Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mexican Corn Salad

 This is AMAZING!
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 4-6 ears fresh corn, shucked, kernels removed (about 3-4 cups fresh corn kernels)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 oz. cotija cheese, finely crumbled
  • 1/2 cup green onion, finely sliced - I leave this out
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 to 2 teaspoons canned jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 medium cloves. minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • Chili powder, to taste


1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over high heat until shimmering. Add corn kernels, season to taste with salt. Stir once and let cook without moving the corn until charred on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Stir corn and repeat until charred on second side, about 2 minutes longer. Continue stirring and charring until well charred all over, about 10-12 minutes total. Transfer corn to a large bowl.
2.  Mix the remaining ingredients while the corn is cooking.

3. Add mayo, cotija cheese (crumble well), green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, and chili powder mixture to corn and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and more chili powder to taste. 
4. Serve immediately.  If you don't eat it right away, keep warm in the oven.

Prime Real Estate

The area in front of the fire place is prime real estate.  So we have to stack the dogs to make sure they each get some of the warmth!

It's True!


I ordered a tofu making kit and was very excited to get it....until I read the directions!  It is so complex!  I have to get myself prepared for the project - so maybe next weekend.

Banjo Shopping

Grace feels that she needs a banjo.  So we went shopping this weekend and she found a used one.  She put it on layaway because it has to stay in the store for 30 days to make sure it doesn't show up as stolen.  She gets to pick it up on May 21!

Cabin Blanket

We got a bunch of fleece a couple weeks ago when a local fabric store was going out of business.  We took time this weekend to make a new blanket for the cabin.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

New Bed

Hops' new home made bed!  Ahi has one to match in a smaller size.  Daisy prefers to lay on the grass.

Boat Repair

Jim brought home part of the boat engine so he could work on it.  Below are parts of it at the cabin and above is the cool stand he made for it when we got home.

Cabin Work Weekend

Jim and I went to the cabin this weekend to do some work.  It was a whirlwind of manual labor.

We started the weekend picking up free tree saplings leftover from the Rim Fire reforestation project.  We got 10 Cedar trees and 30 Ponderosa Pines.

Next we took the hounds for a hike near Pilot's Peak.  Someone was already up at the lookout so we hiked on the opposite direction which was fun.  Ahi seemed to feel great after her near death experience last week.  We took it easy on them because of Ahi's illness and Daisy's advanced age!

 Then we re-stained the picnic tables.  Above is before and below is after.  They look great!

These were our "helpers" napping on the job!

Next up was de-winterizing the boat.  We removed the winter tarp, did some engine maintenance and cleaned the inside.  Unfortunately when we took it for a test drive at the lake, it didn't work.  The water pump went out.  So off we went back to the driveway where Jim took it apart again!

The little saplings are so small that I put pine cones around each of them to make sure they could be seen.   I don't want them weed whacked when we do the summer clean up work!

All in all, a good weekend with beautiful mountain weather!

Breaking dog news

Hops is in heat.  If all goes well, she will have pups at the end of June/beginning of July.  Last time she got to wear sexy purple panties.  This time its white granny panties!  Luckily she doesn't seem to care.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What now in the dog drama department?

Last nite I was getting the dog's dinner ready -- which is quite a process right now with Ahi being sick and each dog getting different food and meds. 

While I was on the floor giving Ahi some meds, Hops suddenly starts limping....she won't put her front foot down!

Grace and I look at each other like..."what the heck is it NOW"!?!?!

So because I am on the floor, I look at Hops' paw....

I was laughing so hard that I could barely tell Grace to get me a paper towel.

Because it had taken so long to get the food together, it gave Daisy extra time to drool.

Hops had stepped in a pile of Daisy drool and didn't like that it was all over her paw!  LOL!

What has my life become?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fruits of Labor


CCI immediately put our products from the volunteer event to good use!

A boy and his power tools...

Auntie Bebee got William his first leaf blower.  William LOVES it.  Mari might think it's a little loud!

Before and After

Henry had his first haircut!  Before - above.  After - below!  I am not sure it is the same dog!

Sick Weener

At the Hospital getting ready to be admitted on Friday morning.
Ahi has been really sick with HGE.  Trying to catch it early I first took her to the vet on Wednesday nite but by Friday morning she was hospitalized.  This is the same thing that she had in February.  We had thought she was on the mend until we woke up on Friday morning to bloody diarrhea all over the house!  It literally looked like a crime scene.

She spent 24 hours in the hospital getting stabilized with IV fluid, pain meds and antibiotics and then we brought her home to recover more.  Unfortunately, she is not recovering as fast as I would like.  She is super lethargic and seems to continue to have pain.  I am working from home so I can continue to monitor her.  The good news is she did bark a couple times last nite and has gone upstairs to lay on our bed.

Here is some good info on HGE:

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis or HGE is a very serious condition affecting dogs. HGE is characterized by a rapid onset of hemorrhagic (bloody) diarrhea in an otherwise normal, healthy dog. Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis can affect dogs of any breed, gender or age although younger (2-4 year old) toy and miniature breeds appear to be predisposed; stress and hyperactivity in these breeds may play a role in this syndrome. In addition, an overgrowth of the bacterium Clostridium perfringens and the toxins produced by this organism have been implicated. The actual etiology of this syndrome is unproven and unknown.
What are the clinical signs of HGE in dogs?

Dogs affected with HGE will often have:
  • A sudden onset of profuse, bloody diarrhea with a foul odor
  • Vomiting
  • A loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
HGE in dogs can occur very rapidly. HGE is not contagious and can occur without a change in the dog's diet, environment, or routine. A fever with HGE is uncommon.
This is what she is doing while recovering - roasting herself in front of the fire

How is HGW Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of HGE is based on the dog's clinical signs (especially sudden onset of bloody diarrhea) accompanied with an increased packed-cell volume (PCV) - usually greater than 60%. PCV, also called the 'hematocrit', is determined by measuring the percentage of red-blood cells (RBCs) in the dog's blood. With HGE, the lining of the intestine becomes "leaky" allowing the proteins in the blood (plasma proteins) and blood electrolytes to leak out of the bloodstream into the intestine while not allowing the larger RBCs to leak out. Therefore, the PCV increases while the plasma protein level decreases. Radiographs are generally unremarkable but may help rule-out other potential illnesses. A positive culture for C. perfringens may also help diagnose HGE.

How is HGE in dogs treated?
Because of the bloody diarrhea, rapid intravenous fluid replacement is essential in the treatment of dogs with HGE. In addition, antibiotics may be needed to combat a possible C. perfringens infection or other bacterial infection. Transfusions of plasma may be required if the dog has very low plasma protein levels. Food and water should be withheld for 1-2 days and re-introduced slowly as the vomiting diminishes and the dog returns to health. Antiemetics (drugs to decrease vomiting) may be indicated. The dog usually must be hospitalized for several days.

What is the Prognosis?

The prognosis for dogs with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is good if this condition is discovered early and the bloody diarrhea is treated aggressively with replacement intravenous fluids and other appropriate supportive care.
There are other disease conditions that exhibit similar symptoms to HGE. Canine parvovirus, a gastrointestinal foreign body, an intestinal intussusception or an intestinal volvulus (twisting of the intestines) may cause similar symptoms and should be considered if the dog doesn't respond to therapy for HGE in 24-48 hours.

We sent up Hops' crate for Ahi to sleep in at nite so that we don't get the surprise bloody diarrhea event that we had on Friday morning.  Last nite, Hops felt that she needed to squeeze her 60 pound body into a 10 pound bed.

My poor sweet weener.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

So much to like...

I was thinking about this today...there is so much I like about Grace.

And tonite I had an experience that illustrated just how much I enjoy being with her.

We went to an event at school tonite that talked about the beginning of the college process.  Consider it the foundation for beginning the college search and application process.

So we head up to school and chatted the whole way.  And we continued chatting during the the walk from the parking lot all the way into the gym, where the meeting was held.  We literally were yacking it up as we walked thru the door and almost interrupted the prayer!

We sat and listened to the session - which was great!  And then we walked out the door and started right back up with the yacking.  Between the gym and the truck we talked about:

  • Dogs
  • Schools
  • Dirty trucks 
  • Lunch boxes
  • South Africa
  • Mini Coopers
  • Jim
  • Drew

It was a free flow conversation where we would each get excited about something and the other one would jump right into the excitement.

Right as I was thinking the same thing, Grace said out loud, "Did you notice that we were the only parent and student that talked the whole way to and from the car?"  Literally it was silence around us while we laughing and chatting.

I really like that about her!

Canine Companions - Work Event

My coworker meeting Lily the service dog
Today I hosted a volunteer event at work for Canine Companions.  I had 40 employees sign up to make raised dog beds, pull toys and puppy play gyms.  

The volunteers were super engaged and seemed to love meeting the working service dogs who came to the event.

I was really happy with all we got done and with how much we were able to share about Canine Companions.

The dogs were able to show the volunteers things that they do for their humans - including picking up a credit card off the ground.  Everyone cheered for Lily when she did it and it made her so excited she ran a couple laps around the volunteers!

Making toys

Making play gyms

Working dogs taking a break to try out the beds we made! Chevy and Lily.

The whole group

Homemade Kong


I spend a fortune on kongs which are toys I stuff with beef jerky for the dogs.  Hops chews thru them like life savers!  While the other two have had to same kongs for years without destroying them.  Today, I got this homemade "kong" from a friend.  Seems like it might keep Hops busy for awhile!

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Summer Plans

In June G goes to a week long ski camp.

In July she goes to a week long sewing camp.

I am not kidding.

She is equally excited for both!

South Africa Report - April 2016

Kids from an orphanage signed the students shirts
Grace had such an amazing trip that she wants to go back next year and she also wants to go on the mission trip to Chile!

They did a lot of different service projects and really got the feeling that they were helping the people.

Some of the highlights:

Helping a woman named Mama Agnes who feeds the children of the community.

Organizing all the donated items to be delivered to those in need

Seeing lions, a cheetah (which is rare), hippos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, rhinos and meerkats

Watching lions get fed

Playing with and feeding kids in an orphanage

Getting 32 ice cream cones, from the drive thru, at McDonalds after a long, hot day of work.

Watching one of the vans get into accident (no one was hurt)

Getting little plastic bikes for the local preschool

Going to the grocery store to get supplies

Repairing a playground - G got to use the electric drill!

Eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken

Meeting the 5 little boys of the host family (Moses, Nehemiah, Micah, Isaac and ?)

No words needed...

This is a house in Freedom Village - they fed people here

Selfie with a lion

This was on a safari

This is from a place where they had dinner and saw the lions be fed

Easter at Mama Agnes'

Easter at Mama Agnes'

One of the kids wrote this note to the students.  We keep getting fits of giggles because of the line "Praise God and Shame the Satan".  Let's just say the phrase "Shame the Satan" will become a regular in our house!

Vietnamese Food

I met my parents for Vietnamese food on Friday nite.  It was a new place for us that my carpool partners recommended.  It was yummy!

Homemade Hummus

Every once in a while I make homemade hummus and every time I do it, I wonder why I don't do it more often.  Homemade hummus is DELISH!


A local fabric store is going out of business and is selling all their fleece for 70% off!  I have been twice in the last 24 hours and bought fleece to make five new blankets.  I spent less than $100 for fleece that would have been well over $300 dollars.  Here is G's new blanket, partially made.

Training begins

My training partner (Hops) and I did our first backpacking training for the season. partner doesn't need any training - she is ready to go at a moments notice.

We went to ST Park and did a 4 mile loop with a 10 lb pack.   Pack was stuffed with crushed tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup, towels and water bottles! I tried my lighter boots and decided I don't like them for backpacking.  They are pretty flexible and with a little extra weight of a backpack, my feet and ankles didn't feel very stable.
It has been a great wildflower season

We had two funny events on this hike:

First, we are hiking along and Hops was running up on the hillside.  In doing so, she accidentally flushed a few birds out of the bushes....which scared the the bejeezes out of her!  She came ripping down the hill towards me and whipped her butt around to face up hill, as if to say "what the hell was that"!

Shortly after, we were hiking around on a trail and looking up on a hill towards another trail heading down hill.  I was watching a couple of mountain bikers ride down the hill.  The first two made it down fine but the guy at the top started getting all squirrelly!  I watched him get more and more out of control until he was finally pitched about 6 feet off the trail, upside down into a bush.  It was an epic crash!   I heard him yell "oh shit" on his way over. I called up to him to see if he was ok because his friends were long gone.  He said he was fine and set about to right himself.  His friends finally came back and I told them the details of the crash and as buddies do, they laughed!

Update - Crabbing 2016

I might have lost count but the drama goes something like this:

Drive shaft broke - towed in
Part Fedexed from Arizona
Modification made to part
Installed - u joint on the new one too short
Part made wrong
Jury rigged it
Went out
Broke down
Limped in
Fixed it again
Didn't work
Paul comes to add his expertise
He thinks he can fix it...

As of right now, they think he has it fixed and they are going out tonite.

Stay tuned.