Friday, November 25, 2011



thank·ful

adjective
feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.

______________________________________________________________________________

We are so blessed...so much to be thankful for this year. (as always!)

We are so very thankful for good jobs, with steady incomes;  a wonderful, miraculous puppy to come home to each day; our good health, family, friends, and neighbors.  We are blessed with a roof over our head and food on the table.  

This month has been full of "inconveniences" all of which have been out of our control, and have left us frustrated at times.  Regardless, we have much to be thankful specifically this month.  In late October Dan had a minor car accident {the hood of the car flew open while driving}.  Thankfully he was able to pull the car off the road before any injury or damage - we are thankful that the tire company who did not latch our hood {or tell us that it was not latched before we drove off} took full responsibility and paid for all damages {new hood and windshield = not cheap}.  Because it was going to take over a week to get the parts and fix the car, they even threw in 10 days of a rental car so that we were not without a car during this time! THANK GOODNESS...there is no way we could have survived those first few weeks in November without two vehicles.

On November 1st, our little Mei Mei was hit by a car and suffered major head injuries.  She remained unconscious {possibly in a coma} for 11 days, then miraculously woke up and began to slowly gain weight, strength, and mobility.  Today, she is able to move around on her own with little support, though she is very unsteady and runs into things.  So thankful that our wonderful puppy survived this often fatal accident!

We've spent much of the month working with Mei Mei helping her to gain her strength and because of this have not spent much time on the house.  Wednesday Dan finally started working on some final projects in the kitchen, however when he went down to the basement found that it had flooded!!  There was nearly 4" of water in the entire basement!!  Still not entirely sure what happened because when we finally realized, the sump pump was on and working!?  The water was completely gone in nearly 15 minutes, but left behind a big mess.  So instead of working on the house, the basement was the project of the day Wednesday!!  Thankful that there was only minor damage, and that the sump pump is still working, also it prompted us to clean up much of the basement that had yet to be cleaned up and organized since moving in.  We also moved EVERYTHING up off the floor with cinderblocks to ensure that if this happens again, fewer items would be damaged.

So, as you can see it's been "one of those months!"  But, we're so thankful for all that we have and where we are!

happy thanksgiving to you and yours!
-the ankney's



Thursday, November 17, 2011

easy peasy.

A few weeks ago I posted about food and our goal to eliminate processed food from our diets.  While I'll admit that it's not easy, we've been making some subtle changes to our eating habits and mostly to our grocery shopping habits.  Before we head to the grocery, we are more organized, with a list including specifically what we need for the meals we plan to eat the next week. **I've referenced the meal plans on www.100daysofrealfood.com for ideas!  Found on their facebook page.  Then while shopping, we not only ONLY buy what's on the list, but we look very carefully at the ingredients and buy ONLY those products that have little or no preservatives.  Surprisingly, for most products, there are quite a few options, you just need to be willing to take the time to look.  We do, however, end up spending a little more for those products - but at this time, it's a price we're willing to pay.

One of the biggest challenges we've faced has been the time needed to cook with real food.  On the weekends it's not as difficult - and I'm getting better at planning ahead and making lunch items on the weekend. (Ever heard of OAMC?  Thinking I need to do this when we get a deep freezer.)  Planning out my week's menu before hand has helped also, but sometimes I -
1)don't feel like cooking after a long day of work, or 
2) don't have time to cook the planned item unless I want to eat dinner at 9:30pm!  
This week has been particularly frustrating because I've had meetings every night (until tonight - meeting was canceled!) and don't get home before 6pm.  Between work, meetings, taking care of Mei Mei, endless loads of laundry, keeping up house, and even more work to be done at home...dinner is the last thing on my mind!

Not tonight though!  Tonight I'm cooking!  I'm making one of our favorite Indian dishes - Vegetable Masala.  While it's not authentic, and not made from scratch - it's a pretty great meal with a lot of flexibility - not to mention extra easy to make.

_____________________________________________________

Indian Vegetable Masala

1. variety of your favorite vegetables...I usually use what I have on hand.  Tonight I'm using the following...
-1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 med potatoes, cubed
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1c. peas, frozen
- 1c. corn, frozen
- 1c. broccoli, frozen

**I've also used fresh or frozen green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.  Mix and match, add more of what you like and less of what you're not fond of!

2. 1 jar Patak's Tikka Masala curry (you can also use the curry paste pictured below, but you have to add plain yogurt to it)




Boil the vegetables until soft, drain, then add curry.  Let simmer for 10-20 minutes to soak up flavor then serve over rice. You can also add your favorite meat to change it up a bit!

_____________________________________________________

Because I used the jar of curry, some of the ingredients are surely processed - the curry itself may even include a preservative.  However, I am able to read and understand the names of all the ingredients - which is rarely the case with processed foods.  The only ingredient in question is "modified corn starch" and the origin of the ingredients is not clear.  

Like I said before - we're not going nuts about this!  We like our Vegetable Masala and feel good about eating it - so we will continue to!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

in case you've been wondering.


Mei Mei is making progress!  

For those of you who are out of the loop:
2 weeks ago(11/1), our precious pup was hit by a car.  Dan took her straight to the vet (where our neighbor Jackie works) and they checked her out.  She was cold, breathing shallow, bleeding a whole lot, and unconscious.  As they warmed her and began to stabilize her breathing they did an x-ray of her chest and found that she was having difficulty breathing due to air in her chest cavity making it impossible for her lungs to expand fully. After the vet removed the air, her breathing became more steady and rhythmic.  Her other injuries were all located on her head, but due to swelling it was difficult to treat.  They kept her over night on an IV to keep her hydrated for the first couple of days.

On Thursday(11/3), seeing that the swelling was not going down, they spoke with a specialist at Purdue who suggested a a medication to help reduce swelling in the brain.  We began administering this on Friday, and saw the swelling nearly reduce entirely by Sunday(11/6 Mei Mei's 1st birthday!) - but Mei Mei was still unconscious.  After talking with the Vet, we decided to bring Mei Mei home on Sunday evening and monitor her ourselves.  They sent us home with an IV to keep her hydrated and we began attempting to feed her.  We started with meat broth - we'd wipe it on her nose and lips and she'd lick it up.  Over time we tried more - pieces of meat and soft food.  Still unconscious, but getting some food!

On Friday(11/11), she woke up!  She opened both eyes and began making movements on her own.  It seems that she is now hearing (before we were unsure if there was hearing loss) and she's responding to her name.  She still has a long road to recovery, but we have hope!

Her injuries are internal, so it's unclear how severe they are.  One of her eyes seems to be "chipped" while the other is on the side with the most injuries and rarely opens without assistance.  She had a cut on the top of her head that is healing, but there might be a scull fracture underneath as it looks as though it sinks compared to the other.

Right now, we're optimistic - we love our Mei Mei and can't imagine life without her!  Keep praying as there's a long road ahead of us, but she's a strong pup and a fighter!