May 04, 2021

Transformation Tuesday #25 : Pets!


Wow! I was thrilled to see so many submissions for Transformation Tuesday after my plea on Sunday ;) I have enough for this week and next, so I decided to go with a theme today: Pets! There are so many before and afters you can do with pets--before and after adoption, before and after a haircut, before and after telling your dog he's a good boy (try it--I have a few like that of Joey), before and after a bath, etc. Here are a few fun submissions...

My son’s dog, Bo, finally got his summer haircut. He’s an Idaho Shag and was very very shaggy from winter!

- Amber



We adopted Bully (TK Bulls Eye) in 2012. He was five years old. He always had some stray white/gray hair mixed with his beautiful black fur as seen in these stunning photos in the snow.

Fast forward to 2021 and he's 13 1/2 years old. Some people don't even realize he's a black dog. His dermatologist's admin thought he was gray! 

He went from being the youngest greyhound in our house to the oldest. My how time flies.

- Susan




This is our rescue dog, Skipper. There’s a lot of abuse in her past, and she still has the sweetest, most trusting soul. She’s such a happy girl. Here she is before seeing the groomer. We think she looks like Bernie Sanders! She doesn’t love going to the groomer, but she loves the attention she gets after!

- Jennifer, Skipper’s biggest fan




And finally, I thought this would be a good post for an update on "the mangey squirrel". While most of the squirrels that come to my house have names, I didn't get around to naming this one until his fur started growing back.

If you missed the story of this squirrel, here it is in a nutshell (pun totally intended): I saw this squirrel when he'd already lost quite a bit of fur. I felt terrible for him, so I bought some Ivermectin paste (to treat mange) after reading about it on the DNR's website. It was in a syringe meant for a 1,250 pound horse, so I had to be VERY careful about giving him a tiny dose. I put a little dab on a walnut and watched him eat it. The next time I saw him, he'd lost more fur. So I gave him another dose, this time just a tiny bit larger. I have him two more doses over the next couple of weeks, and I've watched over the past couple of months as his fur has grown back in!

His coloring in the photos looks different because of the sunlight/time of day/weather, but if you notice the patches of skin that are slowly filling with fur, you can see that it's him--Patches. He finally has a name instead of "the mangey squirrel", and he's starting to look like a handsome little dude!




I love seeing pictures of pets :) Amber, I would not have even known that was the same dog--he looks so spiffy with the new 'do! Susan, Bully is adorable--dogs that are going gray from age seem so sweet. I love the pic of him smiling! Jennifer, I'm SO happy that you took in a rescue pup! I LOVE how happy she looks after being groomed. I've never taken Joey to a groomer, but now I kind of want to, haha.

Thank you so much for sharing! Like I said, I am thrilled to have posts on hand for next week (so if you sent me one, I am not ignoring it--I'll post it next week) but please continue to send the transformations when you can. Just email a before photo and an after photo to me at: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com and don't forget to include your name and a description of the transformation. Thanks!

May 03, 2021

How to Haunt Your Spouse

I'm really not in the mood to do the Affirmators! card today, so I'm going to skip it for now. Jerry is off work and we were cracking up earlier while talking about how we would each haunt each other if we become ghosts after we die. It all started with a yawn...

When Jerry and I were dating, I remember yawning one time, and Jerry used his finger to tap my tongue while my mouth was wide open. It instantly killed my yawn, and it was totally unsatisfying! If you've ever gotten interrupted mid-yawn, you know what that feels like.

Every once in a while, we'll do that to each other just for a laugh. I don't like having my yawn killed midway, but Jerry despises it--it drives him crazy! (For the record, he started it.)

Anyway, he killed my yawn today while we were talking, and I said, "When I die, I'm going to come back and haunt you by killing your yawn every time!" And he looked as if I'd just told him that I put arsenic in his coffee. He thought for a moment and then said, "I'm going to haunt YOU by turning the toilet paper roll the wrong way!"

And then it was game on. We just picked out each other's idiosyncrasies and exploited them...

Katie: "I'm going to make your coffee turn cold as soon as it hits the cup."

Jerry: "I'm going to turn all the clean laundry inside-out."

Katie: "I'm going to take away all of the Q-tips so you never have any in the house."

Jerry: "I'm going to turn the thermostat up to 69 while you're asleep."

Katie: "I'm going to make the water cold every time you take a shower."

Jerry: "I'm going to put cat hair in your ice maker."

Katie: "I'm going to change all of your preset radio stations to country music."

Jerry: "I'm going to set the autocorrect on your phone from 'there' to 'their' and 'too' to 'to'.

Katie: "I'm going to make all of your movies buffer while you watch them."

Jerry: "I'm going to make the fitted sheet on the bed all wrinkled."

Katie: "I'm going to drop your cell phone signal randomly. Hell, I'll take it to 3G!"

Jerry: "OHHHH. I'll take you off the 'Do Not Call; Registry!"

Katie: "TOO FAR. This is getting out of hand. If you die first, I'm going to have you cremated."

Jerry: "Well if you die first, I'm going to have you buried."

We were laughing SO hard each time we came up with another one. We definitely know which buttons to push on each other to be as annoying as possible, haha. What would be the most annoying thing someone could do to haunt you? It's funny, out of all the things we came up with, I think the one that would bother me the most would be the autocorrect on my phone! I try so hard not to care when I make a grammar or spelling mistake, but I just can't NOT fix it.

We know each other well, that's for sure! And we really started acting like the parents of teenagers when we asked Eli if he knows of any Snapchat filters we could use for ghosts photos. We then spent 20 minutes doubled over laughing at the photos we took. So fun!


May 02, 2021

Chick in a Box

It has been one of those weekends that is just physically and mentally draining... I'm going to take the evening to chill and then (hopefully) go to bed early. I'll save my Affirmators! card for tomorrow.

Also, I have zero Transformation Tuesday posts for this week--please take some before and after photos (of anything--before and after a workout, before and after telling your dog he's a good boy, before and after cleaning out a closet... it's interesting, honest!) and send them to me: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. Make sure you include your name and a description of the transformation.

I don't even have a photo to post, so here is a photo of Chick in a box a couple of weeks ago...


I hope everyone had a great weekend! I definitely feel like I need a relaxing weekend before starting the week off at the Secretary of State for Eli's driver's permit tomorrow ;)

May 01, 2021

HERITAGE RECIPE: Sweet Buns

Well, I am pretty sure I messed up this recipe. I debated even posting this, but these were a lot of work. And honestly, they tasted good--I just think I did something wrong because they didn't rise like you would expect of a yeast bread.

This recipe looked interesting to me because of the note on the bottom: "Important: Serve buns with sliced bologna." I'm used to seeing things like, "serve with rice", or "serve over pasta" or thing like that. The bologna was pretty specific and atypical, so I was intrigued!

(As I do with all of the heritage recipes, I typed out the recipe and followed the instructions exactly as-written. Make sure you see my notes after the recipe.)

This recipe was submitted to the Rockwood, Michigan Area Historical Society by Marcella Rapai--it was passed down from her mother, Dora Gaynier, who got it from her mother, Stella Bodenmiller. Stella was born in 1875 and passed away at age 87. She had ELEVEN children; also, 41 grandchildren, 74 great-grandchildren, and 8 great-great-grandchildren at the time she died. I feel like I did a great disservice by messing up this recipe! Haha.

Here is a printer-friendly version!

Sweet Buns

1 c. milk, scalded and cooled
1 cake yeast
1 T. sugar
1/2 c. mashed potatoes
4-1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg

Add yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar to cooled milk. Mix mashed potatoes and 2 cups flour to yeast mixture. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour in a warm place. Blend salt, sugar, shortening and egg. Then add to the yeast mixture and the remaining 2-1/2 cups flour. Knead. Let rise in a warm place, covered, for 2 hours. Grease a cookie sheet and form the dough into 2 or 2-1/2 inch balls and slightly flatten. Let rise again for 1-1/2 hours in warm place. Before baking, rub top of bun with milk and sprinkle a little sugar on top. Bake at 400 F about 20 minutes or until brown. When baked, size will be of a nice hamburger bun. Important: Serve buns with sliced bologna.

My notes:

First, I'd never used scalded milk before, so I had to look that up. In older recipes, before milk was pasteurized, scalding the milk (cooking on the stove until it just starts to steam) killed bacteria. This is likely the reason for the above recipe calling for scalded milk. However, I also read this:

"In bread making, scalding the milk serves a more scientific purpose. The whey protein in milk can weaken gluten and prevent the dough from rising properly. Scalding the milk deactivates the protein so this doesn’t happen." (source)

I scalded the milk and let it cool--it was about room temperature, maybe a little warmer, when I moved on with the recipe.

I'd heard of a cake of yeast before, I didn't know how much yeast that meant. When I googled it, I found that a "cake" was the same as a packet (2-1/4 teaspoons).

For the mashed potatoes, I wasn't sure if I should use just potatoes (cooked and mashed) or "mashed potatoes" (meaning with milk, butter, and salt). After cooking the potatoes and mashing them, I realized that I would have to add something because they were really dry and crumbly. I just mixed in enough milk and butter to make them look like typical mashed potatoes. I let those cool in the fridge.

The other ingredients are self-explanatory.

I've made bread plenty of times, so I know what dough looks like when it rises... and this just wasn't happening. It said to let it rise in a "warm place", and my house wasn't exactly warm (I didn't have the heat on, and the temp was about 64 degrees). It's also possible that I didn't give it enough time to rise--but I'm almost positive I did. I set the stove timer each time I did one of the steps, but I forgot to set it for the last part. Still, the dough didn't really change size at all.

Per the recipe, I rubbed a little milk on them and sprinkled with sugar before baking. When I pulled them out of the oven, the tops didn't really brown, but the bottom looked burned. I was SO bummed! I should have done two batches so that if I burned the first, I could try to salvage the second.

Because the dough didn't rise, the buns came out only slightly bigger than when they went into the oven... but nowhere near the size of a "nice hamburger bun". They were much denser than I expected, too.

When I tasted one, however, it was delicious! I even ate the burned bottom and it wasn't bad--I think it looked worse than it was because the sugar I'd sprinkled had caramelized on the bottom of the pan.


Anyway, I still wanted to try them with bologna. I wasn't sure if I should use cold bologna or if I should fry it (I've never had fried bologna, but I know that people eat it that way). I tasted it both ways, and I think the fried bologna is better. (The only way I ever ate bologna as a kid was spread with ketchup and rolled up--I would exclaim how gross that sounds, but honestly, it's kind of nostalgic! Haha.) The buns were much smaller than the slices of bologna, so I cut the bologna into quarters and layered it on the buns.

I can definitely see why the recipes says to serve with bologna--it was really good! The saltiness of the bologna went perfectly with the sweet buns. I didn't add any condiments or anything--just the bologna on the (sliced) bun. Maybe it's because the buns were so dense, but these were SUPER filling. They were the size of sliders, and I'd planned to eat three, but I could only finish two.

I'm going to try to make these buns again and see if I can get them to rise how they are supposed to. I read a little about how bread recipes with a lot of sugar need more yeast--so maybe I'll try adding more yeast. But still, if this recipe has been around for 150 years, I imagine it's probably already perfected. I may have just messed something up and didn't realize it.

If any of you make the recipe, please let me know how it turned out and if the dough rose like it was supposed to!

April 30, 2021

'Rescued' is the Best Breed!

I was struggling this morning about what to post today because I haven't taken more than a couple of photos this week (and I usually post "Friday Night Photos" on Fridays). Then I saw that today is "National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day"--and I thought I would just bombard the post with photos of Joey, our shelter-rescue dog.

Jerry and I went to the local animal shelter (a.k.a. "the pound") on February 3, 2015--and we left that day with a 1-1/2 year old (estimated age) labrador-chow chow mix. In cutesy terms, that's a "chabrador" or "chowbrador". We had no idea just how much he would change our lives!


We wanted our boys to grow up with a dog and they were at a good age for it (9 and 10 years old). We named him Joey (after Joey Tribiani, to stick with the 'Friends' theme for our pets' names). Joey is truly the BEST dog--he loves to be around his people. He is fantastic with the kids and with our cats (the cats pretty much own him--poor dog!). My parents love to dog sit and my sister said if we ever want to re-home him (we would never!) she would take him in a heartbeat. He is an all-around well-behaved dog and we couldn't have wished for anything better.

When people are thinking of getting a pet, I always suggest checking out the animal shelters. There are so many dogs and cats that need homes--it is heartbreaking to think of all of the unwanted animals waiting for homes.

Out of the 60 million dogs and 75 million cats that are owned in the United States, only 10-20% of them were adopted from a shelter. Here are some more interesting facts about shelter pets (source):

Approximately 8-12 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year and approximately 5-9 million are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats). 

Less than 2% of cats and only 15-20% of dogs are returned to their owners.

25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.

Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. 75% of owned pets are neutered.

It is sobering to hear that 6 out of 10 dogs and 7 out of 10 cats are euthanized every year in shelters. Just because these animals are in a shelter doesn't mean there is something "wrong" with them--there are lots of reasons that pets wind up in the shelter. When I think that Joey could have wound up euthanized, it breaks my heart--he is a fantastic pet!

Clearly, I am very passionate about shelter pets. (My cats did not come from the "shelter", which is why I'm making this post about Joey; Phoebe and Estelle were strays that people were trying to find homes for, and Chick and Duck came from an animal rescue.) I just hope that if you're looking for a pet, you'll check out the shelters first. When you adopt from a shelter, you're saving TWO animals--the pet that you adopt, AND the animal that now has a spot in the shelter.

While I am at it, just a quick fact about spaying/neutering... a female cat can have about 180 kittens in her lifetime. And those kittens can reproduce... and those kittens can reproduce... and so on. In 7 years, that ONE cat and her offspring can total 420,000 cats. (source) Isn't that insane?! So by spaying or neutering your cat, you could be saving hundreds of thousands of cats from winding up in a shelter one day. A quick google search or checking with your local animal shelter can provide you with low-cost spaying and neutering options. The animal shelter is HAPPY to help, because they don't want pets to wind up in the shelter either.

Okay, so on to the fun stuff... pictures of Joey throughout the last six years. Can you believe it's been that long since we adopted him?!









































This last photo is a before and after--the day we adopted him and then about six months later...

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