Friday, April 22, 2016

Millie and the Hedgehog

When I get tired of chewing on my squeaky hedgehog.
I use it as a handy pillow for my chin!
I took Miss Millie on a little walk to drop some packages off at Office Depot this morning. She was laying on the desk by the front window looking somewhat sad since Keith left yesterday morning so I thought a walk might cheer her up a little. She is doing better on her walks, not pulling as much on the leash and not barking as much at trucks, bikes, etc. I only let her walk through Office Depot if she has taken her poo on the way over, I don't want a repeat of that time she pood in Petco (but what more appropriate place to take a poo?) and if she hasn't taken a poo, carrying it is.

I keep her on a very short leash while walking through the store because she does have a tendency to sniff at people's ankles with her wet little nose and we don't want any startled shoppers. She likes to sniff at the close to the floor displays as we are quickly walking by, especially the ones that have candy in them, those big bags of M&Ms probably smell pretty good to a dog despite the fact that chocolate is very very bad for them.

Later today we will have our afternoon sit in the front yard if it is not too hot. It's been warming up here and we've actually had to turn the a/c on a few times late in the day. Summer starts early up here!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Is That a Homeless Guy Sleeping in the Grass?

This morning Keith got home from work and while I ran a few errands he said he would take Millie for a walk. She knows what the word 'walk' means and you seriously have to spell it out in front of her so she doesn't get all excited. You can't say walk and then not do it RIGHT THAT MINUTE! So not fair.

She also knows the word 'outside' and that it means we get to go out in the front yard for an hour or so. She has been behaving herself really well while out front, if she starts to wander into the neighbor's yard she will reluctantly come back after a 'Millie' and a point to where she is supposed to be. We have a few stray cats that like to sleep under our big daisy bushes so the first thing she does when she goes 'outside' is to go stick her nose into those daisy bushes to see if there is an OMG! KITTY CAT! under one of them. There sometimes is and the cat goes running and Millie is very good about just watching it go instead of chasing after it after a few times of getting in trouble for doing just that. It's funny that seeing a cat in the yard from inside the house sets her off in a tizzy of barking and growling but if she is outside then she doesn't go as nuts about the whole cats in the yard thing.

Anyway, while I was gone Keith took her for a walk and his idea of a walk is no leash around the neighborhood then a carry across the street and over to the big grassy area behind the Home Depot store. He watches her very carefully and she knows that when he whistles it's time to go to papa.

I ran my errands and then drove back home along the street by the big grassy area, thinking I might see the two of them. I saw a man laying in the grass and at first thought it was a homeless guy taking a nap and then realized that wait a minute, that is not a homeless man, that is Keith laying there and there is Millie wandering about by him.

I swung around and went down the alley between the grass and Home Depot, thinking they might want a ride home, which they did. I was glad he took her for a little outing, she gets a little sad each time he leaves for work and seems to miss him a lot.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Still Boring But at Least the Weather is Nice!

These months of spring are the most liveable here in hot dry (and cold in the winter) Bakersfield. For a few months we can open up the windows and enjoy the yard before it gets too hot to step outside the air conditioning.

Millie is being trained to stay in the front yard with us, not running off after stray cats or kids on bikes and she is doing pretty well with it. She will still bark at someone walking down the street (how DARE they!) but after a few 'NOs' she is learning to not get quite so excited and protective. The afternoons have been so nice that I've spent quite a few hours sitting out there with her while enjoying some iced tea and a book.

We moved our metal glider out into the yard under the tree where it looks inviting but unfortunately is not all that comfortable to sit on for very long, so I get one of the plastic chairs instead.
As you can see our grass is already starting to get brown since we don't water it, not wanting to waste the water and also being too lazy to water. Our automatic sprinklers don't work so watering is kind of a chore and since we are supposed to be conserving anyway, a chore that doesn't have to get done!

The sunshine feels so good to a little dog!
Other than sitting in the yard and reading, we are our usual boring selves. We haven't done much of anything other than Keith going to work and me cleaning up after animals. The cats spend a lot of time in the backyard so they continually bring leaves and dirt back inside with them, Harri being the worst because she likes to lay in the dirt. We don't have grass in the back  yard, just weeds that we cut down with the weed whacker every once in awhile and lots of dirt and leaves from all the trees back there. Keith did buy a not so noisy battery operated leaf blower that works very well to keep the patio part of the yard a little cleaner, but you can't really use it on the weeds/dirt area. Sure is faster and much more efficient than trying to sweep up out there, though!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Roasted Chicken Breasts and No Cancer!

Keith had some blood in his um...stool when we went in for our annual physicals in early February so the gastro doctor's office actually called him to schedule a colonoscopy, which he was due for this year anyway, having to go in for one every 2-3 years since his cancer surgery. Fun fun fun.

So, he did his prep last week which was actually the easiest prep yet in terms of how much stuff you have to drink, enemas, etc. The doctor's office has changed things to where now it's 4 super strength Exlax pills and 2 doses of Suprep that you only have to mix with 16oz of water rather than a huge jug of stuff like in previous colonoscopies. Not to mention the enemas. Most people who are getting colonoscopies are older and they found that the harsh regimen was just not doable by some of those people, causing vomiting etc. So, a little easier these days as far as the prep. And no enemas.

They have also changed how they schedule the appointments, the doctor he goes to always did first come first serve, so they would have everyone show up at the same time and then you would wait and wait and wait and wait. Ridiculous, really, so I'm really glad they changed that, too. His appointment time was at 12:30, he was told he'd be there about 2 hours, and it was almost exactly 2 hours later when he was able to leave. And, good news, no cancer! Just a few polyps which the doctor thought were the benign type and not precancerous but they will be tested anyway just in case.

Keith was quite relieved, having worried quite a bit that he might lose more of his colon, as was I.

Now for the roasted chicken breasts.

I have been buying the boneless chicken breasts for years now, being so versatile and easy to fix, but Keith had bought some seasoned bone in chicken breasts so I was researching how we wanted to cook them and came across a roasted chicken breast recipe and yum, did the breasts come out good, tasting a lot like the rotisserie chickens that you can buy already cooked at the store.

You can season the chicken breasts any way you want, the recipe I found was just some olive oil and salt and pepper. You put the breasts on a cookie sheet or pan covered with foil for the easy clean up, season them however you want, then bake at 375 for 45 minutes or so, depending on the size of the breasts. Then, cover them with some foil and let them sit for about 10 minutes and done, ready to eat.

If you are wanting cooked chicken to use in other recipes, soup, enchiladas, pot pie, whatever, I think this is probably the best way to cook chicken for those recipes that I've found so far.

And it's so easy!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Making Baked Bacon or Bakin' Bacon

Who doesn't like bacon? It's delicious whether eaten just as it is all hot and crispy or in a BLT with lots of mayo, or maybe in a bacon and cheese omelet or crumbled up on top of a salad. Good eating even if it isn't all that good for you. It's low carb though!

I like bacon on occasion but really dislike cooking it. Standing over the stove, bacon grease splattering all over the place, turning it and being too impatient for the bacon to be done already. So, I never cook the stuff.

Until I discovered (thanks, google and assorted food bloggers) that you can just stick it in the oven and bake it.

So easy, the hardest part is peeling the bacon apart and finding your cookie sheet and rack.

Here is what you do:
Line the cookie sheet with foil, put the cookie cooling rack on top of the foil, put the bacon on the rack and bake it for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. If you are cooking a lot of pieces of bacon like I did maybe 5 minutes more, depending on how crisp you want it. Then just put it on some paper towels to soak the grease off and eat!

Before:

 After:

I had found some bacon a few weeks ago that was cinnamon sugar flavored which sounds weird but it was so good! I can't remember which store I got it at and have been browsing bacon sections everywhere I go ever since but haven't found it again. I will keep looking though!

The other day Keith was taking a nap on the couch and I walked in the living room to see this.
I guess Millie was hoping dad would wake up and play with her so she had her toy handy in case he did. The toy is a chicken with the obligatory squeaker inside it. She gnawed away at its little eyes until she tore them both off and proceeded to pull out all of the stuffing from inside its head. It's a little creepy now with a big gaping hole where its eyes used to be.