Archive | June 2012

Cherish the Moment

This is my first mosaic glass creation.  My friend, Cherie, is a very talented mosaic glass artist and last year she was kind enough to give me some lessons  after our church arts and crafts group retired for the summer.  My husband’s son, Jeff,  had called us with the devastating news that his wife, Kathyrn, had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor – one of the most malignant brain cancers there is,  glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM.  The surgeons were able to remove 99% and since then she has had many chemo and radiation treatments.

Her spirit and faith are phenomenal.  It has been one year this month that she has been victorious in her battle to survive and is looking forward to the day that their daughter, Melissa, graduates from high school.  Shortly after Kathyrn’s diagnosis I  made  this plaque for Melissa.  It’s made of tempered glass and various sea shells.

A few days ago Roy and I received a group email from Jeff’s sister, Nancy.  She has started a benefit drive   to help the family with their catastrophic health bills.  They have been blessed with many friends and family helping them with all their personal needs, but climbing out from all the medical expenses that are still oncoming has been a  downer, indeed!  Here is Nancy’s  message if anyone  would like to participate in Kathryn’s fight with  GSM.   Thanks

Kathryn Carleton Update

A Recipe For Happiness

After spending a bundle at the vet’s office on my thirteen-year-old dog, Sparky, and finding there was nothing wrong (or not finding anything wrong) I analyzed Sparky’s behavior and eating habits.  Since she had her teeth cleaned and quite a number of them pulled, Sparky tended to swallow her food whole.  I know most dogs don’t make a habit of chewing their food well, but Sparky was really gulping it down!  That’s when I decided to try some home-cooked meals – I say meals instead of home-cooked dog food because it’s perfectly fine for humans, too!

After researching online I chose several recipes – one using ground turkey and the other cooked chicken parts – drumsticks, thighs, breasts. The ground turkey is the easiest:  You pour Six cups of water in a large pot, add Two cups of uncooked rice; add a pound of ground turkey, breaking it into small pieces and sprinkle in some dried ground basil.  Don’t add onions or garlic since neither is considered safe for dogs to eat.   Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, simmer and cook for about 20 minutes – or until almost done.  Then add 1/3 to 1/2 package of frozen mixed vegetables or green beans or carrots – most dogs like quite a variety of vegetables; and cook 5-10 more minutes.  This makes enough food for three meals for each dog. (Sparky is 50 pounds and Mandy is 15 pounds).  This last batch only stretched to two meals because my husband, Roy,  and I had some for dinner also!  It was fine just as it was for Roy’s bland taste but I added some garlic powder and salt to mine.

In all the thirteen years we’ve owned Sparky she has always just laid there, watching me prepare her dry dog food while Mandy would be prancing and dancing around like she just couldn’t wait any longer.   Well, after eating Mommy’s home-cooked food for about a week,  Sparky has become vocal also, giving a few anticipatory woofs!  Now, lest anyone think this is a burden cooking up food for their pets, I must say it has made me very happy!  My husband has “exotic” tastes: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, swiss cheese sandwiches and salads.  He doesn’t like to eat meat or most fowl – turkey once in awhile, prefers his meals cooled down (a lot).  So,  the “Joy of Cooking” for me had disappeared – until I started cooking for Sparky and Mandy!  They’ve helped me to realize it isn’t so much what I feed them – it’s their wonderful response to my cooking that makes it such a pleasure to get in the kitchen and cook.  Now if I could just get DH to do the same when I fix his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!  

How To Make An Asp Out Of Yourself

Three years ago I participated in a Bad Poetry Day contest put on by ChicagoNow an online Chicago community of bloggers. The object was to create a poem using at least one word from four lists of ten words each. Some of the resulting poems were hilarious!

The list of words were:
List 1: trite, hot (also acceptable: hawt), delicious, fierce, scruffy, windy, arboreal, giant, sticky, excitedly

List 2: Chicago, Dickinson, Wednesday, HP sauce, Winnetka, Spock, Melvin, iPhone, Twitter, Dr. McGillicuddy

List 3: snake, toothpaste, big-ass monitor, toupee, gerbil, table, Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, cookie, rowboat, coffee

List 4: insinuate, skip, tweet, deactivate, fluttering, leap, bites, sleeping, run, thinking

And this is what I came up with:

It was a trite, hot, windy Chicago day, I on my iPhone, he on his computer staring at Twitter on his big-ass monitor.

When much to my surprise a scruffy snake insinuated its way ’round the table leg.

My heart went skip as my giant gerbil jumped down from his arboreal perch and came fluttering to my defense.

Offering the snake two bites from his cookie which the snake excitedly ate and slithered happily away.

Shaken to my core, and he totally absorbed in a tweet, I gave him my best Academy Award for Best Animated feature,

And with a leap dumped my coffee on his stupid toupee, thinking, a Dr. McGillicuddy would sure hit the spot right now.

I think I’ll try to find another Bad Poetry contest!

The Wild Burros of Oatman, Arizona

The living ghost town of Oatman, Arizona is a fun town to go through – an hour or two should do it.  Most visitors get a kick out of the wild burros (hopefully not literally!)   They roam the street freely – sometimes holding up traffic, and sticking their heads in the cars to see if there are any carrots to be had.  The business owners sort of take care of the

burros, seeing that they get enough food and yet try to prevent the tourists from overfeeding them – especially food that they shouldn’t eat.  The baby burro can’t eat the same tourist food (carrots and apples) as the parents because of their sensitive stomachs – so the townfolk came up with the brilliant idea to put stickers on their foreheads: “STOP! Please don’t feed me”.

Good Going Nik Wallenda!

Roaring water mist
High above the raging falls
He gives thanks to God

I held my breath as Nik Wallenda started his trek across Niagra Falls on a two-inch tightrope – and I prayed that he would remain safe and steady as he inched his way across the vast expanse of the falls which measured the distance of approximately four and half football fields. Before he was given permission to attempt crossing Niagra Falls he had to agree to wear a harness for safety.  I don’t think I could have watched  if he hadn’t had a safety harness on.  Quite stressful!