Jeep. SUCCESS! It took a little maneuvering and extra trips, but I only used my bicycle! And I worked a full gazillion hours! Granted, I did carpool for a few trips, but I feel that it’s still a success! I was hoping to use this:

wpid-20140512_091538.jpgwscottling mentioned one of these in her blog…seriously, read that post, it was pretty interesting!!

but I managed okay with a backpack. I just have to make multiple trips. When I have to get dog food or something, I plan to make use of my granny cart! I got it from my uncle, who doesn’t remember where he got it and it’s just awesome. I intended to put streamers and a little horn on it because I have no shame, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

wpid-2014-05-12-16.14.03.png.pngthis is proof that i have no shame. my uncle made me do it! yes I had a few adult beverages and it was a ridiculous amount of fun and like years ago.

Today was my day off and I decided to make pitas and Vienna bread. Pitas, as I have noted before, are good any time and Vienna bread makes great sandwich bread. It’s an enriched loaf, which means it has more than just flour, yeast, water and salt. To start, I need a pate fermentee, which is really just a fancy way of saying pre-ferment.  Which is kind of like a flavor boost for bread. Since pitas do not require such fancy fixin’s I started them at the same time. Instead of making whole wheat, like I normally do, I made white pitas. Kind of lame, but not everyone loves whole wheat. And besides, I can make more whole wheat ones for me!

wpid-20140512_082220.jpgIT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

wpid-20140512_083345.jpgpitas, at rest

wpid-20140512_084339.jpgpate fermentee, at rest

wpid-20140222_135645.jpggreyhound and cat, at rest

I am trying to speed up the process. TECHNICALLY, I should have put the pre-ferment in the fridge over night, but I didn’t have that kind of time. So my reasoning was to finish the pitas and then move on to the Vienna bread, giving it time to work it’s yeast magic…stuff…

wpid-20140512_102919.jpgshaped into balls, roll ’em out, stick ’em in the oven.

wpid-20140512_112448.jpgdelicious!!

So waiting on the Vienna bread, I made a grocery list:

wpid-20140512_091432.jpgi am a lefty. watch me use a can opener and weep.

Then I hopped on the bike to the store. I managed to get most of what I needed at the local place and was starting to ride back when I saw another place I hadn’t been to before. I was under the impression that they only sold grains and like real specific things, so I dropped in for a visit. I did need lentils and they’re sort of a grain, right? Well, it was early in the morning and whomever was working there did not seem to be thrilled to see a smelly, sweaty chick raging in on a bicycle screaming about lentils. But she did point me to the lentils and I would have stayed longer to check it out, but, um, she didn’t seem in the mood. Oh well, I’ll try again. I wouldn’t want to deal with me first thing in the morning either. It’s nothing but off color jokes.

NSFW

I got home and put my stuff away and then went out to buy a lining for the wedding dress! I went to a big box store (booooo!) but there isn’t any locally owned place. Too bad I guess, I brought the top part of the dress in a tote bag and off I went. I looked at about every single purple in the store and went with…

drumroll…

drumroll…

wpid-20140512_123213.jpgwell, it’s certainly purple. i got that right.

wpid-20140512_123231.jpgi like it!

There was a darker purple that I liked better, but it was too dark under the crochet. It looked navy. Oh well, I am please! Now I just have to figure out how to do it! Cost of the wedding dress so far is $72. Suck it, David’s Bridal! That might be a joke only weirdos in the Midwest get. I dunno, any of ya’ll got a ridiculously expensive chain outlet that sells over priced wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses and are fairly useless? One of my friends is getting married in August and I am a bridesmaid and I DON’T EVEN WANT to tell you how much fun (none) going to David’s Bridal was. Anyway!

I got a ton of fabric so hopefully I am free to make mistakes, but I have a pretty concrete plan of “laying the crochet over the fabric and cutting or something like that.”

That’s my story. Sticking to it. On to Vienna bread!

wpid-20140512_153742.jpgGETTING BUSY UP IN HERRE!

As I mentioned, I prefer this in a bread pan to be used as sandwich bread, which means we have to shape it. Here’s how!

wpid-20140512_153933.jpglay the whole thing out and stretch it into a rectangle, sort of.

wpid-20140512_154030.jpgcut it in half and stretch it to be as long as the pan

wpid-20140512_154055.jpgroll it up, pinching it as you roll

wpid-20140512_154203.jpgstretch out the last bit and pinch the seam as well as you can.

wpid-20140512_154322.jpgturn it seam side down and roll it back and forth a bit so the seam calms down. It doesn’t have to be perfect, unless you’re serving the pope or something. that’s your business.

Set it in the pan and wait for it to rise!

Baked up and ready to eat:

wpid-20140512_172745.jpgwe almost ate the pan