Exhausted here and thanks for checking the blog!

I just wanted to give a shout out to my followers and habitual blog readers. I know I am way behind my once a week posting. A few edits here and there and little bit less time available on my weekends, and now I have a million drafts in various forms that are not publishable.

Add in some travel, shift work up until 2 am and then awake again four hours later for 6 am (a few extra shifts, for better or worse, but the money is always welcome), plus extracurricular activities and I just keep running out of time. I know I should just jot off something quick each week, and I do try. Sometimes they just keep going and so I try to split them off or combine similar themes, and they away they go into the drafts folder.

I do have a new phone, so hopefully I can access the blog on the go and get a bit more out for you all. Recently, I have been dealing with phone issues, about a month of serious switching back and forth, work as I said, and being just plain run down. A friend and colleague said I have been burning the candle at both ends, but today while walking the dog I decided I have burned it clear through to ash. It is 6 pm and I am going to bed without dinner for the second night in a row, I am so exhausted. I did the full out head bob all day long.

But I wanted get out a thank you to all my readers and to anyone who might randomly pop by and a bit of an explanation of why it has been such a while for the posts. I have one editing around in my head, I just need to get it typed.

So thank you, and be on the look out for more blogs and cheeky comments once I can catch up on my sleep. Thanks for understanding and sweet dreams!

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Eat My Shorts

It was O’Dark30 when I was awoken from my slumber to the sounds of the dog chewing something in the bedroom as he lay somewhere near my side of the bed. 

He has allergies, so I hoped he was just chewing on his paws. I wasn’t conscious enough to realize the sounds didn’t match. 

Somehow later on the conversation comes up about what I heard and how DH found the empty toilet paper roll I had left on the floor to take down to recycle in the morning, eaten, or shredded.

Apologies all around, no big deal. The dog had food, so no idea why he chose to eat it that night and not any other night one might have been left previously; it is a mystery. DH theorized that he might have been bored; to which I wonder why the dog didn’t just move around the house and play with his real toys.

Fast forward to later in the day or the day after…

I go to put on the only khaki shorts I currently own (pay no attention to the two pair waiting to be repaired in my office…). As I bend down to retrieve them from the floor (yes, yes, I know…) I see one of the belt loops has pulled out. 

As I am thinking that I have never used a belt with this shorts before and so one loop out is no big deal, I realize that they feel a bit odd on….specifically the chewed parts. At the waist. Ugh.

The dog ate my shorts. They were clearly folded in half when the jaws clamped down and, not surprising, the dog probably laid on them to chew the TP roll. Ugh. Double Ugh.

I debated pulling a shirt over them, but the Jaws bite was too low to even keep the shorts up over my hips. So that thought was discarded quickly. I just had to toss them, well worn, Walmart special, that they were.

Of course, I had to tell DH, who figured they could be knock around house shorts and also thought the dog ate them by accident. Into the trash they went. The shorts, not the dog and DH. I have running shorts to wear around the house…

 I can’t believe he ate my shorts. I hope every Pop Culture reference is also running through your head every time you read that the dog had decided to Eat My Shorts. 

Well, it should teach me to not put the clothes next to the drawer where they need to go but to actually bend down and put them back in said drawer. I didn’t even bother to “ask” the dog if he recalled eating the fabric I might have held up to him to search for clues on “guilt.” It was clearly an accident, or they would have been shredded also, and not just one rip…at the fold…amounting to two on opposite sides.

I just had to share because it was too funny. I thought about taking a picture to show ya’ll, but space is limited and I think you get the picture. I might as well add, the bites were on the back love handles, nothin’ is gonna hold up against gravity there.

 Moral of the story: put your clothes away because you never know what chain of events will lead up to include the one and only thing on the floor.  

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MREs: Meal Ready To Eat



Military Style.

DH found two modern MREs in the pantry. They apparently PCSed with us. I say modern because in my field, they are usually historic and well past their prime. (ha.ha.ha, read on…)

These were not from his field, they didn’t get packed up and shipped out. Well, we don’t think so. Both of us vaguely remember when we bought them, on the homefront as part of our Hurricane Ride Out supplies.

So, how long ago was that? Well over two years, maybe going on…. five?

I decided to do some research to to see if theses ones were still edible. Google took me to an awesome website, http://www.mreinfo.com. This resource has great pictures, explanations, and a year by year break down of your food, which helped me date mine: Chili and Macaroni, only produced in some years which threw off our date stamp estimate (ex: 1001).

“However, some cases will use a different form such as “1068”. In this case, the first number “1” stands for the year (2001) and the next three numbers indicate which day of the year (365 days in a year) it was packed. So “068” would be day 68 of the year 2001…or March 9, 2001.” http://www.mreinfo.com

We tried to figure out the actual date. The first bag was not exactly helpful but bag two had a better series of numbers… we think it might have been 14 years old by now…. wow time has flown.

DH was worried someone would get sick and so he tossed the food. One website said MREs are good for 10 years, another 5, and our MRE Info had an interesting Applesauce Test which will keep me from eating undated (until you open it) MREs. As soon as possible, please!

Ours were made by AmeriQual, and had printed: “Government Property Commercial Resale is Unlawful…” A bit more info digging made sure that these were real gov’t MREs and not the natural disaster ones. They were all over after Katrina hit.

In our bags were Tootsie Rolls and a block of Charms candy- I was shocked (I had no idea they contained candy with built-in nostalgia generators), still soft and squishy (where they originally soft and squishy? Ew…). The Charms did not survive the years at who knows what temperature test. Fail. The color was off and they were stuck to each other and the wrapper. No, we didn’t try it! Nasty of you to even think it…The Roll went right in the trash.

The matches still worked, at least. So if we were stuck in a zombie apocalypse, we would be starving or sick with intestinal distress, but we could still light something on fire. And there is always the Tabasco sauce.

Posted in Daily Musings, Military Experience | 1 Comment

Science of Stupid on NatGeo

A new NatGeoTV show I found.

Hilarious and painful to watch at the same time. “What went wrong and why.”  And “Don’t try any of this…” There is always a disclaimer at the very beginning and throughout the entire show.

Seth Herzog is funny to begin with and then he improves for each clip-the outtakes are included during the ending credits. These are just as entertaining as his intro’s as there isn’t always context.

This show is a compilation of YouTube videos of epic fails from around the world and the scientific explanation of why it failed, what law they weren’t following (such as Newton’s laws of motion) and an example of how it should have worked, as completed by a professional.

Not bad for 30 minutes of “ oooooooo, nooooooo, that looks like something is broken” and “wow, how stupid can you get?” and “why would you record that AND THEN put it on the internet?”

Sigh and laugh, it really is funny and educational.

Here is the description from the NatGeo website: “On the Science of Stupid, some self-selecting, amateur scientists go head-to-head for the crowned title of most ill-informed as they test scientific principles like torque, gravity, and Newton’s laws. As our amateur scientists have learned the hard way: try and break the laws of science, and the laws will break you. It’s the science of stupid.” (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/shows/)


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When the pup is hurt, the world must wait

A while back, at some point the dog started favoring his back foot. By favoring I mean he was lifting it up and not walking on it. Toe-touching.

I couldn’t find anything in his paw or leg that made him whimper or that looked like it would cause him to limp, such as a thorn or stone. He wouldn’t go up or down the stairs unless I was there for a while, such as upstairs to sleep, or downstairs for the day. Mostly, he stayed on one of the platforms near the stairs where he could look out onto the first floor. This was a red flag because he is my shadow.

Eventually, when he kept the paw off the ground, leg tucked up to his belly, while standing in the house, not just walking around outside, we took him in to get checked out.

The vet needed to do X-Rays to be sure but he out right asked if the limping started out after a trip to a dog park. We said no, no dog parks recently, and Dr. Sean explained that knee problems like this one, which he was willing to bet money on that it was the knee and not the paw or leg, usually are injuries that happen at dog parks from over-extension.

The X-Rays showed very little, thank goodness. Dr Sean told us seeing that was a good sign because there wasn’t much inflammation under the skin; the bones looked just fine. Unfortunately, the dog was freaking out by then and would have needed to have been put under to have a full knee manipulation, just to be sure. We forewent the extra work as surgery was a 90% necessity. I love our vet because even though our location is a hospital, he told us on the sly about another hospital that his friend works at…but we had to promise to come back to ours after, no switching teams. Our dog is too large for the surgeon at our location, this other vet only likes working on small dogs. So they would send us to their sister facility…  and so we had a cost estimate for both places.

I also love Dr. Sean because he did tell us there was a slim possibility that pain meds and anti-inflammatory chews might help heal the knee if we can keep the dog from moving. Now, we tried to explain that he has to walk a mile before he poops, but hey, if it helps, we skip the walk and deal with the poop schedule.

As it turns out, whether on account of the pain or the pain killer, Tanner only walked down the street and back, no longer, no father, no deviation. Unfortunately, he did not find the chews edible, and so we have to push both the pills and the chew down his throat. He was a good sport about it and enjoyed the treat after each 12 hour dose.

I’d say it was about the two week mark, when his meds ran out, that he started running circles around the furniture in the house and wanting to walk longer and farther. We still took it slowly, he wasn’t allowed to play with the dogs at our neighborhood park, we tried to walk shorter distances, at a slower pace for about a month.

He wasn’t having any of it. But he also wasn’t hurting. Fast forward to more recently, we had Tanner in for a nail clipping and they did a whole day’s health and beauty for cheaper, so we took it. As part of it, they put him under sedation. I made sure the vet on call that morning knew to manipulate his leg to see if there was any improvement or worsening. Great news, it moved just fine!

Surprisingly, (although typing it I realize it shouldn’t be) I started gaining weight. Since first getting the dog, I hadn’t lost any weight. But now that I wasn’t walking two miles a day, I was slowly gaining. I say surprisingly because I didn’t think it would have made a difference. But then again, I started adding carbs into my diet so that could be the extra calories that walking would have kept off.

Our life was put on hold while we focused on the dog, which took considerable time. Not only the slower walking but the worrying and trying to figure out what to do if surgery was necessary. And so my blogs went to the bottom of my priority list. Sincerest apologies, readers!

Thinking back, we realized his knee was probably injured when he was running around with his pal Odie. We were sitting in the grassy near old Buddy and Tanner ran over the pavement and skidded out. He had a brush burn on his inner thigh which I treated with antibiotic ointment. That may have been when he strained his knee. There were also all the times he ran up and down the stairs in the house when he could have done it. Or a combination of any of those and some unknowns.

But he is now better and we are moving on if a bit more cautiously.

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Khrystos voskres, Happy Easter

Happy Easter to those who celebrate. Khrystos voskres! Voyistynu voskres! (Ukrainian, thanks to wikipedia for the spelling.)

My friend Ama married into a Polish family here in the US. She and I email back and forth since we live on opposite sides of the country. In her last email she mentioned how she was supposed to get her 7 month old’s basket together to be blessed, but she didn’t really understand why. This was my chance to enlightened her, from personal experience. My Mom and I used to get baskets together to be blessed for Easter. 

Like most Catholic traditions, Easter is steeped in pagan tradition, which was assimilated with the conquered people and watered down by Americans in the melting pot days. Different websites offer different reasons or explanations for why items are included in the basket, both Polish and Ukrainian. Some even go into all the Slavic countries/areas traditions. I wish I had the books my Mom has, which explains everything including why it is part of the tradition. I found only one website that mentions the basket linen as being judged by the community on the skill (or worth) of the woman or girl who made it. One book I had mentioned that girls would put the basket out to be inspected by the boys in hopes of a future husband picking her, a way to show off her homemaker skills in baking, sewing, and embroidery. And so we have beautiful baskets filled with hard work and delicious foods which were given up during Lent. Check out these websites for info and pictures:




Brama goes into great detail about the Ukrainian history of Easter and has some great pictures. “The traditions which originated in the ancient, pre-Christian times in Ukraine reflected the religious outlook, social structure and the way of life of the people…With the introduction of Christianity to Ukraine in 988 A.D. the Church adopted many of these annual rituals into the Christian holidays. As a result the Ukrainian traditions are rich and deeply symbolic in their content.”

Polish Easter Traditions include (reasons vary widely):

  • * Egg (pisanka)—Symbol of life and rebirth.
  • * Sausage (kielbasa) or ham—All types of pork were forbidden under the dietary code of the Old Testament (Leviticus 11.7). The coming of Christ was seen as exceeding the old law and the dietary items now became acceptable (Mark 7.19).
  • * Paschal lamb—It can be made of butter, cake or even plaster. It is the centerpiece of the meal. Christ is seen as the “Lamb of God.”
  • * Horseradish/pepper—Symbolize the bitter herbs of the Passover and the Exodus.
  • * Salt—Joins bread in Polish tradition as a sign of hospitality.
  • * Bread—Christ has been called “the Bread of Life.”
  • * Vinegar—Symbolizes the gall given to Christ at the crucifixion.
  • * Wine—Symbolizes the blood of sacrifice spilled by Christ at the crucifixion

Or from the amazing website The Polish American Journal (has a ton of info!):

“A basket is decorated with green parsley, flowers, and sprigs of pussy willow or boxwood (bukszpan), with a ribbon woven through the handle, and covered with a lace or embroidered doily. The basket traditionally contains: a Paschal lamb — baranek wielkanocny made of butter, cake or sugar and carrying in a cross-balanced position, a small banner sometimes with the letters IHS (representing the lamb of God); hand painted and decorated eggs — pisanki (the symbol of new life); meat (signifying prosperity); horseradish (a bitter herb, signifying the suffering of Christ); salt (a Polish tradition of welcome and hospitality); greenery (the awakening of the earth); and bread/babka (a symbol of communion and the Last Supper). This would ensure a good harvest and sufficient amount of food for coming year. ”

 Pisanki. “Although this term has come to mean Easter eggs in general, strictly speaking it refers only to those eggs decorated with the molten-wax technique.”

~I have used wax to make decorations on the eggs. Someday I will move up to the fancy decorated eggs, but it is a seriously long, hard process. The outcome is so worth it but until I have the time to devote to it, it is on my bucket list. 




One thing that is not listed but is in some of  the pictures is Makowiec, poppy seed bread/roll. A delicious sweet bread rolled out and filled with sweet poppy seed filling, then rolled and baked. Some people put icing on it, we never did. Ugh, this is my absolute favorite.


I never buy it but could eat until I burst: Pyrohy (Ukrainian) or Pierogi (Polish). It is basically a dumpling, ubiquitous to all cultures. They can be boiled, fried with onions and butter, or grilled on a George Foreman Grill.  Filling can be potato and cheese, sauerkraut or cabbage, meat (which usually has another name) or even sweet cheeses or fruit. The sweet ones are delicious when boiled for breakfast. I love my meat or potato pyrohy with sour cream. I’m not sure if it is traditional, but we also make Kapusta. Our recipe is basically cabbage cooked down in butter-one of those things you can’t stop eating. Sometimes we use rinsed sauerkraut to help it all cook faster. This is usually served with Polish sausage…..and pierogies if I buy them.

This year we had ham, my diet gravy mix, mazto ball soup, and mashed potatoes. Matzo ball soup is more a Jewish thing, but we have it all the time and especially on holidays. I just can’t not have a multicultural holiday. Really, this year it was all leftovers, or easy box stuff and with both of us working or busy until the day of, neither of us thought of buying anything as I am leaving for a week long conference. The ham was frozen, leftover from Christmas, the gravy mix was in a packet, the soup a box. The potatoes were real potatoes, boiled with a chopped onion. Delic! 

For a few years of my childhood we made Italian Easter Pie. It weighed a million pounds and one piece could probably last you all day working out in the fields. It was delicious, but a whole meal in that single slice. I found a great recipe similar to ours at a fellow blogger’s site ouritaliankitchen.blogspot.com/2010/04/pizzagaina-italian-easter-pie.html.


Pizzagaina (Italian Easter Pie)

I hope you learned something this Easter and were able to share a relaxing, joyous day! Feel free to share your menu or traditions.

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Too hot to handle

The sun, that is. Last weekend I was freezing in my house and decided to throw cleaning to the wind and just relax outside with a book, a large hoody sweatshirt, and some thick wool socks.

I eventually warmed up and discarded both additional items of clothing and decided to get some sun on my body. It has been about two years since this bod has seen the light. Working has its drawbacks, especially in offices with no windows. As I was planning on cleaning all day, removing all traces of a shedding dog, and then showering, I had not put on my usual dose of SPF facial moisturizer. The effects of this were quadrupled as the night before I had decided to exfoliate.

I did get a bit of sun, but “kissed” was bypassed for steamrolled. I went from reading my book and lounging outside with the dog directly into a dog walk during which a neighbor mentioned I had gotten a bit of sun. I was taken aback because I had not sweated once but that comment probably meant I would be burnt; all my mistakes of the past few days cascading through my brain.

My face did burn and so I have forgone my simple makeup and spot zit cream for only my SPF facial moisturizer during the day (rather a waste since the office has no windows, but the car does, after all) and a regiment of either cocoa butter cream or a potentate combo of vitamin E, A, and D cream. Well, the latter was potent before it dried up into a nice thick cream. I only had one dry spot, and no pealing-yet, fingers crossed.

Fast forward to this morning. The dog let me sleep in and I didn’t stir until a little after 9 am. We went outside and enjoyed the morning sun for a few minutes, debating whether I should have gone into work today with the clouds closing in. My dog was silently bouncing around and trying to pin me with those, it is potty time I need to go for a walk, eyes. So I threw on some socks and sneakers and head out the door, sans SPF. And sans sunglasses.

I tried to make my face into a blank mask and cast my eyes downward to not unduly tan in some wrinkles. I mentally kicked myself for not putting on the SPF this morning before I came downstairs. I still hadn’t had my morning coffee. After the dog did his business he seemed to be slowing down more than his usual. He will pull for exercise (my husband runs with him) and to sniff everything in the world (a habit I do not allow on our exercise walks) until it is time for him to go and then leisurely stroll afterward. But this morning it was slow. I took a look at him and his tongue was lolling out. 9 am is too hot for my dog to be walking around. Poor guy.

I had been thinking of waking up earlier to get to the gym before work. Since I am jonesing for activity I thought about adding in some cardio on my in between weights days. I had thought about just doing the couch to 5k program again on the treadmill I have at home, but the ones at the gym are so much nicer, so much. And I was thinking of the elliptical machines. We shall see. Unfortunately, the dog always wants to walk about 5 pm, he is very punctual, which is a very hot point in the day. I need to get him some booties to protect his feet and me some more SPF facial moisturizer. Or just get used to wearing a baseball hat.

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