Cold or Flu?

For the past few days I’ve had no energy, a dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches, a headache, but no fever.  And, it’s going away as quickly as it showed up.  The only remaining symptoms is a sore set of ribs from my coughing and some fatigue

One year I broke my foot, leg and ankle in multiple places and I had to make my way 1/2 mile (800 meters) to my car (I spent 3 days in hospital, plus had a several hour surgery for that little “stunt”), so I know I can keep moving when it’s not comfortable.  This makes it even more difficult for me to accept the idea that I need to build up my energy to walk from the bed to the sofa or back.

The 19 year old cat and the 9 year old dog laid tight against me when I was in bed.  The other dog is 13 years old and she isn’t able to climb up into the bed.  So, she laid on the floor where I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed without stepping on her.



(Not) Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

A few days ago, we took the dog to the vet to get some growths surgically removed.  The one inside her upper eyelid took about 45 minutes for the vet to remove, while the other four, in various places on her body, each only took a few minutes to remove.

The vet put the Elizabethan Collar on to keep her from licking the wounds and it worked as far as it went.

I had “warned” the vet that our cat would likely help the dog and, sure enough….this picture was taken within five minutes of arriving home.


The vet laughed when I forwarded him the picture and said we should do what we could to “discourage” the cat from his licking.  When we weren’t around (or awake) to supervise the two of them, we had to keep them in separate rooms.

For what it’s worth, “kitty” is almost 19 years old and “doggie” is nearing 12 years of age.  Just in case it’s not obvious, they have been together for almost 12 years.

It’s Been Awhile

It’s been awhile since my last post.

My “excuse” is that my wife and I (and our two dogs) were driving around the western USA for over 3 weeks.  We visited places in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, northern Arizona, southern Idaho and southern Montana.

I have a few photographs, but, again, I’m not the picture taking type.  If I get busy taking photographs, I get too busy doing that to actually *enjoy* the place.

Whenever possible, we avoided the interstate highways. Out of the 3,000 miles (5000km) we drove, less than 200 miles (350km) were on “interstates”.  The remainder was the US Highway system, the various states’ highway systems and a lot of just “plain ol’ country roads”.  Most days we would drive three or four hours and then stop for the day.

Since we were towing our small tent trailer, we could camp at commercial camp grounds and government agency (US National Park Service and US Forest Service) campgrounds.  Our favorite, however, was what is called “dispersed camping”.  If you’re not familiar with dispersed camping…’s drive down a marked US Forest Service (dirt) road until one finds a suitable place and set things up.  Since there are no services offered, there is no fee for dispersed camping.  The other methods provide things like electricity, water, toilets, possibly showers, washing machines and dryers–and a fee is charged for using the campground.

My wife and I both grew up in *VERY* rural areas and since we now live in a *VERY* large city, we both desperately miss “the quiet”.  After dinner and dish washing, we would just sit, read and “listen to the quiet” until it got cold enough to crawl into the sleeping bags.

It was also fun watching our two dogs lay in the pine needles and listen to the forest noises.



Today I didn’t cook breakfast or lunch.  I didn’t cook dinner either.  I cooked brunch and we had leftovers for dinner.

Brunch was sourdough wholewheat buttermilk pancakes.  I had not fed my sourdough starter in a couple of weeks, so this was the perfect excuse to take it from the refrigerator, feed it, and put it to work.  It almost makes it sound like my starter is a team of horses.

The recipe is actually pretty simple.  The only thing I had to figure out was to use a non-metal bowl.  Every time I used a metal bowl, everyone would gripe about the pancakes tasting weird.  So, I use a huge glass bowl, but a plastic one should work just fine too.

1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 cup of wholewheat flour, 2 cups of warm buttermilk and 1/2 cup of sourdough starter.  I mix of of these ingredients in the bowl and let it sit for about an hour in a warm place.  When I know I need “a warm place”, I turn on the oven light the night before and leave the oven door closed.  This provides a 90F degree environment and the dogs haven’t (yet) figured out how to open the oven door, so this is the perfect place to let the sourdough do its work.

I have had a dog, a Belgian Sheepdog, eat a bowl of pancake batter from the counter top.  He seemed quite satisfied and it didn’t hurt him, but that night…dog laying on floor….squeeeeeeeek from back of dog….dog jumps up, spins around to face the other way and starts barking…every few minutes……  It’s funny now…Well, OK, it was funny then, but the dog seemed irritated with us when we banished him to the outside until the “wind storm” had subsided.

After the hour wait, I mix in two eggs, a quarter cup of milk, a quarter cup of cooking oil, two tablespoons of sugar, a half teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda and let it sit for another 5 or so minutes.  The mixture will usually start to really bubble.

Cooking is easy.  My stove does a good job when set midway between medium and low, but it takes 5-10 minutes to get the griddle up to temperature.  I use a round griddle, also known as a tortilla pan, to cook the pancakes.  It’s a 10 inch round cast iron “pan” with a tiny lip.

I spoon a quarter cup of batter onto the griddle, spread the batter around to make a 4 or 5 inch pancake, and let it cook. I watch the batter bubble.  When the bubbles take several seconds to close up, I check to see how long the batter has been cooking, flip the pancake over and let the 2nd side cook for about 1/2 as long as the first side.

As usual, the first pancake serves as a guide for cooking the rest of them…if the dogs are lucky, they get the first pancake.

The griddle is seasoned well enough that I don’t need any oil on the griddle to keep the batter from sticking.  When I have had to use oil, I’ve noticed the pancakes don’t get that nice brown look to them, but they taste just fine.