Friday, May 29, 2009

Foodie Friday: Peanut Butter Cookies

Howdy blogger buddies, and welcome to Michael's Foodie Friday! Please make sure to visit her at Designs By Gollum for a great treat or two!

And speaking of treats, I was a bit dishonest in my title for this post. Because really, the "cookies" are dog treats! Hey, if I put that on the title no one would come over, would they? Can you blame me for my subterfuge? I didn't think so!

You all already know I'm a bit obsessed with my new pup, Strudel, so is it any wonder that I got a bug up my butt to make some healthy, no preservatives-added dog treats? So I took a trip to eBay and ordered some cookie cutters especially for Strudel Doo.

The sad part? I don't bake for my kids, but now I bake for my dog. Pathetic.

Our cast of characters for this recipe are:

Most of these are just approximations of the amounts, 'cause I'm crazy like that.

Tiney's All Natural Peanut Butter Puppy Treats (Say that 5 times fast!)

2 C Whole wheat flour
1 C Milk
1 C All natural chunky peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla (Yes Picket,that is real vanilla, and straight from Mexico too!)
1/4 C honey
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix all ingredients together, and don't hesitate to get your hands in there and squish it between your fingers. That's the fun part!

Roll out on lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness, then use any cookie cutters you desire to make your treats. Place on pan and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Your dog will love ya for this!

And look at how cute they look!

Please note that because these treats are all natural, they need to be kept refrigerated. I put most of mine in the freezer, and the rest in the fridge in a container.

Strudel loves em!

I sing for da treats 'cause my mommy loves me!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is There a 12-Step Program for This?

Farm Town on Facebook.

It has to be one of the silliest "games" I've ever encountered. But me? I'm addicted. BAD. Last night I couldn't sleep, wondering how my grape fields were doing.

When I booted up my computer (okay, Madison's) this morning, the first thing I did was check on my crops. My grapes had withered away and died during the night. Gasp. Sigh.

Here's a shot of what the average farm looks like.

Mine actually looks better than that, and I've only been at this a few days.  Just sayin'.

And when your crops are ready to be harvested, it's best to hire out some farm hands to do the work. You make more money this way. So, everyone gathers at the Marketplace to beg for work. Gotta make more money so you can plant more crops, buy more animals, set up fences, paths and, my personal holy grail... a BARN. Which I don't have yet dammit.

It all looks and sounds quite silly, right? Well, that's 'cause it is! But let me tell you, a bunch of my neighbors here are doing it, and now they've got me doing it, and now I've got others doing it, and it's just... well... a sickness!

All I can think about is getting to the next level so I can buy more profitable seeds (I need coffee and pumpkin seeds to feel complete!), make tons of coin and expand my farm. I want a barn and a silo and a horse, and a llama and...


Oh my GAWD, I really have lost it, haven't I?

Is there a 12-step program for this?

Hello, my name is Justine and I'm a Farm Town addict.

Okay, deep breath.

Step 1) Step away from the computer.
Oh sorry, can't do that, 'cause I'm typing right now.

Step 2) Keep away from Facebook entirely.
But what will my neighbors think? I have to at least update them a few times a day so they'll know I'm alive in here, right?

Step 3) Sell your farm to your nearest neighbor.
Are you crazy? I can't do it. I won't do it!

Step 4)
Ya know what? There is no step 4, 'cause I'm the one making this shit up and I refuse to be helped. No, I want to go down and be mired in the muck. I want to get my cyber self dirty and sweaty while workin' the farm. I can't give it up and you all can't make me! Am I hurting anyone? No! Is having a farm altering my moods or pseudo sanity? No! (Okay, that remains to be seen).

So that's it. I am here to declare that I am Farmer Justine and I am a functioning Facebook Farm Town farmer!

Oops, must go. I think my wheat crops are ready for harvesting!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Dog Ate It

How many times have you heard that excuse used? Well let me tell you, sometimes it's the truth, the whole truth and, nothing but the truth!

Since having Strudel here for the past month and a half, nothing, and I mean nothing within her reach is safe. Puppies in general, and goldens in particular are known for chewing and/or eating anything that comes their way. Unfortunately, in my case, this also includes my skin. It's painful enough when she gets in her "play" bite mode and she sinks those puppy hypodermic needle-like teeth into me. It's much worse when I stupidly pull away while said teeth are sunk into my skin.

My poor ugly foot!

They say that eggs are really good for your dog's shiny coat and I'm all for that. Unfortunately, nobody told Strudel that you're not supposed to eat a hard boiled egg with the shell still on it. All Jimmy's fault, of course. He was doing his weekly boiling and peeling of 36 eggs and obviously one got away from him. So now we're back to funky Strudel poop, but this time it was kind of cute looking. I won't go into details, just that it reminded me of something like this. Mmm... chocolate with coconut!

I don't mind when she stalks and then eats a bug that's crawling around out here on the patio. One less thing to bite me and cause me to commit buggy murder.

And I do realize that for a dog it's got to be fun chasing around a hopping toad and picking it up with your mouth. But toad skin has some mild toxins in it and if your dog eats one he or she will be foaming at the mouth like Cujo within seconds. It is because of this that I found myself diving after a toad last week, trying to grab it and at the same time keep Strudel from pouncing on it joyfully.

But not all things that Strudel deems tasty are actually, well, edible in any way. We've been having a hell of a time getting her house trained, so Jimmy suggested that maybe I should try wee wee pads. I figured, what the hell? I've tried everything else. So, I spent $10 on a pack of them, put one down and left the room.

She ate it.

No, not just shredded it and played with it. She ATE IT. All that was left was a bit of fluff here and there. I shit you not. And she peed it not. Er...

So! This is all normal puppy stuff, correct? This is all stuff I can deal with, however annoying it can be. But then. THEN she messed with something of mine that is near and dear to me, something that keeps me at least partially sane. Something of which I cannot live without. Something that if I have to live without, everyone around me is going to suffer.

My computer's power cord.


But somehow, even though she'd bitten right through the protective covering and the wires were exposed, it was still working. Until the other day when I decided to switch outlets.

I plugged my computer into the kitchen outlet, then turned around to get a glass of water. Suddenly, I hear a POOF, and turn around to find a puff of smoke and the cord in two pieces. One on the floor, the other dangling out of the outlet.

But wait, this wasn't just a power cord. This was a brand new, $48 power cord I'd just bought two weeks ago. After I'd dropped the first one from the counter to the kitchen floor SPLAT!

I kind of lost it then. I mean, I'd bought my laptop used from Buffie's husband, Mike less than a year ago. But now the great deal I got wasn't going to be so great if I had to invest $100 in power cords, right?

So I bought a new laptop.

I believe it's a cheap piece of crap, and it's damn tiny too, with only a 10.1" screen. But ya know what? I'm happy. I can't wait till it gets here. And ya know what else? It's red! And that? Totally excites me.

I'm hoping that by some miracle the two-piece power cord can be spliced back together and work again, this way my old laptop can be passed on to Mikayla. I really was kind of fond of my little Dell Dinosaur and don't want to see him rotting in electronic purgatory.

So we'll now be a four-laptop family. Jimmy, with his lightning fast Dell from work, me, with my $329 Acer (but it's RED!), Mikayla with an old Dell that's been passed down through the ages, and Madison, the almost 8-year-old with the $1,700 MAC. Oh yeah, we're all about equality here.

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The following is a probable work of fiction, drawn from the author by a melancholy mood.

She stepped outside of herself, turned, and looked back at the woman she is at that moment.  She locked eyes with herself and gazed deeply into the depths of deep chocolate brown, looking for the answers she’d been unable to find.

Somewhere along the way she’d lost all perspective of who she truly is, what she wants out of life, what she was put on this earth to do.  She’s a mother, yes, but is she the best mother she can be?  She is a sister, but at times feels unworthy of the unconditional love she receives. 

She is a wife, but in title only.

Could this be the source of her unease?  Why she’s been facing each day with something close to ambivalence?  She stares at her physical self and wonders that if her fate had been different, would she be happy?  Content?

Would the simple love between a man and woman make her a better person?  She thinks possibly, yes.

309489996_69b44b8c62_m As she gazes upon her true self she wills memories to come back to her.  She tries to remember the last time her hand had been held.  Such simple contact, barely touching, but which links two lovers and makes them appear united.


She looks deep within herself, grasping at the past, searching to recollect the last time she was touched, even fleetingly, for no other reason than her lover wanting to absorb her essence.

SAVINGS-AND-INVESTMENT Had there ever been a time when he looked at her, no, into her, hoping to discover just one more of her hidden secrets?  When he looked at her, studied her, hoping to sketch every line and dimple of her face into his memory to carry with him until the next time?

2223449563_131e036da6_m Had she ever been kissed?  She thinks back over the many years and knows she has been, but the touch of a lover’s lips on hers is completely forgotten.  She’s unable to conjure that feeling of feather soft lips caressing hers, warming her from the outside, in.521887428_f2e09e9f18_m

If she can’t have even have the fleeting memories of these times, these emotions, does that make her barren inside?  She wonders, as she gazes at her self, “Am I deserving of that kind of love?  If I am, why hasn’t He blessed me with it?”  But then she realizes that He has blessed her with that kind of love.  It just wasn’t meant to last a lifetime.  She knows now, that from this day on, she has to learn to live with the constant ache of that lost love.  She knows she will never again feel the rush of new love consuming her every breath.  She will never again know the feel of a lover’s lips, or hands, or gaze.  She knows for certain that never again will she feel safe and cherished.

She realizes now that the only true love she will ever feel again is the true love of her Creator.  And although the thought comforts her, it also brings her anguish.  For does not every human being deserve to be enveloped by the love and adoration of another?


Justine – 5-19-09

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's the Ocean. What's Not to Love?

Well, if you're Strudel, the water is what's not to love.

Late yesterday afternoon we all took a drive to the beach to introduce Strudel to the sand and sea for the first time. The former? She loved. The latter? Not so much.

Don't worry, all of the videos will be short and sweet.

Here she is getting her first feel of the water.

Why do I get the feeling she was not impressed?

Now Golden Retrievers are known for being excellent duck hunters, hence, they love the water. Well, my Strudel obviously didn't get that particular gene. If we wanted her in the water, Jimmy had to carry her there and then plop her fuzzy ass in the surf.

I'm hoping that in time she'll learn to love the water. I'm also hoping we haven't scarred her fragile canine brain for life.

Nothing like seeing it live, right?

Now, my Strudely Doodley loves to run so Jimmy and Mikayla were having a blast with her. But look at how the poor spaz runs. Her legs are going every which-way. And also notice what she does the second she sees the water coming toward her.

We all had a good time, but the girls had an absolute blast. For a kid, I don't think there's anything like that first ocean swim of the season.

Madison looks a bit funky here, but that could be because she saw Strudel was about to pounce on her.

Geez, this one isn't a little kid anymore!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip to the ocean as much as we did. And I promise I'll try to write less posts about Strudel, and more about... well... something else.

P.S. Aren't you glad there was no poop mentioned in this post?

P.P.S. Strudel's poop is back to normal!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Unscoopable Poop

Ode To a Flea
by Strudel Oko

I'm sorry 'bout the kitchen floor
I apologize for all the gore

Who knew that eating just one flea
Could make a tapeworm grow in me?

I really didn't mind it there
I really was quite unaware

But you saw that worm atop my poop
Made me take pills,
Now my poop is like soup!

I'm sorry that I've messed the yard
And made walking through the grass so very

But can't you see I suffer too?
My butt is raw and bleeding from too much poo

I know my farts are loud and foul,
but what can I do?
I'm a slave to my bowel

Don't worry Mommy, this too shall pass
Just be thankful it's not your ass!

Composed by Strudel
Typed by Mommy


Strudel Out

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!