Saturday, October 23, 2010

Raider Up-Date

(previous post describes the details of our honeybee encounter)
My little puppy is very sick. (I call him a puppy but he is really 7 years old and weighs 20 pounds) We received a call from the vet at 2:30 this morning (Our Veterinarian is one of the only ones in the area that also provides emergency services).  They found some blood in his urine and it is a concern.  It could mean a couple of things.   One is not good but the other is almost always fatal.

The vet that was on duty when we arrived yesterday just called and she sounded more optimistic but still guarded. She said she has never seen such a massive assault of bees.  They removed 18 stingers through the night, she removed half a dozen yesterday and she doesn't know how many more were taken or how many they have missed. She said Raiders face was very swollen and if you put your hand within 6 inches of his face he backed away.  He is in much pain even with with the pain meds, steroids, antihistamines.

This morning, the vet felt Raider looked a little better to her.  His blood pressure is okay.  We opted to pass on more tests and put our money on treatment and keeping him there in the hospital.  He is awake and tried to eat but it is difficult for him probably because of the trauma around his face and because of the stress on his system.  They are watching for bruising (peticia) which would indicate the most serious condition and that his immune system doesn't turn on itself (she called it decompensate). We are all hoping his little body can make a turn and start getting all of this venom out.

Thank you for your prayers and comments!

My very sweet, very loving Raider giving kisses
 ♥

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bee Sting Horror at the Park and Update

Imagine standing at the kitchen counter preparing dinner and you get a call from your 13 year old grandson and he is crying.  "Mom-Mom... we're at the park and we're getting stung by bees.  I can't get to Raider.  I can't help him!"

I fly out the door, still talking to him and frantically begin running  (I didn't have a car) the quarter mile to our neighborhood park.  On the next street a mom and her two children are getting into their car as I run by and she asks if she can help.  She drives me to the park and waits as I run to Jared where I can see stings below his eye and by his ear.  Then to our dog Raider.  He is lying very still, bees covering his little body.  Frantically I begin pulling bees off.  They are all over him... even on his open eyes.  I scoop him up as I continue to pull off bees.  I throw Jared's book bag to him and we run to the waiting car.  This dear lady (later learned her name is Maribeth) insisted we drive right to the vet, all the while pulling off bees and throwing them out the window.  I called John to meet us at the vets and Jared's mom, Erin at her work.  After dropping me and Raider at the vets, Maribeth drove Jared to his mom.  She said she would return to my house because I had a pot on the stove on a low simmer. 

When I got to the vet they took Raider to the back.  The vet came to talk to me and said he was stable and they were preparing an IV.  She let me go back to him for a moment and bees were flying around the  large room.  She told me to call back at 8o'clock this evening to see if he will be able to leave or that they will keep him overnight for observation.

I got 15+ stings (I was wearing long sleeves) mostly on my arms and hand where I held Raider.  Jared got less.  The stings hurt but we are most shaken by what happened.  Jared has been sobbing because he couldn't help Raider. I am heartbroken because my grandson is so upset and because my dear little dog was in such a condition.  I can barely get the image out of my head.  Neither Jared or I have had a bad reaction.  The doctor suggested Benedryl.
This photo was taken this morning.
(The eyes look a little funky because I used red-eye reduction.)
I will be calling the vet in less than an hour and hope to hear this sweet schnauzer will be coming home tonight.
ouch!
8:30pm  Talked with the vet and they are keeping Raider over night because his temperature and heart rate are a little low.  They have him on IV, pain meds and Benedryl and treating him for shock.  They are pulling stingers out and she mentioned around his nose and in the corner of his eye.  Poor baby!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

African Violets ~ Show & Tell Friday

While re-potting some houseplants today, I realized that I must always have had at least a couple of African Violets sitting somewhere in the house blooming or resting by a bright window.
I love flowering houseplants! Through the winter months when garden flowers are not available somewhere in the house one of these houseplants is usually blooming.
The mosaic above are some of the plants I re-potted today. (The center bottom is an Oxalis from St. Patrick's Day)
My favorite houseplants are Orchids and many plants of the Gesneriad Family which includes African Violets.
This photo is from a few years ago.  It was so over crowded with several plants in the same pot but too pretty to separate at the time.
Streptocarpus is also from the Gesneriad Family.  I have a long planter in front of my bathroom window filled with these pretty plants.
This terrarium became so over-crowded that I had to disassemble it.  It was so fun to have.  Miniature anything fascinates me, so of course, I love to grow miniature flowers.  Included in this terrarium are some of my very favorite Gesneriads.  See the teeny, tiny little flowers/plants ~ they are called Sinningia and are some of the smallest flowering houseplants.  They need a terrarium environment to survive.  The center top plant is an Episcia and growing up the sides are miniature ivy.  I really enjoyed this terrarium but it took a lot of care and was difficult to keep from becoming too over-grown.
Photo below is a view through the top of the terrarium:
I have been growing houseplants for a very long time as seen by these faded Polaroid photo's. Using 'Grow Lights' was popular back in those ancient days along with macrame plant hangers.
Those 70's were like, far out!
Linking to Cindy @My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Caramel Pumpkin Pie
Tuesdays with Dorie Recipe.
 This recipe begins by browning sugar over medium-high heat until melted.  I stopped short of cooking as long as the directions suggested.  Heavy cream is then added to the hot syrup and stirred until smooth to make caramel.  I did have a piece that did not melt back and I just lifted it out before proceeding. 
~*~
I also passed on the suggestion to partially bake the pie crust.
Dorie suggests topping with fresh whipped cream which is an obvious choice, but sadly, I did not have any whipping cream. I love pumpkin pie and this was a very tasty one with the caramel shining through without reducing the importance of the pumpkin.  I can't say that I like it better than traditional pie and maybe it would be over-the-top if I had topped with the sweetened whipped cream.  It sure did fill the house with the lovely smells of autumn!
Caramel Pumpkin Pie
Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours

1-9 inch single crust made with Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough partially baked and cooled                  
1 cup sugar                                                                        
3/4 cup heavy cream                                                          
2 T dark rum, cognac or apple cider                                         
2 T unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces                                         
1 cup cunned unsweetened pumpkin puree                                         
1 1/4 t ground cinnamon
3/4 t ground ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Tiny pinch of ground allspice
 Pinch of salt
 1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
 2 large eggs
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Getting ready:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar evenly over the bottom of a large nonstick skillet.

Place the skillet over medium-high heat and, staying close by, cook until the sugar melts and starts to color. Once you see a little color, gently swirl the skillet so that the sugar colors evenly.  Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it turns deep amber--almost mahogany.  The sugar will bubble up and foam and soon it will start to smoke.  It is very dramatic, and it might make you think you've gone too far, but you want a dark (though not burned black) color; the darker the sugar, the fuller the flavor.

When the bubbles have gone from foamy to big and fat, you will probably have reached the right color.  To check the color, drop a bit of the caramelized sugar on a white plate.


Lower the heat to medium, stand back and pour the cream into the skillet.  The sugar will bubble and hiss and, if the cream was cold, it may even clump.  Just continue to cook, stirring and it will even out.  Add the cider and butter and cook just until the caramel is smooth.  pour the caramel into a heatproof pitcher or bowl and cool it for about 15 minutes.

 Working with a whisk in a large bowl, beat the pumpkin to break it up and smooth it.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat to blend.  Whisk in the spices, salt vanilla and eggs, beating until the mixture is smooth.  Whisk in the caramel.  Rap the bowl against the counter a few times to de-bubble the filling, then pour the filling into the crust.

 Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and set--tap the pan gently and the filling won't jiggle.  A thin knife inserted into the center of the pie will come out clean.  it will also leave a gash in the filling, but you'll be covering it with whipped cream.

 Transfer the pie to a rack and cool to room temperature, or cool and refrigerate (see Serving).  When you are ready to serve, spread the lightly whipped cream over the top of the pie.  If you'd like a dressier look, whip the cream until it is firm, put it into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe rosettes over the surface of the pie.  Alternatively, you can pipe the cream in a lattice pattern.

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18th, 2010

Today we finished the third and last leg of our stay-close-to-home, thirty-fifth anniversary, time-together celebration. It was a beautiful day!  We walked a lot and are now feeling tuckered out but really enjoyed all we did together.
Before we set out for the day, we set up the tripod for a picture together.  Notice who wanted to get his mug into the photo :)
Then it was off for a friendly priced Friendly's breakfast for $2.22 each. Two eggs, two pieces of bacon or sausage and two pancakes, French Toast or Sour dough bread. Nice!
We drove to the speedline, parked and took the train into Philadelphia at 8th and Market.  We walked about four city blocks to Independence National Historic Park.
First stop was to see The Liberty Bell.
Then a short walk to the Independence Hall Building.  We did not go into this building because we needed to first get a ticket from another location. We were able to go into the west-wing of Independence Hall where we saw this silver inkstand.
from wikipedia
The Syng inkstand is a silver inkstand used during the signing of both the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the United States Constitution in 1787. Aside from paper documents, it is one of only four physical objects that were present during the Constitution Convention known to still exist (with a reasonable degree of certainty), along with Independence Hall itself, the Liberty Bell, and the chair George Washington sat in as the convention's presiding officer. It is thus both a work of art and an important artifact from American history, having been used by such prominent founding fathers as Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and James Madison.
 Congress Hall
John resting with Independence Hall in the background.  The Clock/Bell tower is under construction.
  By mid-afternoon we were ready to visit Chinatown for a bite to eat.
A penny press of The City of Brotherly Love's famous LOVE sculpture seemed fitting.
Wikipedia photo

Thoughtful greetings we received:
And a surprise from my sweetheart...
I have posted the following video before but it is so fitting ~


Sunday, October 17, 2010

rearranging rooms

Moving furniture...
pushing, pulling, tugging, straining, lugging.
From one room to another, up-stairs, down-stairs, to the garage, to the curb.
That is what has been filling my days for the past few weeks.
I have also been purging.
Gone through almost every closet, nook and cranny and parted with everything we do not need/use frequently.
I am not a keeper of things (just sentimental things of which I always have a deep attachment)
I think my house lost hundreds of pounds :)

This is what I have accomplished
A few weeks ago, this bedroom looked like this:
Since John no longer works from his home office and we are in need of an additional bedroom, it underwent a transformation.  It is now the new room Jared uses and Jill and Brad will use during visits.
~*~
See that monstrosity of an Armoire...
I moved that Goliath from the office, out the door, down the hall, into our bedroom and then into our closet.
All * By * Myself!

The guest room that was used for Jill's visit is now prepared for a special young lady that will be staying with us for an extended time.  She is from Spain with a background in industrial engineering and is interning at the same company my husband works for.  I was immediately excited when we we were asked if we would consider having her in our home.
Through painted (faux) in 1999, the walls still looked great so repainting was not needed.
We found a full size box spring and mattress on Craigslist in near new condition.  I searched and searched but could not find a head board/foot board I liked so we just bought a frame.
The focus of this room is this display of sepia tone photos of our grandchildren.
My daughter, Jamie, gave me a pair of old window panes and I thought for a couple of years what I might like to do with them.  They sat in the garage, and yes, I was tempted to pitch them several times.  But, I am very happy I saved them for this project.
I had a small white shelf in another room but since it was just the right size, we attached it directly under the window.
The tall, narrow jelly cupboard that we bought unfinished in the 80's now holds clothes.  I thought the swallowtail lamp that John made as a child was a sweet addition to the room.
With six window panes and nine grandchildren, I initially planned doubling up some of the photos.  It didn't looks as good as I imagined.  So I scrounged up a few mats and frames for the additional pictures.
I saw on another blog a link to making word generated art and knew I would make one using the names of our grandchildren.  I saved it to a .jpg and had it printed to a 5x7.
We still have the crib in the nursery that is also a play room.  And when Jill and family visit from up-state New York, if Jared is visiting too, he gets ousted  to the sofa or a quilt on the floor along with Ryan, Brenna and Shaela.  No place for the inflatable air mattress now, except OUR bedroom.
Oh, I better not mention that, huh!

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