More Loss

I really wonder when all the losses will stop. This post began as a draft yesterday and finished today:

I think Frost is dying tonight.  I think I will die tonight. 

She was very "absent" all day.  Usually she comes in at least 4-5 times for "pets" and today only one.

She ate nothing.

We had 50+ mph winds today.  The patio umbrella blew over and other things were moved about.

I don't know if she was hit by something, but as the day wore on she was very distant. She napped out in the yard where she hasn't in ages.

I went out to give her the ham wrapped pill (for urinary incontinence) that she loved (because of the ham) and she had utterly no interest.

This evening she was on the porch sleeping and when the back porch (motion detector type) light went on I went out to check and found her sitting up and dazed looking.  Her eyes were very sunken (like Mimi's when I went to see her and drape her with flowers before cremation) and her breathing labored.  I insisted that she come into the house and oddly she went straight to her pillow which she hasn't done in months.  She stayed about 2 hours and then very slowly got up and went out on her porch pillow.

About an hour later I checked on her and she was out laying in the back yard. Her bowels had emptied in a state of total liquid all over the back porch, as she had tried to get to the grass.  After watching the end of "A Dog Named Christmas" (just what I didn't need) I went out and mopped up the mess, so she would be able to come back to her pillow on the porch.  I'm glad I did even if it was 11 pm.  By midnight she was on her pillow, but sadly looked even more vacant…eyes not focusing at all.  She had drooled a pool and so I put a towel under her chin and another over her since it was chilly and I just had a feeling she needed it.  I petted her for some time and said goodbye (I cry as I write this) because I really don’t know if she’ll be “here” in the morning.  I’d lift her head and there was no response.  I’d pass my hand before her eyes and no movement.  Only the most basics:  eyes blinked and breathing a labor.  I finally left her because she seemed to want to not be “bothered” by me. She was pretty far along in the process of dying. I don’t know what else to say.  I can’t take much more in the loss department.  It’s now 1:30 a.m. and before sending this with a prayer and going to bed, I’m going to check on her.

Well, she’s still breathing, but it seems to be tough.  She’s totally unresponsive to any movement before her eyes and can’t lift her head.  I want to stay with her, but know I can’t.  She needs peace.

The photo above is of Frost lazing on the patio last summer, being visited by a little lady bug. 

2:o6 AM

I was lying in bed, and suddenly had an overwhelmingly, alarming sense of the loss of Frost; to the point that I was suddenly crying and got out of bed to check on her. I was with her at the end. She was literally in the last stages and all that was left were a few nerve related attempts to breathe and jaw movements.

So her soul literally came and said good-bye to me.

An ill wind blew today and took my dog far away.

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Crock-pot Turkey

Okay, so I didn't get my act together and made this the day after Thanksgiving.  Since this was to be my very first crock-pot experience, I researched a load of websites and recipes finally settling on one. At times I find I'm deliriously confident like now. Let's not test cooking in a crock-pot on a basic dinner, let it be a holiday dinner! In retrospect, it probably would have been fine except that I second guessed the recipe and it was way overcooked. 

This is what I wrote about the experience as the day proceeded: 
Prep took 1 hr. and 10 min. For a rack to set the bird on I used 3 whole carrots and 2 stalks chopped celery and onion. Half the celery and onion I reserved and tossed on top of the bird where the pieces fell into the various cracks and crevices.
The prep work probably would have been less but I had no concept of size when I purchased a 6.83 lb. bone-in, turkey breast for my never-used 4 qt. crock-pot!  Thank goodness I had spotted a poultry sheers at Marshall’s about a month ago.

I’d always wanted one but the one time I bought a good kitchen sheers, it was used to cut wire in the garage….  Now that I live alone, I decided that there would be no more encounters with wire or edging the lawn with it for that matter.  I found a $15 poultry sheers for $7.99!  Afterwards, I really did wonder why I wasted my money on such a specialized item; after all, how often would I use it?  Well, it just paid for itself! 

A 6.83 lb. turkey breast with rib cage will NOT fit in a 4 qt. crock pot; even sideways.  So out came my brand new poultry sheers and I cut right through the rib cage about 2 inches out from the backbone and removed it. This allowed the breast to flatten just enough to sit on its rack of carrots and chopped celery and onion.  And there was just enough room to fit the backbone down the side of the pot by the breast. Voila!

I also took the stick of butter and sliced it like a loaf of bread into ¼ inch slices and put 2 under the skin on each side of the breast along with all the sage leaves.  The other 4 slices were stuck under the breast with the handfuls of thyme and rosemary and a sprig of sage. I had salt and peppered the bird before putting it in the pot. Then poured a bit of chicken stock over the top. Finished it off with three sprigs of sage across the bird because it looked pretty.  Lid on, plugged in and dialed to high.  It was now 1:10 PM.  So we’ll see in about 4 -6 hours.  Another item I invested in when I moved here was an instant read thermometer to augment my regular meat thermometer.  I think that will come in handy today.  It looked really good as the cooking began.

As I said, sadly, I second guessed the recipe so instead of cooking it for 4-6 hours on high for a 4 lb. turkey breast with ribs, I figured I needed to add some time for my 6.83 lb. bird.  So I cooked it for 7.5 hours. Big mistake. Really big mistake. It was so dry, even though I left the skin on and it had plenty of  juice, that it really wasn't edible. Well it was, but you had to drink a glass of water with each bite.  I'm still debating if I should use it for chicken enchiladas or toss it.  So sad. Live and learn. Hope everyone had a very thankful day. I know Frost and I did as we feasted on a ham sandwich! Well, she got a nibble.