Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Good Rain

We're in the middle (or hopefully at the end) of a drought in the Indianapolis area. This summer has been hot, the hottest in about 25 years. And on top of that, there has been very little rain in the last month or so. My yard is brown, my flowers died in August, and my allergies have been really bad, I think just because I am all dried out.

Several times over the last month, the dry conditions here have made me think about the most refreshing rain that I have ever experienced. Sometime in the mid-1980's I worked at the Fresh Air Fund camps in Fishkill, NY. I can't remember the exact summer when this happened, as I worked there for several years. I was in a leadership position, because my task for the day during orientation was training all the new counselors how to make a craft with their campers.

The heat of the summer was incredible. Different than what we're experiencing now, as I'd qualify this summer in Indiana as a "dry heat". The Hudson River Valley was more like the normal Indiana hot, humid summer, with the air so thick that you never actually feel dry. My day of orientation consisted of teaching 6 groups of counselors how to make candles, followed by an overnight camp out to teach them what to do when they are sleeping out.

Candle making is a hot mess. You have to keep a fire going during the whole time to melt your wax. I am a good fire builder and that is probably why I got that job for the day. Standing in front of a roaring fire all day in 90 degree heat can dry you out. Maybe that was my first experience with dehydration.

After the full day in front of the fire, everyone packed up to go on our overnight camp out, which included cooking our dinner outside. Since this was a "teaching" camp out, I was assigned to teach everyone how to build a fire to cook their dinner. So, the next couple of hours were spent right by the fire again. At this point, I was dirty and sweaty, and definitely had that camp fire smell.

While the sun was still up, but after we had eaten our dinner, we were surprised to hear thunder. Quickly everyone packed up and headed back to camp. I stayed for a little while to make sure the fire was out then headed back myself. Just as I got to the meadow, the rain poured down. It was a hard soaking rain that seemed like it was coming down in buckets. But it felt so good. I just let it soak into my skin. The camp van drove by and offered me a ride, but I said no. The rain felt too good. And when I got back to my cabin, I just sat outside letting it soak in some more. I didn't think I'd ever get enough.

I will always remember that rain and how it made me feel that day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How do you choose your work shoes?

I found the image above by googling "hot pink stripper heels". Hmmm....and what inspired to perform the search was a woman at work wearing these shoes. She had on a black t-shirt and black skinny jeans, and these hot pink stripper heels. Really? What was she thinking?

I work at a place that actually has posters in the winter that tell you to wear sensible shoes. They have a picture of boots with a heel and one of those red circles with a slash through it. I have always bragged about that to other women, saying that my place of employment doesn't expect me to break my neck walking around all day. I mean, if I had to concentrate so much on walking, how would I ever be able to write. And, just how would I ever get steel toe caps over these babies?

When I was on the parking shuttle this evening, I saw the same woman clip clopping across the parking lot in these shoes. They were like a neon beacon highlighting her feet. I just don't get it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I HATE at home fireworks

I know...I write about the same stuff year after year. But really, I don't get the thrill of the at home fireworks. I like fireworks just fine. I went to the Indians game last night because they had a fireworks show at the end. But, really at home? Don't you think it is a little dangerous. Especially with the amount of alcohol you have obviously consumed?

The houses in my neighborhood are about 10 feet apart. So, you see you may THINK your are shooting off fireworks in your own yard, but I guarantee some of that junk is coming over here. It may be placed on your front porch in the morning before you get out of bed.

I'm just saying....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Staring Down the P.I.

I broke down today and went to the doctor, actually the Health Center at work. I've had a patch of Poison Ivy on my foot since June 19 when I trimmed weeds at mom Mom's house. I'm sure there were actually no Poison Ivy plants where I trimmed, but it seems if I even get in the zip code with the stuff, I am stricken.

And so now begins my treatment with the dreaded Prednisone. The stuff works, but it is a frustrating process. It makes me unable to sleep, have an intense appetite, and a little headachey. It also tastes terrible if you actually let it touch your tongue and it messes with my blood sugar. (Last year I hit a low blood sugar of 78 while on Prednisone. It made me all shakey one day at work, so they tested it and made me drink juice.)

I wish the whole staring down thing actually worked. But I guess rashes are just not intimidated by me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful...Beautiful Doggie

My sweet little Sadie died this past Thursday. She was such a good girl. I've written about Sadie before here, and always meant to do an update, but it never got done. In my writing hiatus, it seems a lot of things didn't get done.

I think that I would call Sadie a miracle dog. My friend described her as a "tough cookie". When she was brought to me as a foster dog, she had some difficulty getting around. I don't know how much time she had spent in the shelter, but she was definitely stiff and didn't seem to have experience with stairs. She had obviously had some sort of leg injury in her past that wasn't properly taken care of. But, she got along with Tiger and it was easy for me to walk both dogs at once, so she fit right into our family.

When I took her for her first check up with my vet, we were talking about what breed she might be. She definitely had some Boxer, but as my vet said, "she doesn't look like the breed standard", so it was determined that she was either some sort of mix, or just a very poorly bred boxer. I guess we'll never know, but it doesn't really matter either. That was part of the magic of Sadie.

Within a couple of months of me officially adopting Sadie into our family, she began her medical battles with Cushing's Disease. That is what I had written about before, and really never wrote Sadie's miraculous follow-up. After some treatment, she ended up with no Cushing's Disease and no Addison's Disease symptoms. Somehow we actually did do the perfect treatment that turned her into a normal dog, with no medication needed for either disease.

Sadie still had some issues. One was a chronic urinary tract infection, which got me out of bed every night around 3:00 a.m. to let her out. But we worked through it.

When I am out with my dog Tiger, everyone always compliments on what a handsome dog he is. And I always got the same response with Cali and Rocky too. "Beautiful dogs" they would say. "Is he a show dog?".

With Sadie, the response was always a little different. She had an under bite, her back end was misshapen, her stubby tail was thick, and she had extra skin on one of her front legs, sort of making it like a wing. But the truth about Sadie is that I really thought she was the most beautiful dog in the entire world. Her big sweet eyes would look up at me with love and thankfulness that she was with our family. She would lay on her rug watching TV with her Flying Nun ears, and there was no dog that could be cuter. And, I think she knew she was beautiful too. I believe that was Sadie's lesson for me (and maybe some other's of you out there too). It really doesn't matter if you meet the breed standard, you are beautiful and deserving of love.

And so, last week Sadie was diagnosed with cancer. The vet guessed that she initially contracted it within the last 3 months, but it had already spread to her liver. At that point, there really isn't a treatment for dogs. The vet said the type of cancer she had was one that was very aggressive. And so, within a week she was beginning to retain fluid in her lungs and was done with her fight.

Tiger has been sad, but we are doing okay. Sadie was a beautiful girl, and she will be missed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The End of the Chicken

Seems like I have had a lot of thoughts lately about things I could write about here, but....this Chicken has been here. I've got to get rid of the chicken to move on. I'm ready to do that. So, just consider this the next phase of my "Chicken-Free" blog. Keep watching. More posts will come soon, but we just had to get rid of the chicken first.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My First Roasted Chicken

So, I received a fabulous gift for Christmas, some Rachel Ray cookware that is a lovely shade of green. So, I've been cooking up a storm lately. I made the best omelet the other day, a Mexican dip that I took to the Tracey Fiesta on New Year's Day, and now inspired by my friend, I've roasted my first whole chicken. So very simple to do and so cheap. I think this will be enough food for a week or longer.

The chicken was a farm raised, free range chicken from an Indiana farmer that I got at the Goose. I washed the chicken well and then filled it with peeled orange slices. I put some melted butter, rosemary, thyme, and sage on the top and roasted it for about 3 hours at 350 degrees. And, it was delicious. Very moist.

So, yesterday I had a great chicken dinner, today I made chicken vegetable soup, and sometime this week I'll probably make some chicken and spinach pasta. Or maybe some of this will end up in the freezer for a while, because right now the chicken seems endless.