A huge thank you!

A huge thank you to Happy Day for sharing this beautiful picture with me. She noticed my Weekend Coffee posts and thought I might use it for those posts. Isn’t it beautiful? Check it out:

Isn’t it gorgeous? Love it!

Just before sunrise…

It’s early morning here. I have River sleeping by my feet and a cup of coffee at my elbow. Hubby is still in bed and Ocean is keeping him (her favourite human) company in the bedroom. There isn’t a sound in the house.

(credit:Quora)

I love this time of day. I’m tired, because it’s the weekend and I want to go back to bed but it’s just delicious to be up before the world wakes up, when even the birds are sleeping.

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I love reading and writing in the morning. It feels so peaceful and like I’ve stolen a chunk of the day away. In the early morning, my thoughts are loud. It’s easy to capture them and put them on paper.

(credit: iamturtle1)

Thanks so much for sharing it with me!

Update on Ocean…

A little while ago, I rambled on about our doggie Ocean who wasn’t acting like herself. One mental breakdown on my part later, we were at the vets’ inside an incredibly tiny and stuffy office. After much poking, prodding of Ocean and sweating like overcooked noodles from ourselves, the vet recommended switching her food (she might have allergies to it) and doing blood work and stool analysis.

River, super-serious as usual

I’m not one to leave things to chance. We had just switched our doggies’ food thinking this new brand might be a better quality for them but, since Ocean was obviously poisoned not reacting well to it, it had to go. Without further ado, we threw out the old and went shopping for new. Meanwhile, I cooked some oatmeal, eggs and tuna (we’re vegan but our doggies are not and they love tuna) and I made her a little get-better meal for her…though River thought it was awesome as well.

My lovely girl, not feeling her best

Since our last vet visit Ocean, who has always been on the thin side, has lost over 4 kilograms. Translated, that’s about 9 lbs…a huge percentage of her already tiny weight. It might very well be due to allergies over food, but my overactive mind created all sorts of other horrific diseases that could also be responsible for this issue. Terrified, I waited on pins and needles for the blood work and analysis results.

Finally, after calling the vet so many times I memorized the number, they came in.

This is where it can’t be easy to be a vet, but it’s also super challenging to be a patient. While the stool revealed nothing wrong, the blood work was inconclusive. Ocean has slightly elevated kidney numbers which might indicate an infection, might indicate something as dire as kidney disease (incurable, by the way), might just be a reaction to her food or might not be anything at all. I banged my head against the wall while the vet tried to calmly explain all the possible scenarios. I have to give her credit because, while I freaked out, she patiently explained everything from Leptospirosis to cancer. I wanted symptoms, outcomes (bad and good) and prognosis…and I wasn’t exactly mellow while she explained all the dire consequences that my poor, fluffy Ocean could be facing. Worse, if possible, she could be contagious and be giving some of these terrible diseases to River.

At some point, I started to bawl and became incomprehensible, so lovely hubby had to take over. I know they’re only dogs, but my silly heart doesn’t listen to reason or logic. It’s head over heels with these two fluff balls and nothing but happiness on their side will do.

Our gorgeous boy

So, what’s the prognosis? Well, unfortunately, medicine with animals is challenging mostly because they can’t talk to us. Ocean can’t tell us what hurts. The good news is that, since the last time we weighed her, she’s put on about 3lbs (that’s great news in only 7 days) and that she had almost clear results on the blood work and stool sample. But the truth is, gentle reader, that we don’t know for certain. I’m really hoping that it’s just a bad reaction to her food and things will keep getting better but we won’t know until a few weeks go by and she gets really better.

Meanwhile, I will give her extra cuddles and kisses…and River as well so he won’t feel left out.

Beautiful girl

 

London, we stand with you

Such a horrific attack. It leaves me searching for words and thoughts to try and understand why someone would do such a thing.

(credit:NBC News)

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of the UK at this incredibly difficult time, especially with the families and relatives of the victims. Canada stands with you.

Review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts

I read the back cover of this book a while ago and I’ve been waiting and waiting for the soft cover for months. It just sounded sooo good.

This is the cover of the book:

“Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, she revealed her father’s horrible crimes and made him infamous. No matter what she does, Naomi can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

“Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kidney residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up–especially Xander Keaton.”

There’s more to the cover, but I didn’t need to read it, I was already caught. I loved the premise of a woman with a wound from her past that was trying to find herself, define her future in her own terms in a small town. I loved that she was trying to renovate a massive, old, rambling house and that she was a photographer with a flexible job. To boot, this book was written by Nora Roberts–if there’s one unfailingly reliable Queen of Romance out there, it’s got to be her. I could barely wait until it came out on paperback.

I got it this Friday and, by Saturday, I had read the entire thing. I gobbled it up. Still, I’ll add that it was sooo delicious that I forced myself to take breaks and savour the writing, the description and the story. It was really, truly superb.

There are many parts of this book that I adored.

I loved the back story. Usually, it’s a deterrent and something that I want to get through as quickly as possible in order to get to the main story but this time, I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved young Naomi, born in tragedy and battling to find her own way even as fear ate away at her. I loved her wise and strong brother, Mason. Realistic, cute and even funny, he became a hero after my own heart and I wished he would get his own book every time I met him in the book.

The abuse and patterns of behaviours in the story were solid. There were no sudden changes of behaviour, no unbelievable defeats of addiction or cures that could never take place in real life. I honestly and truly believed they would have happened just as described and that made the book all the more gripping for it’s realistic zeal.

The renovation of the old house, built slightly outside the small town was incredibly appealing. I’d love to have the chance to do just that, to sit by a beautiful view with a cup of coffee and stare at the rising sun. And the characters in the little town were cute, funny and so real I could see them.

One of the best parts was Tag, the dog Naomi rescues and falls in love with. A mutt with a gold heart, I loved him from the moment he came into existence and adored both the rescue and the funny bits he added to the story.

Of course, Naomi and Xander are the leads and are fantastic leads at that. Nora Roberts is known for her strong female leads and Naomi didn’t let me down. She was strong, confident, hard working and determined to stand up for herself. An amazing heroine worthy of hottie Xander.

Nora Roberts is an ace at contemporary romance and I, for one, believe this her at her best. I have read other books by her that weren’t as fascinating, fun and enjoyable and I was delighted to find her writing back to her amazing, winning style. It might be an old recipe for her, but it’s a winning one for me. This book is staying home with me, kept in its spot on the shelf for future reading. It’s just that good. Whether you’re a fan of her or a fan of romance, this one is one you don’t want to miss.

(credit: goodreads.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

 

Where River defends me

Just yesterday, my hubby was away doing his therapy thing and I was deep in a new book (bliss!) when Ocean barked. Now, akitas aren’t barking dogs. So, when they do, it’s important.

I left my book and peeked outside the window and there, in the middle of our front yard, was a strange car. I frowned wondering if it was in trouble but soon enough, a rather large bearded man emerged from the vehicle and it was obvious that: 1. he wasn’t in trouble and 2. he planned on leaving his car parked in the middle of our front yard.

Like most Canadians, I don’t like confrontations. I prefer to bend, be kind and go on my merry way. I’m small and slight, not exactly a threatening size. My face can do funny, kind and sad but it messes up angry. When I frown, people smile back. So intimidating isn’t my strong suit. Still, since the snow had mostly melted and the ground was soft, this car was going to do major damage to our front yard. I had to say something.

That’s when I thought of River.

At a good 20 lbs over 100, my lovely furry boy is on the large side of an akita. Add his lovely, thick fur and you’ve got a good sized dog. The opposite of Ocean who loves every two legged person she meets, River is more interested in food than people. He’s wary of strangers and very protective of yours truly. The result is he usually glares at new comers.

With River at my size, I headed over to the neighbour’s. There was a group of men, all rather on the large end of the scale, chatting, smoking and drinking beer. Giving them my best smile, I held tightly to River’s leash and asked them if there was any chance they might be able to move the car.

“I’m really sorry to bother you, I just worry about our grass,” I added.

The owner of the car turned in my direction and two small, dark eyes focused on me. Canadian or not, there wasn’t a single ounce of kindness in that stare. Then they flickered to River.

“Sure. I’ll move it right away,” he grumbled.

Have I mentioned that I love my dogs? They’re the best!

If we were having coffee…

(credit:Church Designer Magazine)

If we were having coffee, I’d want to hear what you’re doing and what you’re up to. What’s important or new in your life right now? Is there anything that you’re trying to debate or decide? Tell me about your week.

I’d love to hear it because we’ve had a lot of news around here and it’s nice to get out of our bubble of concerns for a while. I find that hearing other people’s stories gives me a break from my worries and makes me feel better.

But it seems you’re on the quiet side today and aren’t saying much. So, here’s something to make you smile.

(credit:Thinking it Through – WordPress.com)

(credit: pinterest)

Note: The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster. Coffee Share is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain.

Where hubby has a fit

After our switch to a plant-based diet, I decided to go to a dietitian and make sure we weren’t missing anything vital for our health. I should add that my lovely hubby, in his wisdom, has taken a much more relaxed approach to the entire plant-based idea…(His version includes the odd cheese burger).

The dietitian looked to be about 15, super cheerful and typed at the speed of light. She inspected everything in my 3-day food journal and declared I was off to a good start. However…she did make some recommendations.

Some were easy, like adding ground flax seeds to meals to get Omega 2 and 3. Some were not so easy and some were…well tough. Namely, she said we shouldn’t drink coffee or tea before or after a meal. 1 to 2 hours before or after a meal (apparently those drinks stop the absorption of nutrients from your body).

When lovely hubby heard that particular recommendation, he nearly had a heart attack. Being British, tea is akin to having a heartbeat for him and he flat our refused to do it. He quoted his elderly mother who drinks at least 8 cups of the stuff a day and is alive and kicking today, he then said tea is actually good for your health and where did she get her information and what credentials did she have and where did she do her research and he’d like to talk to her supervisor….Everything in moderation, he added before saying he had to protect an entire nation of tea drinkers as it’s their national drink…ahem.

Instead of tea, the dietitian had suggested drinking warm water with lemon. So, I tried it…and it was disgusting. Well, not completely disgusting but more like a medical cure than a drink to enjoy after dinner. It smelled and tasted like NeoCitran…I almost felt sick at the end of it. Certainly nothing like a lovely cup of tea or coffee.

The very next day I had a cup of coffee in protest…it was delicious.

However, I did go online and found that the very young dietitian was right, at least about the lemon water. Here and here and here…and the list could easily continue. Apparently, warm lemon water is the best thing for you. Sigh.