Chocolate Chai Tea Latte & a bit of This & That

How has the first month of the New Year been going for you? January has been a bit of a crazy month for our family. One thing after another it seems.

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We lost my mom’s brother unexpectedly. He had a staff infection in his heart and it caused a stroke. We were thankful that mom and all of his kids were able to get down to Nevada and spend time with him before he passed. I stayed home to watch mom’s house and tend to her kitties. Mike’s kids came from all over. One child came from Colorado, another from New York, and another was able to make it in time from England.  Mike was very happy they were all there with him. The day before he passed away they sat in his room sharing stories and talking about what he meant to each one of them. Mom said it was a wonderful day and a blessing to be able to have that time together with him. One of the children had to leave her husband who was also with his dying father at the time, to come to be at her own father’s side. So much grief to handle.

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Mom and Mike’s oldest daughter Nancy from England, were in charge of finding Mike’s loving companion Angel, a Newfoundland, a new home. She’s very old and there were several homing ideas being discussed. Mike loved her dearly, so not just any home would do. After a few days a wonderful blessing just dropped into their laps. One of Nancy’s friends who had continued his relationship with Mike all these years, heard of Mike’s passing and it turns out…he and his wife take in and care for aging animals. He knows Angel, and was thrilled to adopt and love Angel. He said, “My wife and I take in elderly and ill dogs, love them until they die and break our hearts, and then we do it all over again.” Amazing people.

 

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After Angel had been in her new home for two days mom and Nancy were invited to dinner. They were both absolutely shocked at how happy Angel was. Relaxed and carefree. I think pets know so much more than we think they do. While she was with my mom at Mike’s house, she was very depressed. But mom and Nancy were pleased to report that in her new home, where she doesn’t have to worry anymore, she was like a new pup!

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Then… mom’s wallet was stolen when they were out to dinner one of the nights. It is Reno after all. Probably one of the biggest pick pocket cities in the US next to Vegas and New Orleans. Luckily, she had her passport and after hours and hours of phone calls and stress, she was able to iron everything out and eventually get a flight home.

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Last night’s simple dinner. Salmon, quinoa, & steamed beets.

On our end, Tony got some kind of strange eye infection that was very painful. He wears extended wear contacts…which I think is a terrible idea for your eyes! I tried to tell him it was an infection at the very beginning and to go to the doctor…but do you think he would take my word for it? Of course not. Three days later after sleepless nights and a lot of pain, he finally went to the eye doctor and you know what she told him? You guessed it.

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This morning’s breakfast. Quinoa and salmon stuffed squash.

 

For me, January has been a cruddy health roller coaster. I’ve  had numerous horrible migraines and have been feeling under the weather. My focus for the beginning of the New Year was going to be on “rest and relaxation”after an extremely busy December. But you know how that goes. I hate to give into the “sick” and rest during the day.

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And because when it rains it pours, Romeo tore some ligaments in his right knee. He yelped on a hike we were on in the snow a few weeks ago but we couldn’t determine the issue. So we rested him for a few days and he seemed fine.

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About a week ago we were walking them and he was running around like a maniac in the snow of course, and he yelped again. Well, this time, he was definitely favoring one leg. We rested it for another few days with no improvement, and decided it was time to see the vet. They put him on “bed rest” for two weeks. A practically impossible feat.

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They are active dogs and we walk, hike, run, or mountain bike with them every day. Two weeks is a lifetime for all of us! While we were at the vet I also had the doc look at some growths on Abigail that we recently found. Turns out she’ll need those removed as well. In two weeks if Romeo’s knee is not greatly improved, then he’ll need surgery (and I’m assuming more “bed rest”) and Abigail will go in at the same time to have the growths removed.

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Not quite the January I would have planned for all of us of course, but as we all know, we aren’t the planners of this life. So instead of getting bogged down, we try to focus on the good of it all. With Mike, although he’ll be missed greatly, it was a blessing that mom and his children had each other for support and were able to be there to say goodbye. As my husband said in his prayer for Mike, “He was one of the good ones.” It’s also a blessing to be able to know that Mike’s best friend is being taken care of by trusted, loving, people.

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Our new favorite pizza place. Gluten free and dairy free options.

 

Mom’s wallet thing all worked out. And in the end, she said it was probably a blessing because had she still had her wallet and all of her cash she took down there with her, she would have stayed much longer to take care of Mike’s belongings, which would have been really hard on her as she and Mike were close, and all the kids had to go back home to work. So for now, it can all wait, and they can work on it together this summer.

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My faithful epsom bath companion.

With Tony’s eye, we can be thankful that it wasn’t serious, and be very thankful that we have insurance to pay for things like that. Another blessing.

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Breakfast yesterday. Homemade coconut milk yogurt with all kinds of goodies.

For me, the bright side is always, always….that things could be much worse health wise. I try really hard to take it one day at a time and focus on the good parts.

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As for the fur babies, every day we have with them is a tremendous blessing. And thankfully, Tony  has a good job and we have the means to help them when they need it.

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Though sometimes it feels like the stress outweighs the joy, if you pay close attention, there’s always good to focus on and things to be grateful for!

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Chocolate Chai Tea Latte

*Makes 2 servings

1 1/2 Cups of Filtered Water

2 Decaf Black Tea Bags

1/2 Cup of 100% Coconut Milk

1 ounce of Dark Chocolate

 2 teaspoons Chai Tea Spice Mix (see below)

1 teaspoon of Raw Honey

Chai Spice Mix: 

1 Small Jar

3 teaspoons of Turmeric

4 teaspoons of Cardamom

5 teaspoons of Cloves

4 teaspoons of Allspice

10 teaspoons of Cinnamon

7 teaspoons of Ginger

Measure all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Spoon into a storage jar.

Bring the filtered water to a boil in a small pan. Turn off heat and add tea bags, steep for 10 minutes. Remove bags, heat on medium and add the chocolate, coconut milk, and chai spices. Bring to a low boil, remove from heat and add honey.

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6 Comments on “Chocolate Chai Tea Latte & a bit of This & That

  1. I’m so sorry to hear of your uncle’s passing. It’s always a very difficult time when we lose someone we love. I’m so glad Angel has found another home and I’m glad she’s settled in well. What a dreadful thing to happen to your mother, just after she lost her brother! And I’m sorry to hear your health hasn’t been too good; migraines are very debilitating. On the up side, I’ve enjoyed seeing your winter photos and your dogs look very well cared for. I hope February is less hectic for you xx

    Like

  2. Pingback: 50 Of My Fall Favorites | gluten free zen

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