Saturday, July 24, 2010
Really love ANNASBF's "Official Best Dog Ever" blog: here is the link, the wonderful story of her giant schnauzer rescue dog who rescued her and her two little girls from some pretty bad guys:
I love dogs, have had dogs pretty much my whole life, and have to say that Charlie my current golden retriever is the very most loved of all my very loved dogs.
But in the "hero hound" category, there was Ambrose, my basset: a lovely boy, but not a very bright boy. Except on one memorable occasion.
My daughter was brand new, amost six weeks premature, very tiny, and had us up around the clock, me post Caesarean-section. It was a pretty tough time.
My husband groggily ironed a golf shirt and was heading out to play his first post-baby game, pretty much sleep walking.
Baby daughter was finally napping and I crawled back into bed myself. But Ambrose would not let me sleep. He kept scratching at my bedroom door, howling insistently, and refused to be silenced. Finally I rolled out of bed, and Ambrose beckoned my very clearly to follow him down to the basement laundry room.
Yes, the iron had been left plugged in -- there were flames shooting out of the ironing board cover -- and the ironing board itself had melted right through.
I was there just in the nick of time.
Ambrose, the hero hound.
About a year later, our house was badly damaged in a tornado, with our baby daughter's bedroom window exploding in giant glass shards over her bed. I rescued her just in time, took her down to the basement. And then, yes, I returned upstairs and risked my life again to rescue Ambrose without a second thought. He had earned it after all.
Ambrose was five when we had our first child but he had been advocating babies for all of those five years. When we were out for a walk and he spotted a toddler, he would drag us strenuously across the street with his white-tipped tail wagging joyously. And turn around to gaze up at us meaningfully with his mournful wrunkled face as if to ask , "When?"
And he really did love both our children, and was infinitely patient with them. He tolerated our baby son trying to ride on his back. One memorable day, I found Ambrose sleeping peacefully on the back door mat wearing four tiny rainboots on his four freckled basset paws. On him, they were pretty much hip-waders.
Bassets are photogenic dogs: it's their dramatic long ears (which bassets can fling about most expressively). But unlike golden retrievers, who are infinitely companionable and affectionate, bassets are dogs whose brains are mostly devoted to processing stimuli from their noses: they are absolutely obsessive about smells of all descriptions.
Nevertheless, Ambrose was an exceptionally sweet basset who probably saved the lives of my daughter and myself that long-ago day. And all of us do remember him with the greatest affection.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The number of calories -- and the quantity of fat and sugar -- in a number of popular cold summer beverages is pretty shocking, at least according to a recent article in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Gotta admit, I don't have these things often but the numbers really suprised me.
Here's the link if you're interested in getting all of the gruesome details:
Who would have thought that a McDonald’s Triple Thick Vanilla Milkshake has 1100 calories: as much saturated fat as three McDonald’s cheeseburgers and 140 grams (35 teaspoons worth) of sugar!!
The Cold Stone Creamery Oh Fudge Milkshake (“Gotta Have It” size, 24 oz. would not be a better choice: 1920 calories, 69 grams saturated fat, 750 milligrams sodium, 200 grams sugar. That's more than a day's worth of calories for most of us plus 3.5 days' worth of fat and the sugar equivalent of 40 Fudgee-O cookies. Yikes!!
The article goes on to list a number of other options including Canada's fave Tim Horton's items and various smoothies that clearly won't do much to smooth my hips and thighs . . . but as for me, it looks like I'm gonna be sticking with my usual hot coffee. Yup, that would be my "only remaining sin": black coffee -- way too many cups a day, probably, but still.
And maybe an occasional skim milk latte with Splenda! Sigh. Not glamorous, not summery but -- about what I can handle.
Can do either of these over icecubes if it gets really really hot, I suppose.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Cautiously tried a run again today and yay! was able to trot around the track for a steady 30 minutes, wearing shoes and socks, and without any significant objection from my toe!
This makes me very very happy indeed. (When I tried two weeks ago there was . . . um . . . . oooooooozing. But none at all today. )
And I followed up the run with a very vigorous upper and lower body weights workout plus stretching . . .
And I followed up the gym with a 30 minute woodland trail hike with son and Charlie: Charlie was thrilled to be able to swim in the stream running along the path. There were wildflowers in bloom (daisies, big pink clovers, twining purple vetch) and dragonflies: it was a lovely place which I had not known about, and not at all far from our house.
And I followed up the hike with grocery shopping and then a pleasant dinner with my husband: BBQ steak for him, Greek-seasoned shrimp for me, plus broccoli and baked potatoes, and a glass of red wine for each of us: then ice cream (not too too much) and fresh local strawberries. Quite a treat but still within my calorie range and delicious.
I'm exhausted but in a good way. It's been a very nice day.
Still, I will be following up this blog with an early-to-bed night: and golf tomorrow if the weather cooperates!
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