I've just returned from an eventful week visiting family and friends in Alberta. There was much cooking (including a fantastic pound cake from Gina de Palma's Dolce Italiano cookbook); much eating; way too much unseasonably early snow; and far too much time sitting in Emergency with my elderly Mom who is fine but scared me half to death with a potentially dangerous nosebleed.
I also helped my brother build a kitty playhouse for the adolescent and oversized Timothy (nothing like the Martha Stewart house pictured above) and had my butt very badly kicked by a group of senior citizens-- several in wheelchairs -- during a game of shuffle bowl.
So, after all that, I'm now feeling a bit let down and even a bit bored with my regular routine.
The scariest part of the visit was sitting for 10 hours in Emergency with my Mom, who insisted she felt fine and was not pleased that I stuck a tampon stuck up her nose to staunch what could have been a serious nosebleed. But it worked well, and ultimately, the Emergency room doctor supported my action and left it in, just to be safe.
But poor Mom. She has been on blood thinners, necessary to prevent strokes but potentially dangerous. It's hard to get the dosage just right and recent blood tests showed her levels dangerously high; that is, her blood had become far too thin, meaning any bleeding could potentially be fatal. So when she developed a slight nosebleed last week, her local doctor sent us straight to the nearest hospital Emergency room, a 45-minute drive away from the small town where Mom lives.
Mom was feeling just fine, so the long wait in Emergency really irritated her. However, I stand by my decision. Her dosage of blood thinners is being adjusted and closely monitored.
Mom was very pleased, however, that I played shuffle bowl (a cross between bowling and shuffleboard) one afternoon with 16 of her friends at the senior's home where she now lives. I placed about 10th, well back of the winner, a very aggressive elderly lady who leaped out of her wheelchair to punch the air when she won the game. I was bitter over the loss, but I think I hid it well.
Meanwhile, my brother Robert has been feeling so bad over the recent death of Mrs. Cat, that he convinced me to help him build a kitty playhouse out of cardboard boxes for young Timothy. He's another feral cat that arrived in the summer as a kitten, and has stayed on. He's been bored, however, with Mrs. Cat gone and so Robert decided Timothy needed a playhouse. However, Timothy is a big boy and keeps getting stuck in the doorways (I should have carved them larger.) Perhaps I should have followed a formal plan, something like the blueprints that Martha Stewart is selling on the Internet. However, that seems a bit much -- do we really need formal Martha Stewart blueprints for a cat playhouse????
I did closely follow Gina de Palma's blueprints for her ricotta pound cake, and it was extremely delicious. I love pound cake, but this recipe is extra-good. Even Robert (who is a very picky eater) loved it, as did the rest of the family. I borrowed Jerry's photo, and his idea of adding cherries to the basic recipe. Yum!!!
During my visit, I did a lot cooking, which I enjoy -- roast beef one night, and a roast turkey for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before I could try a few other recipes, like Letizia's pizza.
We had quite a lot of snow, which shouldn't be a surprise in western Alberta in October, but it was still a drag. I am so not ready for winter!