Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well I'm signing off for Christmas (again if you've already seen this!).


I wish I could send all of you sweet people a Christmas card, but Tiny Prints only gave me 50 free ones. Maybe next year?


Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me such nice comments. If I could give you all an awkward side hug I would, because those are the only hugs I give.



I haven't really been doing much blogging the past several months and it seems when I do blog it is something lame about me or sad about Claire. Hopefully 2012 will bring a huge stack of blog topics when it rolls in.
Have a great Christmas season.

VK

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas In Dixie

December 22 and 77* outside. Looks like I will be needing one of these sweater tshirts instead of the real thing!





photos via Vardagen



Does Christmas In Dixie come on the radio where you live if you don't live in the south? I heard it several times yesterday and it has to be one of my favs. Hoping everyone can enjoy that great Christmas jam.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No Fail Fudge

Do you only make fudge at Christmas?
Last night I made fudge and it is so good. I may have shared this recipe here before but here it is again. It is the only fudge recipe I can make that will actually set up and it doesn't involve milk. Hooray!

FUDGE
1 lb confectioners sugar (I sift mine)
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tbs vanilla

Mix and pour into an 8x8 dish lined with wax paper. Put in fridge to cool and set up.
**********************
Claire is back! She seems to be very happy and we are happy to have her back. It hasn't been easy keeping her on a leash at all times when she is outside but that seems to be the way it will be from now on.
We are trying to come up with a way to close in part of the stick free yard to give her a little more room. Maybe we will work on that project next month since our January vacation to California got cancelled to save our dog. Thanks to Countryside Vet Clinic in Opelika, they were great to Claire!
Don't worry I wasn't kissing her on the mouth, I don't kiss dogs on the mouth but we were happy to see each other!

Here is the piece of wood that was causing all the trouble. It had poked holes through her intestines and was pinning them together like a pin holds fabric together. Make sense?

We thought she would have to wear her e-collar again but hasn't touched her staples. Eric built her a new cave out of pvc pipe that would accommodate her e-collar. I made a slip cover for it and I was planning on painting something cute but she doesn't really even need the big cave so I think it will be disassembled before I can paint anything.

Friday, December 16, 2011

In Lights & Instagram

Christmas at my house pretty much looks the same every year. Same decorations in the same spots. But this is the first year I've had the Instagram app on my iphone so the pics look different.

So happy our Christmas tree has the perfect spot for showing off!


I make wreaths for all the windows. They are all fake evergreen with real magnolia and holly berries added to the bottom. I always make a 100% real for the front door. Instead of berries I used some of our beautiful Camilla flowers for color. We've had temps in the high 70's so my live greenery is starting to look dead.




Can't beat the old school Christmas tree light bulbs + a real tree. We are crazy about Christmas ornaments and have several hundred. We always get one from a vacation and then one that reflects us from the year.




Our little smore's tree. My fav!




I've loved getting everyone's Christmas cards this year. We've been so busy with Claire that I have just piled them in the evergreen on top of the milk glass cabinet instead of hanging them up. I quiet like it.



Hope you all have a great weekend!

Ours will be great if we get Claire back home tomorrow. She had another surgery to remove a stick that had poked 2 holes in her weak from surgery less than 3 weeks ago intestines and they were starting to grow together. The vet is trying to be very realistic about the risk of infection but she wagged her tail today so that is a great sign!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Claire Update & Supper Meal Plan

Just another Monday, only 2 more of these bad boys until 2012! How crazy is that.

Some of you have asked for a Claire update so here is the latest. Thanks for all of your kind words, I read her all of the comments and emails!
This past Friday, 2 weeks after her surgery, she regained all of her freedom. The last step was letting her have access to outside 24/7 via her dog door. And where is she right now? Back at the vet. She started acting sick on Saturday and we took her to the vet first thing this morning. Her Xray show something that looks like a stick or bone. She hasn't had access to any bones so we are guessing a stick. Sticks are her cigarettes and she usually eats several a day.
I have NO idea how we will keep her from eating sticks unless we only let her out on a leash. The vet thinks she can get away without surgery. I am praying that is the case because Claire may not make it through surgery. We slept 6 hours all weekend and I am really thinking twin babies would be easier right now.
There isn't much else to blog about. It is clean out the pantry and freezer before Christmas time around here so this is what we will be eating this week:
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake - I add 2 tbsp of homemade taco seasoning and instead of the chilies I use a few jarred jalapenos and a little juice. If possible make this ahead in the morning, all of the spices can meld together and it will be so much more flavorful. Eric doesn't eat this so I have a lot of leftovers that are great for lunch or freezing.
Beef with Broccoli - I use Flank Steak. Listen to the girl when she says reduced sodium soy sauce. Ask me how I know.

Linguine with Shrimp - yummy and so easy!

Pioneer Woman Meatballs - I always start these the night before. That way I just have to pop them in the oven when I get home to finish cooking.

Apple Pie Cookies - I love Honey crisp apples and they taste so good in these cookies. I used prepared pie dough.

We have been on a big sweet potato fry kick lately. I just make thin fries out of sweet potatoes toss in olive oil and salt. Cook at 350* for about 10 minutes, flip and cook 10 more min. I like mine thin and crispy. I also made kale chips for the first time Saturday and they were pretty good. Tear off kale and toss with olive oil and a little salt. Bake 350* 10-15 minutes until the edges are brown. Watch carefully or they will burn.

What are you cooking up this week?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I am always getting requests for outfit posts. It is awkward to take so many pictures of yourself but I have been trying to remember to snap a picture during the day for an outfit post. These are spaced out over the past several weeks but it is a start. Since I always remember a sale price I will post those too. I love to buy clothes on sale and any store is free game for me, I will shop pretty much anywhere.



dress - Gap $8

belt - Goodwill $1

boots - a catalogue that is no more they were $110 but I've had them for 5 years




This huge leaf is so cool I had to share!


corduroy blazer - Lands End vintage $2

shirt - Walmart $1

belt- Target via Goodwill $1

knit skinny pants - Old Navy $4

boots - Old Navy $12


cardigan - ANA JC Penny $9

shirt - Kmart $3, it is a granny style shirt but when you tuck it in you can't tell

pants - GAP $8

belt - Goodwill
shoes - Gianni Bini Dillard's $15






Eric doesn't like this outfit. He says the skirt with this shirt freaks him out. haha.

shirt - American Eagle

belt - Target via Goodwill $1

skirt - Goodwill $3 no brand or tags

boots - Old Navy $12

I received my
necklace from Lemon Sweet yesterday and had to wear it today. I love it, it is so sweet and delicate!



Ok so I hope that wasn't too disappointing, I'm no Kendi. And yes my huge collection of belts deserves its own post.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Claire's Latest Adventure

Thanks everyone for entering the giveaway. Congrats to Ellieileen! Email me, my address is under "Contact Me" so I can get your info. If I don't hear from you by Sunday I will draw another winner.


Our dog Claire has had a pretty rough week. I've had a lot of friends and family go out of their way to check on her and I wanted to post an update for them. Thanks to everyone who has checked on Claire Belle!




Last Wednesday morning Claire got into the trash. She never gets into anything but there was something in there that she couldn't resist. When she saw me leave the room without closing the door she just couldn't handle the temptation. By Wednesday evening she wasn't acting herself. She wanted to hide behind the couch and didn't want a treat. Very unusual for her. By 10:30 she threw up and we started to get really worried. With it being night and a holiday we knew the vet would be closed so we waited. We didn't go to sleep until 3:30 in the morning. Claire couldn't get comfortable and was crying a lot. It was so sad.





Thursday morning Eric had to work since the Iron Bowl was on Saturday. When he got off at 12 we took Claire to Auburn University's Vet School ER. We stayed until 4 when they told us they would need to keep her overnight based on xrays. We grabbed Thanksgiving lunch at the drive thru at Hardee's. Friday morning they called and said she would need surgery.


The Dr was pleased they only had to do one incision in her stomach instead of three. I thought that meant she would have a little cut on her belly. Not prepared to see this.

We wanted to visit her on Saturday after the football game, but we were afraid she would get excited and pop a stitch or think we were going to take her home. Sunday morning the vet called and asked us if we could come try to feed her because she wouldn't eat. I had one foot out the door before we even hung up. I was not expecting to see her shaved on the sides with an IV in her shaved leg.





What hair was left was really dingy. She looked like an orphan dog.


We got the call Monday that she could come home!!!!!! She was happy to see us and get out of the hospital. I had to make out her meds and food schedule because there is so much info to remember. I can't stand to smell the dog food so Eric has taken over that dept. Ok lets be honest he has taken over everything. He has stayed home from work with her, takes her out and give her all her meds. I'm just the petter.

When we got home she immediately headed for her cave but because of her halo she couldn't fit through the door. Eric rigged something up for her to make her feel cozy.




I added some Christmas garland and put her favorite squirrel, Rico on top. I am pretty sure she will be getting an Extreme Home Makeover this weekend seeing she has another 10 days in the halo and that box is ugly. I thinking a snow covered chalet since it is an A-frame style cave.

Look who is ready for Christmas! I decorated her e-collar with Christmas stickers, it toally made her feel better.



So while we may not have had a traditional Thanksgiving we spent the day thanking God that our girl was going to be ok and that he provided for us so we were able to give her the care she needed. It is worth it to see her pop up in the window when we get home, but lets just say she better be popping up in that window for many more years!


A couple of weeks ago Eric left his lunch plate on the table and went outside, guess who knocked the plate off to eat the chips! See without Claire the house would be so boring.


Here are some things I learned over the past few days to help keep your animal safe:

*When Claire started to get sick I started to regret not giving her peroxide to make her throw up the object. I asked the Vet if giving her hydrogen peroxide would have helped and saved her from surgery. He said NO. The object she swallowed was linear so it would have had trouble coming back up. If the esophagus gets damaged you open up a whole other can of worms. The esophagus is a very hard area to operate on and by damaging it you can cause irreversible damage or a very expensive surgery.


*They had a case where the dog swallowed a fish hook and the owner gave it peroxide for it to throw up. Needless to say the stomach was torn up as well as the esophagus and the fish hook didn't come out because it got hooked inside the dog. Ouch!

So if your pet swallows something they shouldn't please call your Vet before giving it hydrogen peroxide!!

*The Vet said Claire's intestines were rolling around the object sort of like your sleeves bunch up on your arms. This was what was causing her pain and the need for surgery. If you doggie starts to act different please take them to the Vet. They can't always pass what is in the digestive tract just because they are an "animal".


*We have a friend who's dog swallowed a toothpick. That toothpick worth less that 5 cents cost $2,000 to remove. Make sure you don't have toothpicks where a dog can eat one.


*Never give your doggie chicken bones! They splinter and cause choking or damage to the esophagus.


*Claire is such a good dog in regards of not getting into the trash or chewing things. No really she is! But one time in the garbage was all it took, it will never happen again. Make sure to shut the door or put your trash in a cabinet!!


*If you have kitties and dogs make sure they can't get into string or thread, watch out for the ribbons on Christmas packages. Strings can be fatal to animals.


*There was a dog on Monday's Pet Vet segment on the news that ate a razor. The 3 blades had separated and one passed. (eeek) The other 2 were still inside and they were going to try to get them out by making the dog swallow cotton balls and mineral oil. That sounds crazy, poor dog. I asked the Vet on Claire's case about it yesterday and he said the stomach is strong so it may not get cut up. But if your pet ingests the mineral oil it makes future surgeries a lot harder.


I hope this post was helpful and will prevent someone else's dog from having to go through what Claire did. I think the $2,400 surgery was karma because I make fun of someone I know because they have pet insurance. Look who's laughing now! If you have any pet safety tips post them in the comments so we can all learn.
 
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