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An eventful Thanksgiving



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!

Comments (19)

Brad'll Do It:

Welcome back! I think the boredom with the regular routine comes from two places. First, we're slow travelers; so, travel always seems like the thing we SHOULD be doing. Second, when we travel to visit friends or family, we have a good time, but don't feel we've really BEEN anywhere, as the "old ground" tends to be unabsorbingly familiar. Just a theory... hope your routine livens up(in a good way)!

LOL - I thought I recognized that picture.

I can't imagine being beaten by seniors in wheelchairs. I bet you made their week!

Hope things go well with your mom.

Glad you enjoyed your holiday in spite of a sojourn to the Emergency Room. Love the humor with which you approach life's occurrences. You do 'paint' a vivid picture with your words. The pound cake sounds tempting.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, I'm sorry to hear of your mom's health scare but am glad that you were there with her and everything is being closely monitored.

I'm trying to visualize you being beaten at shuffle bowl. Love the pumping in the air by the winner. :)

Glad to hear that you had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday. Thanks so much for sharing and have a good day today!

Sounds like an exciting holiday. Glad your mom is okay and getting her meds adjusted. And tell your brother that what young Timothy might need is a playmate (another cat!).

I had no clue that Martha designs playhouses for cats, on top of everything else. She would be appalled at the one I have (I call it the fort and while the girls love it, it's not very nice looking!).

Welcome back!


Hi Brad, I love the idea that travel is our natural state and anything else just doesn't quite feel right!

Welcome back, Jerry! I'm so glad you wrote about Gina's pound cake. I have her cookbook but I'm not sure that recipe would have jumped out at me if you hadn't raved about it. It really is delicious (especially with your modifications!)

Thanks, menehune. When you're not there for a real life-and-death Emergency, it can be a pretty interesting place. It is unfortunate that so many people wind up in Emergency for what should be fairly routine matters, just because there don't seem to be enough doctors or clinics.

Kathy, I'm glad I was there to keep an eye on Mom myself. She's become quite frail and so when something goes wrong, it's pretty nerve-wracking!

Annie, I love the sound of the girls' fort! That really is what my brother has in mind for Timothy. And he really does need another cat to chase around and play with. Rob is waiting to see if any feral cats stick around this winter, but I think he ought to visit the SPCA and find a good manx. (I love manx cats!)

Sandra, I'm sorry to hear of your mom's trip to ER but am glad that you were there with her.

I’ve made that ricotta pound cake many times and it’s always been a favorite of friends and family. I think it is by far the best pound cake recipe. It is wonderful with fresh fruit.


Sandra, I am so glad that you were there to help your Mom thru her nosebleed scare. Sounds like you did the right thing with the tampon. I would never have thought of that.

Sounds like an eventful trip. So, now you can rest up from it!

Welcome back! Sounds like you have an exciting full week.
I am sorry to hear about your mom troubles. Anticoagulants are among the hardest medication to control dosage, and there are way too many people walking around with untested high dosage. I am glad to know that your mom is being monitored.


Maria, thanks. And that ricotta cake IS extremely good (and easy)I think I'm going to have to make another this weekend and bring it into work (so I don't eat it all myself!)

Hi Nancy, I didn't expect to feel a post-trip letdown after a week visiting family, but maybe I was feeling more stressed than I realized because I definitely feel like I need to rest up!

Candi, it's nice to hear from you again. I have been a bit surprised to find how difficult it is for Mom to keep her warfarin dosage at the right level. She told me yesterday that tests this week show her INR is back where it should be. To me, that's a remarkably fast change -- more evidence of how quickly it can go up or down.


Hi Sandra, sorry to hear you had a slightly too eventful Thanksgiving! All the best to your mom, sounds like she has recovered which is great.

I was thinking about you today - I am pretty sure I'll be in Bologna in May with my mom and this time I definitely want to stay at the Orologio. Since I pretty much convinced both you and Girasoli to stay there, I think they should give me a good deal! It is probably too early to contact them but maybe in a month or two.


Hi Chiocciola, it's great to hear from you!

Thanks for your kind wishes, Mom is feeling great, so that makes me very happy.

I hope you and your Mom can visit Bologna in May, that would be a wonderful time to be there I think (although you know the city better than me!) and the Orologio really was a great place to stay. Particularly if you hit a quiet period when their rates are low!

I'm so glad your mom is ok. Good thing you had a tampon with you. I hope they make the right adjustment with her meds.

Love the kitty house. Are there stairs inside to get to the second floor? Timothy seems to be amused with his new abode. WHOOPS... just re-read your post and realized that the photo is not of the kitty house your built nor of Timothy. That is a cool house though...

Sounds like you had fun playing shuffle bowl. Would have loved to see the lady jump out of her wheelchair.

Snow huh? I am ready for summer to be over here. Hot hot hot and very humid the past few weeks. September and October always seem to be two of our muggiest months.

Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving and visit with family.


Hi Girasoli! I'm envious, I'd love to have a little heat and humidity right now. It hasn't snowed -- yet -- here in Ottawa but it so cold and blustery it seems it could happen at any moment. Horrible.

Mom is feeling fine, mercifully, and I think happy to be back at her seniors' home. I think she has more fun there than she has had in years.

The cat playhouse will need work. I'm not sure about Martha's Stewart's blueprints, but I'm sure Rob will get something more elaborate put together once he's finished work for the season. At the rate Timothy seems to be growing, Rob might have to use old containers for large appliances instead of just regular cardboard boxes!

Hi Sandra
I am so relieved to hear that your mom is now better. These elderly ladies really need some checking!


Ciao Letizia,
Thanks very much. My mom now has severe bronchitis, a new worry. I sometimes wish we could wrap our elderly ladies in cotton batting to protect them!

Oh no. I am sorry to read that your mom is sick again. It must be so difficult when you are so far away.


Scary about your mom. I've had some pretty nasty nosebleeds myself, but none that bad. Glad she is ok. (Great thinking with the tampon, by the way!)

Love the kitty playhouse!! I bet my Polly would love something like that. (I expect Winston would just sit and look at it though.)

I am spending a chilly sunday taking a journey through your blog.
I had to laugh at this post. From the tampon up the nose (which by the way IS the perfect treatment) to the aggressive bowler~ you tickled me!

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