Friday, October 10, 2008

Lost And Found and the First Frost

Dear Friends,

You'll have to pardon me for not typing this week, I was very busy! But that doesn't mean I didn't have anything to type. Every time I tried to sit down and log on something would come up and I had to put it off once again. I'm sure you've all had days...and weeks(!) like that.

Last Sunday I had finished putting the veggie garden to bed. There is absolutely nothing else to do in it until next spring (not counting mulching and caging berry bushes for winter, I still need to do that). That Sunday, since things are tight, I tried something new for supper from the pantry. A while back someone gave me a bag of lentils they didn't know how to use. I've never really cooked lentils beyond that 15 bean soup bag which had them in it. I also had a bunch of beans but wanted something much faster then beans. What I came up with was surprisingly good, hearty, and cheap to make and i had left overs for days between the two of us. If you've never tried them, this is what I did, though I did not follow a recipe I just tossed in what I had, kind of like "garbage soup".

1 lb bag of dried brown lentils (Reading up on lentils later, I discovered they come in different colors)
1 can condensed tomato soup (normally I would use tomato paste but this is what I had)
7 cups of water
8 chicken bullion cubes
1 can of sweet corn
Garlic greens (I missed some garlic in the harvest and it was sprouting in the garden..had to dig em up anyway so why waste em eh?)
1 bay leaf (I used a fresh one from my little potted bay tree!)
dried thyme (amount? I just dumped some in)
ground black pepper (again, I didn't measure)
chili powder (nope...just poured it on it again)

I combined it all in a big soup pot and let it come to a boil, then simmered for about 40 minutes until the lentils were tender. This would be really good with sausage in it if you wanted to add meat but as it is, there is plenty of protein and fiber just in the lentils. I also made some white bread to go with it in my $5 thrift shop bread machine.

When this was all ready to be served, Brandi dog decided to get into some mischief but not the usual kind. This time it was VERY SERIOUS and SCARY. Mike was on the computer watching hockey while I was fixin' supper when Brandi decided to charge right through a screen window and go running off. Mike ran after her but this dog is FAST. We were frantic. We took turns searching by car but Brandi had run into adjacent farm fields and open areas. We called everyone we could think off, the police, animal control, humane society, the Houndsong rescue group whom we adopted her through. She is of course micro chipped but we didn't want her to be lost! It started to get dark. We kept hoping she'd smell her way home before dark as it was getting cold. Brandi HATES cold.

After searching and searching, I finally came home, feeling awful about losing our dog. But then the phone rang. It was the police dispatcher. They had found a dog and wanted to know if I could go see if it was mine. She couldn't give me a description but gave me a location. I hopped back into the car and drove as fast as my little Accent could go. I pulled up to two police cars. The police men were standing outside with a very happy and pleased with herself looking hound dog. It was Brandi, doing her best to impress the police with good behavior and acting very sweet. Apparently, when she got lonely and bored with tracking critters down, she went to the first people she saw for companionship. She really does hate to be alone, even more then she hates being cold. I was VERY glad to get her back. Thanks Portage Police!!! I am also glad she didn't go to one of the neighboring farms to harass livestock. I was afraid she would try that.

Since then, Brandi hasn't wanted to let me out of her sight at all. I can't even disappear into the bathroom without her getting frantic. I'm hoping she learned her lesson. She's been sticking to me like glue whenever I am home. I think being alone out there probably scared her silly.

It was a good thing she came home, as the next morning a first light frost coated the grass on the north side of the house when I got up. Its been very chilly these past nights but the days have been warming nicely. This year, the leaves on the trees are spectacular. Very bright and colorful. In fact, I think it's the best leaf year I've had since moving to Indiana. This weekend I have to work, but next weekend I most certainly will squeeze a hike in to take in some of the leaves and maybe I'll pack a picnic to enjoy.

Well, I hope you enjoy your weekend!



Anonymous said...

Glad you found your dog! Occasionally I read your other blog, and was looking through the new one tonight.
I don't know if this will help you, but I read about your hand tingling and numbness and thought this might.
About 5 years ago, I started to have tingling in the last 2 fingers of my right hand. This progressed to total hand numbness, and then to pain in my right arm, especially when sitting or driving. It felt like someone was hammering nails in my elbow.
After a MRI, I was diagnosed with a disk in my neck that was out of alignment and pressing on the nerve that goes down the right arm.
First, my MD ordered muscle relaxants. Next, physical therapy. Next, surgery.
I know a very good neurosurgeon, and I asked him if there was any option other than surgery. This guy is a Johns Hopkins surgeon, older, and very conservative.
He told me that although he doesn't understand why, some of his patients have gotten pain relief by accupuncture or chirpractic treatment. He suggested that I try these first, and if they didn't work he would do surgery.
Because I had a friend who I knew was happily being treated by a chiropractor, I decided to try it. The chiropractor looked at my MRI, and she told me she was 90% sure she could gradually move over the disk and that I would probably be pain free within 1 year. She told me I would have tremendous pain relief within 4 weeks.
I was extremely skeptical. The treatments (a quick deep press on my spine, a quick little snap turning my neck) just seemd goofy. I hardly felt anything during the treatment. But, much to my surprise, the next morning I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Every muscle in my body hurt.
But, within 4 weeks I did have tremendous pain relief, and I am now pain free. I go for a treatment about once every 3-4 months now. I start to feel a tension going down my arm, and I know it is time for a treatment. I hope that this might help you because I am wondering if you are having the same problem I did.

Nickie said...

Dear anonymous,

I've had that sugested as well....
lately though the tingling has subsided some and i am able to get more sleep (thank goodness!) I'm wondering that since I use my arms and hands so much that it could be just an over use injury--if it gets bad again, I will most likely go see a doctor about it.