Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Three Dog Day at The Resort

It's always a good day when Ginger comes to work at the Skilled Nursing Home with her Dad. Up and down the hall you can hear calls of "Ginger...Come here, Ginger".

The residents enjoy kind kisses and a gentle sniffing before Ginger strides on past. She seems, like her Dad who's the Administrator, to have a purpose and destination to her step.

Eleven year old Ginger is a regular at the facility, showing up nearly every Monday through Friday.

"It sounds like home when she barks," one resident says.
The usual place where she can be found is in the doorway of Pop's office. There she naps and takes crackers and scraps from the residents who love seeing her and petting her.

Today was a bonus dog day with at least three other canine visitors.
This is little Cocoa who's another regular who comes to work with an employee at the home. She can be seen running quickly behind her master down the halls.

This is little Roxie who has a Mickey Mouse shaped emblem on her hind quarters.

A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

There Goes The Neighborhood

This Memorial Day Weekend will mark 24 years since we moved out here to the country.

Just thirty-five miles outside of Dallas, the quiet beauty of star-filled nights, breathtaking sunrises and colorful sunsets can't be matched in town.

This has been our daily dose of delight for all these years.

Soon, that sweet isolation and quiet peacefulness will be forever changed. 

Yesterday, the electric company broke ground on what has always been a horse pasture. Ten new houses are scheduled to be built across from our front yard.

I'm hopeful that the quality of the structures will enhance the value of our homes and yet, at the same time, sad with the intrusion into our revered space.

We knew it wouldn't be more than about ten years before the expanse of home owners into the Dallas Metroplex would uncover our little slice of Heaven out here in no where's land.

Send in the Cranes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Smoothies and Job Changes

Things have taken a big change at our house lately. First of all, J actually asked me to make smoothies today. Wow. That's a major step in a whole new direction.

If you knew J like I do, your mouth would drop open at his next question, "Will you be adding spinach to it?"

"Do you want me to?" I asked.The answer was yes. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Not only that, but J has started a new workout program which after many years of poor treatment by the offices of Worker's Compensation, is actually working to improve his health. Even better, the program leaders went to bat for him and made the Big Insurance Company pay for the program. Hooray for that long awaited WIN.

It's been a long journey since J's 3 level spinal fusion surgery in 2012. At first he was getting better, then a fall at the Denver Airport traveling on business took him back to agonizing pain and increased doses of pain meds. After struggling for 2 years to reduce his dependency, it was a setback.

Well all that is being addressed by the offices at PRIDE (Productive Rehabilitation Institute of Dallas for Ergonomics) for a professional Doctor based regimen of exercise, counseling and help to finally quit all the addictive pain medications.

I'm encouraged by J's new attitude, the spring is back in his step and a smile is once again one of his best features. I'm truly thankful for this new turn of events and the improvements in his choice of dietary intake. The most surprising part of the whole thing is that the day after Easter, J was laid off, yep, again. He is facing that challenge with extraordinary valor knowing he has help to get back on his feet with the aid of the program.

How I Made This Smoothie:

Blend together with ice and a touch of sweetener
  1. I started by putting about 8 frozen strawberries in the blender, then added half an apple, a sliced banana, a few blueberries and a peeled and sliced orange. Into this one, I also put a whole sliced mango.
  2. Next I added a large handful of raw organic spinach and a few ice cubes.
  3. For additional vitamins and protein I added a Carnation Instant Breakfast and a glass of milk.
  4. Blend together on liquify until the spinach disappears, then, add a sweetener of your choice, if desired. I put a squirt of Agave Nectar in this one.

Ahead of time, I wash and core fresh strawberries and place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When frozen, I pop them into a zip lock freezer bag to use later. You can also peel fresh bananas and freeze them to avoid over ripe fruit.

The frozen fruit adds texture to the smoothie when blended.

I do the same thing with blueberries. My container plants on the back porch provide more fruit than I can use as they ripen.

This plant came from Home Depot

I like to use a combination of oranges, apples, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mango, peaches, guava and other fruit in my smoothies.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Backroads of Texas

The long and winding road that leads to Mom's door is a beautiful drive that, unfortunately, floods when we get any rain. Lately that hasn't been too often so I take this scenic back road which cuts a few miles off my journey.

After yesterday's frog strangler  that doused us thoroughly as we carried in our groceries, I didn't expect to see the road open today. As luck would have it, the way was shining and freshly washed, ready for rubber neckers like me with a camera.

Greener on this side today

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sugar in the Morning

The good news is that Sugar, the seventeen-year old cat, survived the airplane trip from Dallas to his new home in South Carolina. He's now happily exploring and getting used to his new surroundings which include a beautiful sunny spot where he can soak up the rays.

Photo by Janet
The outside cat looking in is one of the original members of the household either Sullivan or Simon.
Sugar seems to have effectively turned his back on his peeping step brother and is down to the serious business of sunbathing.

A Roof Over My Head, La, la la...
His feline brothers are free to roam the woodsy back yard but Sugar was declawed so he can't go outdoors and face the native wildlife without protection. The other two cats are big squirrel hunters.