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July 20 2006

Okay, I know I have said that life is like a whirlwind before, but now it has become a tornado! Chris threw his back out (several slipped disks) and cannot work for a long time, if at all. He is in a constant searing pain that will not quit. We believe this happened slowly over the course of two weeks, peaking on July 3. He has seen Doctors and has an appointment to see a specialist on this coming Monday. I know the results are not going to be good and I am so worried. His job is very physical, demanding, and has 12 hour shifts. The Job also pays the bills and keeps us all quite happy.

He spends lots of his time in bed or in the recliner. It is very difficult for me, because the housework does not stop even though he did. In fact, there is more than ever. Sometimes I feel like pulling my hair out and shrieking at the top of my lungs. Usually this only happens when Cage is crying, Jake is whining, Chris cannot get comfortable, the dogs are hyperactive, the cats knocked a plant over, you get the drift. I guess there is allot of things that have me so edgy. The loss of his income, the possibility that he is not going to get better with out back surgery, the reality that I am going to have to get a paying job, figuring out how to make every cent from every dollar stretch even more, etc. It is like my whole world flipped over and I was left standing still.

On the positive side, both children love that Chris is home all the time now. Cage greets him every morning with a "Hi Dada" that makes Chris beam from ear to ear. We get to have so much more time together, even if Chris is not feeling good. Sometimes our time consists of watching a movie, but we are all together. The only ones that are really resenting this are the dogs. Our everyday nap/cuddle session on the bed was cut out. They pout and I know what they are thinking. We still have loads of fun but we all miss the closeness.

So I am actively seeking employment L. It is tough for me because working with animals around here means milking on a dairy farm, working on a meat farm, vets office, or humane society. The vets are not hiring, so I have put in apps at humane societies that I work with thru rescue. Open admission shelters are a completely new ball game, not like the safe haven closed door shelters are. I hope I can hack it.

I also applied at the hospital for a collection position, applied at a factory my friends work at, and a few other places I was told were hiring. Honestly, the thought of getting a job and leaving Cage’s side mortifies me (I am used to leaving Jake because he goes to school). However, I am more scared of not having enough money to support our family and rescue.

Cage is so active right now, I just cannot believe it! He runs, dances, jumps, never stopping until he falls asleep. More teeth are coming in, I know this is a good thing but it does not make life easy. (I really need to stop complaining!) The way Cage eats is phenomenal! My goodness, he does not stop. He eats everything we eat, sometimes in the same proportions. There are times he eats almost a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich and still has room for fruit and veggies. He loves tofu scrambles no matter what I put in them. Bagels and Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, toast, pasta, pancakes, French toast, raw corn on the cob, cooked corn on the cob, tomatoes, and the new all time favorite beans (any kind, any style). He will say "beans" repeatedly until he gets them. It is so adorable. Everyday we split an avocado or I make banana avo pudding. He has also discovered the delights that dessert can bring. Non-dairy ice cream (Chris makes the best hot fudge and banana sundaes, ala vegan), malts, pies, cake, non gelatin Jell-O with fruit.

Keeping up with the feeding demands of three males is not easy. We always need to have a snack available that is easy to make. Sometimes I make dip and throw it in the fridge, Chris can microwave it himself if I am busy (or get a moment to sleep, lol). It is a very easy recipe and very hearty. Start with a small plate and spread tofutti better than cream cheese on the bottom. Next pour Hormel vegetarian chili (its vegan) on top in a thick layer covering the tofutti completely. Top with a little shredded Vegan Gourmet cheese, cover, microwave until bubbly. I like to keep some diced tomato, olives, and tofutti sour supreme around for toppings. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. Everyone in the house goes nuts for it, it is heavy so it sits well, and a little plate can feed three to four no problems. I also keep fresh fruit and veggies handy, great for snacking, as well as pretzels (urea-free), rye crisp flat breads, crackers, Dr. McDougals instant cup of soup (tortilla is the biggest hit here, but I love the rice pudding), rice cakes, nuts, dried fruit, cereal bars, those types of things. Easy snacking the healthy way allows me some free time to scrub toilets and floors, YAY J!

Well, my little dude (Jake) turned six on July 6th. We bought him a soft-sided pool that he adores, some neat scientific learning toys (my forte), some clothes, and a wallet (his prize possession). We had a small party with a double chocolate vegan cake I made (yum…chocolate euphoria). I would have to say everything went very well. Jake was delighted, seeing him so happy made my day. All of his little friends are now telling their parents that they are allergic to milk products so they have to buy them the soymilk that we serve. I love it!

Well I better scoot for now. It just started storming complete with thunder and lightning. I know this means I have 5 dogs, two children, and a bunny to hold and comfort. I have allot more to say and hopefully I will get a free minute soon to type it.