Friday, November 27, 2009

Try this fantastic cranberry relish next year!


3 cups fresh cranberries
1 apple (Fuji works well)
2 carrots, peeled
1 large fennel bulb (reserve tops for garnish)
1 medium yacon tubers, peeled
1 cup sugar


Combine and coarsely chop in a food processor. Garnis...h with fresh fennel leaves.


This relish has a refreshingly sweet and crunchy flavor with a cleansing hint of anise at the end. Delicious!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


My saffron is blooming! This is the first year I have tried growing saffron, and I am very excited & pleased! I planted roughly 22 bulbs, and here is a shot of my first flower:

I also finished bringing in the Yacon harvest last week (it's currently "curing" in my enclosed porch). It was a small but promising harvest - I am looking forward to next year's crop:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

This isn't "GoodBye," It's "I'll See You Later..."

We put Jugi to sleep last Tuesday. I looked at him on the previous Thursday and I realized that it was time. I told Ryan we couldn't wait much longer. We called the vet on Monday (after playing a bit of phone tag with the vet doctor), and they said that they could do it the next day. Ryan put the phone down for a moment and asked me, "Are you ready for this?" I told him, "How can I EVER be ready for this??" The vet came, and had to sedate him twice in order to get him to calm down enough for the euthanasia injection. With so much sedation, poor Jugi had a hard time breathing, and he couldn't see me because his eyes were so hugely dilated, but I talked to him and petted his forehead the entire time. When he stopped breathing, I said to him, "I'll see you later, k?" That was when I let myself cry. I had promised him the night before that I would not cry during the whole procedure, because I knew it would sadden him and he needed me strong. I kept that promise, though it took every ounce of determination...and the minute the vet and assistant left (because we had it done at home, in the livingroom, with him looking out from his favorite view point window), I started bawling into Ryan's arms. The vet and tech had cried when Jugi stopped breathing. I was actually immensely thankful for that - it was comforting to know that they had not performed this procedure so many times that they were immune to the heartbreaking sadness of it. We buried him in the middle of my herb garden, with a large stone marker. The house feels so empty without him now. I keep thinking/expecting to see my beloved Sun God, and then I remember that I no longer have him. After spending about an hour crying, Ryan and I opened up the best, most expensive bottle of wine in our pantry, and drank to Jugi's honor. I have not had a half bottle of wine at one sitting in years...I definitely felt its effects, but at the same time, I needed something to take the edge off of the pain. I spent the entire day with him before the vet doctor showed up. We sat together, and he crawled into my lap and I petted him until he fell asleep. We gave him a final day in his beloved Solarium. I did everything I could to make his final days so full of happiness and love. In some ways, this situation was a blessing - it allowed us to say goodbye. I will always be thankful for that.

I am including some pictures of Jugi in his final day(s). These pictures, though they sadden me because he is obviously ill and suffering, make me smile because I know he is happy in them - even if it was just for a moment. Elaina phrased things best when she commented on that picture of me, Ryan, and Jugi. Tuesday I put her words into actions, and I enjoyed every moment I had left with my kitty. I know there will be other kitties in my future, but there will only ever be ONE Jugi...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Reign of Jugi:
July 17, 2005 - November 3, 2009

The reign of "Foo" lasted for far too brief a time: July 17th, 2005 - November 3rd, 2009. I still remember going into the Petsmart in Salt Lake, in order to buy cat food for a different kitty that I was pet-sitting, and seeing that little strawberry-milk-mustache in the pet carrier. Petsmart was having their big cat adoption event. It was love at first sight for me. I asked if I could take Jugi into the glass "meeting room" where we could interact. He spent the entire time completely ignoring me, and trying to figure out how to escape. I knew then that he was the perfect kitty for me. My aunt paid the adoption fee for me as a belated birthday present, and I took my new kitty home. I remember accidentally banging the carrier against the kitchen door as I brought him in ("Welcome home, Jugi!" *smash* "Ooops! Sorry..."). That first night he claimed the foot of my bed (setting in motion a trend that would continue almost every night for the rest of our time together). I wasn't used to sleeping with a kitty at the foot of my tiny futon bed, so during the night I accidentally threw my legs over him in my sleep. I was quickly awakened to the feeling of having my feet bitten repeatedly by a very annoyed kitty.

I love you, Jugi.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Mourning Moon...

So how is this for irony?: Today is the full moon for November, and it is commonly referred to as the "Mourning Moon." The description I have for it is: "In November, turn within and let inner growth be the focus of the journey through the underworld. Learn, study, reflect, and grow. In this time of mourning and loss, let the quietness of home and hearth sustain you, for in safety and familiarity there is hope to see us through the long dark winter."