Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dog Gone Winter

My dog is a big brown love machine. She has those big brown lab eyes that make me want to squeeze her around the neck and taker her with me everywhere I go. Kinda like having another kid some days.  She is stubborn, independent, but wants my attention and approval at all times.

Loyal. She's waiting in the front of the house every afternoon when I arrive home from work. She stays at the house when I run if the boys are home alone.

Protector. Brownie would protect us from whatever or whomever she feels is a threat, which is pretty much everyone who isn't here on a consistent basis. She also protects my in-laws. Mind you they are almost a half mile down the road; a pasture field away from our house. It doesn't matter to her. The UPS man pulls in and she's off like a Derby horse to the finish line to get a sniff of him and growl like she's tough. Truth be told she's more afraid of him than anything.

Lover. Doesn't matter how hot it is outside, she's on top of me with me on the blanket sunning in the summer. In the winter she's stealing the sled from us and running away from on the hill with us while we sled. Sometimes she's on the sled with us. We wouldn't dare to try without her. When I'm working at the table she's on my feet keeping them nice and warm. She always looks like she's smiling at us :)

Smelly. The dog loves to swim. And roll in dirt. And roll in things that aren't dirt. And eat garbage that gives her incredibly foul gas. She scared me to death last week when she gorged herself on people food and got garbage gut. Poor girl was miserable. What followed after the 24 hour fast could have been used in an atomic missile. She could have peeled 90 year old paint with her hind end. She went outside.

We don't normally keep her in the house, save for when the weather is brutal like this. The rule is she has to have a bath before she can stay. She most definitely stays outside in the summer because of her swimming habits in our mucky pond. Eww.

The other day she decided to be independent. She missed her four-legged friends at the barn and she didn't come up at supper time so she spent a few nights in the barn. The barn is great. Lots of straw, the perfect temperature for her & all of her fur, and hanging out with the horse. Except now she smells like the hind end of the horse and refuses to take a bath.

Pinterest to the rescue!  Search: How to bathe a dog without struggle
Results: Doggie Dry Shampoo
Click: 1 box baking soda, a few drops of essential oil (optional), dog brush

Done and Done. It's not perfect, but she's brushed (and vacuumed) thoroughly enough to meet the sniff approval and not stink up the joint too badly. Thank goodness for the ShopVac!  She was in heaven with all the brushing and vacuuming. We laughed the entire time we were rubbing in the baking soda, brushing & sweeping her coat. Now to clean all of the dog hair off of every surface it has statically attached itself to... But she's worth it, the big brown turkey.

Who can resist this face? 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cold Cold Cold!

We've got an Alberta Clipper moving through the Hoosier state this week. School was canceled today and is for tomorrow as well. The one saving grace: the sun has been shining its heart out. For some reason that makes the cold more tolerable to me. As long as I see sun all is right in the world. Or at least in my world. 

What is it about cold,weather that makes baking seem like a logical choice? I just want to bake sweet things. Cookies. Cakes. Brownies. You name it I'll bake it. Instead I resisted the urge for junk and focused on supper. I had chicken thighs in the fridge that had to be used today. Thighs aren't my favorite but Coach loves thighs. And legs. And pretty much all of the chicken. Thighs are definitely his fave. He always wants the, fried. I don't do fried chicken. Like ever. The smoky house, the grease splatter, the mess. No Thanks. His mom makes the best fried chicken (according to him because again it's not my favorite) and I'm not about to compete with Nana's fried chicken. What does any self respecting wife do when looking for supper inspiration? Why Pinterest of course! 

Paprika, especially smoked paprika, is so good on chicken. I did a little search and I found a perfect cold weather comfort food dish of my go-to food blogs, The Reluctant Entertainer. It's not a quick fix necessarily but Iits not difficult at all. 'm fairly confident you could create in the crockpot for a busy day. I shad time and all ingredients to make as described. I served it with Jasmine rice and there were no leftovers. Honestly, it was better once it had cooled. Come on now, every good cook tastes as they cook to adjust seasoning. It was good hot, but better just warm. Definitely a make again dish. 

What's one of your favorite healthy comfort meals? Do share. I'm home again tomorrow and have no leftovers :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: The Year of Unexpected

Here it is Friday already.  The second Friday of our Christmas break. Honestly I haven't gotten nearly as much crossed off my to-do list as I had planned. That's part of me being an over-planner. That whole good intentions thing. Not that I haven't done anything. I've watched an entire season of House of Cards. Cooked a lot. Eaten even more. Coordinated the youth basketball program-teams-schedules.   Figured out who is covering what nights of pick-ups, practices, games, and all of that mom-stuff. I have not begun the first lesson plan for next year. Have not scheduled workouts. Haven't taken down decorations yet.

I have spent a good deal of time reflecting on the last year. The overwhelming theme of 2014 was new changes. So much change! The boys changed buildings this year; one to middle school, one to high school. My job change (again). Going back to school (again).  New schedules. New teams. New routines. New challenges. New friends. Now to focus on going forward. What's in store for 2015?

2015 has started with a bang of unexpected. My sweet chocolate lab got into way too much people food on New Year's Eve and spent yesterday writing in pain. Not quite how I expected to spend the first day of the new year. Thankfully she is on the mend and outside digging holes and rolling in the grass as if nothing ever felt wrong. I spent most of the day on the floor with her, rubbing her sweet face and side, reflecting on what I would do if she got really sick. She's only 5 and she's such a big part of our family. Why I let the emotion get the best of me I don't know but it grabbed hold and took me down with it. I'm just incredibly thankful she feels better today and seems to be recovering well from the garbage gut or whatever it was she was dealing with. And I've made everyone promise not to feed her any people foods anymore. My newest goal for the year is to make sure I'm taking care of her as well as I take care of me. I want her around for at least another 5 years.

Have you set your goals for the year? What do you want to accomplish? My wish for everyone is to have the best 2015 you can have. Be purposeful in planning. Be purposeful in preparation. Be purposeful in your prayer. Be good to yourself and be good to others.

A family selfie each month of the year!