Sunday, June 30, 2013

dog training...

in less than 2 weeks, wilfred has learned 3 tricks; paw, lay down and now roll over!  jarad is such a patient teacher and wilfred is eager to please.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


i heard this quote at a graduation speech and i found it to be very inspiring and wise...

"the best way to predict your future is to create it"
~abraham lincoln

Friday, June 28, 2013

baked beans...

i feel like this is a recipe that everyone has their own favorite version of.  somehow i have gone through 31 years of never making my own.  our friends made a great batch for a memorial day bbq, and i tried to combine several recipes to get close to the delicious ones he made.  so here is "my" recipe, and i got lots of compliments on them when i served them along with ribs and steak for a fathers day/birthday celebration recently...

2 cans pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 bbq sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 lb. bacon
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T molases
2 T mustard
few dashes hot sauce
few dashes worchestershire sauce

how to:

cook onion until translucent and cook bacon until crispy.  add all ingredients together in crock pot and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.  if you don't have any of the ingredients, you can add a little more bbq sauce, it has a lot of the flavors you are looking for.  i forgot to take a picture of the end result, but there were also no leftover, so it was a success!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

dog food...

over the last 5 + weeks, wilfred has proven to not only be a very picky eater, but also have a sensitive stomach.  he has little interest in kibble or any treats that are not bacon flavored.  he has been sick off and on, and i call this his "sick diet", although it has become his staple food for the last week.  he loves it,  i know it is good for him and its easy and it is inexpensive to make.

wilfred's dog food recipe:

1 1/2 cup white rice
1 shredded zuchinni
1 lb. lean ground beef (with fat thoroughly drained and rinsed)
2 T. flaxseed

*cook all ingredients separately, and when rice is cooked, mix in the flaxseed (this adds some fiber as and is also good for their coat).  keep in air tight container, and this usually lasts me 5-7 days, feeding him twice a day.  i have also used chicken instead of beef, which he also loves.

in the past, wilfred has picked out all the meat and left behind the rice, so i will also add a tablespoon of cottage cheese to his meal when serving, and stir it in real well.  he loves the cottage cheese, and is less likely to only eat the good stuff this way.

Monday, June 17, 2013

don't judge a book by it's cover...

i am a sucker for skulls, so i had to get try this wine over the weekend.  it's got a clever name and a fun label, but it didn't taste as good as it looked...

Sunday, June 16, 2013


jarad and i are both animal lovers and have always dreamed of having a dog, but because we work long hours and don't have a yard, this dream has been put on hold.  it wasn't until my work situation changed where i could work from home part time, that this dream became a reality.  once i got settled into my new work environment (the kitchen table) and started to get my schedule down, we started to look at the online pet ads.  and then when we got real serious we went to the pet adoptions on a sunday, and after we played and visited with some dogs, we eventually found "the one" and fell in love.

we filled out the paperwork and he came home with us the same evening.  we had a hard time finding the perfect name for him, but eventually came up with "wilfred beardsly berkman". it fits him perfectly.    today marks exactly one month since we got him and we are still learning how to be good pet parents and we are both still adjusting to the change.  it's been fun, challenging and exciting to see the progress over the last 4 weeks, here is what we have been through...

week 1 - we got him on a sunday evening and within a couple hours was introduced to his very excited grandparents and aunt alix and uncle rj.  the very next day he made the hour drive with me into work and got to meet his other family at spot welders, including a couple of dogs.  his temperament throughout the week was very calm and inquisitive, but also at times very lethargic.  i didn't know how the change was affecting him, because he was so loving and affectionate, but he was also sleeping a lot and not interested in his food.  i decided to make a trip to petco where i chose a different food, and was given instructions on the correct way to introduce a new food to a dog, very gradually.  his food instantly made him sick and the next two days he was throwing up and had no energy.  the adoption agency was worried he may have parvo, but he tested negative, thank god!  we think all the extreme change and change in food was hard on him.  he had been found in a park in south central los angeles, covered with fleas, ticks and mites and was all black.  it took the adoption agency 5 hours to capture him and he certainly cleans up nicely.  the vet put him on an anti-parasite medicine and we had to feed him chicken and rice and give him pedalite.  as a first time puppy owner, this was terribly frightening to me and i felt terrible to see him feel so sick.  on day three, he finally started to get a perk in his step and was starting to show signs of a healthy and happy puppy.

week 2 - we got over the parvo scare, but he started to get a bad cough.  the vet calls it kennel cough, which is a loose term for when dogs get colds.  his energy was normal, but he would cough and wheeze, usually in the middle of the night or on walks.  this lasted a few days and cleared up on its own and we really started to see his true personality come out.  during the first week that we had him, we also got him some new toys a new bed and all the dog owner must have accessories.  he discovered he loved his duck toy and to hump his bed.  this provides hours of entertainment for jarad and i.  he was doing really well coming with me to work, but i was noticing that often times he was not excited for the car ride and that sometimes he would puke in the car or shortly after.  so i realized that this fragile little guy gets car sick.  i started to change his eating schedule so that i would feed him breakfast once we got to work and he would ride on an empty stomach, this seemed to help with the car sickness.

week 3 - we had a really good week.  we were starting to get the hang of it.  wilfred only puked once this week in the car, and he is full of energy and spunk.  this week we gave him a new bone and a bath on the same day and that night he had 3 accidents in the house, in the 3 weeks we have had him, he hadn't had that many accidents in total.  we weren't sure what was wrong with him, and of course i start to worry if he has a bladder infection or if he all the sudden became diabetic, but i think the excitement of the new bone made him more thirsty than usual and he dislikes bath time and usually afterwards he has to go out, so i think the combo of the two made him more anxious and excitable than usual.  but it took 2 days for him to get back to normal and we learned to limit his water, especially at night.  wilfred has also learned that if he wakes up in the middle of the night and paws at our bed, he gets to come in.  we try to have cuddle time with him before we go to bed and in the morning, but we like to put him in his bed at bedtime, although he would much prefer to be with us.  we now have learned to close the door to his crate (where his bed is) so we can all sleep much better at night.  wilfred is definitely feeling more confident and comfortable this week and we are all finding our groove.

week 4 - this week we had no puking in the car and no accidents!!!  this weekend we also finished up the 2nd shot in the second series, he has been too sick off and on for them to feel comfortable giving them to him.  but he has one more series of shots, and then he will be free to play with other dogs!  we are so excited to take him to the dog park down the street.  he has also destroyed 2 duck toys now, so we stocked up and got the last 4 of them at the store.  we also gave him his first rawhide bone this weekend, which he loved!  i'm trying to get him on a better eating schedule, and feeding him twice a day and taking it away when he doesn't eat it.  i have learned he is a picky eater and prefers i top his food with something human.  he is loving laying on the balcony in the sun, going on runs with jarad and being lazy in the morning.  the biggest accomplishment this week was jarad teaching him to "shake", he is a fast learner and jarad is a good teacher.

it has only been one month, but we have come a long way, and everyone is feeling happy.  wilfred found his forever home and he fills our hearts with love, laughter and smiles.