Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rufus Tale: Pack Dieting

Rufus Tale: Pack Dieting
19 October 2014

Rufus, skin and bones-boy a year ago when he found and adopted us, is fluffy chubby-boy now. He has ten pounds to lose. The vet said so. Sigh. I wish I only had ten pounds to lose.  A year ago I was doing okay on my weight, but like Rufus, a year later, I’m fluffy. Again. I have 27 pounds to lose. Double-Sigh. 

So The Prince Consort decided we would all diet. The whole pack. (Except NikkiCat who gave us that look that says, “You have to sleep sometime. Do you really want to make me angry?” 

Here’s the thing. Just like TPC, who is barely fluffy and losing something like three pounds a week just by cutting the size of his dessert, the only thing Rufus has done is cut the ‘cookie-treats’ to half a cookie per reward instead of a whole cookie. REALLY? And he’s slimming down just like TPC. REALLY? 

I’m counting every blasted calorie. Measuring every bite. Drooling on TPC’s baked chips. Volunteering to handle all the after dinner clean-up so that I don’t have to watch TPC have a small dessert while I stare into a cup of unsweetened Chai tea. (Which is truthfully quite good.) 

Males!! It’s easy for them!!! 

Now part of the tribe-de-fluffing is brisk walks each morning, out at the county park pond. This past week it rained almost every day, but rain or shine we got in the car and headed for The Walk. The day the wind was driving the rain sideways, Rufus backed away from the open van door and gave us the Look-  “WHAT? GET OUT?  IN THIS? NO!”. 

 Rufus a bit too close to WATER!
TPC and I had to stand in the rain, then go back to the car to fetch him, before Rufus would get out. He sped to the covered picnic pavilion. Rufus was good with just standing under cover. Apparently he was willing to cross his legs until it was sunny. (Or pee and poop under the pavilion. Not an option.)  Of course we went  out and stood in the rain, until he decided to give it a try. Rufus loves snow, but he is NOT a water dog. 

Two days later, raining again as we drove to the pond, Rufus, who usually sits up and watches everything, lay on the back seat. He was planning  But his no-walk-in-the-rain plans fell apart when we pulled into the parking lot. The Whippet was politely waiting in the rain for her masters to catch up and open the car for the ride home.

Change of plans. Males are males. Rufus was not about to let the Whippet show him up. He wasn’t thrilled, but he hopped out in the rain, and we got our walk. 

Did I lose pounds and pounds this  past week from all the walking in inclement weather. NO. 

Did TPC and Rufus. You guess. Unfair. ARGH!!! 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014


8 October 2014

 Having eaten most everything within reach starting on the day The Prince Consort had heart surgery almost a year ago, I'm back on the diet and exercise wagon. In honor of that I've been invited to blog on Connie Fleming's blog, The Acceptable Sin, today. 

In my post, “Monster galaxies gain weight by eating smaller neighbors”, I share my favorite health and diet app. So far I've lost about six pounds. 

Take a peek?

Kath who is sticking to her diet and Not eyeing NikkiCat's kibble, so far. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Let the Good Times Roll!

Let the Good Times Roll! 
While I pace waiting for Ally Shield's Wild Fire to be released guess what? Today she releases Cross Keys, the first book in her new Elvenrude paranormal series! Please read on for a taste of this amazing series and a recipe too!
Kath: (Hiccup.) Who loves the recipe, even without the bread pudding. :)  

Thank you so much for hosting me and my new urban fantasy release today! I'm thrilled for the opportunity to tell you a little about my book and to share a Cajun recipe, one of several I brought back from New Orleans while researching the book. (If you look around the blogs listed at the end, you'll find eight more recipes!)

Happy reading...and sampling of the Cajun cuisine. :)

Cross Keys (An Elvenrude Novel) by Ally Shields

Genre: Urban fantasy/Paranormal romance
Rating: PG-13

Book Blurb:

Conspiracy, murder, and magic…and the death of all they hold dear.

When the first wanderer—a common elf who isn’t authorized to use the portal—is spotted on the streets of New Orleans, the king assigns Kameo Ryndel to assist in the elf’s capture. But before she can intervene, humans with guns shoot the wanderer and steal his body. When Seth Lormarc, an Elite elf from a rival guild, appears at the scene, Kam suspects he is involved.

Seth Lormarc is in New Orleans to find out who was behind the portal breach, and his best lead is the intriguing Kam Ryndel. When he stakes out her apartment and finds her sneaking out in the middle of the night, dressed in black and leaping to the top of the nearest building, he knows there’s something unique about the beautiful elf. That kind of feat requires magic. Ancient magic.

As their paths cross during their investigations, they develop an irresistible attraction, although there’s little time for romance. The portal breach is tied to an illegal smuggling operation that has come to the attention of the human CIA. But the stakes are raised when Kam and Seth discover a band of conspirators and a rebellion deep in Elvenrude that promises nothing except destruction of their world.

One of my favorites was the bread pudding served with...

New Orleans Whiskey Sauce
You can turn any bread pudding into a southern treat by adding this quick and easy sauce.

1/2 C bourbon whiskey (any brand)
1 egg - yolk only
1/2 C butter
1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Over medium heat, whisk sugar and butter in a pan until creamy. Reduce heat to simmer, but remove pan and add egg yolk, stir. Keep stirring, return to heat, and add whiskey to suit your own taste. As soon as sauce thickens, remove from heat and serve.

About the Author:
Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a "river rat." The setting and folklore of the river regions are often incorporated into her urban fantasy books. After  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009, and Awakening the Fire, the debut novel in her Guardian Witch series, was released by Etopia Press in September 2012. There are now six published books in that series. Cross Keys is the first novel with all new characters.
When not writing, reading or spending time with family, she loves to travel in the US and abroad. Way too often she can be found on Twitter.

Contact the Author:

Special Thanks to the following bloggers who are spotlighting this release during the next few days (eight more Cajun recipes on their blogs!)(dates of post may vary due to time periods, etc.):
Oct. 6:  Rebekah Ganiere 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dumb Bunny- For Sale or Trade?

Dumb Bunny- For Sale or Trade? 
25 September 2014

I am pea green with envy. Someone in my neighborhood beat me to it. A For Sale sign appeared on the Sheriff’s car parked on the hill at our subdivision entrance. This patrol car is obviously abandoned since it’s been parked in our subdivision, empty, for more than a month.

Yesterday the car moved from its summer residence by the pool, back to the hill where it originally squatted. It’s still empty like some kind of yard art.  This morning one of my VERY clever neighbors finally put a For Sale sign on it. As an extra stroke of genius the car’s sale price is the same as the cost of the worthless lot the Homeowners’ Board secretly bought to many residents’ chagrin.

 The lot- $67,000. The cost to own this unused Sheriff’s car- $67, 000. Or maybe we could trade it for something even more worthless. Any suggestions?  

Kath who is so proud of this anonymous ingenious neighbor!!!!
Sadly, by noon the For Sale sign was gone, along with free speech. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

High School always comes back! plus Rufus tale

High School always comes back! plus Rufus tale
20 September 2014

First and most importantly, Rufus and The Prince Consort have gone to the city dog park for socializing. Hopefully on this pretty fall day there will plenty of other dogs to play with. It’s very sad to see the pair of them standing gazing out the entrance gate waiting for playmates to arrive.

I am supposed to use this time home alone to vacuum since the sounds of the vacuum on the main floor above the Man/Dog-cave- family-room disturb Rufus. Uh huh. That translates the pair of them can’t hear the football games. -OH, RATS! I was supposed to record “Game Day” because it’s being filmed from our alma mater, FSU. Okay, it’s recording now. I’m an hour late, but there’s still two hours … ARGH! 

So home alone. Which means I’m either writing or reading, or vacuuming. Guess which one? 

This past week despite Rufus helping dig out weeds in The Prince Consort’s underbrush clearing project, TPC hurt his back. So my resolution to not only make it to our twice weekly cardio exercise class but also add in an aqua exercise session was reduced to one cardio class. Still we did walk Rufus a mile each morning. So not a total loss. And less embarrassment. 

I was constantly embarrassed in high school. I was a nerd and any attempt at anything physical was doomed. I tried out for cheerleading in high school. The team captain, NOT a dear friend, took me aside at the first try out and told me I was dancing, not cheering, and I should give up. She was right. Although decades later I believe I was actually ahead of my time. Dance away cheerleaders or dance team, or whatever.

Next I tried out for swim team, but I my lacy ruffled swim cap was not allowed. I dropped that idea as not right for me, never mind not being fashion forward. I did attend every meet to cheer on my little sister, who went from not really knowing how to swim to winning. GO PAT! 

It wasn’t until I was the mother of a teen that I next tried a sport of my own. Tennis. Years of lessons later, I could actually catch a ball, hit a ball, and serve a ball. I was on the verge of being able to walk and chew gum. Victory. Did I win at doubles? Big surprise, still no. 

So skip ahead to last December when TPC had bypass surgery followed by cardiac rehab for three months. When his rehab ended, we need a substitute, affordable kind. Diebold’s Dad (Diebold is a very personable pit bull from Dog park Saturdays. I hope Diebold and his Dad are there today.) told us about our town’s YMCA. So we went for a tour and were super impressed. Before we left the Y, we had signed up for exercise twice a week. So far I have not embarrassed myself in that class, and as I said last week, we tried the next level. TPC decided after the advanced class to go back to using the resistance machines. Apparently me face down on the yoga mat in an attempted push up was a sign to him. I’m taking it as a challenge. I will go back. 

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to tackle the water aerobics class three days after the face in the mat class. I’d done Water Aerobics before, back in my tennis days. Piece of cake. Uh huh. Why was I the only one, despite standing in the shallow end, who ended up wet from head to toe? If there’s no drowning in water aerobics, why was there a lifeguard? 

I made it through the exercises in water aerobics, but  everything fell apart afterwards. Although I found my way back to the Ladies Locker room to get into dry clothes, I never got into the dry clothes. I could NOT get my combination lock to open. Shades of High School and my recurrent nightmare of standing in front of my locker spinning and spinning and not remembering or hitting the right numbers and not getting the $%%$^&^ lock open. And this brings up an extra worry. Since the High School nightmare came true, I am scared my college nightmare of showing up for finals completely unprepared and naked is in the offing. I guess I’ll stay out of graduate level classes.  

Not getting the lock open went on for minutes on minutes. I’d still be in the locker room, probably in tears, if one of the dry-haired water aerobic class ladies hadn’t taken over and opened my lock in one try. I grabbed my towel, bag, and TPC waiting in the lobby and went home. I was shivering in the cool all the way home. 

If I can get past the embarrassment of reappearing in the Water Aerobics class, I could replace the combination lock with a keyed one. I can do keyed locks, like on luggage. That’s worked out fine for traveling. Of course, the TSA rule against locking luggage worked in my favor. And then again my taste in clothes has never made me a prime target for theft anyway. 

TPC’s back is better. We’ll be back at our regular exercise classes. But I’m still thinking in terms of a disguise before I reappear at the water aerobics class. Do they make waterproof mustache glue? 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Rufus Tale: Working Dawg and Pride Goeth Before Face Down on the Yoga Mat

Rufus Tale: Working Dawg and Pride Goeth Before Face Down on the Yoga Mat
12 September 2014

The Prince Consort and I go twice weekly for a cardio+ exercise class at the YMCA. The instructor suggested some of the class might be interested in adding a more challenging level. So after the Tuesday class there would be an extra thirty minutes at a higher level. Oh, Boy! I am keeping up pretty well in the regular class, so I was all for this new challenge. 

Yipes! I thought I was Hot Stuff until it came time to do push-ups. The Cheezits and Cherry Coke have made me more than a little fluffy. Pushing that fluffiness up off the yoga mat was more than my arms could do. I collapsed on my face, and the lady behind me collapsed in hysterical laugher. 

Am I going back to the challenge class? You BET! I’m going to get to the level where I can push this hopefully by that time not as fluffy body up off the yoga mat. The lady behind me will have to settle for laughing at my sorry attempts at Downward Facing Dog. 

Speaking of Dawgs. Rufushound had a busy week. Not all of his work was appreciated, like when he finished off his fourth sleeping pillow on Monday. As far as we can tell he doesn’t actually swallow any of the fabric or stuffing. But he does spread the dissected evil pillow all around. He only does this during the day, so sleeping pillows will have to be rationed out, only appearing at night time. Knock on wood. 

 He looks innocent, but he’s covering up the terminated pillow.  

Appreciated Work: TPC is one smart dude. Rufus is rambunctious, full of energy, willing to dig and terminate anything. And he loves to hide his toys. Outside he’ll hide them while TPC is busy with yard work. Since TPC has started a clear-the- underbrush project in the back woods, he could use some help pulling up weeds. So he put Rufus to work. TPC hides Rufus’s toys in a patch of weeds, Rufus dig, dig, digs the weeds out of the ground to recover his frisbee. Voila’ the Dawg is a Working Dawg. And this time he gets a cookie for it!  

Kath who does not need cookies. Really does not need cookies. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rufus Tales: What’s going on in the Back SEAT!

Rufus Tales: What’s going on in the Back SEAT!
5 September 2014

For starters my only opportunity to get a photo of the chickens waiting to get in the neighbor’s front door, was on a foggy day. I almost missed the one chicken on the front porch, and the Guardian puppy.  The rest of the chickens were on the back deck, but not near the barbecue.

Eleven months ago, Rufus was an abandoned emaciated hound, who didn’t know what to make of dog toys or living inside a house. He’s a quick study, so most everything changed. Including that his once loose harness is Very snug. And his flea collar is on its last notch. All of which is related to his discovery of ‘cookies’. 

The Prince Consort decided to control what ingredients went into the ‘cookies’, so he found recipes. The first peanut butter and oatmeal cookie was well received. Rufus was a fan. Then TPC expanded to a pumpkin, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookie. 

Nope. The same hound who will jump and sit, or anything you ask for a cookie, politely took the pumpkin cookie, set it on the floor and looked up at TPC for a ‘real cookie’. We’ll toss the losers in the woods and see how the raccoons feel about pumpkin cookies. 

Although Rufus has a crate for riding in the car, he prefers the backseat. Okay, he really would rather ride ‘shot gun’ in my seat up front. But I’m holding my territory. So while TPC drives us all to the daily walk out at the pond, there is plenty of activity in the backseat. Rolling. Scooting along the seat on tummy. Gnawing on the nyla bone. Barking at motorcycles, big trucks, sometimes small trucks, and just for emphasis SUVs. 

Pretty much expected stuff. It’s the trip back home that becomes really interesting. By this time Rufus has sniffed a mile or more of fields and paths, and is revved up!!! So first thing he does, after a bowl of water and a quick lick over his paws, is to disappear over the backseat. 
And then it gets really quiet. When Professor Daughter was a toddler, she got really quiet. I was sitting three feet away from her sorting through toys. Superman would be hard pressed to smear the entire contents of my left-over from college blue eye shadow over his body as fast as my little Pict descendent did. By extrapolation TPC and I know to be worried when Rufus is quiet. 

I have been known to unbuckle my seat belt and climb into the back of the van when Rufus is not visible and too quiet. ( Last time he was nose deep in the stuffing from a dissected pillow I forgot was in the back.) So a day ago he got quiet, and I stretched as far as I could to see in back.  Nothing. 

And then the seat cover on the backseat raised up like a duck cloth ghost. Rufus had sno-sed his way under the seat cover and was headed back over the seat. (He’s picked out his Halloween costume; no tutus for our hound. He’ll Trick or Treat as a seat cover, thank you very much.) By the time i got my iPhone out, that game was over.  Now it was: let’s eat the seat belts time. Which of course means saying “No” over and over and trying to sound like Rufus better obey. Which… well, you know. Nope. 

So yesterday it got quiet, I looked back. Rufus was checking the back window for terrorists. Or as TPC says, “Watching our six.”  We’ll need some more peanut butter sans pumpkin cookies for the GOOD BOY!