Sunday, December 4, 2016

Post Surgery Recovery Collar

 *she's in there..... I promise you.....she's in there*
Her surgery went well.
Routine is what we were told, and Izzy has had no adverse effects.
 The day prior to surgery I bought her a ZenCone brand cone of shame/recovery collar, so that she would not be subjected to sleeping in a clear, hard plastic cone that animal hospitals send their patients home wearing.
Do the cold, hard, clear ones do the trick?
Of course they do, and they are most likely the most affordable way for an animal hospital to send their patients home.

our pups are our fur babies and we feel that they deserve comfort after the stress of being in a hospital,
having an incision, waking up a bit confused, and recuperating for a few hours without their human parents there to soothe them.
That's not to say that they are not treated with 100% love and care by the doctors and techs we entrust them to, but home on your own bed and snuggled into you own familiar blanket always feels best when recuperating, whether you be human or canine, a kitty cat, hamster, bird or snake.
Love is Love for all creatures with a beating heart.
 Izzy's first night at home was very comfortable for her, other than she did not like sleeping with a cone on her head. 
There was a little bit of complaining going on late into the night.
No pain.... she just didn't want to wear the cone.  I mean....who would??? 
Until you get it figured out, it's hard to see out the front of the thing, or around it.  
The cone was doing what it was designed to do, but it still upset her a bit and she would rise from her bed and put her head on the side of our bed in a definite 'cone of shame position' looking downward.  A definite sign of 'post surgical unhappy camper' look.
A 'get this stupid thing off my head' look.
 But I need to give a shout out of kudos to the makers of any brand of soft cone.
 I purchased a size Large for Izzy after watching an online video about cone style options, and the cone needs to extend beyond the end of the nose so that a pup cannot reach any areas of the incision on their legs.  Izzy has left her incision alone at this point since she is on Rimadyl for any pain and the foot is not yet bugging her, but once healing really sets in I will not be surprised at her wanting to lick or chew at the site of the surgery on her foot.
 Rowdy has sniffed the incision once when she came home, but he seems to know that it should not be messed with.
 Our little tulip head has awakened and will be going outside asap for a potty break,
  Petco sells this brand but there are similarly made collars in other brands as well, all of which I recommend for your pet's post surgery comfort needs.  It lays flat when your pet is in a lying down position making post surgery sleeping a snap for them.  You can wipe them clean and re-use many times with easy velcro closing.
Did someone say "OUTSIDE?"
Where's my leash?
Let's go!!

I am not affiliated with or being paid by Petco or ZenCone to show this product and the opinions expressed are my own

Our thanks to Valley Animal Hospital in Roanoke, VA and Dr. Staley for the kindness and expert care you ALWAYS show our pets.  You ROCK!
 Here's a video on The Comfy Cone and how to purchase the proper for your pet.

This video shows a comfortable option.

Here are a number of options for your pet.

If you prefer to shop from home, there are many options available on Amazon.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Our Thanksgiving meal was great!
Each year we make the same things...
We bake a small turkey,
make dressing,
deviled eggs,
mashed potatoes and gravy,
and it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving at our house without a green bean casserole.

In past years when making the casserole I was putting it all together and then baking it,
but this year I used a new recipe that I found online, and it called for mixing most of the ingredients, microwaving for a while, and then adding the cheese and fried onions to the top and completing the baking in the oven.

I couldn't believe the difference this made.

Even my husband who puts up with my love for green bean casserole even though it has never been his favorite Thanksgiving veggie, enjoyed this recipe.  

Here is the original RECIPE, and the only deviations I made was to use one can of cut green beans and one can of French cut green beans, and cream of chicken instead of mushroom.  I enjoy sliced, and my husband prefers French cut, so this small change made us both happy.

My Green Bean Casserole

1 can cut green beans
1 can French cut green beans 
1 can condensed Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 6 oz package of French Fried Onions (I like Wal-Mart's Great Value brand) They brown nicely

 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small microwavable casserole dish
place drained green beans and mix well with the condensed soup,
  microwave for 2-5 minutes.  
Stir in a half cup of cheese and return mixture to microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Now top with additional grated cheese
and sprinkle with French Fried Onions
and bake in oven until cheese melts and the onions are as brown as you want them.

I baked mine for about 15-20 minutes, (every oven is different) keeping an eye on it at all times so that the cheese and onions do not burn.  You just want them crispy looking as in my photo.

Nothing tastes worse than burnt onions so as I said..... "keep an eye on it".

It doesn't need to be Thanksgiving to prepare and enjoy this wonderful recipe.
We love casseroles throughout the colder months of the year
and find them to be great comfort food..


Friday, December 2, 2016

Readying For Winter

 Autumn comes and goes too quickly, leaves change, leaves fall, and so does the amount of light in the house.  The table lamps are used so much more often, even mid-day due to a bit of clouds and rain.  It sets the mood for winter which will be here soon.
 But if nothing else, it makes for a cozier feeling throughout the house.
 Dear little Izzy had the tumor atop her foot removed on Thursday, and Rowdy seemed a wee bit lonely without his side kick with him.... he spent some time walking through the Bradford Pear leaves,
 that change from green to their vivid golds and oranges ALWAYS during the last week of November... you can set your calendar by this change.
 The boy loves drinking from the bird bath beneath their branches since the water there comes from the outdoor spigot, directly from our well with no salt added to soften it.  Check out that pink tongue!
 We've readied our outdoor areas for the winter, removed all seat cushions, stacked the chairs, and wrapped them all up in tarps until springtime returns to us.
 Were there red bows on top, you might just think Santa had been here already. Or maybe not.
 The outer deck is empty except for the gas grill, and I purchased a new cover for it since the old one was simply too tattered and torn to serve us throughout the winter ahead.  We have had this grill since shortly after moving to Virginia in 2007, and although my husband has had to replace just a few parts, grills can be pricey, so we give this our tender loving care to keep it going a few more years.
The last hurrah of color before the snow flies.
Here's our two furry little ones begging for a biscuit from BJ at the vet's office on Monday just after their shots and check-ups.  And yes.... those are turkeys on their scarves.  How appropriate!
Izzy giving me a loving look.
Her surgery to remove the tumor atop her foot on Thursday, went well, and we await the pathology report from her doctor very soon.
She's being quite good about her stitches so far, and I bought her a soft cone of shame to wear, because we all know how dogs lick and chew once the itchiness of the healing process sets in.
She cried off and all most of last night, but today she adjusted nicely to wearing the collar and didn't cry.
I told her it's for her own good.  
By the way.... if you like brussels sprouts *my husband does not* but I DO.... so I made this recipe and they were quite yummy, so I'll be baking them again soon.  
Here's the recipe.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the green bean casserole recipe I used for our Thanksgiving meal, and I'll see if I can locate it on line and get that for you also.  Best recipe I have ever used for green bean casserole!
Thanks for stopping by today....
it's late, so I'm off to beddy bye.

Happy December!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Global World

This says it all.  The Holiday ad from Apple.
We can only hope that there will be more inclusivity in the upcoming four years.

Thank you, Apple, for understanding what this global world of ours needs to be.
For those people who refuse to accept others,
just let us know... 
we can stop the world from spinning and let you off wherever you desire.

Happy December and welcome to the Season of Wonder and Joy.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Izzy's Sweet Toes

This photo was snapped by my husband this morning as he was walking the pups.  Rowdy sometimes puts the leash in his mouth and leads my husband, and today Isabelle joined in and helped Rowdy.  They are the sweetest pups we have ever had the joy of sharing our lives with and they ALWAYS make us laugh.  

 By late morning it was time to take a ride in the Pathfinder, off to the vet's office for updating a shot or two with the hopes of keeping them healthy another year before more shots are due.  Those check-ups on their teeth, eyes, ears and heart are oh so important, and the pups don't mind.... Rowdy does get over-exuberant. but Izzy remains calm throughout the check-up.
 Rowdy simpy wiggles from one end of his body to the other and cannot stay still to save his life.... and Izzy simply keeps an eye on the door, listening for the sounds of people and pups in the lobby as they await their appointments.
 Rowdy gets the okay, but he is in need of having his teeth cleaned, so we hope to schedule that appointment soon, in fact we would have scheduled it for next week, until we got Izzy's news.
 Izzy has a histiocytoma which after an examination/scraping, showed that there are some bad looking cells in it, and it needs to come off ASAP, and hopefully that will be the end of it.  My concern is that the location looks to me as though she could possibly lose a toe.  The vet did not say this, but that is a possibility if you ask me.
 So, this Thursday morning Izzy will undergo surgery to have the tumor removed.  These are fairly common in the boxer breed, as are other tumors that can appear on their body.  
We are hoping for the best with our little girl.
 Here are the two of them, Izzy on the left and Rowdy on the right, as they beg for one more biscuit from B.J., who greets every pet as they enter into the office for their appointments.  She spoils them rotten and these two take complete advantage of her loving heart.
 On arriving home they took to the front yard to keep an eye out for any squirrels or deer who happen to be roaming the property.  It's the job of these two to watch over their domain.
 Please toss some good vibes out into the universe that Izzy's surgery at Valley Animal Hospital on Thursday goes well and that she comes home with all of her sweet little toes in tact.
She's such a sweet girl.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Looking for something not terribly expensive as a gift?

Talbots has some super pretty brooches and on Friday you can get one for 50% off if you shop before noon!
I am in love with the mouse and the hummingbird, but I've seen them all in person at their store and can honesty say that they are all simply the sweetest.  Go to their website HERE and search for "pin".  

While at the mall yesterday I stopped into Old Navy.  EVERYTHING in the store was 50% off.
Great hats and scarves for winter fun, and lots of buffalo plaid items.
If looking for something for kids, teens, or your favorite guy, this could be the sale for you.  Hurry, because WOW, the store was filled with people making purchases!  I bought five winter hats as gifts all at half price!

PIER 1.  What can I say?  They had soooo many wonderful gifts.  It takes me forever to walk around their store because I want everything for myself!

If ever you wanted to give a gift from THE LOFT, or get something totally awesome for yourself, then now is the time because 50% off?  Did you hear me???  50% OFF!  online code is BERRYGOOD

 J Crew has 40% off with code HOLIDAY

 There's always Starbucks gift cards, or why not ask where they eat lunch on work days and give a gift certificate to that restaurant!  I mean, who doesn't love a free lunch!

Give them the money to buy an annual membership to PicMonkey if they are a blogger.  It's $33, so it's a pretty nice gift and PicMonkey is so easy to use too!

If they love printing photos, give them photo paper from Best Buy, or a gift certificate for printer ink!  My ink is soooo expensive so for those of us with an addiction to printing photos, it makes a HUGE gift.

AND, shop early, only because otherwise the best stuff is gone already.  At least that's my opinion.

Want to do something more thoughtful?  Then give some scarves and hats and mittens to your local charity, or lots of canned food items to a local food pantry. These gifts are appreciated more than you will ever know.  

Pay for someone's coffee or dinner order when you are out for the day, smile at a stranger, give to children collecting donations for their school activities.  

It's all good.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Who Am I??

 This morning I dressed up a wee bit... well... at least it's dressed up for someone living the country life, who is retired and has no need to dress up for a daily office job, and going to swanky parties is no longer something we choose to do since they usually entail hanging around big egos of the corporate world...also a thing of the past, and out here in the country there is no one who needs impressing, so I usually look somewhat ratty unless I am high tailing into town.

I dropped off a few home grown tomatoes to some friends, but just a few since my husband is hoarding the rest of his German Johnsons from the garden, and I also took them some homegrown potatoes that were gifted to us by a neighbor.  Thirty pounds of potatoes is enough to feed a small army, definitely too many potatoes for just the two of us, so I threw together a beef stew in the crock pot and hauled a bag of a couple dozen to our friends along with the tomatoes. 
 Once they were delivered into loving, welcome hands, I stopped at the grocery store for more carrots since I was short for the beef stew requirements, and selected some dinner rolls and a Razzleberry pie which we LOVE from the frozen dessert section.  Then it was off to CVS pharmacy for a prescription renewal and my flu shot which I had been meaning to get for a month.  With our insurance, the shot was free.  I can recall a few years back when my flu shot costs $35.00, so free sounded good to me.

I filled out the paperwork for the shot, because they needed to show a checkmark in the box that asked, "are you pregnant?".  Wow!  I'm 62, but still they needed to know for certain.  I checked the 'no' box and sat down and struck up a chat with the man beside me.  
He looked quite a bit older than me, had a cane, clean clothes, and atop his head was a hat... an American Veteran's hat.  We talked about Thanksgiving, the cold windy weather, where he lived... you know... chit chatty stuff, the kind of information that is safe to share with anyone you have just seated yourself next to in a CVS Pharmacy waiting area.

The cashier/pharmacy tech girl called his name after a five or ten minute wait and said that his prescriptions were ready and I heard him rattle off his date of birth when she asked... the year was 1935, which makes him 81 years old.  Then the girl told him the total amount of his was $37.00 and some odd pennies, and with that information his shoulders slumped and he looked downward asking how much it would be for just one of them.... "well", she said, "the one is not covered by your insurance because it is an over the counter drug, and the other is $22.00".  The man said he would not get his check in the mail until December 2nd, and the girl obviously didn't know what to say to him.  

I couldn't bear to watch or listen to this hypocrisy created by pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and our government.  They would just as soon watch people die on the steps of the U.S. Senate building than fix this ugly situation that THEY themselves have created for their own financial gain.  They pocket BILLIONS of dollars each year and yet that is not enough... it will NEVER be ENOUGH for them.

So, call me a bleeding heart liberal if you will. OF THAT I am proud!

My hat I have had a few years and it was $48.00
The coat is new and over $100.00
The scarf is new and probably $30.00 (sim here)
The jeans were $100.00 on sale a few months ago
Brighton bracelets total around $100.00
The boots are from a few years ago.

If I couldn't help this man out then who am I??

I stepped up to the counter, whipped out my debit card with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat and stated that "I am paying for his prescriptions" because I am sick of big Pharma and the insurance industry and the government for creating this problem for people who simply don't have the financial means to pay for needed medications.

The man looked almost ashamed to look up, so I hugged him and told him 'Merry Christmas' and he told me to have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope that by making this simple gesture of kindness that once he gets his check in December that it will put him ahead of the game so that he will indeed have the money he needs for his next prescription.
I didn't need the money.  Most of what I buy is for enjoyment rather than need, and the man is a U.S Veteran, someone who truly has a place in my heart.

The pharmacist came out and gave me my flu shot, thanked me for doing what I did for the man, wished me a Happy Thanksgiving and we all went on to have a wonderful day.
My action did not tilt the world on it's axis.... but it did brighten someone's day..

Pay it forward, people..... don't spend it all on yourself.....Pay it forward.