Saturday, 16 February 2013

Heroic Struggles . . . . .

Millie’s war wounds.
The poor girl has only been with us for three-and-a-half months
and already we sent her to be chopped about.
She had developed lumps which needed exploration.

The vet thinks one was no more than a large fat lump,
but the other has gone to be examined in a laboratory.
The poor sweetie also had to have a small wart removed from her eyelid.

She’s been very good and hasn’t even had to wear her lampshade, 
or, as some people call them, an Elizabethan collar.
She had a day of feeling very sorry for herself,
but now it’s hard to keep her walking sedately.

Compared to Millie’s tribulations my struggles to set up 
and organise my new ipad are minor, 
but for a techno dunce certainly not negligible.
I’ve been stabbing at the thing like a madwoman but it’s just not as obedient as
my beloved imac.
I still have to crack the secret of getting the two to work in sync. HELP!

Tomorrow Beloved’s son and family are arriving for a visit
all the way from New England.

Any ideas on how to get 
a coeliac vegetarian,
a non-vegetable eating (true!) carnivore,
a dairy intolerant omnivore,
a person on a permanent diet of one sort or another
a natural eater with a very small appetite
round the same dinner table?

Luckily, they have left the really difficult one at home.

Did I say I’m struggling?
Well, at least it’s not raining!


  1. So sorry to hear about Millie's problems, Friko. For what it's worth, our previous lab had a few fat deposits, but none ever created any problems. May she heal from her wounds soon.

  2. ha. good luck with that dinner...and sorry for the pups...hope it all comes out well and good on the lumps...ack on the computer issues as well...they confound me at times...

  3. Just having the family together around the table will make the rest work itself out...

    and happy healing to Millie!

  4. When I'm catering for difficult eaters, I find it easiest to make up self-serve platters of plain food (eg steamed vegetables, undressed salads, hot & cold meat, bread) with sauces & condiments on the side, and let everyone help themselves. The bonus is if there are any leftovers, you can put them out for the next meal!!!!

    Either that, or the vegetarian & carnivore could share a meal??!! Good luck!

  5. Our dogs had fatty tumors too. Only one was removed. My cocker had warts.By the time she was 12 yrs old they were all over her body...she had surgery to remove them and they came back little by little.
    As for your meal....I think that Red Nomad Oz had a good idea. Very casual and easy to prepare. Everyone will have something that they will enjoy.

  6. Meat, potatoes, vegetables and salads. with bread on the side, as plain as you can fix them. And plain old vegetable soup is also a good option and make it as chunky as you can with potatoes in it. It is very filling.

    Poor Millie. She is a real trooper. I am sure there is nothing to worry about. Dogs do have a tendency to get lumpy.


  7. Oh sure. Just put enough chairs at the table and everybody will be there.
    FEEDING them all, on the other hand. Could you take them on a shopping outing as an adventure, and let them choose their own? ...and cook it?

  8. oh dear Friko...I hope you have a pleasant visit...the food thing will work itself out...and poor doggie.....but oh she is loved

  9. At our house the herd of shelties all call the Elizabethan collar - "the cone of shame." Good for your sweet Millie to have avoided that. May she heal quickly and without further issues.

    Your dinner table sounds like somewhat of a challenge, but somehow things manage to be all right when families share a reunion. Getting the iPad and the Mac on the same Cloud must be interesting. It took me a while to synch my iPhone and new iPad. Back and forth making sure the settings on both were happy. Blogsy for the iPad is fairly simple when posting a new blog entry but sometimes adding links and photos is a bit touchy. However, I rarely touch the old laptop anymore - the iPad is just too convenient & quick.

  10. oh, geez. give me a troublesome client any day.

  11. Oh poor puppy. I'll bet that hurt you more than it did her...

    Enjoy the family visit. Perhaps you just need to let them loose in your kitchen so they can please their own dietary desires.

  12. May all be well with Milly. Good luck with the IPad. It is convenient (writing on mine now), but not without its issues, as it seems all things technological are. Now, as for your guests, I think you may have had a bit of a trial run when we all came to lunch, though this does seem even more of a challenge. Make them cook, maybe? (Just kidding--know that never works!)
    Glad your tech issue my way has passed, at least, even if it put you face-to-face with Ashbery once again!

  13. Regards the different diet demands, here's what you make ....... RESERVATIONS!

  14. I feel very sorry for your concern around Millie’s health about the lumps. I hope medical test finds nothing so serious and he’ll be okay by being watched over by his loved owners. As to the cooking, I'm for the idea of Red Nomads OZ. I’m glad you see the bright side: the most difficult one is left at home. With best wishes to your peace of mind sooner.


  15. Oh I do hope Millie finds herself well and mended soon.
    I am quite curious as to how your dinner turns out!

  16. Look at the bright side, one of them will set up your ipad for you in a skinnet (that's a New York minute for the uninitiated.) I see many trips to the local cafeteria in your future.

  17. Bless your dear animal companion! As for the assemblage of guests at your table? Sounds like herding cats. As one married to a vegan I'd suggest that they are each expert in their own diet and should be permitted to prepare their own favorites to share! Sorry, I don't "do" Apple, though I do own a squeegee and do windows!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    ~ > < } } ( ° > <3

  18. If it's not raining, then everything is just dandy!
    Oh poor Millie, let's hope that the results will be good.
    Good luck with the menu Friko!

  19. I'm sorry to learn that Millie is not well and hope the suspicious lump is no more than that. I agree with the others who suggest that you serve plain food with condiments on the side for those who wish to dress theirs up or not. Christine

  20. Poor Millie ... has it all started itching yet ? Always the worst bit !
    I have no advice about menus . The mind boggles ... but agree that bowls of fruit salad , ratatouille and roast chicken might appeal to some and Puy lentil salad offends few .
    Just don't buy soya ice cream .... apparently it's vile .

  21. Hi Friko - glad Millie is going to be able to enjoy her walk in the frosty sun today ... I hope the mist clears at your end of the world ...

    The dietary delights - sound very challenging ... I too think I'd let everyone lose to do their thing .. or take them out?! Or for them to take you out ...

    Crumbs - have a happy week with the family ... perhaps they can help with the ipad ... they won't be spending much time wining and dining!!

    All the very best for the week ahead or perhaps they're here for longer? ... cheers Hilary

  22. Awww! Special and gentle hugs for Millie!! And for you too...setting up new electronic toys is always challenging! Good luck
    PS As for the picky about buffet!? Ha

  23. well, use gram or rice flour instead of wheat flour for all your cooking as they are both gluten free and serve everything on a "help yourself" basis - ie bowl of veg, plate of meat

    You can get dairy replacement items like soya milk, egg replacer etc quite easily

    and tell the person who doesn't eat veg not to be so soft

  24. I guess the silver lining is that your visitors will provide lots of material for the blog, Friko.

  25. het is straks weer heerlijk om met haar grote wandelingen te gaan doen,Leuk dat je zoon op visite komt geniet er maar van.

  26. Shame poor Millie, hope that all her problems are soon at an end. Take care. Diane

  27. Food solution: Takeaway! From a lot of different places.

  28. I agree with some of the others - put out an array of eats and let them have what they like. As for tablets and clouds and techie problems, I am of no use to you. I have a beloved iMac and will soon get another, newer one and that's as far as I'm going with technology for now.

  29. Best wishes to dear Millie.

    I agree with lots of the prior comments about letting you visitors join you in meal preparation...share the challenge.

    I also agree that you will soon have lots of blog material!


  30. I wonder how that meal went! I've been faced with similar family challenges, though not all at once. My solution was a big salad with oil and vinegar on the side and a stack of barbecued ribs or steaks or chops to go along. For dessert, a bowl of fruit and then something fabulous, sinful, sweet and creamy - after all there has to be some compensation!

  31. Poor Millie - uncomfortable for her and worrying for you. I hope she soon heals and the results come back as reassuring. As for the incompatible eaters, my vote goes with buffet-style meals with a choice of dishes from which everyone can help themselves. You might have to label things though.....

  32. My goodness. I think this is why I have friends and relatives stay at a local hotel. They like it and so do I. Dianne

    PS Hope Millie is okay. We had many 'growths' of one kind or another removed from our older dogs who both lived to age 17. Dianne

  33. Poor Millie ! Hope she heals her wounds quickly ! When I have such "complicated" people to feed I do a pierade. There is fish and cheese to be grilled for vegetarians and meat for carnivores, I serve it with a jacket potatoe and salad, but nobody needs to eat the salad, lol ! It's a lot of fun, not much work and everybody cooks his stuff himself (except the potatoes)However, I don't know if this appliance exists in England. It's used a lot in France and Belgium.

  34. Poor Millie and poor you. We do feel guilt, don't we, even knowing what we're doing is for their own good, As to food: a couple of fondue, hot oil pots; one for veggies, the other for meat. A choice of dips; aioli, saffron, yoghurt etc. and some artichokes or asparagus and a potato or pasta salad.

  35. Poor Millie. Enjoy you visitors, whatever they eat. And wasn't the sunshine glorious today.

  36. Poor doggie.
    That you have issues with iPad sync is understandable. The wifi setup and all permissions is annoying.
    Company from US is likely to require a chef with all those variations. Or a daily buffet?

  37. Better to get the lumps taken out and examined than not. I hope the results are good. Did you get my email on fireworks training btw?

    Welcome to the world of !!^!*666*!!^~! Intuitive typing. The iPad drives me mad.

    I'd let everyone get their own meals and sit down together. When you have different or difficult eating habits, it's the reasonable thing to do.

  38. Friko, you do make me chuckle. For the most part, my "eaters" are pretty game and eat just about anything I put forth (well, except for game, which I don't make). Good luck. I'll hope that your diners bring a few things of their own.

    Poor dog. Millie sounds like a real trooper. Here's hoping she feeling better fast and the lab reports come back clean.

  39. Poor Millie...but what a good girl not to need the lampshade.

    As to the visitors...I think I might retire to bed with the vapours until they cleared off to a hotel.

  40. I love the suggestion about the vapors!!

    I hope Millie recovers soon and that every lump is benign and non-recurrent.

    Now the iPad...hang in there! It's a total joy once you get comfortable with it. I did my techno-phobe lament for a couple of weeks after getting mine -- and now wonder what I ever did without it! Just allow yourself to be both intimidated and delighted without judgment and the delight will soon be the dominant reaction.

    As to the food -- Yikes! I vote with the buffet offerings of plain food. My thoughts and sympathies are with you. I hope you have a good time with your guests between meals!

  41. Poor doggie!

    My iPad syncs with my iMac and iPhone, but I have no idea how. The iPad even beeps when I have a text message on my phone!

  42. Poor Millie! Hope she heals quickly. You'll really like the iPad, Friko. Get the Kindle app on it - you can sample the Kindle books but not the iBooks. I still do a lot of reading on my Kindle but sometimes read a book on the iPad - my husband only reads on his iPad, but he buys most of the books through my Kindle account with the app. Once you have the Cloud set-up, everything will sync. Perhaps you could feel poorly right after your guests arrive?

  43. Poor Millie.
    On feeding family
    I have several that are Vegan
    I eat healthy
    but not to that exstreme.
    Good luck
    You are smart and can do it...

  44. Gute Besserung für Millie!
    Well, if they don't want to eat what you put on the table, their loss! Out of a basic variety of meat and vegetables, pasta or rice, everyone can pick what they want. If they are not happy with the service, show them the way to the nearest restaurant.

  45. Millie first -- I hope everything turns out well. She's such a dear companion -- I'm glad she's being a sweet girl. We call it the "Collar of Shame" (did you ever see the movie "Up!"?) That's got to be tough. I'm so glad she found a loving home.

    Wow -- I can't WAIT to hear how you solve your dinner problems. That could be a post for the ages!

  46. Dear Friko, like you I'm struggling to figure out how to use the iPad and all its icons/applications. I'm technologically challenged--to say the least--and so I find myself only picking up the iPad about once a week since Christmas (it was a gift) so as to try to figure something out.

    Good luck with the meals! Peace.

  47. I sympathise with the technology problem. Have just bought a new phone. Fortunately the Younger Daughter is staying at present and, as long as I ignore all the tutting, is proving very helpful with working out how to use it. It's going along the lines of, 'Look, Mum, you just press this button' and then 'Oh! There's a button there! I hadn't spotted it!' and her tutting some more ....

  48. Hallo Friko,
    lese ich dies richtig, dass Dein Sohn in New England (USA) wohnt und Dich mit seiner Familie besuchen kommt ? Dann ist Deine Familie ja regelrecht über die ganze Welt verstreut. Ich vermute, dass in Deutschland auch noch Familienangehörige wohnen. Das mit dem vegetarischen Essen kennen wir von unserer Tochter (studiert in Freiburg). Derzeit weilt sie bei uns zu Hause und es muss auch irgendetwas vegetarisches gekocht werden.

    Gruß Dieter

  49. Create an iCloud account for yourself. Then add your devices to it. They'll sync. It took me some time to figure it out. Depending on the operating system of your iMac, you may be able to add it as well. I love how all my email and bookmarks sync now.

  50. Firstly, loving thoughts to Millie. Of course she's being a good girl - her nature's been apparent from the beginning. As for all that techie stuff, I can't offer anything but a word of uninformed encouragement, living as I do in the dark ages with only a windows PC and an "old-fashioned" flip phone.

    As for that dinner... A friend in California had nearly the same situation for Thanksgiving. She solved it by declaring dinner a buffet, and creating great excitement over the fact that each person would create a dish to share, according to their own preferences. That way, everyone had at least something to eat, and a little tasting went on.

    I do hope they all enjoy wine.

  51. I'm sorry for Millie's troubles, but I am very glad she is with you because I know you will take such good care of her. ~Mary

  52. Poor Millie -- and poor you, trying to deal with all those diets. I have so many friends with various dietary constraints that it makes planning a party meal quite daunting. The buffet potluck is one solution -- but when it's house guests, it does pose a problem. Good luck.

  53. Feeling sorry for Milleie. Hope she gets better soon.

  54. Hope Millie is doing better; with your love and care, I know she will get better soon. Sending loads of good wishes her way.
    And a world of luck to you if that dinner still needs to be tackled; if already done with, kudos! I just had the husband's complete family of ten adults and three toddlers visiting for a week, and to say 'I understand' would be such an understatement!!

  55. Poor Millie - but glad to hear she's doing fine!

    Enjoy the visit - get the different factions to cook their own meals, serve salad or buffets so people can choose what they want to eat, and get take-aways!

  56. What an interesting meal that is going to be! Hope Millie recovers well and you get your ipad working. I haven't had to face that challenge yet.

  57. Hope Millie is okay and well on the way to recovery.

    Hope the meals sorted themselves out too!

    Anna :o]

  58. I hope Millie is healing and well today, and best wishes on the diet needs of your family as more family visits. I would be likely to give up on suiting all those conflicting needs. You will do well I am sure.

  59. No words of advice on the food question from me. I hate those combinations! Perhaps you could ask for a shopping list, then let each person create their own meals. This is way too complex!

    I'm no help on syncing the iPad and iMac either. My husband own the iPad. I use it, but am not crazy about it.

    Best wishes to that dear dog. I hope she is all patched up soon.

  60. Poor Millie, glad to hear she's ok.
    Welcome to the iPad world, I have one if you've any questions.
    With regards to the awkward eaters what a nightmare!! I think I'd pile all the food on the table and say take your pick and there's the oven , cook it yourself!!

  61. much interesting material here! I must take the time to both read and enjoy the visuals rather than rushing through a cursory reading of a few lines.The curse of all bloggers seems to be that while we put so much into our blogs, most readers seem to take so little out. Cheers! Count Sneaky


Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.