My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Willow (& other sweets!) :-)

Yesterday was snowy, windy and, as one would expect with snow and wind, cold. Perfect day for baking, which is what I'd planned to do regardless of the weather. I baked a batch of Cranberry-Orange muffins and Hearty-Spiced Cocoa muffins to send to my mom for Christmas, and dole out to a couple of friends (and yes, snarf ourselves!) :-) For Mom, I make the Hearty Spiced Cocoa muffins in a peppermint version by leaving out the cayenne and adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract (I used Watkins brand in this batch, which is pretty mild. In fact, I probably could have added more. Don't know that I'd be that generous with it if I were using a stronger flavored extract).

See the top of Tessa's head? She's peeking through the patio door to the right!

In addition to being spied on by Tess, I was kept company by two of my favorite people: BW, who was offered the day off (a huge surprise for a UPS man at this time of year and he by-golly took it, having worked very long and grueling hours since Thanksgiving and knowing that this is a lull before the real storm ahead), and precious Willow, who is recovering from having a broken, abscessed tooth extracted and a lump removed last Wednesday...

She didn't feel very good that first evening, but has since recovered fully, starting with her always-robust appetite! She's been enjoying lots of pumpkin mixed with her kibble to soften it, and one of her favorite treats - raw red cabbage! :-) But despite her longing looks, she got no muffins (and was unimpressed by my warnings that chocolate is toxic to dogs!) 

Meanwhile, we await the results of her biopsy, which we should get this week. What our vet diagnosed as a small cyst on the lower side of her face in late May had grown to twice its original size, and our vet now thinks it's a soft-tissue sarcoma. :-( We're hoping, of course, that she's wrong and it's benign, but if it turns out she's right we're hoping she was able to get it all. It's been hard impossible not to worry, but I'm trying to think positive and distract myself by doing things like bake muffins and blog. Your positive thoughts are also appreciated! I'd send you a batch of muffins too, if I could, but this wee gift will have to suffice instead :-) ...

Just print, clip, and show to your parent, spouse or parole officer. LOL

UPDATE: O happy day! We just got the results of Willow's biopsy, and her mass was a benign trichoblastoma, a tumor of the hair follicle, and the surgery got it completely and is considered curative! Yay! Thank you all for your positive thoughts and well-wishes, Willow and we appreciate them very much! :-) 


  1. Poor baby,I hope all turns out well for Willow.
    I made the cranberry orange muffins yesterday.Hubby and I will need to book into muffin rehab soon...nom nom nom.
    Jane x

  2. Jane ~ Thank you, we sure hope so too.

    LOL re: muffin rehab - I know what you mean! I love making muffins! Still need to make your coconut ones, but am still having an impossible time getting overripe bananas! When I can find organic bananas, they get consumed by He Who Will Remain Nameless well before they're ripe enough for baking. I need to find a good hiding place...

  3. Oh poor Willow. I hope she will be fine. I'll be thinking about her, and you, while you wait for the results.

    If you lived a little closer, I could sure supply you with overripe bananas at the moment. I've been making smoothies but maybe muffins are the way to go.

  4. Those muffins are beautiful!! Sounds like a great way to spend a cold winter's day with your loved ones around to keep you company too! I'm glad BW got the day off, and glad that Willow is recovering well. I'll send positive vibes your way in hopes that the biopsy will come back with a good result and that's the end of Willow's troubles.

  5. Aw, Willow. She's been through far too much and I can just imagine how much worrying you and BW have been doing. Baking muffins is such a nice distraction from that, though, and they look great.

    Give all of the girls some love for me. I'm hoping for good news!

  6. Andrea ~ Thank you, we both appreciate it! :-)

    Darn, wish I did! But here's another idea for your abundance of overripe bananas - it uses three of them and is delicious!

    Cranana Bread

    Rose ~ Thank you! I think Mom will be thrilled (especially with the chocolate ones, which she'll probably have eaten entirely within an hour of opening the package, lol), and I thank you for the positive vibes and good wishes for sweet Willow!

    Molly ~ Thank you bunches, and I've passed your love all around (love is being sent back to you!). We didn't hear anything on Willow today, but speaking of critters who have been through far too much, we did just get Josie's urine culture results: a heavy staff infection! (Don't know why it looked like a "mild" infection to our vet!) It's sensitive to the pulse antibiotic she's been taking, so once we clear up this latest infection, we'll double her pulse dose to 2x/day and see how that goes. Poor kid! Happily, she's a good sport about it and doesn't seem to have any adverse effects, but I sure wish we could put an end to this. Like Emma's infections!

  7. Wow...great looking muffins...yum yum.

    I'm sending good and healing vibes toward Willow...take good care of her please.

  8. They wind their paws deep into your heart strings don't they? I am sending many, many good wishes to Willow - though a healthy appetite and a yearning for forbidden foods has to be a good sign.

  9. veganelder ~ Thank you for your healing vibes... and you know it!! (She's being even more spoiled than usual, if that's even possible - but she's so deserving of it!) :-)

    Ellie C ~ Oh my yes. And thank you for your good wishes! I hope they're good signs, she's very frisky and shiny and happy... and HUNGRY! :-)

  10. Wonderful news about Willow!! I'm so happy to hear it!


  11. Ahhh....such good news about Willow! Happy Days! That has to be a big load off your minds ;-).
    I'd comment about the delicious-looking muffins, but doing that got me in trouble the last time. ;-P xoxoxo

  12. Rose ~ Thank you! :-))))

    Spud ~ Yes, it was a huge relief and definitely a major load off our minds! As for the muffins, your comment last time didn't get you into trouble, you simply got busted. LOL

  13. Three cheers for Willow! So glad she's ok x

  14. Barbara ~ Thank you, it was wonderful to receive and share such good news (and Willow always loves being cheered on, it usually inspires her to race around in giant circles!) :-)

  15. so cute. they look yummy. i see you are being watched while you cook. what pressure.

    i just noticed your comment above ... blogging for comments so cute. ( :

  16. Such good news about poor wee Willow! I'm SO glad she's OK! I can understand her wanting those muffins. I want them, too!

  17. Beth ~ They are yummy (or should I say, WERE yummy. At least the ones we ate were - I have yet to hear from my mother, probably because she doesn't want to admit she ate all the chocolate ones the first day!) :-) As for Willow, I try not to look at those longing eyes staring at me like that while I'm working with food, but she often ends up getting handouts of her favorite treats (cauliflower, broccoli, and red cabbage!) She also goes into Red Alert status when she sees me opening a can of pumpkin. :-)

    Ah, thanks for noticing my plea for comments masked as humor! :-) Far as I know, you're the first one to notice that.

    Penny ~ Thank you!! Us too! :-) As for the muffins, you should make yourself some in your lovely, bright, spacious new kitchen! :-)

  18. Those muffins look REALLY yummy. No time to bake myself - not complaining mind you! - so I'll just use the scratch and sniff on my computer and enjoy yours vicariously. I'll try the peppermint ones you made for your mom. They do smell good!!

    I already knew about Willow but that happy puppy gif makes me compelled so say congrats again!!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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