Puppy updates

Goodness me, I’m tired.

Babysitting a single puppy is remiscent of babysitting a pack of toddlers. Or maybe I just had more energy back in the day?

I’ve done exactly nothing productive this week except keep an eye on the roughly 12 week old ball of energy.

He looooves his brother Thorin and would follow him to the ends of the earth. Thor is 11 years old and starting to show it, white muzzle and all – you can tell he has to think about flopping on the floor and spends more time on a couch or his memory foam bed than he used to. He’s still been happy to show Sprocket the best places to roll in the yard and how to bound through what snow we have left.

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Mitzi, the mini schnauzer, hasn’t adjusted as quickly. She’s the alpha and thinks the world is hers. She has started to reluctantly share her couch with Sprocket, though I’m not sure he gave her much choice – he figured out how to climb up on the first day. I was worried he’d think his name was “Mitzi, no” because I’ve had to say it so much. She’s improving, thank goodness.

Sprocket came out of his shell. He was very shy and quiet – even the shelter said he was reserved – and boy did that dog disappear! He has taught me I didn’t puppy proof nearly as well as I thought…but that’s okay because he’s super distractable and will happily swap something he shouldn’t chew for a toy.

He’s learned he can dethrone queen Mitzi by pulling the blanket she sits on off the couch. He has balls, even if his real ones were removed.

He had tested every. single. toy. we own. That’s been a lot of work! He loves to tug and chew rawhide and has found a toy bat that’s has the perfect nose to nurse when he wants a nap. He still whines when he makes one squeak and doesn’t expect it but is starting to appreciate the noises and go after the squeaker toys.

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Other than him whining the entire second night, I’ve no real complaints. I’ve started crate training and he slept through the night last night with minimal whines. He’s learning to free feed like our other pets and takes treats super gently now. He’s only had three accidents – all on husband’s watch and one of those may have been ON hubs, which I find hilarious – every other time he’s gone outside or on his peepad.

If we hadn’t had Thorin first, who was the perfect puppy, I’d say we couldn’t ask for a better pup. Sprocket is a close second though!

Gotcha Day

Sprocket came home today!

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He’s an absolute treat so far.

He answers to his name pretty regularly and is sitting for treats (the other dogs helped demonstrate). He used the potty inside once…but went inside his playpen to go on a peepad! He’s ignoring the cats and they’re okay with that. He’s been very good at knowing what things are toys and only whined a bit when he was crated for bedtime.  All in all, a very good boy. 🙂

The shelter didn’t have much info on him except they got his litter out of a kill shelter in TN. Maybe that’s why he liked us at first – our accents were from home.

Rippit

I feel like I’ve had a bit of a crazy week and it’s really not that far along!

Two doctor appointments, car scheduled maintenance, prepping for Sprocket’s arrival, went through my closet and donated a HUGE box of old clothes, got hubs fitted for a tux for an upcoming wedding, lost my pocket money gig (they’re closing, it wasn’t me!)….on and on and on.

My neuro wants me to try a different magnesium supplement for migraines.  The last time I was on magnesium, it was a miserable experience and I’m not expecting this one to be much better; when I looked it up it was all about “Use this when constipated!”  Ugh.

I noticed a mistake in my brioche cowl and had to rip back several rows.  Normally I’d just drop the column and fix it but my brain hasn’t quite figured out how that would work with brioche yet.  I can, however, fix a single dropped stitch now and that’s progress!

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It’s not as big as it should be because I really haven’t had much time to work on it and I just had to rip those 8 or so rows.   …and yes, there is a black yarn-over looking thing on the edge…and no I’m not ripping back the rows to fix that one….yet.  I may change my mind the more I stare at it.

This is why I shouldn’t travel while learning to do something new!

 

Snow Day Surprise!

My husband did a thing.  A pretty impulsive thing.

I can’t be mad about it, even though I usually am when he does spontaneous stuff.

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Last week my cousin wanted help looking for a dog.  PetFinder knows me far too well.  Even though I was looking for dogs in D.C. for her, it kept suggesting critters in my area at the bottom of the page.

Hubs has always wanted a Husky.  Always.  One popped up and was adorable so I sent it to him with the appropriate “awwwww”.  I live on cute animals — almost all of my Facebook feed is stuff from cat groups — so I thought I was just sharing the cuteness by sending lots of random puppy photos.

Nope.  He was hooked.  He wanted a puppy even though we’ve agreed for YEARS that two dogs were enough.

Hubs applied that night to be able to adopt from the shelter (they’re notoriously difficult to adopt from).  We found out Thursday that we were approved and they invited us to come to their adoption event Saturday.

…but the dog above isn’t a Husky?

Yah, about that.

Before we went, he asked me how he’d know if he should bring a dog home.  Face it, all puppies are cute. My response was pretty vague: You’ll just know.  If the dog is meant to be yours, you’ll know immediately like we did with our other two.  If you have any doubts and unless you feel you can’t live without the dog, walk away.  If you can’t get a certain dog out of your mind later, we can always go back and inquire.

We went to the event and it was INSANE.  So many people were there to look at the dogs before applying.  Hubs was one of the few people that had the magical “Puppy Approved” badge so could hold them…but there were sooo many people there it was hard to even get to the cages to look at them. He thought all the dogs were adorable but didn’t “know” as I’d suggested, so we packed up and went back home.

Then he started getting restless and asked about some of the other dogs I’d sent.  So off we went again, to another shelter that had some Shepherd pups he thought were adorable.

Again, he thought a few were cute and even thought about one little girl but ultimately decided to go home and think on it.  Back home we headed.

…then he got hungry.  When hubs gets hungry, he gets SUPER depressed. It’s really quite sad. Out of desperation, he pulled off at a McDonald’s (yuck) and had some lunch.

“You know…this exit has a PetSmart.  It’s where the SPCA does their adoption events on Saturdays.”

^ That was my stupid ass being helpful.

We head over as it’s starting to snow, thinking it’d be a quick pop in and out.  Hubs walks up and down looking at the crates, passing by a bunch of little wolfy dogs that he typically loves.  Then he stopped dead in his tracks.

“That’s the one!”

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There were three siblings all in a row and hubs had fallen in love with the middle boy.  He asked and was told they were all adopted…watched his face drop….EXCEPT Andy.  Dun, dun, dunnnnnn the little guy in the middle!

The “ADOPTED” sticker surely gives the rest of the story away.  We were told that little one was more shy than his brothers so not to expect much but they’d bring him out and let us meet him…and it seemed true — he was just laying there quietly instead of standing at the front of the crate and yipping at people like his siblings. The shelter worker had to draaag him out of the crate.  He wasn’t wagging his tail or acting excited like a typical puppy.

As things have a way of working between us and aloof dogs (Thorin, our big dog, was the same way. He hid at the back of his kennel and would run from people but immediately plopped down on my feet.), Andy defied all of the shelter’s worries and warnings:

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They put the puppy on the tarp with hubs.  The puppy sniffed him cautiously…then hopped in his lap and started showering him with kisses.  (I think there was some McDonald’s left in his beard but I didn’t say anything — hubs is a super messy eater.)

If he hadn’t already been in love with the little guy, the deal was sealed.  He sat there for almost an hour playing with the pup and finalized the adoption papers.

The snow had really picked up on the way home and we saw people sliding and doing donuts on the interstate.  It was a bit scary but my car did wonderfully.  I love having AWD!

We’re currently puppy proofing the house.  Most of it is already very pet friendly but ours no longer chew shoes and cords, so we’re working on getting those out of the way.  The puppy comes home later this week, possibly early next week, after he’s been neutered.

To pass the time, Hubs has been staring at the photos and cooing at them. I’ve never, ever seen him this excited about something before.

He thinks he’s going to name the puppy Sprocket.

 

 

My mind has been spinning and that’s rarely a good thing.

 

So in order to distract myself, I saw NothingButKnit had a few fun questions about food…and let’s face it, who doesn’t love food?!

  • What is your easy go to recipe for a quick weeknight meal?
  • Is there a recipe you make in big batches to freeze or eat over multiple days?
  • Do you have shortcut things you buy at the store that make your meal prep easier?
  • What is the recipe you have that is a ton of work but entirely worth every pot, pan, bowl and spoon you have wash after?
  • Have you tried any new products that you’d like to recommend?

 

  • Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or please leave a link to your blog so we can read your answers and try your suggestions.

 

  • What is your easy go to recipe for a quick weeknight meal?

I hardly ever use real recipes and end up slapping food together in a pan to fit whatever mood hubs and I are in.  Most weeks, our quick meal is a sukiyaki (I cook it Kansai style). It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s super tasty, and it crams in a lot of vegetables.   …but there’s no recipe.  I throw in stuff until it looks right and carry on.

So, instead, I’m answering the first question with the recipe my husband WISHES we’d have every week: Saucy Twist Pork Dish.

I use a full box of rotini and double everything except the SPAM.  It tastes even better as a cold leftover, so that’s why we always make more.  Yah, that’s right, it’s a SPAM casserole.  My Granny Boo signed my mother up to receive some sort of recipe box with a recipe card subscription when she was a kid — she was sick a lot so I think this was something to keep her occupied.  This recipe came from that box.  It looks disgusting when you put it together but I swear I had it every week as a child because it was something easy I could make. My Dad LOVED it; he would call me at college every Friday and ask if I’d come home and make it for him and I usually did make the three hour drive just for that.

When my husband (then newly minted boyfriend) came to visit where I grew up for the first time, lo and behold, my Dad asked if we’d come over and make him Saucy Twist.  He was really sick by that point and I wasn’t going to deny making anything if it would encourage him to eat.  Hubs ended up loving it just as much as Dad.  Possibly more.  I’m pretty sure it’s not one of those nostalgic “oh, this is the first meal you ever cooked for me so I have to love it!” things because if I don’t make it at least once every two weeks, he picks up the ingredients and makes it himself.

  • Is there a recipe you make in big batches to freeze or eat over multiple days?

Lots of stuff!  Any time I make a lasagna, I double it and freeze one before baking.  I make my cousin’s grandma’s Michigan hot dog sauce in huge batches and freeze it in ice cube trays — one cube is perfect for a hot dog!  Breads?  Double or quadruple and freeze all but one loaf.  Ravioli?  Make a ton and freeze most of it.

I think the one I make most often specifically to put away are spaghetti sauces, though.  A quart bag of one is perfect when we want a crazily quick meal.  I make two types of spaghetti sauce.  One is what my Grandmother makes, she’s a throw it in the pot type of cook as well.  It’s taken many years of eating her spaghetti sauce and helping her make it to be able to replicate it.  It’s tasty but not traditional (more of a meat sauce than anything remotely Italian) but, again, it’s one of those things that both Dad and my husband love…so it has been made a lot.

As a little anecdote, my Dad had a slight speech impediment and when he was in first grade they had him screened to see if he needed speech therapy.  Unfortunately, one of the most difficult words to say during the test should’ve been “spaghetti” but, it being my Dad’s favorite food at the time, he screamed “Spaghetti, spaghetti, SPAGHETTI!  Are we done?” and didn’t have to undergo therapy.

The second spaghetti sauce I make to freeze in batches in one my Mom made off and on when I was a kid.  Hilariously enough, it’s yet another of those Betty Crocker recipe cards!  It’s called Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.  <– I linked it there, in case it doesn’t show up well.  🙂

  • Do you have shortcut things you buy at the store that make your meal prep easier?

I don’t do many short cuts or prepackaged foods (except for quick lunch type things like a can of soup when I don’t want to make a whole pot of it).  I’ll buy standard ingredient types of things from the store — like pastas and things like that, but I don’t think that’s extravagant or unusual at all.   …though I am starting to make my own spaghetti noodles with my KitchenAid roller!

The one short cut I do occasionally use in regular meal prep is getting butternut squash already peeled and diced.  It’s a hard squash to cut!   …as in my hubs tried once and used a meat cleaver.  He ended up cutting the cutting board in half instead.  D’oh!  So if I can save myself a lot of time and work and just get it ready to roast, I’m happy.

  • What is the recipe you have that is a ton of work but entirely worth every pot, pan, bowl and spoon you have wash after?

Oh man, a few.  The first one that came to mind was Butternut Squash Ravioli (again, linked).  It’s one of the few recipes that I don’t change a thing about.  Mom asks for it every time she’s here and our vegetarian friends lined up with plates in hands when they found out I could have more out for them in the few minutes the raviolis take to cook.  It’s involved and takes some time, so it’s one of those things I like to premake and freeze in batches — the raviolis freeze great, both with homemade pasta or using the wonton wrapper shortcut — and just toss them in boiling water.  Makes it easier if you only have to put together a sauce each time!

If I had to pick one without any pre-prep involved, I’d say German food is always well worth it.  I make a few German meals and they all use a billion pots and pans to make but when my husband’s family asks for it, they want a full spread: Jägerschnitzel, hot potato salad, spätzle, and rotkohl.  It’s all homemade day of and it really does use every single pan I own to make. Luckily my dermatologist told me no hand washing dishes, so hubs has to clean up what the dishwasher can’t handle!

  • Have you tried any new products that you’d like to recommend?

Oh, that’s a hard one.  I tend to stick to my tried and true stuff.  I mean, have you ever had to buy another brand of mayo (face it, not making that one on my own either) when the one you like isn’t in stock?  Bleck!

I think the newest thing I’ve brought home and have been devouring is Lee Kum Kee’s Panda Brand Triple Citrus Grilling and Dipping Sauce.  Let’s face it, though, I’ll eat almost anything Lee Kum Kee — their sauces are, hands down, the best premade ones you can find in my opinion.  I have to doctor most sauces to make them palatable but not these…I could probably eat an old shoe if it was covered in their sweet soy sauce and hubs hated sriracha until he tried theirs and now we’re having to buy a bottle every few weeks because he puts it on almost everything.  My favorite thing for the Triple Citrus sauce currently is using it in fresh rolls with some fried tofu, noodles, and veggies.  Soooo good!

 

 

 

 

Finally home

Well, that “vacation” was a clusterfuck and a half.

Google Maps says the rough round trip was right at 3,000 miles and 48 hours in the car.

That’s not including all of the additional driving around for all and sundry.

It was exhausting.  I am exhausted.

I -really- do not care to go south for further family visitations or holidays.

…yet we’re going back in March for one of hub’s friend’s weddings.

I’m tired just thinking about it!

But on to the updates:

Gifts seemed well received.

I ended up with an entire gift bag full of chocolate between everybody.

I managed to leave my purse in South Carolina.  Thankfully, it was at one of hub’s friends houses and he said he’d mail it to me. I was lucky and my wallet, keys, and phone were all in my pocket.

…but I did lose the socks I was knitting and the book I was reading with that brain fart.

So I had to buy new supplies on the road, right?

Of course I did!

I grabbed the pattern Miter Might Not and the cheapest yarn Wal-Mart had so I could learn brioche knitting while traveling around.

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It probably took me two dozen tries to cast on that puppy, mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to join the yarn right by reading the instructions.  I should’ve just went with my gut the first time because it’s what worked in the end.

I don’t really know what I’m planning to do with 2020.  I haven’t thought about it much, as I’ve been far too grumpy, sleep deprived, and stressed out by people.

My uncle did suggest I start a blog (he likes receiving emails from me) but I had to awkwardly laugh that one off.  My rants here aren’t nearly tame enough for family.  Perhaps some day I’ll either clean up the old posts or start a new, safe one to put more generic updates.  The world may never know.