Thursday, August 25, 2016

Finny's Got His Bounce Back!

Finny and his family want to thank all his kind friends who offered their prayers, healing vibes, and positive thoughts for his recovery! Which he has finally done. It took longer than I expected, but as of last night Finn finally regained the bounce in his step and the wicked sparkle in his eyes. He claims to have Learned his Lesson, but we don't believe him as far as we could throw him and are keeping a sharp eye on all his doings.

As of this afternoon he is back to wrestling with Travis!

When we brought him home last Saturday he was a sad and sorry pup...

And the next few days he was still pretty pitiful.

But now he's feeling his bumptious old self!

(Livy looks a little cranky, but it's only because she wants her cat food and is annoyed that she can't open the fridge and her servants are failing to obey.)

In other news, I made this "sort of cheesecake" in my pressure cooker! It's grain-free and dairy-free, and it is really tasty! I have several other grain & dairy free desserts lined up to try as soon as we finish this one off (I'm thinking of it for breakfast tomorrow, which about ought to finish it and clear the pan for the next yummy experiment!).


here's our first ever "first day of school" photo!
Of course, it's not actually. I mean, we did do some learning around here over the past twelve or so years, and Katie didn't really start today. But Travis sort of eased into taking classes at the community college last year, so it didn't feel so dramatic, and if you look at how smiley she appears at 4:00 in the afternoon, heading out the door for the open house at the high school, you'll understand why I decided against trying to get a "first day" photo at 7:15 Monday morning, when we'll really be headed off for the start of her high school career.

Still, the open house at the high school was really excellently done -- we met up with the assistant principal right near the front door and, even though they were busy, she walked us around, made sure we found all the classrooms, introduced us to several people, showed us the library, the cafeteria, the gym, etc. Just amazingly nice. Since we've decided that school is the best choice for Katie at this point, I'm really thrilled that she gets to go to a small and very friendly place! (It is supposed to be one of the better "regular" public high schools in our part of the state, according to this link, Daddy!) I'm sure (okay, I hope) she'll be looking more cheerful after school on Monday, once she has that first day under her belt.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cross Your Fingers for Finn, Please!

We'd appreciate your prayers, good wishes, positive vibes, and all for our poor, sweet, dumb boy. Finn, that is. He's been off his feed for the past four days or so, and lacking his usual demonic energy, and we've been worrying about him Given his appetite for rocks, grass, tissues, etc., we figured he might have a bit of a tummy ache, and since he still was eating his food, if over the course of hours instead of seconds, and was still pretty energetic in the mornings, that he would be okay. But last night (Friday night, wouldn't you know) I decided he'd been looking peaky too long, and this morning, when he wouldn't so much as touch his breakfast, Ed agreed it was time to see the vet.

Thankfully they were able to get us in at eleven, because as it turns out, he has a fever, and the x-rays show... things are not looking good in there. Food, from at least yesterday, is going nowhere fast in his stomach, and there's a  large thing -- I'm thinking sock, but, given Finny's creative tastes, it might be just about anything -- blocking the end of his stomach. And the vet explained that something is badly swollen up (aside from the stomach) which shouldn't be. And the fever makes her worry about necrosis. Anyway, the upshot is that Ed and Katie are on their way, with Finn, to the specialists in Winston, where, hopefully, they'll be able to remove the thing endoscopically (and if we're Really lucky, they'll be able to do it without CAT (or MRI?) scans). If that doesn't work they'll slice him open and take it out. But, as our vet explained, even that part is better at the fancy hospital because they'll have someone there to monitor him overnight. If he needs to be operated on. Which I hope to goodness he Doesn't. Poor sweet idiot. And, when he's been cleaned out, and taken his antibiotics, the vet says we need to get him a basket muzzle and make him wear it this time (we did get him one before, but he kept pulling it off and trying to eat it, so I sent it back). She says he should have outgrown this tendency to eat everything by the time he's three or four, but in the meantime...!


So, anyway, positive thoughts, please, for Finn's recovery!

Katie is taking my place on the Winston trip because we are up to host coffee hour at church tomorrow. The way I do it, that means a full day of cooking. Chicken salad sandwiches (two chickens, cooked, one last night and one, very overcooked, cooked this morning in the pressure cooker), oatmeal raspberry bars, lemon bars, pumpkin bars, banana/sweet potato bread, chips,and grapes. The chips and grapes are ready to go, but the rest of it still needs doing. And I may be doing the set up and clean up on my own tomorrow, if Ed needs to drive in to Winston to pick up our boy, but, thankfully, we now have two cars to that's doable!

Other news. Travis has finished his first week of classes for his senior year at the community college. So far pretty okay, I think! He's taking English, math, music appreciation, and American government. He's driving himself, so, aside from constantly reminding him to check his syllabuses, paying for books, and repeating "have you done all your homework?" I'm pretty much out of the picture. Katie starts ninth grade at the high school in Elkin (we were so pleased that the county was willing to release her so that she could go to the "city" school, which we've heard good things about) on the 29th. She's nervous but also, I think, a little excited. They offer fencing and swimming, both of which at least interest her, and she's pleased with her "block" schedule. Honors English, math, P.E., and marketing. Next semester she'll take honors history, earth science, Microsoft Word, and math. At least it should mean fewer books to lug around, and fewer subjects to remember assignments for, which should be helpful!

And some pictures of Finny and Olivia being cute, taken since my last post!

We did manage a last minute trip to Hungry Mother State Park before Travis started classes!

And a visit to the ice cream place afterwards!

And this is for Daddy! This is my pressure cooker -- the Instant Pot -- with a chicken inside. The chicken turns out marvelously tender and juicy (though rather less juicy if you end up spending hours at the vet's and your chicken spends a whole lot of extra time in the pot. But it is Still pretty darned good, which is quite a bit different from the way things would have been if I'd left it an hour too long in the oven!), but the skeleton does lose it's structural firmness.

 And here is Finny with his pot collection. He shreds them and tosses them, but I've never seen him eat them. I guess I'll know soon enough.

Did I mention that they get along beautifully now?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Holiday!

We went away to a place and ate food I didn't prepare and were all kinds of jolly! A holiday! Just two nights (and we had to rush back home this morning, right after breakfast, because Ed missed his little Olivia too much), but that's more than we managed last summer, so we're feeling pretty good.

We went to Carowinds, which is just south of Charlotte, on the North Carolina-South Carolina border, and which has roller coasters and water rides. The kids got such a kick out of the roller coasters when we went to Universal/Islands of Adventure a few years ago that we thought this might be something they'd like (Ed and I don't actually do roller coasters,but Travis turned down the beach and all our other ideas, and we decided that sitting together, holding hands, watching our darlings ride roller coasters together, would be delightful. And really it mostly was!). We couldn't have asked for bluer skies, and even the brutal heat had a silver lining, in that the park, keen to keep its patrons from dropping dead of heat stroke, kept broadcasting reminders for everyone to keep hydrated and gave out free cups of water at all their concession stands. That really was lovely, as I couldn't have carried enough water for us in my pack, and that wouldn't have been icy cold, like the stuff they gave out, anyway!

I was particularly pleased that they had a Rita's Italian Ice place, because...

 Travis particularly liked their cherry ice when he was a baby (the photo is of his first taste of the stuff, but we used to go fairly often when the kids were little in Florida). He still likes it.

We went to Publix!!!!!! Joy! I got sushi and ate the entire box (well, I think Ed got two pieces), including the wasabi stuff, and suffered no ill effects at all! And, gosh, it was good. And they had a British chocolate section where I got a chocolate orange bar, and Katie got me two Turkish delight bars (the Aero's not mine, but I had some anyway. It is also excellent.). Other people got things at the bakery, but I was busy with my sushi and my chocolate and didn't notice what.

Katie looks a wee bit grouchy here, but she Was having fun! Really!

TWO dinners out! That is Two dinners I didn't make. Awesome vacation right there!

We had to hurry home right after breakfast this morning because Ed couldn't wait to spring his girl from "kitty camp" (Finny and Olivia boarded at the vet's, where the staff are Wonderfully attentive and gave them lots of attention -- both were in good spirits when they got out. But Ed missed his little girl!).

So, it was wonderful to get away and spend time together, without screens (or, to be fair, books!), but it's nice to be back home too. Actually, Katie took a nap, nursed her sunburn (the sunscreen we brought, which the kids reapplied faithfully, failed them both), and then went off for a library "lock-in." I expect she'll be Very tired when I pick her up at eight tomorrow morning!

(Can you see Livy in the picture above? She's on the far right, saying "Finny! Come down and play!")