Monday, August 26, 2013

American Brittany Rescue


     I have had Brittany Spaniels in my life for 40 years now.  From my first pup where I learned who is the trainer and who is the trainee to many quail, pheasant, and grouse shot over them to running a breeding and training kennel in Oklahoma City for 13 years they have always been a big part of my life.  We eventually disbanded the kennel operation when we moved to Michigan.  We brought our pup Britt with us who now enjoys a 'forever resting place' on our farm.  We also are the proud parents of 11 year old Dharma, who like all the other Britts I have known, has personality all her own.  Like so many others, our pets are our children, a part of the family. 
     I became familiar with the ABR a few years back and decided I wanted to be a volunteer part whenever and wherever I could upon retirement.  I wanted to help save as any abandoned, lost, or unwanted Britts as possible as well as help others enjoy the lifelong campanionship of a great friend.  I have volunteered for several transports and recently completed my first prospective adoption home inspection.  We intend to provide transport cross country as much as possible during our retirement as well.  The ABR has many great fundraisers and ways to help if anyone is interested.  The link is posted with their logo above. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Retirement Remodeling

      Nearly every RV owner starts planning what they would change the day after they buy their unit.  Part of our master retirement plan the past 2-3 years has to do some minor remodeling inside our RV.  We never really used our couch, which was mounted in the slide out room, next to the dinette.  The majority of a time a blanket was spread out on it for Dharma the "Repuplican" and Bodhi the "Democat" to lay on. Only twice in 9 years has someone been camping with us that slept on it. 

     First of all we removed the couch from the RV, which was a chore in itself.  It would not fit through the door whole so it had to be disassembled.  This is due to the fact that most RV furniture is loaded into the RV before the slide out room is assembled and mounted.  We have two Laz E Boy type chairs on our back wall under the picture window.  We moved the one from the door to the vacancy left by the couch.  In it's place we added two floor mats for shoes when entering and an overhead coat hanger.  This did leave approximately 30+" in the slide out which we planned to use by adding a small desk to house our computer, printer, and assorted retiree bills, medical records, and other crap.  We decided the best use of this space would be a smaller size roll top desk, which would allow the laptop and printer to remain in the desk securely by simply rolling the lid closed.  This proved to monumental task #2.  New factory desks were out of the question not only due to price, but weight.  I had to have a desk that would not only fit, but would not present an overweight problem for the slide out mechanism.  I finally dedicated my efforts to online shopping.  I did find several that would fit our requirements.  The first two were either sold or still too heavy.  We finally found a small size roll top on Craig's List downstate that only took a little driving and a day out with my bride to complete our mission. 

     The scaled down version does not include pedestal type drawers, but this was remedied by using a portable briefcase style hanging file folder case.  It fits perfectly, still allowing the chair to swivel to watch TV.  We still have a chair to add, but hard can that be?    

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Four Happiness Pork

     A delicious, simple, healthy meal that is only 10 points on the Weight Watchers Scale.  I modified it by serving over Ramen Noodles dry as the sauce soaked in nicely providing a flavor blend benefit.  I also served fresh steamed green beans picked this morning from our own garden.  Enjoy.

1 pound pork
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sherry
6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 slice ginger
1 scallion or green onion, chopped
Corn starch to thicken

Put pork in boiling water.  Boil for 1 minute.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Cut pork into 2" cubes and return to pot.  Add 1 cup water and bring to high heat. Add the sherry, ginger, soy sauce, and scallion.  Cover and simmer over very low heat for 2 hours.  Return to high heat and add corn starch, thickening to taste.  Baste until gravy covers meat thoroughly.  Serve over rice, steamed vegetables, or your choice.