Monday, August 27, 2007

A New Family Member

We decided that when we got back from our vacation we would start looking for a new dog. We didn't want to right away, because of the cat. He was boarded at the vet during our vacation and we didn't think he'd want to come home and immediately have to deal with a puppy (we decided to get a puppy since the kids had never had a puppy before). So yesterday I checked all of the classifieds of all of the closest papers. I called on all of the free and inexpensive puppies and they were all gone. It seems that free/cheap puppies go fast around here! There was one place that was over an hour away. I called and it was a recording for a vet's office. I got up early this morning and gave them a call and they had a few left. I got the kids up and ready and we were on our way. It took an hour and a half to get there. They still had the pups so we picked out a cute little girl. She is half Australian Shepherd and half Lab. I'm assuming black Lab since she is almost all black. She's 10 weeks old and seems very smart already. We put her in a crate for the long ride home and she was so good. Just a little bit of whimpering and she didn't throw up in the car (didn't poop either). On the way home we stopped at Petsmart for some supplies and she was so good in there. We had bought a collar from the vet so we just grabbed a leash and put it on her (pets are supposed to be leashed in there, but we've seen plenty without) and she was pretty good with it. Considering she'd probably never had a leash or collar on before. We picked out a few dog toys (one of which she carried proudly through the store), some puppy chow and some puppy biscuits. She was great for the rest of the ride home. She seems to have a little habit of nipping but after just a few corrections she was barely nipping at all. I'm sure she'll forget by tomorrow but we'll just keep reminding her. Her teeth are really sharp and they hurt! I guess that's the herding dog in her-she has the urge to nip our ankles and herd us into a group. Here are a couple of pictures, but it is really hard to get good pictures of a busy puppy. We'll probably be taking her to the park tomorrow so I'll try to get some better pics. We're supposed to take her back in 2 weeks to be spayed. That seems young but I looked around online and apparently it is ok, and even better, to have them done younger these days.

Isn't that collar cute? Collar design has come a long way. Unfortunately the only small leashes they had were black and red. I picked red and it really clashes with her collar.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Post Traumatic Vacation Stress Disorder

We got back from our long vacation about a week ago. I've had a headache most of that week-mostly mild but a couple of days it was bad. I'm sure I'm suffering from PTVSD (see my post title-I can't type it all out again). Our vacation was great overall. But the first day out (for the record we drove across the country, up the country, and then back across the country, for a total of about 6000 miles once we did all of our activities) our transmission light came on. Crap. We stopped for the night and learned the next day that we needed it rebuilt. Another day and a half and almost 3K later we were back on our way. The rest of the trip was blissfully uneventful but we did have this expense hanging over our heads the whole time. The rest was actually pretty fun. We went to Disneyland for a day, relaxed on the beach for a day, and spent another day at the San Diego Zoo. We visited with family and threw my parents a surprise anniversary party. Then we drove to Vegas and saw lots of sharks (the kind that swim in the ocean) and went to my sister's wedding. We drove north to Oregon and visited Crater Lake and a fish hatchery (and some more family) and then headed back home. The worst part was riding in the car for so many hours. I was sore from sitting for so long and it was boring at times. I can't do anything in the car or else I'll get sick so I'm stuck just staring out the windows. The kids fought like cats and dogs even though they had books, video games, dvds and more to keep them busy. We ate so much fast food I was sure I gained twenty pounds (but I actually lost a pound-go figure). But we all had a great time. Now we're back to reality. I'll post pictures from our vacation later this week.

This is one of my go-to recipes when I'm feeling like crap. I made this last week.

Super Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff

1 lb ground beef
2 tbs flour
1 envelope onion soup mix (or use my homemade version posted here)
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream
Egg noodles, cooked (we use the ronzoni whole wheat kind)

While noodles are cooking brown ground beef and drain well. Sprinkle flour on top and then stir until the flour disappears. Add onion soup mix and water and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 min. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Serve over egg noodles.
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