Saturday, April 03, 2010
I know there are people who extoll the virtues of their bread machines or their mixers with dough hook action and so on and so forth, but there is something therapeutic and healing about the simple act of making bread by the work of one's hands.
I love baking bread. I wish I was a lot better at it. My breads keep coming out kind of dry and crumbly, not suitable for slicing for toast or sandwiches, only for grabbing hunks and chomping down with some cheese. I don't know what is wrong, but practice will make, if not perfect, then a lot better.
Sometimes, it doesn't really matter how the dough is worked. Sometimes, the scent of baking bread is enough to cure what ails one.
Friday, April 02, 2010
Moose decides to go sledding...
I started out recording Dorian's hobby pursuit of digging up the Earth to find those fossils she keeps smelling, but what was happening over to my left turned out to be a lot more fun!
Friday, April 02, 2010
This is my wee dog, Dorian. She is about 8 months post-traumatic spinal cord injury. When she was first injured, she was able to run away from an attacking dog but quickly became paralyzed in her hind legs. Since there were no wounds or bruises or anything like that, there is no way to understand how the injury occured. The day was July 17, my brother's birthday.
Her vet acted quickly, but out here in mountain country, there aren't the sophisticated diagnostic tools, so I was steered to UCDavis, which has the most awesome veterinary teaching hospital in the universe. Dorian spent nearly 6 days in their neurology unit ICU, while the staff there daily monitored her condition and tried to determine if she was going to survive or not.
I visited her once during that time, and I think I caused a lot more stress all round than I relieved, but I was so worried and so distraught over the unknown, I really thought I was doing what was best. It's interesting how we get into this mode that we start convincing ourselves that we know how best to serve the ones we love. Even in the face of advanced science and technology, even though I work in the health care field, I believed that I was the best judge of how Dorian would find the most comfort and healing. And, of course, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Life doesn't have to hang in the balance for there to be a sense of helplessness over the outcome. I lived in dread that I would be told the best thing I can do is to give a loved one permission to let go, and consent for humane euthanasia.
And there was Dorian, in so much pain and anguish, depressed, yet fighting to hang on, hang on, hang on. I can not imagine a feeling more horrendous than watching a dog cry out, but her voice is too hoarse to make any sound. I caused that pain. I had to massage her belly in order to make her empty her bladder or bowels. From experience working with paralyzed humans, a full bladder or bowel can cause all kinds of muscle spasms and even if they can't feel those spasms, the body knows and reacts accordingly and it's a miserable time.
That was then.
Today, it's easier to forget those first few weeks. Dorian has made such a remarkable recovery, and I marvel at her spirit. You'd think that losing weight should be so much easier than rehabbing a disabled dog.
Her last visit with the neurologist at UCD was joyful. The Dr pronounced her as fit as can be, and that there was nothing he or his staff could do to hasten any more recovery she might experience. She's back to her normal weight, and active and sassy as ever. She's happier than ever before. One side benefit of her injury is that she learned to welcome all the loving and caring attention she received from everyone we encounter along this life's journey.
In the end, the question holds true as it has so many times already: Who rescued whom?
Whenever you are having a sad day or a downright bad one, remember this story of a little dog who didn't give up or give in. I hope you smiled to read this.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
... Sourdough! I can't help myself. I made a sourdough starter and I'm so proud of how lovely it is! It's been nearly 5 days and the yeasty smell is almost all gone, replaced by a pungent sourness that means it's almost ready to start baking from!
Of course, only half the challenge has been met. The other half is the actual creation of a good sourdough loaf. I've been obsessing over the myriad websites dedicated to the creation and utilization of sourdough sponge, and decided to just stop all that nonsense. K.I.S.S. is the name of the game, and I like that very much. After I have given away starters to those who requested them, I'll then keep it in the fridge and feed it once per week, and hopefully on those days I'll also schedule a baking session.
Next, I will do my own friendship cake starter.
This has nothing to do with anything insofar as my weight management program is going, and that usually means that no news is... well, no news. I'm in a bit of a ditch, but still eating good wholesome food, and keeping the binges to a minimum.
Okay! Now I lay me down to sleep, praying for a night of minimal sinus drainage and hacking and coughing and swearing.
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