Tag Archives: Bucky

Please Help!

Dear Blog Readers,

They’re ganging up on me.  The children.  My nemesis and his adorable little friend (pictured above).  Even Mother Nature is giving me the finger.  This morning I awakened at 4:00 for a drink of water.  I went to the kitchen to discover that either the above dog has gotten incredibly intelligent or one of my children went on a midnight snack run and left the refrigerator door open.  In the refrigerator was a pound of beef liver that I had boiled but not yet cut up for training purposes.  The key word at this point is was.  I found an empty plate (otherwise undisturbed from its resting place – she’s that good) and was met by a very unrepentant dog.

This morning, I discovered half of my favorite pair of shoes destroyed.  One hates rugs, the other hates yarn.  Maddie cannot stand area rugs to the point that any efforts to stem the flow of snow into my house are met by her bunching up said rug and moving it out of the doorway.  Bucky will grab my current knitting project and attempt to carry it away.  He doesn’t care about other projects, just the one I am working on now.    The vet said he was four or five.  I think the vet is full of shit mistaken because of all the “puppy behaviors” he displays – chewing, etc.  Shoes, legos and K-nex are not. safe.   And he knows nothing.  Not sit, not stay, not off.  But he has a personality that makes it hard to stay mad at him.

Then we will add the weather.  This week I have spent roughly $100 on equipment for wearing these two naughty little hounds out.  I bought my first pair of snowboots in a very long time, a split lead so I can take them both on one leash, a backpack for Bucky so we burn more energy on our walks.  (I’m reading a dog training book that recommends it for all medium and large sized dogs).  Gloves, warm gloves.  I am ready for anything!  But this shit is ridiculous.  So, of course, they’re whining to go outside every ten minutes.  This process requires me to put on my full winter battle rattle which takes five minutes and then they only want to be outside two minutes because they’re too cold to do all their business.  We come back in, they warm up, I take off my battle rattle and repeat.

It’s going to be a long day.

Send cocoa.  With schnapps.



Make it Monday – Hacks and Helpful Hints

I know I’m a day late.  Monday straight up got away from me with the whole UAV to the shop thing and the hunting for my nemesis thing.  So I’m sorry.  I know that all six of my readers are forgiving souls who will just appreciate the advice I’m going to throw down here.  I didn’t get anything non-edible made this week, so I thought I’d share some of my edible food tips with you.

What I did make last week (much to my boss’ dismay) was homemade soup and french bread.  My french bread is almost always fabulous and I use a recipe out of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 15th Edition (Better Homes & Gardens Plaid).   This is my go-to “cookbook for idiots” (any cookbook with a recipe for fried eggs falls into this category).  I have used it for years and replaced it at least twice.  The french bread recipe is simple:  Flour, yeast, water, salt, egg wash.  I won’t steal it from the book and type it here, sorry.

If you normally fail at bread,  odds are it is your yeast.  Remember yeast is alive.  In the jar it is in a dormant state that you awaken with heat.  If the liquid you add is too hot, you’ll kill the yeast.  Too cold, you won’t wake it up and your bread won’t rise.  Use a thermometer to make sure the liquid is no hotter than 130 degrees and at least 120.  Yeast can also get old and stop working.  Like me.

Take care not to add too much flour (the reason every recipe lists a range is that the amount of flour is contingent on humidity) or your bread will be hard and dry.  It should be sticky to the touch but not so much that it still sticks to your fingers.  Err on the side of slightly sticky fingers if you must.

Another failure mode in bread making is kneading.  If you don’t knead the bread enough, it will not be successful.  Follow the guidelines in your recipe to the letter until you’ve mastered the “feel” of bread:  Soft, light and slightly sticky.  Make sure you are patient with the rises as well.  It will help to use a straight-sided vessel to know for sure the dough has doubled.  An old plastic ice cream pail washed carefully is perfect.

My two hacks for you today involve cake.  A dear friend is a professional baker and suggests adding a small pack of pudding to a box cake mix.  I have tried it and the result is a cake that is much moister and more flavorful than the mix would have been without adding pudding.  For a simple, wonderful dessert, frost it with pudding too.  Poke holes in the finished cake with a wooden spoon and pour the pudding carefully and evenly over the top.  Refrigerate and serve.  Fabulous and, I daresay, healthier than frosting since pudding is made with milk and most frostings have some sort of fat as a primary ingredient.

A second trick is even easier and makes a great, moist cake lower in calories and fat than the original version.  Instead of adding eggs, oil and water as indicated on the mix box, add a 12 oz. can of soda pop.  Combinations worthy of consideration are any type of chocolate and cherry coke (or diet cherry coke, dr. pepper, etc.), white cake with fruit-flavored sodas, and (the boys’ favorite) yellow cake with root beer.  Your options are unlimited.  My family likes it so well that no frosting is necessary, but fat free cool whip would be nice and you could dress it up with fruit, chocolate shavings or whatever strikes your fancy.

These are go-to, proven tips in my house.  I hope you enjoy them and forgive me that they are a day late.  If you try them, let me know! Leave me some comment love 🙂

Also don’t forget you can say thank you and win $120 (and counting) gift card for Amazon from my friends at Grammarly, the world’s best grammar checker.  The deadline is January 31!


Meet My New Nemesis

A little over a month ago, I lost my best friend.  His passing left holes everywhere in our family.  None more deep than in his life partner of nearly 9 years, Maddie.  She was lost.  Stopped eating.  Listless.  We determined that she needed a friend of the c hevariety.

Serendipity showed up, or so we thought, when we spotted this guy at the local animal shelter:

Oh, wait.  That’s his back half.  Let’s try again.

Getting closer.  Turns out the trick to dog photography is spinning in circles in the kitchen.

Meet Bucky,  age indeterminate, Brittany (we think) Spaniel or Spaniel Mix.  His age is somewhere between 2 and 4, we think.  My niece, the vet tech says 1-2 and the vet says 4-5 but he acts like a younger dog.

Some of his endearing qualities:

Chewing socks

Chewing legos and k’nex

Foraging in the litter box

Foraging in the trash

Ditto for the dishwasher

He doesn’t know sit, down, off or his own name.

His best feature is that he “rabbits” which means that if he gets the chance, he will be out the door and off like a rocket!  He is very fast!  Before you know it, he is long gone.  Even the morning after he was neutered, he took a neighborhood run.

Yesterday, Squidward met him for the first time and left the door open a little too long when he left.  AND HE’S OFF!

Cue the routine, hop in the UAV and drive through the neighborhood.  Squidward calls to inform me that Bucky left the neighborhood through a construction gate. F*ck.  We’re surrounded by training areas here.  Heavily wooded training areas.  Hand the Emperor a leash and tell him to keep looking.  I go out and pick up Squidward and he indicates the direction of my wayward dog.  Wonderful.  Training area.   So I drive around in the area I typically walk for training except I take a left into the heart of the training area.  In my UAV which has new tires but is traditionally terrible in snow.  Based on daily trends yesterday, I expect to get stuck and have to go get my truck (without my DH who is out of town visiting the land where hope goes to die) to pull my stupid self out of the snow because of this damn dog.  Then I take a left instead of a right and am fully off-road.  Still. No. Bucky.

Thankfully, when Squidward left, he came across our wayward hound running down the road (yes, I am grateful for a rural environment) and, with help from one of DH’s troops was able to capture and return him to our house.  He is safe and well.  We are working on training and consistency and finding ways to burn off his excess energy so the running stops.  Anyone every use a dog backpack?  The book I am reading says for medium and large dogs it is a must.    I had never heard of such a thing but it makes sense.  The extra weight tires them out more when you walk them and it gives the dog a sense that he has a job so it makes him happier.  It would seem that wearing him out is my new fitness plan.

But check it:


I made those tracks through fresh snow.  Because I am a bad ass.  And I love my stupid dog.