dim sum and then some

Oops, forgot to take a picture of the food.
It was so good!

This morning we took my niece out for some dim sum. Poor thing has been craving Chinese food since she started college, and there's none worth mention there. She, as well as the rest of us, devoured just about everything placed in front of us. A fantastic meal like that always leaves us all feeling fat and sassy. This is honestly one of those things I wish was more readily available nationwide; I'm getting my fill since I really missed it when living in MN and TX. It really has been a while and I'm really enjoying and loving the time spent with my family. What's funny is at first mom was resistant to my undetermined length of unemployment and insisted I take on a job. Had I done so I wouldn't have been able to do (or not do in some cases) some of the stuff I have with them. Mom and Dad didn't get to spend this kind of time with their parents when they were my age. I think they realized that situations like mine don't always present themselves and they're both glad I'm around. I know my sister and her family are happy I'm around. When I leave it won't be so bad because I'll be closer by and can drop what I'm doing to come home at almost any time. Family!

Just kidding, here's the before picture.

Oreo is a week past her dental operation and back to her old self again. Oreo lost seven teeth and was on a diet of rice and shredded chicken for most of the week. She's now back to her kibble but I've added a tablespoon of shredded chicken, and baby carrots to one of her daily meals. She also finished her pain meds, but has a months worth of Sam E and Milk thistle to go through still. This is to help repair some possible liver damage from before, but also what the pain meds added to it. She's recovered nicely so far and finally has some pearly whites to show for what she's gone through.

Thanksgiving night the girls got a mixture of bits of turkey, ham, carrots, and kibble to celebrate the holiday as well as Bridgette's birthday from prior week. They both seemed to be aware that this was a special meal; they ate slowly savoring every bite instead of their usual cruchy gobbling.


The gratitude animals show you is so rewarding when they realize that you're actually helping them. I really enjoy helping animals and believe this the right career change choice for me. I'm looking forward to next year where I'll be volunteering at a few animal sanctuaries. 


leftovers from the massacre

So yesterday morning I bought a kids bike trailer after hunting for a deal on one the last few months. It's a used double wide I found on craigslist for $40. which normally sells for $130 new. Sissy and I discussed getting one and agreed to split use of it. She'd use it for a year or so with my nephew, and I would then use it with Bridgette. This being for when she's too old and arthritic to get around unassisted. What neither of us took into account at that time was that Blake would almost ready for the training wheels to come off. Now she doesn't need it, but I'm not ready for it. The price and condition made it too good to pass up, but I don't want it to sit around in storage. At first thought it seemed kind of overkill to take with, but then the brain gears started turning. I realized I would have quite a few uses for it. I'll save gas when using it for grocery/supply runs where applicable. It may also come in handy with Bridgette and/or the (impending) puppy if I'm in an area with really shitty drivers (like here in SoCal). It can hold up to a 100 lbs which means I could haul a full propane tank (38 lbs) in it with room to spare. The gears are still cranking but those are just a few ideas off the top. The thing I like best is how it folds up for easy storage.

After getting home I helped mom with some dinner prep and then decided to take advantage the day. It was a nice slightly overcast 74° day with a mild breeze. The ride was near perfect with the exception of my right hand/wrist. It's a touch weak from my wipe out a few weeks ago. After about fifteen miles I stopped for a rest and was rewarded with a nice little vista. It's moments like these that make staying in SoCal tolerable.

An old and tired practice is people photographing feasts before they're devoured. Everyone does it, and you see it all over instagram. I'm kind of sick of seeing that. Instead I'm gonna take pictures of the aftermath. Here's our Thanksgiving day turkey massacre. That poor bird never saw us coming.


mad world

There's this odd dance that's happening every moment we're alive. The steps to it are easy enough and are simply known as good or bad. We all make them. The daily news itself is a great validation of this. The bad steps I read about there are what really takes its toll on me. This in turn validates my reasons for changing to a less crowded, less complicated life. For the time being, and in my case, the good steps are outweighing the bad ones in making my extended stay all the more worthwhile. This is the first Thanksgiving the whole family has been able to spend together since my nephew was born. As crazy as we make each other we always manage to find a way to make the best of it. For that I'm beyond thankful in a world that is positively mad!

Almost forgot. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.


every dog has it's day

Although you might think the opposite once I'm finished telling you what happened. This last Sunday the weather was perfect for a bike ride or taking the pups to the dog park. I chose the dog park since the girls had been couped up for the last few weeks with everyone having varying stages of the flu. That turned out to be a mistake. Instead I should've just leashed them up and gone for a nice walk on the lakeside with them. That would've been the smart and easier thing to do, but instead I thought taking them to the dog park would be much more fun for them. Well it was, up to a point.

Bridgette wound up getting into a fight and bit another dog. Unfortunately for me, my back was turned while I was petting another dog and didn't see what took place. Fortunately for me, several witnesses came forward to report that she did not start the fight and reacted in self defense. However the other dog was the one that got bit while B came out of it unscathed. The owner of bit dog asked me for my info and I provided it. One of the witnesses was fairly vocal about what he believed the other owner was attempting to do (sue me and/or have my dog put down), but I managed to calm him and the owner down. I told him get his dog to the vet and get the wound looked after and we could discuss how to handle this. He did and we later agreed to a no fault both parties pay half the vet bills to resolve this. Four days & $250 in vet bills later, his pooch is on the road to recovery. His dog had a puncture on his cheek which didn't go all the way through in the beginning. Things took a bad turn when the wound healed up faster on the outside creating a pocket with no way to drain. The wound filled up and his cheek was starting to swell. To make thing even more complicated his dog suffers from seizures and won't let you touch him when he's hurt so he has to be sedated in order to be treated. The little guy also bit open the wound from inside his mouth, hence why a little minor surgery was required. After cleaning it all up a tube was put in to allow the wound to drain properly. He was sent home yesterday with lots of really great drugs, soft food, and wore the cone of shame. Now that everything is set right, it's just a matter of time for him to heal. How is the other owner? He's a wreck as any good pet parent would be. I'm a little calmer about it having gone through what he did with Bridgette once before. She was attacked about five years ago and received not only a puncture in her neck, but her ear was slightly torn. She recovered fine and you can't even tell where she was ever injured. Back to the other dog. Some good things came out of this. The cost (although high for someone currently unemployed) was more than reasonable given how expensive things are these days. I also added his vet to my list for emergencies. I'm grateful the other owner is a reasonable human being who understood that this kind of thing can happen. Most importantly, he was willing to work things out in a fair way. I got to know him and he's very good people. He's in the same place as I am, just further along on starting his new career.

The day his dog was being treated was also the day we were getting Oreo's teeth cleaned. We had a feeling it was gonna be bad since she'd never been in for one before. When the call came the vet said Oreo's had gingivitis and three molars with exposed roots needed to be pulled. This was in addition to the one loose tooth we already knew about. She also had 4x the normal amount of ALT in her blood which I can only assume was worse before I switched to a premium brand food and put her on a diet. By the way, she reached her target weight of 20 pounds last month and looks great. We gave the go ahead and went back to worrying/waiting again. During the op the vet found three more loose teeth making it seven in total that were pulled. This vet did a fantastic job in that she mitigated the pain and anesthesia meds used to go easy on our old girl's liver. She even gave Oreo a free dose of morphine for the road. She was the best dog ever on the ride home. Normally she runs from side to side and looks out the window or winds up pawing at the button to opens it; this time she just laid there and groaned a little. We were sent home with 5 days worth of rimadyl and a prescription to buy some Sam E and Milk Thistle to help her liver heal itself. I can tell she's still in quite a bit of pain; it's gonna be a rough week for the poor girl. Even B is helping to look after her. Earlier I caught them laying next to each other but missed catching it on camera.

Despite how bad this whole experience might seem; all parties are on the road recovery. I even made a few new friends along the way. I've also made the decision to never visit a dog park again. The risk is simply too much and not worth it. Walks around the lakeside and later the desert are the way to go.



Slightly before my partial incapacitation I managed to lift the old man's spirits from the onset of the winter blues. In addition to that, dad has also been mourning the death of his old electric hot pot (known as Shabu Shabu (translates to swish swish) the Japanese name) cooker since last winter. I was ready to buy him a replacement when I arrived, but chose not to say anything until last month. My dad is kind of like a kid and would've wanted me to buy it then had I said so last June. I was right and glad I waited to say anything. He started scouring for deals the second I told him I would buy him one. We shopped around and read all the reviews for a week before finding one with a decent warranty at a local Asian supermarket. We got it and picked up all the ingredients for dinner that night. Dad was uber thrilled and acting a lot like a kid at xmas that night. We must've had it at least four times for dinner that first week. The good thing is it's excellent and something you don't tire of easily.

For anyone interested. Hot Pot was invented by Temujin or Genghis Khan as the world knows him. He was also the greenest leader in the world to date, look it up. He had come up with this method as a means to conserve fuel while keeping his troops fed. Basically the troops were given thinly sliced cuts of meat along with vegetables where they would use communal pots of boiling water to cook it in. The fast cook time also allowed the food to retain most of it's nutritional value. Unlike my tater tot casserole pictured below. Not at all healthy but just as tasty and filling on a cold day.

So I've got an upcoming camping trip where I'll really by putting the Kelly Kettle thru its paces. In addition to the usual canned or dried soups I plan on using it as a mini hot pot cooking system. I'll see about taking some  more pictures and video of it in action too.



Last weekend I had the misfortune of hitting a slick patch and wiping out while out on a bike ride. None of the injuries were life threatening but they did back a little. It was a few bruises, road rash, with the worst of it being a bruised wrist bone. This was the one attached to my dominant hand. Getting around wasn't too bad outside of trying to use my laptop. Instead, I relied on my tablet and the google voice dictation feature helped me to keep up with emails and what not. It definitely made a difference! Today is the first day I've been able to do anything normal with it, so instead I chose to update my blog.

Here's an exchange between me, gramps, and my nephew from last night. He's almost four.
Grandpa: Say girl
Nephew: Gwrl!
Me: How do you say girl?
Nephew: Gwrl!
Me: Do you like girls?
Nephew: Yes.
Me: Me too
Nephew: I also like naked girls
Grandpa & Me lose it!


guess what day it is?

So I was searching for something I'd posted on my blog a while back and realized that I started this blog three years ago. It was a little bit of a slow start but I've been posting fairly regularly now. It feels like forever ago when this began for me too. Well, I don't want to reminisce too much since not all the memories were happy ones. I'm just glad the unpleasantries are well behind me and I can share this little moment with you.