12 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe At a BBQ

Living in Texas, we’re around BBQ a lot (we even wrote a book once called Texas Barbecue)…and we know that barbecue grills and dogs can be a dangerous combination. With summer days just…



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DogTipper

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Sardine Dog Treats RECIPE

Sardines are high in Omega 3 and 6–a super food according to some people–but your dog will just call them very tasty!

This post first appeared in DogTipper.com. Link to original post: Sardine Dog…



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DogTipper

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Lemon Lime Vodka Spritzers

A few weeks ago, one of my dear friends did a drive-by drop off and left a bottle of Icelandic Vodka on our doorstep, along with a note that said “for you to practice for when you go to Iceland.” (For those who don’t know, we were supposed to go to Iceland for a week on March 18th, but the trip was canceled due to the Covid-19 crisis.) It was such a thoughtful gift, and we, of course, decided to put it to use.

Since then, I’ve whipped up my favorite vodka cocktail a few times, and I decided today to share it with you guys. It’s such a refreshing drink, and makes me think of sunshine and summer and all of happy things I am craving right now. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Makes 4 cocktails.

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces vodka (1.5 ounces per glass)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 lemons + 1-2 limes (enough for 1/2 cup of juice)
lemon or lime sparkling water (unsweetened; I usually use lime La Croix)
ice
lemons or limes (for garnish)
course salt for rim (optional)

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and stir until dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, then chill in fridge. While syrup is chilling, juice the lemons and limes. Combine juice with chilled syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka and some ice cubes, and shake. (If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, just stir it all up and call it good.) Use lemon or lime juice to wet the rims of 4 glasses and dip each rim into the course salt. (You can also use course sugar, but I like the margarita-style bite of the salt.) Add a few ice cubes to each glass, then pour the mixture equally into each glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with lime or lemon slices. 

If you make these, let me know how you like them!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Sit, Stay.

dare sit stay

We have our sit, stays down.

Dare is now 11 months old. When the plague ends, we will go to some shows.

Natural History

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Healthy Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

We had big dreams to make our first every trip to Disney World this summer. And while I suppose it’s still possible, I’m definitely not holding my breath. (The fact that it’s currently completely shut down combined with things like, you know, money slowly dwindling down to nothing, make it seem like an unrealistic reality at this point. But we’ll keep dreaming!) Regardless of what ends up happening, we’re doing what we can to bring a little something special into our lives when we’re able during these strange times. And that includes Mickey Mouse themed pancakes for our babes.

Now, we are not above making things from a box in this house. In fact, that is how we make pancakes 99% of the time. But since we have a little extra time these days for food preparation, we’ve been going for the from-scratch route with things we normally wouldn’t. Our kids have also been eating a lot more crap food than normal lately, so it makes me feel a little less parent guilt when breakfast is at least semi-healthy. We’ve been loving these special pancakes, and we hope you will as well!

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups organic milk (soy and almond milk work too)
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat works best)
Coconut oil or butter
Bananas, sliced
Blueberries
Pure maple syrup or honey

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine milk, vanilla extract, and eggs. Pour into dry ingredients and stir well. Once combined, add the Greek yogurt. Heat a griddle or large pan to medium heat and melt enough coconut oil to adequately cover the surface in order to prevent sticking. For each pancake, use either a mixing bowl with a spout, a pitcher, or a ladle to pour batter, first to create the face, then to create two ears that will be attached to the face (at 10 and 2, if you’re looking at the face like a clock). Make sure when you pour the ears that they just barely touch at the edges between the ears and the face to allow room for the pancake to expand. Flip once the underside is golden brown. Repeat until you’ve used up all of your batter, and remove from griddle or pan when each cake is golden on both sides.

Then comes the fun part – decorating. We use blueberries for the eyes and sliced bananas for the nose. Any fruit you have on hand works. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey.

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

If you have any other fun Mickey Mouse pancake recipes, I’d love to see them!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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In the Time of the Plague

plague dog

One of my favorite movies is Jaws. The movie centers around a Northeastern island town that relies heavily upon the tourism industry.  A larger than normal great white shark starts attacking people off its beaches, and the initial response of the mayor and town government is to ignore it or blame the attacks on a boating accident.

Of course, such sharks that become habitual human hunters really don’t exist in nature. Usually the shark that eats someone moves on and may never encounter a person again. They are simply predators making a go of it in a sea in which prey avails itself at irregular intervals.

However, the story of Jaws was cribbed from a Henrik Ibsen play called An Enemy of the People.  That play tells the story of a resort town that relies upon natural mineral spas for its tourism town. A doctor discovers the mineral water is contaminated by bacteria, but the leaders of the town and the local newspaper do all they can to prevent the story from being known. The town does not want this story being known, because it will cost them their tourism industry.

I have thought a lot about leaders who sacrifice people for economics. I’ve seen it with my own eyes as this COVID-19 disaster unfolds in the United States.  You may accuse me of letting my political biases from coming to the fore, and I suppose you are right.

I have tried to avoid political discussions in this era of depressing developments– at least on this space. But this time, I have decided to let some of my reticence slip.

The era in which I have come of age is the age of the precariat. The precariat is that sector of society which does not have much and is always on the edge of potential disaster.

Healthcare prices continue to soar, and suddenly, we are thrown into a situation where a contagious virus spreads through the population and the only way to combat is to force the bulk of the population to stay home.  Staying home means no paychecks and massive layoffs. Health insurance that is tied to employment is lost.

And the virus continues to spread. People die and will continue to die.  We are left precarious. The future is uncertain.

No one has any idea how to fix anything. The ruling ideas of the past 40 years don’t make any sense. Indeed, they have no solution at all.

Americans have this idea of invincibility.  We have insulated ourselves from the greatest risks of our many wars. Only the relatively few combat soldiers know any real risk from battle death or injury.

We have lots of great technology, and we believe that our economy is the best in the world. We think of ourselves as durable against it all.

But we are being felled by a mere micro-organism. It is even more mindless than a shark. It merely replicates within our cells and passes on to the next victim.

All of that advancement, all of that intellect and culture, all laid bare by the most random of things.

Wildlife  always live with the specter of epidemics. Canine distemper will flow through gray fox population. In 2016, canine distemper wreaked havoc among the Yellowstone wolves, and I can remember years when epizootic hemorrhagic disease knocked out the white-tail population.

But humans live with the fiction that we are not part of nature. We have vaccines and antibiotics. We have sanitation.  We don’t suffer the plagues like we used to.

But this time, a plague has come upon us. It should knock us off our pedestal a bit. As much as we like to think that we are not part of nature, sometimes nature comes for us. It comes to us with no malice, no concept of revenge. It comes for us the way that it comes for that adorable gray fox kit when distemper hits it.

Our intellect should call us to question the ruling ideas. Already, that questioning is going on. But that questioning must not just be centered in the concept of how our economic and healthcare systems have left us so exposed.

The truth is we are always exposed.  We are always at risk. We are ultimately mortal. We are not terrestrial gods.

We are the smartest animal. But we are still animals. The processes of nature still come for us. Though we can deflect and insulate against these forces, sometimes, we just can’t stop it.

So it has come. It is the Time of the Plague. And we must think and consider as we fall into such humility.

We should accept this humility for now.  We must reconsider and retool– for that is what the future ultimately holds.

 

 

Natural History

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Saturday Survey: #StayHomeStaySafe

I work from home, so my dogs haven’t noticed a big difference, but I know for some of you, staying inside has been a BIG change. How is your dog handling it? I read that if you remember you’re not “stuck” at home, but rather “safe” at home, it can help with the positive attitude. … Continue reading Saturday Survey: #StayHomeStaySafe


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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My Free Little Grocery

I’m taking a minute of editorial privilege during this extraordinary time to encourage you to help others where you can. Here’s what’s in front of my house right now. I’m not doing it for compliments. I’m doing it because there are people in my community in need, and it makes me feel better to do … Continue reading My Free Little Grocery


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Iditarod 2020: Race Map

Perhaps I should have posted this earlier, so the checkpoints I am posting daily would make more sense. As you can see, the mushers are following the northern route this year (they alternate between northern and southern), and the top mushers have reached the shores of the Bering Sea at Unalakleet. Until next time, Good … Continue reading Iditarod 2020: Race Map


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Iditarod 2020: Standings as of 3/16 @ 6:20 PM Alaska Time

If it’s Monday, it must be Koyuk! Thomas Waerner remains in the lead, leaving Koyuk @ 13:35. Jessie Royer left Koyuk @ 17:35 Aaron Burmeister left @ 17:42 Mitch Seavey left @ 18:10 Wade Marrs has slipped up to 5th place, arriving in Koyuk @ 15:12, one minute before Brent Sass. They are both still … Continue reading Iditarod 2020: Standings as of 3/16 @ 6:20 PM Alaska Time


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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