Monday, February 3, 2014

inside and outside

I'm not feeling well today. Not truly sick, but feeling crappy. Little bit of everything ~
stuffiness, sore throat, headache, tired. I'm just doing some quiet things around the
 house today, but I don't have enough energy to go to yoga tonight.

 Have you heard of this book? It's a must-read. I was sucked in when the prologue 
had already  brought tears to my eyes. You can read the book description

 I'm making bone broth in the slow cooker. Sure wish I had've started this yesterday
so that I'd have some for today when I'm not feeling my best. I'm letting it simmer in the
slow cooker for 24 hours. It has so many health benefits - boosts your immune system
and improves digestion. I've been reading a lot about it online and have heard first-hand
testimonials on how wonderful it is. I have a young friend with Cystic Fibrosis. She
finally had a double lung transplant last September. Before her transplant, she was
gravely ill. She couldn't keep any food down except for the bone broth that my mother
made for her. She literally lived off this stuff.

Made a little "love" vignette.

I'm finally working on a mini scrapbook for a neighbor-friend. This proves what
a procrastinator I am...her birthday was last August and this was supposed to
be her birthday present. I feel so guilty! I told her last fall, "Maybe it'll be done
in time for Christmas!" Geez, not even that. Valentine's Day, perhaps? Our kids
all grew up together from when they were babies and toddlers. Her oldest is now
 married and a nurse; my oldest is deceased due to addiction.

Later update: I received an email from one of my readers saying that she didn't 
realize that my son had passed away from addiction. She had always assumed that 
he had passed away from an illness or accident. If you're interested, here's a couple 
of links from last year's posts where I talk about Phil and his life and struggles:

what would've been 
honesty about a delicate subject 

  My friend's youngest works at the same place she does and is a body builder, and
my  youngest is an  artist, photographer, drummer, and college student. You look at
 all  these beautiful, young, innocent faces and wonder what is to come...

This precious kitty - my Zippo - is worrying me. He'll be 15 in April and just seems to be
rapidly showing signs of aging. He's lost so much muscle mass and his fur isn't as shiny
as it used to be. He sees an excellent veterinarian who is also a holistic vet. A couple
of months ago when Zippo saw the vet, he put Zippo on some homeopathic drops
to help strengthen his stomach and other internal organs. But I noticed yesterday
that Zippo is even losing his voice! He loves to stand by the door and meow at me
to tell me he wants to go out (which is not happening), but is meow is gravely and
hoarse. Brian told me that early this morning, Zippo opened his mouth to meow and
no sound came out. I think I'd better call the vet. We call Zippo our "Million Dollar Kitty",
but he's worth every penny.

This is where Zippo wants to be...frolicking in the snow under the bright, blue sky.
Look at that color today! Isn't it beautiful? Too bad it's so darn cold. It was -6F when
we got up this morning and now it's "warmed up" to 18F.

And there's no end in sight for the snow. We had another 4" this weekend and more
to come tomorrow into Wednesday. The Chicago area has had over 52" of snow
 already this season! I have to admit that when the sun is shining and the snow is
pristine in my back yard, the view is beautiful. Though I'd much rather see the grass.

Happy Monday, everyone. Stay well, be happy, be peaceful.



  1. The last photo is lovely, but I imagine that looking at snow day after day gets old.

    I was like you yesterday. I had just finished making cookies for the super bowl party we were going to when it hit me. I couldn't even get dressed after my shower. We ended up missing the party. I am better today.

    Your 52 inches of snow is stealing from our rain. There are actually 8 cities in California that will run out of water in 2 weeks if some rain doesn't fall soon - and lots of it.

    1. Yes, it does get old (looking at all this snow). Wish I could send some of this snow/water the CA way. Crazy with the extremes on either end of the country. Glad to hear you're feeling better - I hope my bug goes away quickly, too.

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  3. Hi, Melanie, My last comment was posted as "fish" because my last name is Salmon, but since I am not a blog, I am a person, I will post under my name. Rinske. [pronounced 'Rin-ska].
    First, I couldn't help chuckling after gazing at that beautiful dog's face, and then reading about bone soup!
    Secondly, your compassion for animals is heroic: so much love, so much pain. The loss of your child has made you so strong.

    1. Hi Rinske - your posts are still showing up as "fish", but that's OK. Thank you for taking the time to leave such nice comments on my blog.

  4. I can imagine how tired you must be this winter. Gosh, what an ordeal of snow and cold. I'm glad to see you making the broth; we make our own too, usually in a pressure cooker. Interesting that you mentioned living off of it because I have heard some people say the same thing. I used to be a member of La Leche League when my children were younger and I was still nursing. The leader there swore by bone broth, saying one of her children had so many food allergies and intolerances she could hardly eat anything. But bone broth was one thing she could tolerate and they cooked and ate tons of it. I think the scrapbook project for your friend-neighbor is really touching and I think she will appreciate it a lot. I know it must be bittersweet for you, though. Hugs to you. You are a wonderful friend.

    1. I've made my own chicken stock, but never this bone broth. I have to admit - it smells kind of weird when it's cooking. I hope it ends up tasting good! I'm not surprised to hear about the bone broth and allergies - good to know. I know my neighbor-friend will love this little scrapbook. She's a very sentimental person. Yes, it is bittersweet making this, but brings back some precious memories.

  5. Your vignette is beautiful! And so is the last photo. Pristine. I'll have to look into that book. Guess it's a tear-jerker.

    1. If you say my vignette is beautiful, I take that as a high compliment - you are the queen of vignettes! I couldn't believe how smooth the snow in the back yard looked today and the shadows that fell across it were perfect. Yes, so far that book is a tear-jerker but amazingly written. Great story.

  6. Hope you feel better soon. I'm going to check at the library for that book. The dog looks so sad on the cover...I really get emotional when I see the shelter commercials on TV. Wish I could find homes for them all.
    Drink lots of broth...good for you.

    1. Thanks for the get well wishes. When I go into PetCo or an animal shelter, I want to take all the animals home with me.

  7. I hope you start feeling better soon! I've been making bone broth since forever. Always save my bones, leftover vegetable part and I also add chicken feet to my chicken broth. Makes a great deep flavored broth. We've been thinking of getting another dog since our Bo died a year ago, but maybe to soon, we loved him so! The last photo captures the beauty of winter. Hang on tight more snow starting again tomorrow, oh my. Hubs is so tired of shoveling snow even with a snowblower!

    1. I don't know why all of a sudden that bone broth is the "new" thing! I'd only heard of it maybe a couple of months ago. I've made my own chicken stock, but never a true bones-only broth that cooks forever like this beef one I have going. I hope your heart feels ready for a new dog soon.

  8. Sorry you aren't feeling well. I had a stomach virus all last week. I am feeling better now. I didn't know about the benefits of bone broth. It makes sense though.
    I didn't know how your son died. I read both of the stories you posted today. So sad. It is so true that it can happen to any family. Depression alone is a terrible disease. He was probably having a rough time dealing with that. I have son with bi-polar disorder.
    You are a strong person and I am sure you have helped many other parents going through similar situations.
    I could see why putting off the scrapbook would happen. When it's finished you will probably have a feeling of peace.

    1. I feel a bit better already today. I think it helps to drink a lot of water, herbal tea, take herbal supplements, and I've also upped my citrus intake. Mental illnesses are hard to deal with and I think one thing that makes it harder is society's view on these illnesses. There's still a stigma attached to them.

  9. I too did not know how your son died. Heartrending :( I am sure this grief will never leave though it can be sharp some days and a dull pain on others.

    I wish we all could send some of our snow and rainfall out to California ...

    1. Thank you, Deb. I agree about all our snow...wish we could just somehow pack it up in huge freezers and ship it to California!

  10. Can you tell me more about your bone broth recipe? We've been pretty fortunate in that we haven't really been sick this winter, but it sounds like something good to have around. Do you freeze it?
    I still haven't dug out the Valentine's Day decor, and I need to. We're supposed to have a snowstorm today, but so far nothing is happening. I'm not complaining, and we haven't even had a fraction of the amount you have.

    1. There's a hyperlink to the bone broth on those words (bone broth) in the blog post. And yes, you can freeze it. I'll email you privately in case you don't see this.

  11. I hope you'll feel better soon. Zippo might just have a sore thoart. One of my cats sometimes loses his voice.

    1. That's interesting! I've never heard of that before. Taking Zippo to the vet tomorrow for a check-up, just in case.

  12. Hi Melanie, sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. Seems to be a lot of illness going around with all the weather fluctuations. And all that snow. Yikes! I am not a cold weather gal at all. But I do love soup -- just not soup with bones or meat. :) I made a curried lentil soup the other day. Really nice and hearty, more like a stew. I sure hope Zippo will be okay. Maybe he has a bit of a cold, too. Jingles will be 10 in April and I can tell that she is getting older because when she sleeps, she makes noises she never made before. She still has her kitty moments. I don't think they ever outgrow their need for play. I am such a procrastinator, too. Always have plans for all the holidays and then I never get anything done. Oh well! Sending warm wishes your way. Tammy

    1. I feel fine now; whatever little virus or whatever it was is now totally gone. I eat mostly vegetarian, but once in awhile I do like little bits of meat. Love lentils and any kind of legumes.

  13. Yes, it does get old (looking at all this snow). Wish I could send some of this snow/water the CA way. Crazy with the extremes on either end of the country. Glad to hear you're feeling better - I hope my bug goes away quickly, too.
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  14. I'm late to this post, and as I just visited your current one, I know that you are on the mend! But, I just had to stop and tell you what a gorgeous photo that is of your backyard!! It looks like a Christmas card! You should print this and consider making cards for the holidays, Melanie; beautiful!


    1. Thank you for the compliment, Poppy - I like your idea of making that photo into Christmas cards!


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