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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Beastie Update


Most of my puppy pictures of late are of sleeping pups, curious pups, blurry pups or a combination of the above. 


At 9 weeks Gertrude and Gladys have discovered some sweet skillz. 





Digging is a favorite. No reason needed, "just because" is enough.  Sometimes they get so busy digging that they forget to use the great outdoors for it's intended purpose. 

Yes. We can spend many, many minutes out-of-doors with much playing, figure-eight chasing and digging and not go potty at all. Working on that little scenario... don't want the babies to get their indoor/outdoor mixed-up like human babies get day and night confused. Eating leaves, bark, etc. is also a special pastime. Who knew a weed could be so exciting. 


Stair climbing is now second nature. But stair de-climbing sometimes requires squealing and whimpering and the help of a human. And vocalizing? Barking is a fun discovery, there is still plenty of buzz-type growling, and pre-howling is making an appearance. 

Cuteness? Off the charts.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Smore Surprise Brownie Bites


Smore Surprise Brownie Bites


1 and 1/2 sticks Earth Balance (3/4 Cup or 3/4 Cup coconut oil)
1 1/3 Cup sugar
2 TBSP egg replacer (I used homemade EnerG)
6 TBSP water or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup cocoa
1 2/3 Cup flour
1/3 chocolate chips
Approx 2 vegan friendly graham crackers broken into about 1 inch squares/sections
These aren't the brownies, just wanted to show you what they looked like.
We ate them...oops
Approx 4-5 large Dandies marshmallows cut (scissors worked well) each marshmallow into 6 to 8 pieces.

Cream the sugar, coconut oil, milk and egg replacer. Add baking powder and salt and mix well. Add vanilla and stir. Stir in cocoa and then flour until blended.

Preheat oven to 350. 

Using one of those brownie pans with the dividers, mini cupcake tins or a silicone pan with 20 squares in it, or a large cookie sheet lightly grease which ever item or combination you choose to use. 

I made mine in a 20 count silicone pan and baked them for 14-16 minutes which would be about right for mini-muffin tins. Here's what I did. I pressed a walnut sized piece of dough into my little squares. Then I placed a chunk of graham cracker and marshmallow on top of dough. Another walnut sized section of dough pressed over the top.

If using  a cookie sheet for bake for about 12 minutes. I would roll out a walnut sized ball of dough flat, then top with the graham cracker and marshmallow and fold dough over to cover the amore treats. If using the sectioned brownie pan you might need 30 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Caramelly Chocolate Chip Double Layer Brownies


Caramelly Chocolate Chip Double Layer Brownies (These aren't healthy on any front...but they are delicious!!!!) 

1 and 1/2 sticks Earth Balance (3/4 Cup or 3/4 Cup coconut oil)
1 1/3 Cup sugar
2 TBSP egg replacer (I used Ener-G DIY homemade)
6 TBSP water or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup cocoa
1 2/3 Cup flour
1/3 chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13. Mix Earth Balance and sugar until blended. Add cocoa, egg replacer and water/milk, vanilla and mix well, add salt, baking powder and vanilla and stir. Pour in flour and mix. It will be thick and more like cookie dough. Press into pan. Bake for 23-26 minutes. I believe I'll try it in an 8 x 11 and bake it for 10 minutes more and see how it does in a thicker brownie.

CARAMEL TOPPING LAYER

1/2 Cup plus 1 TBSP room temperature coconut oil (or Earth Balance)
1 1/3 Cup sugar
2 TBSP egg replacer (I used Ener-G DIY recipe)
6 TBSP So Delicious vanilla or original coconut milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 /3 Cup flour
2/3 Cup chocolate chips
1 Cup Oatmeal
1 Cup chopped pecans (or other nuts or none at all) 


Cream the sugar, coconut oil, milk and egg replacer. Add baking powder and salt and mix well. Add vanilla and stir. Stir in flour until blended and finally add the chocolate chips and oatmeal. 

Plop caramel/chocolate chip layer on top of brownies.

Bake 35-38 minutes.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Killer Bee-agles

The pups make a lot of crazy noises. They are working on howling. Growling and snarling is a skill they've mastered.

But the buzzing in this video totally cracked me up.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Vegan Potato Breakfast Casserole

Vegan Potato Breakfast Casserole

The night before prep cashews for the cream sauce 
1 1/2 Cups cashews
2 Cups water
3/4 Cup non-sweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk (you could probably get away with more water instead) 

NOTE: You will not discard the water. 


In the morning place the nut mixture into a food processor and whir until creamy and add the following:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Siracha)
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 TBSP lemon juice
4 TBSP nutritional yeast
Mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 pan.


2 Bags (16 ounces each or 1 large) shredded or diced frozen potatoes
1 Onion fine dice 
1 Pepper fine dice 
6-8 mushrooms fine dice 
Faux sausage bits (I used Upton's)

Place one bag potatoes in the pan and press down. 

Saute the onions, peppers and mushrooms until tender.
Place the veggies over the potatoes. Top with the sausage and the rest of the potatoes. 

Pour the cheesy sauce over the potato layer. 

Bake for 45 minutes. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Couch Surfing err Swimming...Pup Style


An odd new puppy trick. 

Gertrude begs for a tiny bit of a cuddle, then she climbs whichever human she's cuddling with and perches on the back of the couch. 

Then begins the burrowing. Until she's fully comfortable.  

This process takes many laps to accomplish. 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Thoughts? Does She?


Rob thinks Gladys looks like a meerkat. We are having fun with that. Especially now that her feisty personality is making thwarting her rotten plans opportunities for growling. 

Gladys has also developed some sweet leaping skillz. From couch to couch. She hunkers down, springs legs forward and nails the landing, ears flapping mid-flight. 

The little suckers are smart. They are signaling that they want to go outside by pawing the front door. Unfortunately, they often just want to go outside to dig in the dirt and play, not potty. But, we are making many trips outside every day and sometimes it's fruitful.  Also. Most of the recent pictures I've taken are blurry as it's difficult to catch them not wrestling, fighting or running. 

What think you? Meerkat Gladys? 

from wikipedia

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Serials and Scenarios ~ Anniversary Partay...

Shimmy into a ball gown and join the A HEART DECEIVED ANNIVERSARY SOIREE. Win some prizes at Writer Off the Leash or BOGO A Heart Deceived at www.michellegriep.com. And remember…it’s never good form, ol’ chap, to be late to a party.





Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Distortional

What I got from Bible Study last night... 

Our world is like a fun house. 

Distorted mirrors displaying not who we are, but the broken images that have been scratched, spindled and mutilated by the enemy of our souls. 

Christ came to bring us back to our perfect and uniquely wonderful, handcrafted selves. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Taking Care of the Things on God's Heart

Yesterday was the celebration of Father's Day. And other than saying that I've been blessed with a great father and a great husband, I don't want to talk about fathers at all. 

I want to talk about foster care. 

I can't share much with the world other than to say my daughter has been certified to do foster care. 

I have had the privilege of observing her, and interacting with her little visitors for the last two weeks. 

I am not going to judge the situation that landed these children in her care as I don't have facts, and there, but for the grace of God, go I. Honestly, I can't imagine there is a single person on the planet who would enter into the daunting world of parenting with the plan that their child(ren) will enter the foster care system someday.  The pain felt by every person involved in the breakdown of a family has got to be tremendous. 

That said, I have to share a little bit of my experience with this huge thing in my daughter's life. For starters, all of the people who have had a chance to cross paths with my daughter and her little ones will experience life and love being played out. The grace I've seen, the heart expanding to embrace every bit of the experience, the unconditional love... I tell you, it's amazing to see your child grow into a woman of integrity and beauty and grace. Then the children. I have become a foster grandmother to little ones who may or may not be part of my life for much more than a few weeks. Honestly, my heart is going to break a little or a lot (it will get harder each day) when they return where they belong and leave my life. Every conversation, every hug, every smile and kiss that these sweet kids are sharing with me is precious. I can't help but love them and I can't help but pray for them. My hope is that through this transition time that their parents are doing everything they are capable of doing to become the kind of parents that nurture and heal. If not, I'm praying that this brief period of time will show these children how precious they are so that when they make choices they choose life. 

I can't imagine how much more powerful this must all be for my daughter. After all my involvement is minimal. I didn't sit through forty hours of training and homework. I haven't had home visits or phone calls where I had minutes to determine if my house was a proper fit for a child or children. I didn't have to listen to and read about case studies of real situations and go home and process reality for some children. 

I don't have to tuck children into bed and see them first thing in the morning. I haven't had to show patience and compassion when they are processing through negative emotions. I haven't had to comfort a crying child who misses a parent. 

God's heart is toward the women and children who have no husband or father. He has asked us to care, too. 

I encourage you to join me in saying thanks to foster parents who step out in faith and hope that they can make a difference in a child's life. Pray for children, pray for families, pray for the caretakers who are willing to love these kids.  Pray that they will indeed make a difference in each life they touch. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Spicy Curry Garlic Cereal Mix


Spicy Curry Garlic Cereal Mix

3 Cups cereal (a mix of Chex flavors if wanted, puffed rice or Cheerios)
1 and ½ Cups or additional add-ins. Nuts, seeds, pretzels, crackers
2 TBSP melted Earth Balance (or oil of choice)
1 TBSP garlic flavored oil (or more butter)
1/2 TBSP worcestershire sauce (find a vegan one, last time I checked Whole Foods 365 brand was. Traditional worcestershire contains anchovies)
½ TBSP soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Melt the butter, add the spices. Mix well. Dump the cereal in a bowl, add nuts, pretzels or crackers of choice. Pour the buttery spice mixture over it and mix very well. Bake at 250 for 1 hour and stir every 15 minutes. Dump onto paper towels and let cool. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Rocking the Pink Harnesses...


  Gertrude and Gladys first official "walk". 

 Did Gertie and Gladie love the harnesses? Did they love the walk? 
Well. Not so much. The harnesses definitely cramped their style. Gertie was oh, so, needy of a friend who'd carry her. 
Distance covered? Pups or people carrying pups? Former, yards, latter, 1/4 mile. BTW things on the trail, like rocks, sticks, and who knows what are fascinating to Beagle pups. The first few feet of the trip was rich with new experiences. 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Ranchy Cereal Mix

Ranchy Cereal Mix


3 Cups cereal (a mix of Chex flavors if wanted, puffed rice or Cheerio type)
1 and ½ Cups of additional add-ins. Nuts, pretzels, crackers
2 TBSP melted Earth Balance
1 TBSP garlic flavored oil (or more EB)
1/2 TBSP worcestershire sauce (Find a vegan one, that doesn't use anchovies...last time I bought Whole Foods 365 brand was vegan)
½ TBSP soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed
3/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon (heaping) ground black pepper


Melt the Earth Balance, add the spices. Mix well. Dump the cereal in a bowl, add nuts, pretzels or crackers of choice. Pour the buttery spice mixture over it and mix very well. Bake at 250 for 1 hour and stir every 15 minutes. Dump onto paper towels and let cool. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ Spicey Dicey Onion Rings and Frying Pan Factoids

Taking another break from posting puppies. I don't know why anyone would not want to look at the sweet puppies all day long, but I digress. 

A few months ago an author I Linked-In'd with, Nancy Jarvis, contacted me about a cookbook she was putting together. Nancy had the cool idea of gathering recipes from different cozy mystery authors. 

Because Michelle and I have an upcoming release (without a date, or...ummm exact publisher yet, the wheels turn veeerrrry slowly sometimes) she asked if we wanted to submit a few recipes. 

I asked Michelle. What would it hurt? We need a few recipes for the book anyway because Zula is an amazing cook who can whip up some mean dishes. But it turned out the deadline for recipe submission was looming and there was a whole lot of food mentioned in Out of the Frying Pan. I asked Michelle to send me dish names. (Zula names all her signature dishes.) Michelle tossed out the appetizer from a dinner party fail. (Well, the food didn't fail at all, unless you count the uneaten bombe when tension ramped up and sent everyone scurrying after their own agendas instead of toward dessert.) 

The appetizer winner? Spicey Dicey Onion Rings. Yum. And what did Michelle have in mind for this recipe? I asked her. "I don't know. I just liked the way it sounded," was her paraphrased response. "Make something up." So I did. And submitted it. We were able to submit two recipes and do a mini write-up of our character or a scene, etc. 

It was terribly fun. And the onion rings were off the charts. 

Here's the link to the cookbook

Here's one of our recipes. The write-up is on the sneak peek. Or it was when I looked. Some of the other recipes in the sneak peek looked pretty fabulous, too. Be sure to check it out.  



Spicey Dicey Onion Rings

1/3 Cup garbanzo bean flour (besan)
1/3 Cup water ( use 1/4 and add a 1/2 TBSP at a time until you get consistency for the batter you want, you may need less)
1/2 TBSP lemon pepper or lemon garlic blend or lemon peel/fried garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (additional for cooked rings if desired)
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
1/2 TBSP brown or yellow mustard
1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon of siracha sauce or pepper sauce of choice 

Mix dry ingredients until well mixed, add 1/4 cup of water to the wet ingredients and mix into the dry. Add more water if needed. You don't want watery nor so thick it's gooey. Just dippable. 

Slice a medium onion. 

Heat oil on a stove top or in a deep fryer. When hot add the dipped rings. When the rings are golden either flip if you don't have enough oil to cover the top of the onions or remove and place on paper towels to absorb the grease. Sprinkle with salt if desired. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ You Know You Want a Puppy Update...


Gertrude and Gladys have grown quite a bit in their week at our place. Not doubled or anything crazy like that but they are bigger. The most amazing part is the increase in their coordination and steadiness. We have two or three steps to the out of doors and after they go potty they now can take the steps back into the house all by themselves. They can do the steps, but it's not graceful, but they can do em. 

However. I'm sure you don't want to know all of these details. Right? 

So here's just a short list of things that we've discovered or experienced this week with the girls. 

Nights that I was awakened at two a.m. ZERO
Mornings I was awakened by squealing just a wee bit earlier than my alarm?THREE. The worst morning? The 5:15 a.m. Poopageddon morning. Human babies finger paint with things that fall out of their diapers...or so I'm told. Apparently, adorable puppies can paw paint water bowls with certain substances as well. But only three mornings contained that substance in the kennel and only one included art. 

Reactions of other people? Everything from squeals to utter and complete disbelief that we succumbed to two puppies, to enthusiasm for the breed, to blank stares, to warnings about bad beagle behaviors in other beagles...pretty much the same kind of responses I got with announcements of my pregnancies.  (except for the beagle thing...but I believe the word breed was mentioned.)

Loads of puppy laundry? 

Guesstimate? Seven to ten. There was the Poopageddon morning. And the number of times where bladders didn't quite hold their liquid or puppy All-Star wrestling took place in the water bowl. 


Initial cost of our free puppies?

We thought ahead a bit. Got two sets of harnesses and leashes, because these speedy little suckers are going to need containment every time we get outside and are growing like weeds. We had to get a cute puppy bed, and a brush, and a brush/mitt, a few bandanas, a chewy toy or three, matching and adorable food and water bowls, food...soft puppy mush, and organic dried puppy kibbles for the near future. Chaching. $170.00. Note: My brother runs Properpet.com If you are looking for great prices on supplies, check them out. And $170.00 is a bargain, right? In entertainment value alone. 

What's been chewed on? Absolutely everything including finger, toes, ears, necks, socks, shoes...


   



Friday, June 06, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Father's Day Ideas or NOT...


If you could put a face and a personality on a mullet it would be that of my dad.  

Don't get me wrong...he doesn't dangle a wallet chain, rat tail or a full Joe Dirt doo. No. But the man can dress up or down for just about any occasion. 


When Dollar Shave Club asked me to participate in their “Father’s Day Gifts From Years Past,”blog extravaganza
where bloggers share memories and pictures of gifts we've given our dads, I just couldn't pass it up. Because I once captured the essence of my dad's multiple personalities in a handmade gift.


My dad's gift a few years back, quite a few...if you'll notice, the smudges in the middle of the faces are his mustache... a wee bit faded. But a decade or two will do that to an object d'art. 

This double-sided gift was personalized just for him. Respected, tie-rocking registered pharmacist, community and church leader, all around great guy. Flip the little bugger around to the back side and his near/dear ones all recognize that guy. See, Dad had/has this project self-challenge thing he does. The outfit, as in crazed standing up hair, and the plaid shorts and T-shirt got lots of play during DIY and self improvement remodeling adventures.  

I remember two pairs of project shorts from my formative years. The featured blue and yellow ones and a ratty red and blue more patriotic model (which I believe started as pants and ended up as shorts). Dad's super-remodeler costumed epic adventures were made all the more exciting by the split-second precision with which he could finish (or hide) the evidence of the project and disappear into the shower just as the guests began to arrive. 

He is pretty much legendary for this sweet ninja style skill. People wander in, comment on the smell of fresh paint or glue, wonder out loud about the sound of the running shower, or ask if the "project-of-the-day" was new. 

Dad has gotten a little more difficult to shop for. I mean, my parents have every handmade gift I've ever given them, and I almost hate to burden them with more of the same. However, I won't lie. This little guy does bring back some great memories. 

If you are looking for an easy gift for dad, I hear the Dollar Shave Club is epic in its own rights. Maybe up there with a mullet. Not my dad, of course, that mold was broken after he was made. There is only one of him. 

More about Dollar Shave Club ~ 


Dollar Shave Club couldn't be simpler. Select one of our great
razors, pay one low monthly fee, and we send 'em right to your
door. No more over-paying for fancy brand name shave tech.
No more forgetting to buy your blades.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Scraps and Snippets ~ German Chocolate Puppy Chow or Poopies (Vegan)

If you like coconut and chocolate and delicious crunch...you might want to make this ASAP... Leave out the pecans if you want and use more coconut for pure chocolate/coconut magic. This is amazing and doesn't feel or taste weird or vegan or healthy. It is decadent. Make sure your ingredients are vegan (i.e. powdered sugar and semi-sweet chocolate chips if this is important to you.) (If your cereal choice is gluten free, these will be, too.)

German Chocolate Poopies (German Chocolate Puppy Chow)  

Serves 4 - 8
3/4 Cup toasted coconut
3/4 Cup toasted pecan pieces
3 1/2 Cups cereal (rice or corn chez or mix of cereals)
¼ Cup coconut oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (This can be decreased. I only had about 3/4 of a cup the last time I made it and so I added an additional 3/4 cup of toasted coconut the bag with the powdered sugar...they weren't as well coated, but still tasted amazing.)

Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Dump the coconut and chopped pecans on a baking sheet (lightly oil if the coconut is sweetened) Place in oven and toast approximately 10 minutes. Check at 7 to make sure the coconut is not browning too much. You will be able to smell the nuts. You want the coconut golden.
  2. In double boiler or microwave melt coconut oil and chocolate chips. Add toasted nuts, coconut and cereal and stir until all coated in chocolate.
  3. Pour powdered sugar into large plastic bag, the chocolate mixture to the bag and shake until all is coated. Place in fridge for an hour or so to harden the chocolate. If there is any left you will want to store it in an airtight container.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Tails, Tales, Tells...


 Names? You know you wanna know. 

There were quite a few combinations we had to choose from. Because when you have twins you gotta have a theme of some sort, right? So we went with alliteration vs. some of the other options. 
I mean Thelma and Louise would have been adorable, but I didn't like the end of that duo, ya know? 

We picked out some flower names that were fun. Poppy didn't sit well with Rob, Iris was his choice, which was great, but alliteration is so fun and what goes with Iris? 

We had several older lady names that are fun for puppies and a wee bit out of vogue. 

The winner? Gladys and Gertrude. Glad, Gladie, Gert or Gertie. 
They are being amazingly good about potty business. 
Not that there aren't accidents. But whenever we take them out into the grass they do a little something, something. It's the cutest thing to see something the size of a guinea pig squat to pee. Seriously. Cute. Especially outside in the grass. Not so much on the floor. 





Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Tail Tales


 Things sure have changed since Thursday. Rob and I agreed to take a five-week-old purebred Beagle puppy from a friend of a friend who does rescue. Since it wasn't on formula any longer (it's mommy died shortly after the births) and she didn't need to be weaned we got to pick her up right away. However, when the friend of the friend sent a picture on Friday, there was mention that there were two little females available. Rob, who has never been on the same page as me with the need for gathering pets, asked if the second one was available, too. 

"After all," he said, "shouldn't they stay together and we'll already be dealing with potty training and all the puppy behaviors, let's get them both."

So we asked. And she was...at the time. 

The day before we were supposed to pick them up, the second one became unavailable, after all. 

Amazing how something that seemed like a crazy idea an hour earlier can suddenly leave you feeling broken hearted. 

I am not going to lie. I petitioned God on this one. Partly because I know He loves His creation. (He does know every sparrow, after all.) (And two little babies who lost a mommy should stay together, right?) And partly because I had already fallen in love with the idea of sister dogs. An hour before we picked them up we found out we'd get both. The person who wanted the second one decided they should stay together, too.

And, boy, did we get. 

Beagle puppies have a whole lot of energy. Ha ha. And a whole lot of cute. 

Needless to say, you will be seeing some puppy related posts here on a regular basis. Because...Do you see this cuteness?