Friday, June 19, 2015

Glock's Food Update

Just a note of warning, this is a post about a dog, his new diet, and the resulting.... consequences of not getting his diet balanced right, i.e. resulting bodily functions. Just so you know!

So today is Glock's third day of home cooked meals. Yesterday he had more of the ground pork mixture. I added some yogurt morning and evening, as well as an egg last night.

He woke up this morning insisting on going outside. He had extremely runny stools, then came back inside and threw up some yellow bile. *Note to self, he most likely got too much dairy yesterday, and double check to make sure he is not getting too much fat on the meat.*

Even with his upset digestive system this morning I still feel like this is the best solution for him. I feel like his ear is continuing to improve, it hasn't been an immediate 100% improvement, but every day it seems to be bothering him less and less and looking better as well. It will take me a bit of time to get the hang of all of it and making sure he gets the right amount of everything that he needs, and not too much of anything.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Minor Gluten Free Baking Rant

Sometimes I think life throws me a curve ball when it comes to my baking. I go along, feeling like I'm doing great at this whole gluten free (and egg free, and dairy free, and sugar free, and now soy free...) cooking thing, and then wham!! I mess up.

Take today for instance. I decided to make chocolate chip cookies again. Last time they turned out PERFECT. Soft, chewy, and oh so delicious. Well, I have decided I want to try and use psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum in my baking. So, in went the psyllium husk. I also had to substitute olive oil in place of the shortening or coconut oil as we are out of coconut oil and the shortening has soy. After mixing it all together I thought, "huh looks kinda runnier than last time." Oh well, into the fridge into went for an hour, and then I baked them up.

That's what came out. Not lovely pillowy, chewy, soft, perfect cookies. Instead I have thin, crumbly cookies that you can't pick up without them disintegrating. *SIGH*. Now the bad thing is I changed two things, so I don't know how much is attributed to the psyllium husk and how much to the olive oil. 

Sometimes this baking thing is rough.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

First Day of Glock's Homecooked Meals

So, first day of Glock's new feeding plan. Honestly, I didn't put much thought into it this morning. I just pretty much went downstairs and decided I didn't want to feed him his regular dog food. I opened up the fridge, knowing we had leftover meat in there, pulled out the pork roast, the rice, and the congealed beef broth stuff I had saved. So, I threw it all in a pot and heated it up, remembered there were some green beans that needed used, pulled those out and threw them in, and pulled a few blueberries out of the freezer. All of that was thrown in the pot, mixed together while heating, and put in his bowl. He LOVED it. Maybe it is just my imagination but his ear doesn't seem to be bothering him as much today.

There was some of the pork and rice mixture left over, and he was so excited about it that he got a lunch time meal, which he usually doesn't get.

Earlier today I pulled out a package of ground pork from the pig that I got over a year ago. I figured it wouldn't be cooked for us for a long time,if ever, and it was the perfect way to use it up. For dinner I threw that that in a small pot, added some water, chopped up some carrots, a huge leaf of swiss chard, some fresh basil, then at the end added in some strawberries, a baked red potato and some more chopped pork as well some leftover chicken from last week. I kind of felt like it needed a bit more meat for the amount of potatoes that was in there. I poured a part of it in his bowl, added a couple of tablespoons of cottage cheese on top of it all and served it up. He devoured it.

I'm feeling like as long as I can find good deals on meat and get some supplements, Vitamin E and some fish oil, this is going to be a good plan for Glock. I haven't noticed him seeing as bothered by his ear today, and am hoping that that will continue to improve.

I need to make sure I don't feed him too much though, he has put on a couple of pounds recently, he's looking a bit thicker than I like. That probably has something to do with the fact that it's been 110 ish lately and even early in the morning isn't ideal for our walks or runs.

Idea Three: The Future

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I am a dreamer. In fact, I am a GREAT dreamer. I can come up with dreams and goals that will knock your socks off. Now I will let you in on another little secret. While I am great at coming up with dreams and goals, I am not always the best and following through and actually making plans to REACH those dreams and goals.

Phew. I'm glad that is off my chest.

There are about a million and one things that I have dreamt of doing with my life. Just in the last few years. (Okay, I may be exaggerating a BIT, but not that much.) Really, in all honesty there are so many things in life that I want to do, see, and become. It basically boils down to "I want to save the world." No really. I want to save the animals, save the homeless, save the children, save the homeless children, make sure everyone has an education, save those who need a second chance, save the victims of sex trafficking, save the.... well you get the picture. I've come up with ideas, possibilities, and plans of how to do pretty much all of it. The problem is, none of it ever STICKS. Sticks with me that is. I get an idea and run with it for awhile, but it never feels completely right. For one reason or another it is somehow influenced by someone else and what I think they want me to do, or something we could do together. When it comes down to it, it is not completely me. It isn't what I want to do with my life.

None of the above listed things are the thing that has stuck with me since I was a little girl. There is, however, one thing that has. You know what that is? Helping people by using horses. I have loved horses pretty much since the day I was born, I had my own mare before I was born, she was born in April, I was born three months later in July. I spent hours on horse back as a little tiny thing, riding around the farm while my dad was off working in the fields, in the shed, etc. When I was ready to get down I would just yell for him to come get me off. The only time I got grounded was when my older brother helped me get on Buttercup when my parents weren't around, which I was not supposed to do.

As a tiny little girl, barely able to walk, I used to toddle out amongst the herd of ponies on the farm. These ponies were semi wild, what had started out with a few dozen horses purchased my grandpa a few decades earlier had multiplied into a herd of nearly a thousand. Not only of them were kept at the same farm at the same time, but were moved from our various farms in the area. When they were at our home farm I would walk out amongst them, going under, behind, all around them, and never getting stepped on. I would play games with Buttercup, tag and hide and go seek when I wasn't riding her. This continued until my parents got divorced, my mom got remarried and we moved to Arizona. Buttercup was moved down with us, but she died the next year from consuming the deadly Oleander bush.

Losing one of my best friends at 8 years old was devastating, in so many ways. Looking back now I feel like I had this connection and gift with horses that has been buried so deep inside of me that I sometimes wonder if I will ever get it back. However, I am determined to dig it out, renew it, and grow it into something more.

(If you are still reading this you may wonder how on earth this post is labeled about the future when all I am doing is seemingly dwelling on the past. Well, your question will be answered shortly!)

With all this being said, I have been thinking about the future lately, well I think about the future a lot, but I have been thinking about the immediate future. I have been looking at equine therapy places close to me, as well as the qualifications to become an equine therapist, or at least a registered instructor, if not an actual therapist. I know I eventually want to work on my own, for myself, but I realize that is not going to happen right away, and I need something that will allow me to make a living, but still have the time and opportunities to grow and develop in the ways I want and need to for my future. My plan is to take a few classes at the local community college, for my own personal enjoyment, probably two nights a week, a photography class and a couple social dance classes. In addition to this I will volunteer one or two evenings a week at one of the equine therapy locations, work on improving my riding skills, and the skills needed to become a registered instructor, and in a year or two become a registered instructor. In addition to this it is important to me that I have the opportunity to travel. It is something that I feel passionate about, and want to be able to do.

With all of that being said and realized, I figured I need a job where I have evenings, weekends, and holidays free. Summers would be great for traveling. This made me realize that the ideal place for me to be working is at a school. UGH. (Joking, kind of.) Working at a school gives me the exact schedule that will work best for growing towards what I want to be doing. So, I am looking at clerical/secretarial jobs at the local school districts.

Wish me luck!!

*And congratulations to ANYONE who actually made it through all of that!*

Ponderings of New Dreams... That Will Hopefully Turn Into New Beginnings...

So, lately I have been overcome by this surge of new ideas/possibilities and things that I want to try. Not too terribly rare for me, but some of these are new things, things that I have not pondered before.

Idea one: Kayaking

A few times when I was younger one of my uncle's would bring his up to our cabin in Idaho and we would kayak around the lake. I loved it, but haven't thought about it much in the last 15 or so years. That is until a few weeks ago when we drove by Redfish Lake and I saw a couple kayaking on the lake. It suddenly struck me how peaceful and wonderful that seemed, and I remembered how much I had enjoyed those short kayaking jaunts when I was younger. "I want to start kayaking" I decided. Well, that thought hasn't gone away. Now, I currently live in the middle of the desert in Arizona. Not exactly ideal kayaking country. However, I did find a free informational kayaking class offered once a month at a local sporting good store. Here is a link to that class. While it isn't actual kayaking, I figure it is a good first step towards what will hopefully be a regular hobby.

Idea two: Homemade food for Glock

Doesn't this face deserve the best possible food??

So, this is something I have thought about off and on pretty much since the time I brought Glock home at two months. Originally I thought of putting him on a true raw diet, but realized to give him a good and balanced diet would be more than I could really afford. So, he has been on a fairly high quality dry dog food.  I thought about the raw diet again, almost off and on over the past four years, but still have never felt like I could afford it. I toyed with the idea of just kind of making it up as I went along and cooking food for him, but never could find anyone who seemed to think that was a great idea. A few months ago though I saw one of my Facebook friends who is a good German Shepherd breeder post pictures of the food she feeds her dogs. Guess what. It was a picture of a combination of cooked ground meat, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit.

This put the idea back in my mind of cooking for Glock. I have started to do some research and feel like this is what I should/want to do with him. He has suffered from infections in his ear for the past year or so. I will get it all cleared up, and then usually when I leave for a day or two it comes back. I don't know if it the stress of me being gone or what, but it has gotten a bit stressful for me. I am hoping that with a homemade, home cooked diet, that will clear up.

Idea three: The FUTURE

HA. Okay, so obviously the future isn't one individual thought, but it is an idea/theme that has been running through my mind lately. The last several months of the school year I was working as a substitute for one of the local school districts. While this was extremely convenient and nice while I was dealing with my health issues and resolving the food allergy stuff, it wasn't exactly the most and reliable thing in the world. Okay, it was not fun, and since I could pick and choose when and where to work, some days I choose to not work... even when I probably should have taken a job. This simply will not work for the future. There were times I enjoyed it, but many more that I did not. On top of that there are no benefits, no retirement, etc. and it does not pay well enough to make up for all of that. So, idea three is the FUTURE. But, more on that later, I think this post has rambled on long enough.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Coconut Sugar Scrub- A New Day Skin Care

My hands are nice and smooth and soft. They also smell AMAZING! Why? Well, if you must know, I just finished up mixing and bottling our first ever batch of Coconut Sugar Scrub to sale under our new, A New Day Skin Care line! (Doesn't that sound kind of fancy? OUR line?)

....awhile later.....Well I just got our Etsy shop up and running. We only have a few products right now, okay a few variations of the same product, but we will be adding more soon. 

Here is our description from one of the listings. 

Medium Grain Coconut Sugar Scrub Lemon or Sweet Orange 8 ounces

Thank you for taking a look at our new line of products! A New Day Skin Care is a brand new line of all natural, chemical free products designed to give you a new way of taking care of your skin, and yourself. 

This coconut sugar scrub is a wonderful product that will leave your skin smooth, soft, and lightly scented. The sugar helps exfoliate your skin, cleaning away the dead skin, and smoothing it out. The coconut oil digs in and hydrates and moisturizes your skin, and the essential oils help brighten your day and bring their own benefits to the party. This coconut sugar scrub smells good enough to eat! And, since it is all natural, it is safe if it does happen to make its way into your mouth. (Not that we are saying you should eat it, but our belief is that if is harmful to ingest that it does not belong on your skin! After all your skin is your biggest organ.) If you are like me you may have a hard time not licking your lips when the water rinses the scrub off of your face.

This fine grain coconut sugar scrub is made solely from white cane sugar, raw cane sugar, coconut oil, and lemon or sweet orange essential oil. That is it!

This medium grain sugar scrub is for those of you who are looking for something a bit more than the fine grain, but not quite as coarse as the coarse grain. This is a great all purpose scrub, perfect for everything head to toe. 

In addition to our all natural chemical free products, we are striving to give back to the world we live in, and make some sort of difference in people's lives. That is why 10% of every sale we make will be donated to The Global Soap Project, which you can check out at They bring soap and proper hygiene education to third world countries, where children and families can often perish through poor hygiene and a lack of access to soap.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Socially Conscious Businesses: A New Day Skin Care

Guess what, my previous post wasn't just for kicks and giggles, I had a bit of an ulterior motive in writing it. So, we, my mom and I, are working on producing and selling all natural skin care products. With the end of the school year not that long ago we have not gotten terribly far with it, but now that things are a bit calmer, it is time to start putting more energy and focus into it!

Anyways, over the past week or two I have been thinking more about what we could do to make this a more socially conscious business. So I have been doing some research about hygiene and sanitation issues in third world countries. I have found several non profits that take partially used soap from hotel rooms, etc. and are able to make them into new, clean bars of soap that they then send to third world countries where they are given to families and individuals along with education on the importance of hygiene. Global Soap Project is the one I have found that I like the most so far. Click on the link for information on what they do and why they do what they do.

Taken from their page : "You might be surprised to learn that the leading causes of death for children in developing countries  are hygiene-related illnesses, which claim more than 1.8 million lives each year. That’s nearly one-third of all child deaths. Handwashing with soap is the single most effective way to prevent those deaths. In fact, soap is more effective than vaccines, medications, or clean water initiatives alone. Research has shown that soap can reduce diarrheal disease by nearly one-half and rates of respiratory infection by about one-quarter.  Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved each year if  people had ongoing access to soap and understood how to properly wash their hands."

This seems like such a simple and utterly life changing (really life saving) cause to donate to! All of the logistics have not been figured out yet, but what I am aiming for right now is to donate $1 for every product or 10% of all sales to Global Soap Project. Eventually, my ideal would be to start a non profit of our own that works alongside A New Day Skin Care, making and developing our own antibacterial bar soap that we send directly to third world countries ourselves. Obviously, that is not going to happen right away, but is something to work towards.

Visit us at A New Day Skin Care.

*Etsy shop will be set up by the end of the week!*

Socially Conscious Businesses

So sometime last fall I read this book:Start Something That Matters

I really enjoyed it and it is on my list of books to purchase one day. I actually am thinking of checking it out at the library and rereading it soon. Check it out if it sounds interesting to you!

Anyways, ever since I read this book the idea of socially conscious businesses has always been at least a nagging thought in the back of my mind. I have always wanted to do something with my life to help people. Granted, I have about a dozen different things and ways I want to do that during my life, at least at the moment, I am sure more will come to me as I go through life, but helping people and honestly not working for someone else has always been a component of what I want to do for my work.

Socially conscious businesses are ones that strive to do more than simply make money. Whether they donate part of their profits, one to one products, work with small farmers, etc. they are striving to help others while also running a successful business. Probably the most well known example of this is the business Toms. The founder of this business is also the author of the book shown above. Toms is a one to one business, meaning that they donate a product/service for every product sold. Initially it was solely shoes. (See what I did there, sole? shoes?) For every pair of shoes they sold they donated a pair of shoes to individuals without shoes in third world countries. This business model helped them to soar and become incredibly popular. It is a great idea and something I greatly admire.