Salad Days

Chopped Salad with Bengal Tiger Iced Tea

Chopped Salad with Bengal Tiger Iced Tea

Every since I found out I had reflux, returning kidney stones and mold allergies my food restrictions feel like they have had a strangle hold on me. It all began back over 9 months ago. I had to give up on things that have become regular food/ liquids including all fizzy drinks, nuts, berries, some leafy greens, aged cheeses, mushrooms potatoes and more. Now that I have adjusted to new foods and dump the old eating habits I feel I can move on to the next area of conquest…my weight. I have lost and gained over the years, never easy for me (or any of my siblings). Reviewing how I gained so much weight I put much of the onus on high stress over the past 5 years. Ice storm, wildfire that came close to consuming our house, husband with cancer, daughter between jobs, asthma and massive kidney stones. Now that the stress levels have dissipated its time to tackle the problem.

Every morning I eat one of two things, 1. Cereal with fruit, 2. Homemade yogurt with fruit. I don’t seem to get bored of this combo, so I thought what if I take a similar tack with lunch. Going over in my head what make sense to eat that has minimal calories I landed on salad. What if I have salad for every lunch. Realizing there a number things that cannot go on my salad (see preceding list) I am having to be inventive in my combinations. Another factor is that I don’t have much patience for food preparation. Can I do it? And if I, can how long can I keep it going? Buoyed by my being able to stay off of soda/pop for over 9 months makes me believe I can pull this off. (FYI: My current beverages are one cup of coffee in the morning (one of my restrictions), herbal ice tea or hot tea and lemonade.)

Apple, Carrot, & Red Cabbage Slaw
Apple, Carrot, & Red Cabbage Slaw.

Let it begin!

Yesterday’s salad was no lettuce all veggie and feta cheese salad. Today’s Salad… Chopped salad with iceberg lettuce, red bell pepper (I can’t have green bell pepper), cucumber, scallions and a hard boiled egg topped with zero calorie honey mustard dressing. Wish me the will power to pull it off.

Artcestry: The Wunderle Artistic Inheritance

No doubt we are a large family on my mother’s side with somewhere around 300 individuals coming down from my maternal grand parents, Aloysius and Lucille Wunderle. My aunts and uncles and their families all lived in the Cleveland, OH area. As the original 50 first cousins grew to adulthood they moved about country. It is only since Facebook that many of us have reconnected and at the same time we are learning but each other’s families and each others interests. Maybe because I am an artist myself that I find it remarkable the number of visual artists there are among the cousins and the cousins’ kids. I know that in the mix of my mother’s siblings there are those who could draw and some could paint including my mother. Uncle John and Uncle Charles both took art classes. Taking into consideration that only 1% of the US population are visual artists would mean there would mean a total 5 of the cousins might be artists.
Having put the question forward the answer I arrived at was at least 10, double the national average. To compare, there are about the equal percentage of doctors in the US meanwhile in our family doctors number zero as far as I know. Obviously the artists in the family are not show-offs as when ask to submit their art I ended up for the most part hunting for the images on their facebook and beyond. Through no fault of my own and for not trying, I may have missed some cousins and some art. I can always add names and art to this post if the cousins contact me. Please feel free to move about the the images.

Artist Cousins…

Michelle Losey Nazzaro, Painter, drawing. Cooper School of Art, Cleveland, OH
Mary Losey Kevdzija, photographer, painter / drawing. Cleveland Institute of Art
Laura Losey Faulkner, Artist, Pencil/ charcoal and pastel
Mark Losey photographer
Andrea Wunderle Coble, Artist/Illustrator/ Interior designer. Andrea Coble I received my under graduate degree in illustration at Utah State University. I did cover art for a small magazine in Germany after working for MEM Art Services in the USA, right after graduating. Then for about 5 -6 years I switched gears and fell in love with interior design and worked in high end designer galleries. I also received an award in Germany for my large abstract prints depicting Cleveland of all things. Now I paint on gourds and love to plan a good party. I throw one a month it seems.
Paul Wunderle, Photographer
Susan Norris Trentel,Drawing, Plush and Doll plush design, Clothes designer, pattern maker. Cooper School of Art
Muriel Norris Fahrion concept Illustrator, 3D, cute character developer and photography. Cooper School of Art
Sheila Franczak Tolbert, Painter of portraits, nostalgic images and dog portraits/ Interior Decorating. Dog Portrait is of Tank, he passed away last spring and my friend asked me to paint it for her husband as a tribute. I paint in acrylic on canvas. I do not advertise, I paint for friends, family and an occasional referral.
Patsy Norris Welsh/ stained glass

Cousin’s Kids

Colin Fahrion Concept Graphic Art, Medical Illustration, website design and random acts of creativity, Cleveland Institute of Art
Ted Intorcio Comic Book illustrator, commercial design. Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh
Bill Trentel, Graphic Designer and owner Trentel Graphics. Carnagie Mellon, Pittsburg, PA
Rachel Welsh Igas/ Graphic Design/ Computer design Rachel Welsh de Iga BFA in Graphic Design from WVU and have worked as a graphic designer, multimedia designer, art director, etc. I still love drawing the best. I currently have a client who requires me to create works of art on her brown paper lunch bags every morning before she goes to school. I get a kick out of the fact that her friends clamor to see what she brings in (realistic or abstract) every day.
Denise Ginley, Photographer, Food Design. Evergreen State College. Visit her at Little Market Kitchen Blog
Kim Fahrion – Interior Design/ Poster design/ crafts, Has taught these subjects to High Schoolers Nancy Gebauer paints and draws. Teaches art classes.
Mary Trentel Hall- Quilter/ Crafter
Julie Norris, Photography

Cousin’s Grand Kids

Kendall MacKeigan Fashion Design/ Art (cousin’s granddaughter)
Morgan Shina Hosokoawa Ward, fashion design (cousin’s granddaughter)
Cassandra Kelemen Kling, Nature photography

Note: Thanks to Rachel Welsh Igas for the original title “Artcestry”

Giving Up

There was a time I would actually think about coming up with a New Year’s resolution but that was before my health conditions came along a dictated them for me. First was the news that I had LPR (silent reflux) in October. It was serious enough to totally affected my sinus cavities. On the laundry list of things that I had to change were the following: stop eating 3 hours before bedtime, no alcohol, no caffiene (nurse gave the go ahead for one cup a day), no pop/soda, restrict dairy other than yogurt, little or no citrus, no tomatoes, no chocolate (no big problem since I am not a big fan of chocolate) no spicy anything, eat in small portions, don’t sit down after eating and lose weight.  And I am doing pretty much all of that but the weight is coming off very SLOWLY.

I was adjusting but still not feeling tops. And then, and then… my body was building kidney stones, huge ones blocking my urinary tract combined with massive infection that ended me up in emergency procedure to put a stent in place then wait of 2 1/2 weeks over the holidays before the stent could be removed and stones blasted. Tomorrow I will see the urologist tomorrow to see what other restrictions he will put me on. (I had already changed my diet because of kidney stones  passing through).

This week I returned to Ears Nose and Throat doctor to get the results of my allergy test. I was surprised to find out that I WASN”T allergic to pollen because my allergies/asthma appeared to be seasonal then I started reading up on the numerous molds (8) I am allergic to. Aha! 3 of them coincide with the high allergy seasons. One with cedar pollen, a different one with ragweed and a third with wet Springs. Just when I thought I was living healthy as I could. Grapefruit seed nose spray was added to my list of things I had to use. More food restrictions mushrooms, blue cheese, roquefort cheese, bleached flour, refined white sugar, white rice.

Do I feel I’ve been treated unfair? You bet! I am adjusting alright. I’m starting not to miss the soda but I would like to have a drink now and then. And it is hard to say no to the second cup of coffee but I have. Desserts are few and far between these days and I miss them. And what is life without tomatoes? Honestly! And Mexican without peppers?

The answer it is my new normal and what I will pay to not have any of the symptoms or at least a great reduction of the symptoms I have dealt with for a long time. And being able to take a few meds off my daily routine is a bit of a trade off. Yes, I wish I could go back to those days of eating food without worrying about the repercussions but that isn’t in the cards.

Here’s to better health to come as I lift a cup of ginger tea to toast the new year.


Kyffin the Welsh Terrier Puppy

After the crushing loss of Cordy, our little Aussie Terrier, of 13 1/2 years we took a month breather before considering another puppy. We still had our terrier mix, Doolin, who was nearing 9 years old. He too was missing his Aussie friend. He wasn’t eating and would go around the house looking in all the Cordy’s corners.

We are senior citizens now (whether we want to admit it) and knew this would be our last chance to get a puppy. We also knew size mattered as we needed to be able to lift, and chase after a dog. Although we loved our Aussie we believed we would always be comparing a new Aussie to our first. So instead we went for another small terrier. A terrier because we like a terrier’s spunk but also because generally terriers are non shedding. We picked a Welsh Terrier. We believed getting a puppy would help our Doolin maintain his place in the household.

It has been a hectic and exhausting 5 weeks since Kyffin (Welsh for border land) came to live with us. We are dealing with nights interupted with trips outside, old dog getting used to new dog, clean up duty and training not to bite, when to sit, when to stay, how to walk on a lead and much more. We have introduced him to as many folks as possible. It is an understatement that he likes people. He seems to be relaxed with everyone he has met. Kyffin is proving to be a smart, difiant, funny and cuddly critter. I know there will be lots more adventure to come.

Life of Cordy (Coeur d’ Alene) the Australian Terrier 2000 – 2013

thumb_Cordy the Australian Terrier at 8 weeks old._1024




Cordy’s Story

May 5, 2000 to October 16, 2013

Cordy, an Australian terrier, was born on Cinco de Mayo 2000, in the Mountains of Washington near Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.  He was the grandson of grand champion Raiza Ruckus.

Finding Cordy:

I happened to be traveling to Coeur d ‘Alene, Idaho on a business trip where Michael joined me. I had decided to get a puppy, maybe because I worked at United Design at the time who had a line of dog figurines part of Stone Critters collection maybe because I’ve always liked animals.  We had cats for years before considering a dog but there came a point I felt I was ready for a dog. One of the breeds the “Find the Right Dog for You” test on the internet recommended was an Australian Terrier a breed, that up to then, we had never ever heard of. Michael noted that an Aussie breeder lived near where we were going. She just happened to have a litter of 3. No particular reason why picked Cordy over the other male. The female was $100 dollar more so we ruled her out. He flew back with us on the plane. He also pooped on the plane. We were not popular on that flight at all. As Michael worked from home doing freelance commercial art, training Cordy therefore came under his purview.  I would come home after work and play games that involve a little agility training. Cordy proved to be smart and agile!  I would set up the lawn chairs in a line and put a peanut on each one. I would make him weave in and out of the chairs the first run, the second run he could eat the peanuts on the chairs.


He had at least 2 walks every day up until this year when he decided one evening walk would be enough. Cordy was more accurate than a clock to letting us when it was treat time, dinner time, snack time and bed time. He would go to bed the same time as Michael but would wander into the living room and look at me as if to say “you need to go to bed”.  If I wasn’t feeling well he would sit next to my feet while Michael took Doolin out for a walk. But the truth was he was Michael’s dog and stayed close to him most of the time even if it meant being stepped on. Michael wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch alone without Cordy laying across the back of it.

 He loved to ride in the car sitting on the armrest between us even when his butt got a little too big, he insisted that was his place. He would even accompany us in our kayak standing fearlessly on the deck. One year Cordy went with us as we made a long journey back to Ohio to see family. We put his favorite cushion in the back seat but he decided he would rather ride in my lap and so he did for 1500 miles. When we moved to Medicine Park he really came into his own proving what a rough and tumble dog he could be. Oh how he love to scamper up the granite rocks that made up our yard and take jaunts with us through the Wichita Mountain Refuge. When Doolin (a pound rescue) joined our ranks Cordy made it very clear he was the alpha dog and Doolin (double Cordy’s weight) bought into the concept. They say not to have two male dogs but these guys did okay together.

thumb_Cordy & Doolin at Christmas_1024

Cordy was our dog and our protector. He would position himself midway between us and any other people or animal.  Case in point…. We were down at one of the lakes in the refuge with my sister and family that were visiting from Ohio and Dallas when car drove up and out stepped some punks and their pet boxer on a big chain. They thought it would be fun to scare the “little dog”. Cordy positioned himself in front of us and sat tensely and stared the dog down who backed up with a whimper. The owners of the dog just remarked at what a tough little dog he was.  Jake an free roaming local mutt and bully of Big Rock was known to chase cars, people and other dogs.  Cordy would have none of that as once again he planted his feet in middle of the street and wouldn’t let Jake come near us.


Cordy was not a licker but he was a kisser. So if your head got anywhere near his little face you got a kiss. I allowed him to lick my face or my nose but not my mouth. I gave people fair warning that he would do just that. He did not bark much with exception of people coming up to the house. Once they were invited in, he was silent. Cordy could never make through the night without wanting to go out at least once, sometimes to pea other times just to sniff around the night air. It was always Michael he would wake up as he went to his side of the bed and start making noises, and if that didn’t work he would use his “in the house” bark. On occasion after a few days of dealing with Ft. Sill’s artillery training he would go out front and bark to them a piece of his mind. He did very much like having guest stay. Cordy would position himself at foot of their chair during their stay and when they would go he would look for them. If someone would call like our son Colin or daughter Kim he would bark because I believe he recognized the voices.


When we would travel we’d leave him and Doolin at Little L Kennels. They were good to him but he was always raring to go back home when we returned. In his senior years he was a little slower in rising from a sleep and didn’t jump as high as he did when he was a pup to compensate we added a step so he could hop up more easily into the car. Cordy grumbled a bit if he was picked up. He just had too much pride to be carried.


It was very difficult today say goodbye to our little Cordy. That monster cancer entered his body we did not want to see him go through any pain so we let him go.  It is something you know when you get a dog that you will probably outlive them. Pet owners have to be a good breed themselves to understand these little lives.

thumb_Cordy on the Rock_1024