Two Years.

Today is my adopt-a-versary. My gotcha day. However, I’m sure you all knew that already. I’m sure you had it marked in your calendars since last year. I mean, it isn’t as big as Martin Luther King Day or Christmas, but come on people, it’s pretty high up there. At least top five. Oh and by the way, I am still waiting on the gifts and cake to start rolling in.
So of course there had to be a blog post about this monumental holiday. But, instead of being all sappy, and making everyone cry hysterically with how sweet and corny I can be, I decided to make everyone slightly chuckle instead. Yes, I do enjoy a good laugh.

A lot has changed in two years. I’ve gotten better looking (if that is even possible), more witty (of course), a little more tender (don’t tell anyone I said that; I don’t want to ruin my bad-ass image), and more comfortable and content with life. Let’s face it, my life is way better than yours. My mom and dad are way cooler than yours. In general, everything about my life is pretty amazing. Well most things are amazing – we still have that whole bath situation to sort out.

Anyway, I figured I would compile a list of 15, because that seems to be a good number. A list of the 15 things I have learned in my two years of being adopted. So continue on…

  1. All dogs literally hate the mailman. This is not just true in movies. It is very accurate in real life. I think they are some sort of terrorist, or maybe they just smell like bacon. I haven’t decided yet. Either way, I would bite my mailman’s arm off if I was loose when they arrived.
  2. Pretending you’re scared of getting your nails trimmed at Pet Smart is the best way to get attention, from both your parents and strangers. All you have to do is start whining slightly and add in a little tremble for extra effect, and a second groomer will just come over to you, just to hug you until it is over. Come on people, I am not that big of a baby. I just want the extra love. Plus, your mom and dad will feel so guilty afterwards, that you will either get a bone or a vanilla ice cream dish. It’s a win-win.
  3. Human food is way better than dog food, and if you give the dopey-eyed look long enough, you will definitely get some of your human’s dinner. And you know what I think – I think that chocolate isn’t actually toxic to us dogs. I think humans just tell you that so they don’t have to share.
  4. No matter how hard you beg, or how many times you put it on your Santa list, you will never get out of getting a bath. I will forever hate this time of the month, but shaking all of my wet, dog fur onto my dad afterwards, makes it semi tolerable. 
  5. Lounging on the couch is only acceptable when I am at my grandparents’ house or dad is not home. But as soon as Marlee gets the call that Zach is heading home from work, I jump off the couch and the lint roller comes out. Shhh, don’t tell Zach our secret. 
  6. Squeaky toys are the best. I used to never be into toys, but after getting the BarkBox every month, I have grown to love all toys. I will sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and start squeaking and tossing my toy up in the air. It’s mostly for my personal enjoyment, but I also get a kick out of watching mom and dad wake up wondering what the heck is going on.
  7. You feel like a new man every time you take a poop. I guess it is like a load taken off of you – pun intended. But seriously, every time I relieve myself, I bolt into the house full force and start throwing my toys all over the living room. Maybe it’s my way of telling Marlee there is a fresh pile for her to clean up.
  8. When you are named after your dad’s favorite college basketball team, you will be forced to wear a t-shirt every game for good luck. I just learn to accept it. And warning, there will be family photos involved.
  9. I know I am not supposed to lay on the mattress when the bedding is being washed, but that never stops me. Marlee loves it when my black fur gets all the over the white mattress pad.
  10. Cuddling with Marlee and Zach at night is the best part of my day. Zach makes a great pillow, full of fluff, and Marlee makes the best snuggler.
  11. Running away, even as just a game, isn’t worth it. When I first was adopted, I used to get loose and have Zach and Marlee chase me for hours. Now, if I get loose, I just lay down on the grass in defeat and wait for them to come grab me. Mostly because life anywhere else wouldn’t be as great as the life I have with them, and partially because Zach spanks hard.
  12. I will forever be between the ages of 4-6. Marlee and Zach do not know my exact age, so anytime they are asked, they always say 4-6 years old. They have been saying that for two years now. I guess I am like Edward Cullens and won’t ever age.
  13. Barking at any stranger or dog that walks past me is my favorite thing. I get a kick out of watching them jump a little.
  14. Sometimes all you need to make the day better is a little bit of porch sitting with the family. Plus when you’re out there at the front of the house, you feel like the King of the neighborhood. 
  15. Being with a family, who loves you as much as Marlee and Zach love me, is pretty awesome.

So yea, life for the past two years has been nothing short of fantastic. I am one lucky dog. I am loved. Everything is okay in my world, well except for the bath situation, but like I said before, I don’t think that is changing anytime soon.

Now, I am going to enjoy the Burger King cheeseburger meal that I got for dinner, while wearing my crown, because I am the King.
 

Lick Those Chops 

I absolutely love finding new crockpot recipes to try out on my days off. There is nothing better than prepping for dinner in the morning, and having the rest of the day to get other tasks done, while your dinner is simmering in the slow cooker. It takes a little stress out of the day.

Tuesday was such a nice day, so I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine. I put the ingredients in the crockpot on low, threw a few loads of laundry in, and decided to treat myself and Duke to a three mile walk. I didn’t have to worry about getting back in a hurry to prep and cook dinner. I could take my time and just enjoy the day. 

And there are a ton of beautiful, sunny days ahead, as we continue with Spring and merge to Summer. So, I am going to share with you a crockpot recipe that is easy, delicious, and will give you the time to enjoy the sunshine.


 Serves 8 | Prep Time 5 Min. | Cook Time 7 Hours

Ingredients : 1/2 cup light brown sugar | 1/2 cup ketchup | 1/4 cup soy sauce | 3 tablespoons Sriracha | 1 teaspoon minced garlic | 1 teaspoon pepper | A dash of salt |3 pounds of boneless pork chops | 1/4 cup cornstarch | 1/4 cup of water

Directions : Add all ingredients, except for the pork chops and corn starch, to the slow cooker. Stir ingredients to mix. | Add in pork chops and cover  both sides in mixture. |Cook on low for six hours. | Add in slurry of cornstarch and water. | Cook and additional hour.

Now, go enjoy your walk. You’ll be ready to lick those chops when you get back in!

 

The Love he was Sent to the World to Give

He was caged up from sun up to sun down, never graced with human touch, compassion, or love. Every day, he waited for food that would never come and a friendly smile that he would never see. He was starved, beaten, and ignored, but yet every time his owner approached, even with the cruelest of intentions, he would still wag his tail. He had hope that maybe his owner had changed, that maybe he would pet his fur, hold him tight, and tell him that he was a good boy, while rewarding him with a healthy bowl of kibble. That never happened. His world was dark. 

But why? What had he ever done to deserve such abuse? He had a heart full of unconditional love – A soul full of loyalty.  And yet, he was rejected. That chipper outlook on life slowly started fading away. His happiness was caged up and his joy began to wither from being starved. Would he ever receive the love he was sent to this world to give?

Then one day, the sun started peaking through the clouds. 

He woke up surrounded by unfamiliar, but yet welcoming, faces. They were calling to him from just outside the fence. 

He looked around. If he approached these people, would he be disciplined by his owner? Was this all a set up? 

He was scared, but yet his curiousity drew him to their outstretched arms. There was no sign of his master, so he began a slow march to the strangers. Maybe they had food or water for him. 

He hesitantly approached them. When he finally reached their hands, he was trembling in fear. 

The one man lifted his hand. 

The dog dropped to the ground, and covered his eyes. He was anticipating a smack across the head. Why had he decided to trust these strangers? 

But after a few seconds past, the dog did not feel any pain. Instead, the stranger, gently placed his warm and tender palms on his fur and began stroking him. “Good boy,” the stranger kept repeating. Then he took a biscuit out of his pocket, and waited for the dog to take it. 

After minutes of this affection, the strangers lifted the dog out from the cage. This was the first time in his entire life, that he had been outside of those four fences. 

They put him in a van and drove him to a place. A place full of other dogs like him. 

But instead of being starved, beaten and ignored, they were all given a big bowl of food and water, they were all touched by the soft and kind hands of the workers, and they were all smothered with attention. 

It didn’t take the dog long to feel safe with these people. He trusted them. He had never felt this kind of compassion. 

Years past, and you could no longer see this dog’s ribs. He no longer trembled with fear when a human would reach out his/her hands to touch him. He finally had a family that gave him the love that he was sent to earth to give. His world was no longer dark. 

He ran around a big house from sun up to sun down, chasing after a ball that his human brother kept throwing across the floor. Every day he was fed and every morning he was greeted with a “Good morning” and big kisses from his human family. He was loved, played with, and cared for, and every time his owners approached him, he would wag his tail. He had hope, and that hope never disappeared, not for the rest of his life. 

Help give hope back to an animal. April is a month dedicated to stopping the abuse to innocent animals. Let’s start with this month, and continue showing compassion and love to animals every month. Show them the love that they were sent to this earth to give. 

Honey, Garlic Slow Cooker Ribs

I am no five star chef, but I could have fooled some people with my meal yesterday.

After eating my usual meal of Velveeta Mac N’ Cheese on Monday, due to the fact that Zach was at an event that night, and I was on my own for dinner, I thought I should redeem myself with a mouth-watering crockpot meal. Plus, Zach kept throwing subtle hints on Facebook that he wanted ribs, so I delivered – And let me tell you, he was very satisfied.

So ladies, put down the Velveeta, even though I know how amazing it is – at least for tonight. Cook your boyfriend, husband, or family a delicious meal, so they can get off your back. Trust me, you will happy too.

Slow Cooker Ribs

[Ingredients]

2-3 lbs of pork ribs, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of pepper, 1 tablespoon of Paprika, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 10 cloves or 10 teaspoons of minced garlic.

[Preparation]

Season the ribs on both side with the mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder.

Add the honey, soy sauce, and minced garlic to the slow cooker.

Transfer seasoned ribs to the slow cooker and cover on both sides with the sauce.

Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.

Parsley Potatoes


[Ingredients]

1 bag of baby red potatoes, salt, pepper, butter, and parsley leave crumbles.

[Preparation]

Boil the potatoes in hot water in the morning when you are preparing the ribs in the slow cooker. Make sure they are soft inside, before transferring them to a bowl to hold in the fridge.

about 40 minutes before you are eating, take the potatoes from the fridge, and cut them in halves on a baking sheet.

Cover each half with a dab of butter, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and some parsley.

Put in the oven at 350 degrees for a half hour.

Parmesan Covered Asparagus  

[Ingredients] 

1 bag of full asparagus, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 1/2 parmesan cheese.

[Preparation]

Cut the stems off of the asparagus.

Place them in a mixing bowl, and drizzle the olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese on top. Mix everything together in the bowl.

Place them on a baking sheet, and cook them in the oven with the potatoes at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

All I’m going to say to close this post, is your welcome. Please enjoy. 

25, Part II – The Twin Edition


I am now officially three days away from turning 25-years-old. I know some of you read my post from last week on the 25 things I have learned in my 25 years. If you didn’t, well shame on you –  you are not invited to eat cake with me… only kidding. You can catch up on that post here.

Anyway, after reading my post from last week, many of you can see, that I left a pretty important part out – well person, I should say. Yes, I forgot to include Brandi, my twin sister, and trust me, she has been pouting about it all week…only slightly kidding this time.

So I am going to compile another list of 25 for our 25 years of life together, only this time, it will be the 25 things us as twins have went through in our 25 years.

Here we go…

  1. The dress alike phase. Yes, I know this is common in twins, but our mom took it slightly overboard. Not only did we have to dress alike everyday in elementary school, but if one of us had to get our school picture retaken, we had to wear the same exact outfit as before, so that our new picture would still match the other twin’s original photo. We were the original model of “Who wore it better.” And we had matching bowl haircuts…like why?
  2. We had to share EVERYTHING! Clothes, a room, a bed, parents, a birthday, friends…the list goes on and on. It was very annoying back in the day, but now, we cherish it.
  3. We were/are a package deal. If one of us made a new friend, the other one automatically made a new friend too. You couldn’t befriend one twin without befriending the other. Our college roommate Kate found that out the first week of classes, and she was okay with it. Also, if you want to date one of us, you have to like the twin. If you don’t, it just isn’t going to work out – Sorry, not sorry.
  4. Yes, we do wear the same size shoe, shirt, and pant. No, Brandi does not like it when I borrow clothes from her closet. I have been known not to give certain things back if I think they look better on me – oops.
  5. We are use to, but still hate, being referred to as “the twins.” We are two different people. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
  6. If you call me Brandi, I will answer to that. Heck, I’ll even pretend to be her through the conversation. One time in college, one of Brandi’s classmates stopped me in the library to talk about a paper. I had no idea what paper, but I sure went along with it. Also, Brandi does the same thing for me.
  7. Yes, we know our voices sound exactly alike. We are twins. Tell us something that is new.
  8. We hate when you make us stop what we are doing, to stand side-by-side, so you can see how much or how little we look alike. It was flattering back in the day, but now it’s just annoying.
  9. Yes, we did swap places once during school. I went to math for Brandi and she went to English for me. Worked out perfectly.
  10. We did have a crush on the same guy once. Trust me, that only happened once. Believe it or not, our types are completely different.
  11. We did everything together. Had the same high school classes, had the same high school jobs, went to the same college, almost had the same degree, and even worked at the same place after college for a bit. Yes, we are inseparable.
  12. The longest we were ever apart up until this year, was 10 days during a summer in high school. It was complete torture.
  13. Yes, we do feel each others’ pain – physical and emotional.
  14. We ironically were obsessed with everything Mary-Kate and Ashley back in the day. Had every one of their movies, every one of their Barbie dolls, and even dressed in their clothes. We felt a bond with them.
  15. It’s true what they say – twins can tell other twins a part more easily. It is a gift.
  16. We did use the catch phrase, “Pinch, Poke, You owe me a Coke,” a lot back in the day. We said the same thing at the same time, totally  unplanned, all the time. However, we never actually bought the other one a Coke.
  17. We have a ton of inside jokes. And no, I can’t tell you any of them, otherwise they wouldn’t be inside jokes, now would they.
  18. We have gotten into physical fights before. I did throw a hanger at her once for wearing my pants to church. Like I said above, we hate when the other “steals” our clothes. Don’t worry, we never stay mad at each other for more than five minutes.
  19. We have talked about living in a duplex. It will happen one day, whether our husbands like it or not. Remember, we are a package deal.
  20. Before anyone asks again, I am one minute older and a little more wiser. After all, I was in the world so much longer than Brandi.
  21. If you ask us which one the “bad” twin is, we will say the other one…every time. So, stop asking.
  22. We did have the Shaulis and Shaulis Mystery Agency back in the day. You can thank our obsession with the Olsen twins for that one. We set up shop in our shed, and solved one whole mystery, which was “who did the loud footsteps belong to that our mother heard while working alone in the church.” We did solve it, but we can’t disclose that information.
  23. You will never know more than me about my twin. It just won’t happen.
  24. I risked my life the night the tornado took our house, in order to get Brandi’s cherished Teddy Bear from the bedroom. That is true love right there. Yes, the bear is still with us today.
  25. She is my soul mate. No one will ever take that position away from her. After all, she has been with me my whole entire life. We shared an umbilical cord people, meaning I actually shared my precious food with her. I don’t do that with just anyone.

I know after reading through those, you are all jealous you don’t have a twin sister. If you aren’t, you definitely should be. Being a twin is an experience unlike any other, and my twin, is forever my best friend.

I love you Brandi – Happy Birthday…well almost.

25

In exactly 10 days, I will officially be 25-years-old.

That is half way to 50, 1/4 of a century, and 10 gray hairs of maturity. I know to some of you, I am still considered a “young-in,” but to me, I am getting old. I mean, I have been graduated from high school for SEVEN years, and from college THREE years. Like what the heck – where has the time gone?! I can already hear the cracks in my knees when I get up from sitting for an extended period of time, and yes, like I mentioned above, I have found multiple gray hairs – YIKES!

Luckily for me, I have learned a lot over my almost 25 years of life. Sorry that I keep repeating that I will be 25 –  I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that I keep aging so quickly. Anyway, I have compiled a list of 25 things that I have learned in my 25 years. I think it’s appropriate to share, because some of you will be where I am someday, and some of  you have already been where I am at. So we can compare what we’ve learned through the years.

So here I go…

  1.  Doing laundry is somehow therapeutic. I’m sure that will change in a few years.
  2. Saying no to going out with people to hang out on the couch with your dog is okay.
  3. Cooking like your still in college is acceptable, but preparing a nice meal at least once a week, makes you feel good inside. But my go to is still Velveeta Mac N’ Cheese, and I have no shame eating the whole box.
  4. Maybe waiting until the gas light is on to get gas isn’t such a smart idea.
  5. Going out in public in PJ pants is a thing. A great, great thing. Stop caring about impressing everyone.
  6. Having one best friend is better than having ten or more “okay” friends. Even if that one best friend is your twin. 
  7. One glass of wine just won’t cut it. A whole bottle will do the trick – maybe.
  8. Pizza is in a food group all of its own. And it’s the only one that really matters.
  9. Laughing at yourself is important. Don’t take things so seriously.
  10. Finding gray hairs will happen, and even after you pull them out, they will grow back.
  11. On your days off, don’t wear makeup. Just rely on the Snapchat filters.
  12. Crockpot meals are the best kind of meals. When you want to actually cook something other than Mac N’ Cheese.
  13. Doing crossword puzzles are sometimes better than watching TV.
  14. Maybe Web MD isn’t always right. Maybe you’re not always going to die.
  15. Meatloaf isn’t so bad.
  16. Grown-up clothes are fun, but so are childish ones.
  17. Do what makes you happy, instead of trying to impress everyone else.
  18. College loans still suck, but you’re making progress.
  19. Not having your life completely figured out is still okay.
  20. Lifetime movies are completely predictable, but you still watch them anyway. Especially new movie Saturdays.
  21. Having a made bed every morning makes a world of difference. Your house will always feel messy if your bed is not made.
  22. Watching the six o’ clock news followed by Jeopardy is the only way to spend a week night.
  23. You still don’t know more than your parents, but please, don’t tell them that.
  24. Even though over half of your graduating class is married with kids, you’re still a normal human being. Maybe you’re actually better off.
  25. Like I mentioned above, you’re half way to 50. Start living it up!

So, I still have 10 more days until my hair starts to fall out and the wrinkles start to appear on my face. Okay, okay, I may be exaggerating slightly. But I am going to break out the wine and a dozen of cookies anyway, to start wallowing in self pity.

Check back with me in a week to see how I’m doing.

 

 

 

Hats Off to You, Dr. Seuss

Today is not only Read Across America Day, but it is also Dr. Seuss Day. I mean, the two kind of go hand in hand. Be honest, no one as a kid, would have started to read anything if it wasn’t for Dr. Seuss and his catchy rhymes. I mean he was the real Slim Shady back in the day. A more clean and kid friendly Slim Shady. But he spit out those rhymes like no one else, and he had a huge impact on children across the country.

So in honor of today, I am going to let Duke take over, and give his reactions to some of Dr. Seuss’s quotes in his best sellers.

…………….

“I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am..”

Well for one, my name is not Sam, it’s Duke. And two, I will eat just about anything, so bring those green eggs and ham my way, if this Sam character is just going to be wasteful.

“A person’s a person no matter how small.

So stop with the short jokes people. My mom and Aunt Brandi are people, although they look like midgets.

“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.”

Throw that diet out the window. Eat all the cookies and pizza you can. Because even if you’re a circular shape, you make a pretty good looking circle, and I bet you’re a lot more satisfied.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out.” 

Be weird. Be crazy. Be yourself. The people that judge you, are just jealous they are not as fabulous.

“To the world you may be on person, but to one person you may be the World.”

Yes, I have to be a little sentimental and corny. I’m sorry. But my mom is one small little person, some may even say a midget, like I mentioned before, but she is the biggest and best part of my life. I’m sure you all have people like that in your life.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” 

Okay, this one is total bull crap if we are talking about finishing the last piece of pizza. That is sad stuff, and I won’t smile again, until there is another pizza in front of my face.

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”  

I don’t mean to be negative, but wouldn’t this make us sleep deprived. I think people go nuts, or even die, due to lack of sleep. Come on man, we can’t keep our eyes open all the time. Just isn’t logical.

“You’re off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”

No offense, but I’m not prepared for that. I don’t have any mountain climbing equipment. They didn’t send any of that in my last BarkBox, so the mountain might have to keep waiting.

“These Things will not bite you. They want to have fun. Then, out of the box, came Thing Two and Thing One.”

Okay, no offense, I’m sure they are nice creatures, but you simply cannot trust something with blue hair. Also, when someone tells you they don’t bite, I feel like they possibly could still bite. Yea, I’m not sure what kind of shot covers a Thing One bite.

Sleep is like the unicorn – it is rumored to exist, but I doubt I will see any.”

Sorry for your luck Dr. Seuss, but I see sleep at least five times a day. I guess I found the unicorn.

“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

I mean, I guess you can try, but I’m not sure you’ll see much progress.

“With your head full of brains, and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good-street.”

But what if Siri get the directions screwed up. It’s happened before.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

Well we will never know how simple the answers are, because apparently, we will never be able to answer the question. This just makes everyone feel dumb.

“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.”

Hmmm, I don’t know which one would taste better. Which one do you recommend. And is there some kind of two fish for one fish special today?  

…………….

Okay, so I am not sure Duke really grasped a lot of what Dr. Seuss was saying. At least it made for a great read. If you want a human’s take on some of his books, click here for my post from last year.


One thing we both agree on, Dr. Seuss was, is, and will always be the man. The man who encourages children all across America to read, and to actually enjoy it. Thanks, Dr. Seuss.