Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coping with a sad time

Daisy Dawg and I are on the road home from the weaving conference without our little Abby. Sometime during the night before we were to leave for home, an angel (I'm sure there was an angel) came and took Abelard home to the Rainbow Bridge. I knew something was wrong when the vet at the kennel where they were staying in San Antonio took my arm and patted my hand and asked if I had gotten any of her calls. I had turned the phone off during the conference and I am just as glad I didn't have to hear that on the phone, since there was nothing to be done. He died in his sleep. They were kind enough to call Northside (our vet) and to take care of the cremation and returning his little ashes to his human family later this week. I asked her to donate his little bed to the local shelter.
Whatever part of Abby is still with us is curled up in my heart along with other of my "fur persons" who've gone on without me. I miss him so much.
Daisy was morose for most of the drive yesterday but has perked up. This has helped my own mood considerably.
I am grateful that, as Abby was mistreated and neglected for the first half of his short life, I was able to make the last years a time of love, care, spoiling, cuddles, adventures, security and good food. Thank you. Father, for the gift of Abelard Dawg and help me to give him back to you with grace and peace.
thanks for listening and caring,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


At times I am amazed and moved by how content they are just to be with me. We are tucked up in the kingsized bed at La Q, while I procrastinate on hitting the road. I'm telling myself that I'm waiting for the rush-hour traffic to settle down. Abelard is cuddled up on the left, curled into the curve of my waist and Daisy is draped over my leg, doing a little grooming. They've had their breakfast and we all will have a walk before we go "car car." Daisy was the first dog in my life, and, while I still adore my kitties, I had never realized how companionable a dog would be! Of course, when I was working so much outside of my home, I would not have had time to take care of one properly, and cats are great companions, as well. But, let's face it, they do not, as a rule, like to "go car car." Although, when I was a kid, we had one who did. She also like to play in the sprinklers and used to attack dogs. (and win) neat cat!!!

La Quinta

Overnight at a La Quinta in Metairie, LA. Guess I should have done Lafayette, since it's closer, but I wanted to be near a Whole Foods, just in case I found I had forgotten something crucial. Not, but, I'm new at this.
La Quintas are great for me, since I often travel with my little dogs and Daisy and Abelard are welcome. They also have some good choices for breakfast. There was a bowl full of hard-boiled eggs, fruit, cream cheese. I think I need to pick up a toaster, though.
I have a cooler that plugs into the car outlet and will run "cool" or "hot" and does a terrific job, so I have my munchies that need keeping cool in there....some brie, yoghurts etc, so I can dodge any nasty surprises. Nice to be able to travel with your own "fridge!"
Long leg today....8 hours + to San Antonio.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

traveling Gluten-free

SO much to do before I can leave. Reservations are all in order and plans to blog the workshop on "Alabamaweaver" etc. I went to Publix in Montgomery and picked up some "Amy's Kitchen" entrees to take along and am going to make a tuna salad to pack in the cooler. Today I need to finish laundry, get some more weaving done and clean out and pack the Honda. Wish I could take "Moby Truck" but I guess the Honda is more economic for a long trip. plus more space for the doglettes. They have a reservation in San A for a "bed and biscuit" while Mom does the Hilton. Doesn't seem fair, does it? So, food and water for "Mom" and food and water for the doglettes, update the iPod, check the "don't forget" list and maybe get out of here around noon tomorrow. Staying overnight in Metairie, LA. OUTSIDE New Orleans. whew..down the street from a Whole Foods in case I need anything, so, outta here tomorrow!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

cannon to the left of me, cannon to the right......

Something just made me think an 18-wheeler hit my house, then I realized it might be cannon-fire. The re-enactors are at it again! I think that was a rehearsal going on. The actual weekend is April 17th and is tons of fun. Worth the trip. there's a youtube video linked.
Of course, it might have been an 18-wheeler hitting never know.

Friday, March 20, 2009

spray-on grapeseed oil

Oh, joy, oh rapture unforeseen...I was at "Fresh Market" today and they have the "Pam-type" version of grapeseed oil. Pam doesn't make it, the company is "Spectrum." I am a real fan of grapeseed oil. Apparently, it's superior to olive oil, nutritionally, and will take very, very high temperatures.
Used it for "crashed potatoes" for supper.
link here to the crashed potatoes
I also follow her blog

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Proms Slide show

bits and pieces of past "Last NIght" gatherings

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

not quite Gluten...but

If you are as much of a coffee addict as I, well, you will "get" this one! I finally got fed up with my "Senseo" leaking water all over the counter two or three times a week and chucked it. I have a "MrCoffee" pod machine somebody gave me, but it sucks worse than making coffee with muddy water out of a plastic cup. SO I ordered the "Cuisinart" from Amazon. Not expensive and it's a brand-name I do trust, so we shall see. I'd not have bothered, but I have this HUGE collection of pods. When you live away from easy access to things, and bulk is cheaper, anyway you tend to stock up on stuff you use frequently, so I had ordered a case (6 bags ea) of the the decaf, the Kenya and the Cappucino E-pods, and needed a brewer compatible with those.
Of course, my favourite coffee gadgets is STILL the "handpresso" and I look forward to having it along on my trip to Texas next week. (NEXT WEEK! OMYGAWD!)
Even though, since I gave up on Gluten, my cravings have backed down, I still enjoy the taste of a good cuppa!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ice cream

SO many of the low-fat, sugar-free ice creams I checked seem to have "unacceptable" ingredients, so I figured it was time to haul my Cuisinart ice-cream maker and whipped up some Rocky Road, using sugar-free cherry-pie filling, GF choc chips, almonds and regular little marshmallows. YUMMY stuff. I DID add a quarter cup of heavy cream.
2 cups 1% milk
Splenda to taste
1/2 tsp GF vanilla extract
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup cherry filling
1/2 cup marshmallows
when the ice cream is almost "set" add the goodies. Let process until thick. Spoon into a container and put into the freezer. I like to put it into one-serving containers. You can also spoon it into zip-lock freezer bags in individual-serving sizes.
I am going to do some frozen strawberry yogurt today, and make an yogurt "pie' with my GF cookie crumbs.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The gardenscapes

The garden left and right.
Click to enlarge....if you like!

shoulda known

Well, no more communion wafers for me, unless I can persuade my church to bring in GF wafers. One other member has full-blown Celiac, so maybe they will bend. I guess that would mean the two of us had better show our faces at the communion rail whenever it's "open for business."
I took one yesterday, at a funeral Eucharist and hadn't been back in my pew five minutes before I felt like something was drilling a hole in my stomach. I was "queezy" all afternoon and did not sleep well. Such a little bit and all that reaction.
Ok, I GET IT!!!!!
Gee, you'd think God would give a person a pass on COMMUNION WAFERS! Oh well, "sorry, I'm just having the wine" from now on.
Had one of the Kinnikinnick Hot Cross Buns for breakfast. A tad sweet, but otherwise yummy. Lots of dried fruit tucked inside!
I guess I need to pluck up my courage and try some yeast baking!!!!

I ought to mention that I'm it has been suggested that I bring along a rice cracker. We aren't so hyper about transubstantiation, although some HIGH anglicans get their knickers in a twist about it...among other things. Oh well, they're fun to have around.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring shots
including the garden

Thursday, March 12, 2009

what's cookin'?

Spent the whole day in the kitchen. I got my GF graham cracker crumbs so I HAD to make a cheesecake. Low-fat cream cheese, egg substitute, Splenda and cutting 'way back on the butter in the crumb crust cut the calories down bigtime.
I needed GF cream of mushroom to make a tuna casserole, so I whipped one up using cornstarch and Nestle table cream. I took out one portion to eat AS soup, it was so good.
Also made some flourless corn bread...light, heavenly.
Hey, this GF thing is going to be fine!
Anyway, I have a lot of "no excuses" stuff in the freezer now for quick meals.

Light as a feather (recipe)

Flour-free cornbread

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (the trad thing is bacon grease)
1/4 tsp each baking soda and baking powder (gluten-free)
dash of salt

mix it all together thoroughly and bake at 435ยบ until browned on top. I like to use a mini-muffin pan or "sticks" pan for this.
The mini-muffins are done pretty fast, so keep an eye on them. They will also float right up to the ceiling, so eat them fast! (poetic license)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Garden Time

I have my garden about half in. I got out early this morning while it was still cool and started hoeing and pulling weeds. Got my first space dug and went after some plants. Off to Marvin's and the Farm Coop to get tomatoes, cukes, squash, peppers of all kinds, eggplants! Then the herbs: I am going to plant those in the middle.
I think I am going to give up on the cabbage family. I have had NO luck with any of them. The Brussels Sprouts have yet to become anything but decorative bunches of leaves, the cauliflowers only produced 2 "flowers" and they get about an inch across and start rotting. The broccoli "flowered" before it every produced any edible heads, etc etc etc. So, back to the produce dept for THOSE.
I still want to get some straight-necked squashes, since I like those better than the crooknecks. I am going to grow extras so I can take some to the hot-lunch centre here run by the Edmundite missioners. I would hope that anybody who has the extra space in their home gardens to grow some fresh veggies for programmes like this would do so. It's nice for these folks to have the occasional fresh items and it is something we can easily do.
I might put in some potatoes. We had pretty good luck with those last year.
My onions are coming along, as are the leeks.
I need to get this done so I can take off for Texas at the end of the month without any tasks left "hanging." I got started a little late last year, so it's good to be getting going NOW. Hopefully, we are done with freezes for the season. I do cross my fingers, since March in Alabama, even April can be a tad unpredictable. I am not tossing out my frost covers YET.
I guess I might put in some cantaloupes. They were "iffy" last year, although I had a few nice ones.
Pictures to come.

Friday, March 06, 2009

gluten out

Well, I have gone through the cabinets, fridge and freezer, evicting the gluten-containing. Friends are lucking out. I gave my yard guy a big box of stuff from the freezer. Joanie is getting all my Jenny Craig stuff, friends Dusty and Peggy "inherited" the flour.
I am, however discovering wonderful stuff, and used potato starch tonight to thicken my pot roast gravy. Wow!
One thing about cleaning out the freezer is that the pot roast wasn't the only thing I had forgotten I had down there at the bottom of the freezer. There were also a couple of London broils, some chicken breasts, steaks...all anti-biotic and hormone free stuff, so I am glad I found it all before it went bad. Yes, Virginia, meat CAN spoil in the freezer...just takes longer.
The pot roast cooked up deliciously.
One big trick is keeping up with fibre. I've started drinking soy milk because there's some fiber in it, and I like it, too, so there.
Had some wonderful gluten-free granola from "Bakery on Main." Delish.
I can't wait for the next time my dr. checks my iron levels! My dry skin has already gone away and I've only been doing this regime for a week. that was fast!
Somebody in the online support group suggests backing off raw veggies for a bit. This makes sense, since my gut is going to take a while to heal. Still, food doesn't 'hurt" the way it did a couple of weeks ago, and much less indigestion, not to mention the "other stuff."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

gluten the villain

Not to go into symptoms here, but, if you have gluten sensitivity, you know what I've been dealing with for years. At first, I thought it was milk. Cutting out cow's milk didn't do anything. THEN I went on a weight-loss regime that involved cutting out most bread and I noticed that the days I had meals with NO flour products, just rice or potatoes for the starch, that I got much better. SO, we did a week of elimination, then, immediately upon restoring flour, back to square one.
Well, that's pretty loud and clear.
I am learning to love rice-flour products. I picked up English muffins, bread and bagels at Whole Foods, as well as the DIY stuff for the bread machine. The muffins are scrumptious, and the bagels properly chewy. Very good. I gave away all my wonderful "King Arthur" flours to a friend who's into bread-making and it hurt like hell to see my brioche mix go out the door.
However, if I just think how uncomfortable I would be if I ate it kind of helps.
More label-reading in my life. It's amazing how many products, like SOY SAUCE and BEER have gluten lurking in there! I guess rice-beer is in my future. Definitely have to keep an eye on sauces....AND MY FRIENDS. When you say you cannot eat something, you get a lot of "just this once won't hurt" but it does. I love them, they love me, but it's hard to communicate the severity of this. I am hoping whatever damage has been done over the long term will start to heal.
I am thinking about getting a grain mill so I can do my own rice flour, but we shall see how the DIY works out first.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

snow show

slide show here:

Spring snow 2!!!!

To this

Spring snow!!!

From this:

theme day?

Ok, my friend "ramblinground" put up a pic of a chandelier for "March theme day" so here's a photo I took one day at "The Greystone" when my late Uncle and I were having lunch there. As my uncle fondly and, puzzled, used to put it "Nancy will take a picture of anything."