Tag Archive: bloggs


The explanation…

 

untitled 

So first off let me tell you Bruno is doing much better, he ate his food last night as well as drank all of his water and he kept it down!! That is great news! I talked to a Tech this morning and well she seemed really optimistic but in the end it is the docs call to figure out if he can come home or not. So once the doc gets in and has time to look everything over she will make the final call. But we are excited to have him healthy and to have him home!!

So… something that has been on my mind quite a bit and I feel the need to explain. Not that I have to mind you… but I sort of want to. There are several different types of people in this world; it takes all different types to make the world the interesting and diverse place that it is… also we need each type to balance out the others, because if we were to all be the same then the world would be a dull place.

I am and I have tried my best to raise my children to be the kind of person that believes anything is possible. I am and I have tried to raise my children to know that kindness is not so much something you show to family and friends but something really you should show to all living creatures. As a child I was told I was too tenderhearted when it came to animals… I brought home sick creatures of every shape and size. I wish I have a picture of my mom’s face when I walked through the door when I was about 11-12 and I have a black snake curled all the way up my arm and partially around my neck, with its head in my hand. It had been run over by a car and I wanted to help it… lol she about flipped her lid. But being half country girl half city girl she quickly saw it was just a black snake and knew it was not going to hurt me. We did what we could and let it go… Is it silly? Probably… but I have a question… who did it hurt? Who did it hurt to show kindness to a snake… who does it hurt to show kindness to any animal.

I know I know… many people out there in the world think animals are just animals… and I get that and to them they are correct. But only to them… ask a blind man what his dog is worth to him… ask the kids in the hospital who get visited by pets and animals to help comfort them when they are sick what that animal means to them. Ask the grandparent who lost his/her spouse, and whose family no longer visit as much… ask them what that little dog/cat means to them.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not preaching… I am not soap boxing I am just explaining. I am not asking anyone to have passion for animals or anything the way that I do or my family does. And honestly I do not put an animal’s well being over that of my children or my family.

I have been asked from many places why on earth I would ever consider using this much money to make a puppy better… I have heard that I could buy 2-3 puppies for the cost it takes to heal this one, who might not even make it. I have been flat out told it is stupid what I am doing. Or that I could save the money and get another car (because at the moment we have only one). A lot of people just do not understand… and when I decided to take this on, I had decided I would sell whatever I could, or had to, to help make Bruno better.

My daughter seeing the strain it was going to put on us wanted to do something to help. And boy did she ever… and then for every person I knew that told me I was crazy. There were others who not only understood but wanted to help, with kind words, and support of many different kinds.

How much is it worth to, if for only a moment, be your child’s hero… the person that did not say no and did what they could regardless how stupid other people thought it was?

My obligation… Bruno never asked to come home with me… he never asked to get sick… he does not have the ability to make himself better. When my daughter begged me for a puppy and told me it would not cost me anything because she had the cost covered, and she was going to get a job for the other stuff and I would never even know it was there. Well I’m not stupid… I have been around the block once or twice and I knew what would end up happening. But I never could have guessed it was this. While he was not sick in his short time in our home, he quickly won over our hearts, such a little fragile puppy with teeth like razor blades… and who snored… ha-ha yup and even snorted. The stupid little dog was just too cute. My daughter was in love… I was told that we have not had time to even really be attached to it… I am not sure you can put a time frame on something like that, but we were more than attached.

My daughter has been to almost every charity event I have done over the past 8-9 years. She did not work out in the sun all day and help for a t-shirt… or to get free food… she really believes in the things I do. Be it for MS, or Cancer, Or the Human Society… she always wants to help support me. Taking pictures… giving out medals… doing whatever it takes. With her help I have raised a lot of money over the years for a bunch of awesome and well deserving organizations. I have tried to teach her how important it is to not just give money but time. And to help where you can… she has that caring spirit in her.

medal

So why would I agree to pay a ton of money to heal a sick dog… love… responsibility… because it is the right thing to do. Because of the gifts of family, friends, and strangers… this will not be a burden to our family at all… because of the love everyone has shown us this is one of the best learning experiences I could have ever give my children and anyone around me. Where there is a pure heart, and a will, there is a way.

mekay

Because there are other people like us in this world, later today with tears in my daughters eyes she will see Bruno again, and the vet will tear up and the techs will tear up… but I won’t cause I am a guy and we don’t do that stuff 😉 and her mom will be blubbering like a child lol… and then I guess I will see all of this and my best explanation would be to the question of why would you pay so much to make a puppy better is… how could you not… the vet is going to walk away today and the techs… thinking to themselves as they wipe the tears from their face seeing my daughter and the puppy so happy… “This is why we do this… this makes the bad days better”
Ask anyone in that room what is that feeling worth… it’s priceless.

Would I let my family starve to do this? No… would I get my electric shut off? No… but I knew somehow it would work… and it all has. Thanks to everyone who loves animals the way we do… That bond is priceless.

HOPE FOR BRUNO

Fundraiser link

 

kaylaanddad

Advertisements

 

bru

 

So Just a quick update on Sir Bruno the wonder dog…

 

Called the vet this morning around 8am when they opened, and he is doing much better. He was bright and alert and met them at the door of his kennel even wiggling his little butt. Still drooling a good bit but in much better shape.

 b4

They are going to discuss taking out the catheter and going to solid (soft) food and water today. The vet stressed they are still guarded with their prognosis because he is not out of the woods yet. But you could hear it in her voice; she was hopeful as we are too.

 b2

He seems to have a lot of strength in him and a ton of love flooding in from all over the place.

 b3

So in light of that I wanted to just post an update and share some pictures

mebru

Follow Bruno on Istagram: @SirBrunobt

 

Or on my daughter’s fundraising page for him:

 

 Hope For Bruno

 

 

Pictures take by my daughter… as you can see before he got sick she had a lot of fun with him… and then I tried to get him after we were both tired out lol Nap buddies

Scribbles and Bits writing Challenge #4′ picture challenge

This weeks challenge is a picture challenge. A tribute to the dark, if you will. But as well a tribute to a man who has long been considered a literary icon Mr. Clive Barker.

aa613

This week I would like Clive to inspire all of you. I want you to use this image as the basis for….. something. Write something that is somehow based around or inspired by this image. Any genre, any length. Then come back and post the link here so that we can all enjoy what Clive has inspired and awakened within yourself. 

Now get scribbling.

and make us proud.. write on!

So this is challenge number 4 set up by the creator of the scribbles and bits challenge… I will do my best…

Asleep

The guttural screams and gnashing of teeth surrounded me… the stench of bile and acidic spittle fills my nostrils as their taunts consumed my thoughts.

“your worthless”

“no one loves you”

 

“she will never care for you”

 

Each demon taking a bite out of my soul with every bullet of hate flying from its forked tongue… one festering mouthful at a time. Each trying to top the last to see who could cut the deepest…

“just die and give up no one cares”

“your never going to be anything special to anyone”

“Your own mother wanted you to be dead”

Slowly they started to fade… the feelings lingered though as they always did, most people dreamed of good places and of loved ones. But as I slept, I wrestled demons. Turning off my alarm… the one sound that always chased them away I walk to my shower feeling as if I had been beaten with a stick as I slept, stopping to look in the mirror expecting to see cuts and bruises I only saw myself looking back at me, for a moment I imagine my reflection looking at me in disgust.

Just another day… each night the teeth seem sharper and much more real, each morning looking for the proof and finding only my own disapproving self staring back at me. If life is only what we make it… I want to know how I made this and how I can unmake it.

Just another day at the office… clock in… check email… set up the day… trudge through the dim lights and fight the urge to just walk out. But walk out to what I always ask myself… what do “you” have to go to? The answer is always the same… nothing. But today was a little different… today I had not know it then, but this day my life would change.

Going to the coffee shop the folks behind the counter start making my drink as I walk through the door, so regular is my life that even strangers can predict what I want. Making small talk and thanking them with an outward smile I make my way to my truck when my life changed… at first I thought it might be a figment of my imagination, the shadow we think we see out of the corner of our eyes but when we look it is never really there. But no… when I looked it was there… it looked as shocked as I did when I looked right at it… one of the demons from my sleep, one of the creatures that waits for me to rob me of my rest and leave me weary each day.

It’s eye blinked twice once top to bottom like ours, then once side to side, then they narrowed and it charged at me. Almost blending in with its surroundings it leaped at me I attempted to duck down then sharply I fell forward, my feet being pulled out from under me, rolling to my back I could see another one under my truck. Clawing at my legs as I kicked to get free… another started to jump from the bed of my truck as I felt the teeth of the first I saw sink into my shoulder… I screamed for help… for anyone… but no car stopped no one seemed to even see me and then they started to fade away.

I jumped up quickly trying to get away but it was dark and with a hard smash I hit my knee on something. I reached out and tuned on the light as I stared back at myself in my own bathroom… I looked at my self in the mirror and saw no outward damage… just myself but this time I could really see the look of contempt as my reflection look back and I heard a whisper… “its only a matter of time…”

 

not the best thing I have written… but just something I threw together for the challenge…

Finding my way out of the dark

Finding my way out of the dark

 

Wine and Design

65299_182485648554865_296197153_n

 

 

 So Thursday night I had my second experience with a wine and design group… it was a great time. There is just something about sitting down with a bottle of wine… some friends… and the threat that at any moment someone may take a swipe at you with a brush full of paint because of a smart ass comment you make. OK maybe that last part is something only I worry about because yeah I am a bit of a smart ass, but the people that know and love me would not have me any other way… or maybe that is just what I tell myself.

 

 So I had heard about this from a friend in mine you will see in one of the pictures and thought… hummm worst case it really really stinks, and I get to blame it on the wine… OK I am in!

 

The first painting from the picture looked simple enough… some wine bottles and corks… at a wine and design class… how fitting is that! Man I had the best time… really, great company the instructor was easy to work with and helped us without laughing to much. Everyone joked and talked and half of the class sang along with with music.

841316_229585770511519_436525474_o    792277_229585773844852_1378947914_o 778660_229585870511509_149869165_o843923_474446315936848_901549368_o

 

No your going to see my picture in this blog and I need to get something out first… when you get to the class you pay your 30-35 dollars… they supply everything except the wine. The canvas already has what ever your painting lightly sketched… I will try to ummm burrow a pic from their face book to give you an example. So the instructor helps you pic out your colors or they are already ready. And basically the who class step by step works on the painting together. After two hours of laughter and wine and more laughter you end up with a painting worth hanging up in your house. These instructors are good too… I really have not been in a class yet and seen a bad painting.

 843996_232269570243139_1031542222_o

The second class I went to with a friend of mine who was also in the first class with me… this time we did a beach scene, this class was much smaller only 5 of us, but we still had a great time talking to each other and with the instructor… I tend to be a bit of a class clown so I either have people laughing with me… or at me… either way I am OK with that.

 65512_240910026045760_911501056_n 860540_483052405076239_1962942517_o

Here are some links to the wine & Design web page you should see if there is one in your area…. if not find something like it… it is an awesome time I am actually thinking about doing a couple as fund raisers and for my birthday… I am hooked for sure 🙂

 

http://www.wineanddesignus.com/Home.html here it their home page from there you can find the closest locations to you… its a ton of fun… 

 

Smile… even if it is only the wine

  First recipe…

 

I have to start off by saying holy crap!!! I was skimming through this cook book and I am in way over my head here… I am cooking with stuff I have never heard of or even know how to get. The thing I chose tonight was something that has the simplest ingredients eventhough there were a few I had never heard of and had no idea how to find…

 

OK for starters at some point I am going to end up making something called…

Tandoori Poussins with mango relish… ummm OK half of you can pretend all you want that you knew exactly what a Poussin was… but I had no idea and I was scared. Lol so I called the local butcher (and I am in a small city) and he was clueless… so I am not sure what I am going to do lol evidently it is the chickens equivalent to veil, it’s a teenage chicken… won’t that be fun?

 DSCN0733

But onto tonight’s great adventure… Fish cakes with anchovy dressing… now take into consideration anchovies were something my uncle teased me with as a child to gross us kids out… I never really liked them much and hated them even more when I worked in a pizza place and they stunk the joint up… but the recipe was simple enough… or at least so I thought…

 

ingredients:

  • 14oz waxy potatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • few thyme sprigs
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • 10oz salmon fillet
  • 10oz smoked haddock fillet
  • handful of Italian parsley chopped
  • handful of chervil, chopped
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

 

Anchovy dressing:

  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 shallots
  • Italian parsley
  • 4 marinated anchovies
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

 

 

OK first… I did not know what a “waxy” potato was… I had never heard of chervil or how to find it… and I had heard “capers” before but only on cooking shows and had no idea what they really were.

 

I get to the store and all they have is the salmon and no haddock so I just doubled the salmon. After spending an hour in the store… because I am a guy… looking for stuff and not asking anyone what or where some things might be, it was almost like a scavenger hunt. My wife is on her phone looking up the things we had never heard of… while I was choosing the fish and trying to get the other stuff.

 

After some time passes in the store we finally find everything… except the chervil was dry and not fresh but at this point I did not care I was ready to be out of there and get home to cook. Well let me tell you another rookie mistake I made… I did not read the recipe all the way through before I started and I will get to why that was a problem in a bit.

 DSCN0739 DSCN0737 DSCN0736

So peel the potatoes and get them on the stove that was easy enough even for a guy like me…

 DSCN0741

while that was going I take care of the lemon and get it ready and put it in dishes to be used once the potatoes are finished… that was when the evil person in me decides to find out if our puppy likes lemon lol… and sure enough he loved it hahaha that was a great thing to watch for a little while…

 DSCN0743 DSCN0744 DSCN0745

next it was time to poach the fish with the thyme and a little olive oil and salt…

 DSCN0746

with that finished and the potatoes done I mash them… add the lemon and the parsley as directed…

DSCN0750 

then it was cool enough to separate the skin from the salmon and chunk it up a bit… the recipe calls for you to remove the bones but I did not see any…

DSCN0747 DSCN0749

DSCN0753 DSCN0752 

mixing up the potato and the fish and the rest of the spices… you form them into patties… this is where I did not read ahead. At this point you should put them in the fridge for a couple hours to get them to hold their shape while you dip them in egg and put them in the panko bread crumbs, I did not do that so they were falling apart in my hands… but through several curse words and such I got it done…

DSCN0754

 

time for the “dressing” I think I did something wrong here because the picture shows a “sauce” but mine was pretty dry even after trying to thin it out some… maybe I should have used wine instead of drinking it… it had just been one of those days I am sure you understand… with the shallots cut I move on to the rest…

 DSCN0755

I bounce back and forth from the “dressing the the browning of the cakes… with the cakes browned I put them on a sheet to go into the oven where I finish the rest…

 DSCN0756

Parsley… capers… oil… anchovies… simmer

 DSCN0757 DSCN0758

finished product…. served with peas… yeah of they are the steam able microwave kind… sue me… paired with the wine it was actually really good everyone in the house who ate it loved it… I may do it again sometime.

 DSCN0759

So this was my first adventure into the Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite cookbook… I hope you enjoyed reading my adventure… the next ones will be really interesting I mean I have to clean a squid…. not sure sure I will like that… or that anyone else in my family will even attempt to try it haha…

 

Smile… cooking is a new adventure every time you try something new! 

       I know I do not have a lot or readers… or followers… I mean come on, is this a cult?? If it is I guess I forgot to make the cool-aid… ooohhh maybe I should have made brownies,  ok I digress… I have a question for the masses…

 

        If you could sum up your life in one line from a movie… what would that line be?

 

 

        So It’s only fair that I share mine right? And do not ask me what got me thinking about this… but mine is…

 

         “Welcome to the land of misfit toys…”  hahaha I mean how perfect is that.

 

        Thank you for reading and please share your ummm Life Line lol below I would love to hear it.

 

 

         Smile… you are the only real person that can ever measure you own self worth

Cooking with Gordon

cookbook

       I bought this book lat last year with the plans on cooking a few things out of it each week starting in January. But with the hectic holiday I had, then the crazy January, I honestly just forgot about it. As I was moving things around in my house trying to make room for things that came from a grandparent that had passed I found the book again, and with it my goals for the book came back.

 

      OK OK don’t laugh, yes the movie Julie and Julia gave me a bit of inspiration because I truly love most of the work that Ramsay does on TV. I love to watch him go in and turn over complicated menus into simple works of art. But I am no chef or even an aspiring chef.. heck I really can’t even consider myself a foodie or a food snob… there is very little that I do not enjoy, and I love to cook for people with my limited abilities. So with the movie as my inspiration I wanted to try something new. Not just new but I also needed to get more healthy so instead of the butter and lard rich French foods in the movie from their cook book. I sot out and found a healthy living cookbook from my favorite person.

 

      Maybe the idea is played out… maybe I will make a mockery of this food… but maybe I will get a few things right. I will honestly tell you that if I end up doing this all the way through from cover to cover and get 75% of it right than anyone reading this who knows how to boil water will be able to do the same.

 

      My game plan is to attempt to cook two things a week… I may be able to work in a few more, I might even attempt a few videos and or at very least tons of pictures to show you what I use and how I do it. I will not be nearly as fast as the chefs you see on TV, my kitchen is very plain and I will probably have to buy many things to do this because I doubt I have the tools to take on such a book… but I will do my best and you guys can laugh with me as I make a mess of things.

 

      Thank you for reading and I hope to have the first thing cooked in a few days… I have yet to decide in what order I will go but once I figure it out I will post a schedule of sorts. Thanks again and enjoy…

   

Smile… The food cooked and given to you out of love beats any material thing bought with spite…

                                 me

Wait Staff…

Wait staff …

 

Ok, so I was out eating dinner this weekend and I had some of the best service I have had in a long time. The place in which I ate was a bit confusing.  I guess the waitress was not the one to take the food order just the drink order and she was only there in part to answer questions. A different person the chef/cook I guess came out and took the order.  I only say that because he never really told us who he was other than his name which I do not remember.  When he brought the food out he dropped it off and turned and walked away. Not waiting to see if it was done properly or not. The whole this was a bit confusing to be honest.

 

But the waitress was great, extremely helpful and polite, very eager to help us with anything we wanted. Checking on different drinks to make sure the bar could make them then making sure it tasted right because until they looked it up no one had ever heard of it before. She even told us a joke and what made the joke so funny was the fact that she was extremely tickled (yeah I have lived in the South too long) by it and she herself could not stop laughing.

 

  “What did the stop light say to the car?” Wait for it … Wait for it … “Don’t look I am changing!”

 

Yes I know you just rolled your eyes, but watching someone else tell it that could not stop giggling made it really funny.

 

Then we got to the desert portion of the dinner which I almost never get with me trying to lose weight … but I had only eaten one other meal that day with me being so busy, so I had a little extra room on a cal count. I guess the servers here make the desert plates up themselves; she got super excited telling us how pretty she would make it and how good they were. When I ordered it she even clapped her hands and said “yay” and zoomed off like a little kid who gets to make something cool for mom and dad. It was actually fun to watch. And honestly she made the place worth coming back to. I mean the food was not bad … but it was not mind blowing, the salad bar that everyone raved about was well, just ok in my mind … the second person taking our order was a bit confusing at first and the menu was very limited. But after all it was a steak house and I was there for steak so what else would I really want lol. But had I taken my kids I would have been hard pressed leaving there without spending too much.

 

I think what a lot of managers and people who run places in the food industry have lost sight of over the years is that a server or your wait staff is honestly a touch more important than anyone else in the building. I would even have to say more important than your chef or line cook. I mean honestly, could any amount of good food overcome really bad service? If the server is just rude and sloppy and all things bad the food would have to be out of this world to make up for it … but that is only if that bad server gets the order correct. Managers … well they are the easiest person in the building to replace.  A good manager will know who to hire and who to put where, they will know who does what job the best, and will be able to put aside personal feelings and be able to get the job done. But even a good manager comping your food and not making you pay for anything will not always make up for a crappy server.

 

But a server … a good server can make up for a long wait, and can pick up the slack with bad management. They can make a not so great meal just a little better with honesty and entertainment value. A good server can help with a crying child, help you decide what you want when you hard pressed to figure it out, and a good server will be friends with the cook, the manager and the bartender.  So if you’re having a really bad visit the server can make sure that in some form or fashion it is made up to you. And normally they are the lowest paid people in the building. I am not sure what it is where you guys are but here most servers get paid is about $2.13 an hour plus tips … and well, not everyone tips accordingly. Now don’t get me wrong, unless the place is really crappy or the server just plain stinks then they do not make out too bad. But there is something else to consider that not a lot of people know.

 

Business being what it is has found ways of cutting corners and rounding off the edges in a way that optimizes profits in a way that keeps overhead low. In most places head count or your on-the-clock-employee is the largest drain on your money.  So why would you have a dishwasher come in early to help set up whom on the hour makes five or six more dollars an hour than your server?  So a lot of places have servers come in to roll silverware, clean and dust, scrape gum from under tables, fix salads ahead of time, stock salad bars, help with prep work and inventory. All of these things being done at $2.13 an hour.

 

Now there is just a little more to consider here.  Another way that businesses have decided to cut their costs is to dip into the pockets of the servers.  At the end of the night in a lot of places the server will have to tip out their bartender, bus boy, and host. The business does this with the mindset that all of these people did some work for that customer and are entitled to part of the tip. That is what is said, the truth is that by doing this the company can tell us that as an incentive to pay the bartender normally around three to four dollars an hour. And bus boys and hosts just barely minimum wage. Now this tip out is not a percentage of what the server makes but a percentage of their total sales and bar drinks. Now for the bar they normally only make them tip out a percentage of the bar tab not the total bill. But the others are a flat percent. Some places even make servers pool tips so that at the end of the night everyone gets roughly the same.  Slackers can sit back on their smoke breaks and do little while others hustle and make everyone else the money.

 

So just a thought, next time you’re out and you’re at a place be aware of how hard your server is working, and understand exactly what they have to deal with too. I know the price of meals can be crazy at times, but servers really look out for people that look out for them.

 

Smile … you should always smile at the person bringing you your food … I mean really, do you want to take a chance?