The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Funny Flathead Beacon Police Reports! #4 - Holiday Edition.

From the Flat Head Beacon - the "best" of the police blotter - and seriously, this one has got to be the best of them all: 12/20/2011: 9:18 a.m.
A Polebridge man reported that a contractor he had hired thumped a tool in his hand then got this look in his eye, like he’d seen “on television dramas before someone is about to hurt the other person.” The man suggested that deputies run a “mental packet” on the contractor, “rattle his cage” and put a spotlight on him.

12/12/2011

5:38 p.m. A man on Anderson Lane reported that he found three stray horses and two miniature donkeys. He successfully herded them into his pasture.

8:45 p.m. Deputies responded to an incident in a pink trailer involving an excitable mother and daughter. The two were separated after mutually accusing one another of abuse. There was no evidence that anyone was actually abused.

10:01 p.m. The mom from the pink trailer called from her bathroom to report that her daughter was cursing at her and following her around the trailer.


12/13/2011


12:45 p.m. A tenant at a trailer park on Whitefish Stage reportedly saw another tenant steal wood from his neighbor. The accused tenant did not confess, but did offer to give his wood to the neighbor if it would make things right.


3:14 p.m. A woman on First Street West reported that a young, machete-carrying man in a pinstriped jacked beat up her boyfriend.


4:33 p.m. A disgruntled man on North Springwood Road said a young boy ran in front of his vehicle then flipped him off. The man tried to track down the kid but was unsuccessful. 

5:33 p.m. A wolf, or possibly a dog, was seen hanging out at a business in Whitefish.


12/14/2011


3:37 p.m. An employee at the Dollar Tree reported that someone repeatedly grabbed a drill off the shelf and attempted to return it for cash at the front counter. (wow, I didn't realize they sold drills at the dollar store...LOL)


12/15/2011


11:28 a.m. A disappointed mom on Jellison Road in Columba Falls reported that her son brought home a couple of 13-year-old girls.


2:03 p.m. Three dogs habitually gather at a Marion woman’s house and tear up her yard.

4:02 p.m. An obnoxious drunk in a gray hat was refused second helpings at the food bank.

6:34 p.m. A Kalispell woman claimed that a non-English speaking man called numerous times, after being hung up on numerous times, to discuss computer viruses. When she told him she was calling the police he said, “OK, I’ll call you back tomorrow.”

7:52 p.m. Someone reported that their identity was stolen seven years ago.

8:51 p.m. A young, bearded man with strings hanging off his hat was panhandling and trying to sell movies in front of a store on Third Avenue East North.

12/18/2011


2:40 p.m. An unwanted man showed up with a case of beer at a Ranch Lane resident’s house.

9:03 p.m. An intoxicated man from Bigfork reported a possible child abduction he had witnessed earlier that day at the dump. He claimed he saw three children that didn’t look anything like the woman they were with. He also said that he attempted to give the children some Lincoln Logs that he had found while dumpster diving, which angered the woman. He had no other pertinent information.

12/19/2011

1:26 p.m. Someone in Columbia Falls successfully broke up a dog fight with a stick.

8:11 p.m. Someone in Whitefish called 911 to report seeing a woman who smelled of alcohol buy more alcohol. The caller didn’t know if the woman had been driving, but assumed so anyway.

9:16 p.m. A man reported that he was hit by a bus last June

12/20/2011

9:18 a.m. A Polebridge man reported that a contractor he had hired thumped a tool in his hand then got this look in his eye, like he’d seen “on television dramas before someone is about to hurt the other person.” The man suggested that deputies run a “mental packet” on the contractor, “rattle his cage” and put a spotlight on him.

9:24 a.m. A Hungry Horse resident complained that the neighbors built an offensive, anatomically accurate snowman in their front yard. The snowman has since been modified.

2:22 p.m. The freshman at the Bigfork High School lost his marijuana to the principle after making a failed attempt to take it to school.


9:23 p.m. An angry, intoxicated man calling from Fourth Avenue East reported that the neighbor woman was beating her screaming children so loudly that is was “screwing up” his movie. No beatings actually took place, the kids were just loud.
 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lance Lewsader - Super Creep

More from Lance Lewsader (Shellie Ross's brother who apparently thinks it's okay that she abandoned her young children, skipped out on child support for over 12 years and was finally arrested because she owed almost 50,000 to her one of her sons - meanwhile she went on to have 3 other kids and lives in a half million dollar home...) who thinks I'm way worse than Shellie for telling Zach Teegardins story (the son she abandoned, see his interview here). Anyway, Lance set up a blog where he posted total untruths about me. It's actually laughable because he believes he's such a detective but he has no clue what he's talking about. 
Lance was posting and tweeting constantly about me, and was stupid enough to mention he was AT WORK while doing it. A quick call to his company and miraculously, the blog was shut down and he made his Twitter private. I'd been advised to take screen shots and print out everything and give copies to the proper authorities so if there was any trouble, there would be records. And the sheer number of creepy comments he left on my blogs about Shellie that showed just what a wack job he is  - maybe instead of attacking me, he should funnel his energy into convincing Shellie to step up to the plate and take responsibility for ALL her children.   Here is just a snippet of his ramblings:












Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Funny Flathead Beacon Police Reports! #4

More serious crime happening in Flathead Valley Montana...


12/7/2011


10:44 p.m. A lumberjack looking man and another man were cut off and kicked out of a bar on Highway 35 in Kalispell. They stood outside the bar and argued until a deputy sent them home.

11:39 p.m. An employee at a Main Street hotel reported that drunken man wearing a “gopher hat” was getting into the complimentary hot chocolate and refusing to leave. 

12/8/2011


9:30 a.m. A man on Concord Drive claimed that his wife might call in and say he slammed her hand in the door and that if she does, it’s not true.
 
2:14 p.m. Two men were harassing each other via Facebook. 

12/11/2011


7:28 a.m. A 5-year-old boy wanted to explain that his cat “just ate poop.”

8:58 a.m. A woman on Fifth Avenue East found a note on her door that said “your house has been watched tonight by the creeps.”

12:11 p.m. Reportedly, a woman on Highway 35 in Kalispell called someone a “sourpuss.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Cookies n Cream Pretzel Fudge, Bitches!!!

I wish I could take credit for this...but the credit goes to Shugary Sweets - who you should check out if your waistline is brave enough (screw it, it's the holidays, right?)
Cookies 'n Cream Pretzel Fudge Recipe:

2 cup sugar
½ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup margarine
12 large marshmallows
12 oz milk chocolate morsels
1 oz baking chocolate
24 Oreo cookies, crushed
2 cup pretzels, broken
12 oz vanilla bark, melted
In large saucepan, bring to a boil the sugar, milk, vanilla and margarine. Continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking chocolate, milk chocolate and marshamallows. Stir until smooth (several minutes). Fold in ¾ of crushed oreos, and ¾ of broken pretzels.
Pour chocolate mixture into a foil lined jelly roll pan that has been buttered.
Pour melted vanilla bark over chocolate. Sprinkle remaining cookies and pretzels over white chocolate. Refrigerate until set. Cut and enjoy! Store in covered container in refrigerator. Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lance A. Lewsader

Lance A Lewsader works - claims to be Shellie's brother. 

UPDATE: Shellie is still in jail and waiting extradition to Ohio. I'm really hoping Zach and his father get the back child support they are owed and it will be a great Christmas for them.

On Lance - several concerned people have contacted me about his "threats" on his Twitter account @Gdogg007 and the other things he has been saying about me. (A few days after his company was made away that he was tweeting while at work, he made his Twitter account private.)

I appreciate your concern - but it is being handled - I don't respond to him not because  I'm 'afraid' - but because I was advised not to.

For those of you who don't know the story, Lance A. Lewsader claims to be Shellie's brother,( if so, there is yet another secret life Shellie is harboring because no one seems to know anything about her having ANY brothers or sisters) who valiantly tries to defend a mother who abandoned her children and owes 50,000 back child support - this remind me of the sayings:
 Show me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are - and - Birds of a feather flock together...

If I should die horribly in a violent accident, please note that Shellie Ross's "brother" posted this on CustomFighters.com - he goes by the name Lance A. Lewsader and the handle: GDogg007 and works at EMC Corporation in Arkansas (as he mentions in his Linkedin profile AND on his Myspace page and on Google Circles)

http://www.customfighters.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52321 (this thread was since removed - but I still have all the screen shots - and I mean ALL of them - too numerous to post here)

From his post, I learned that DIAF - means "Die In A Fire."

In a few of the responses he received, someone called "thaorleanyte" suggested DDOS - Dirt Digging - I had no idea what that meant either, but have since been taught it means "denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users." Which is a crime. 





And also, just in *case* I do wind up in a horrible accident (or die in a fire) I do have screen shots and copies of what Lance and his  fine upstanding citizens suggested in order to make me 'go away.'

Since it seems Lance can't spell correctly and obviously doesn't comprehend things very well, I'll say this one more time: Shellie was on her cell phone Tweeting when she should have been watching Bryson -that's why he drowned. Then she blamed it on her older son, saying he was supposed to be watching him. Shellie owes back child support - over 50,000 for a son that she abandoned when he was 6 years old, a son that she has completely ignored and not even bothered telling her new husband about. She was arrested because she owes that money. Shellie lives in a half million dollar house (which SHE proudly posted pictures of all over the internet) - yet still refuses to pay her back child support.


 Shellie Ross's "brother" Lance A. Lewsader (GDogg007) wrote this on CustomFighters.com


"So this chick named Laura Freed in New Jersey can DIAF. She has made it her personal crusade to harass my older sister and make sure her personal life is made as public as humanly possible. Even has gone so far as to post up pictures of her home and the inside of her home. (Be careful when ya list your home if ya ever do. Those pictures don't go away.)

The reason this bitch has done this? Because 2 years ago my nephew drowned in a pool. She was on twitter after it happened asking for family and friends to pray for Bryson. (I see nothing wrong with that.) However this bitch went on Nancy Grace (that bitch can DIAF too) and blasted my sister as irresponsible.

Long long story short Laura Free is a useless wart on the ass of society who needs to die horribly in a violent accident." 



And then one of the replies: 
From gsf1200R


"do I need to drive somewhere and make someone shit their pants again?"

Funny Flathead Beacon Police Reports! #3

More Police Reports From the Flathead Beacon!

On 12/4/2011

12:32 p.m. A man on Wettington Drive thinks that his ex has been creeping around and that his neighbor might allow her to hide at their house.


On 12/6/2011
2:32 p.m. A Columbia Falls man claimed that his ex-girlfriend stole his spare key. She had no problem giving it back.


6:58 p.m. A Hungry Horse woman reported that her unregistered “dropped down low” baby blue pickup truck had been stolen and that it probably didn’t have enough gas in it to make it around the block. Someone else reported that the same woman also lost her 3-year-old child and that she was shooting her “snub-nosed” pistol at someone’s house. The child was found and fine, but the baby blue truck is still missing.


3:01 a.m. A Kalispell woman claimed that her druggy, abusive son came over and stole her dog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Funny Flathead Beacon Police Reports!

From the Flathead Beacon Police Blotter in Montana:

12/1/2011

10:33 a.m. A basset hound was spotted moseying down Ezy Road.


3:48 p.m. The owner of a Kalispell store claimed that a man with droopy drawers threatened to hit her if she didn’t “shut up.”


7:53 p.m. The owner of a trailer park on Jellison Road in Columbia Falls reported that an intoxicated man was urinating in the road and driving drunkenly through her park. She wanted to enact a citizen’s arrest. 


7:59 p.m. Reportedly, a weird woman knocked on a Short Court woman’s door and asked if she needed her carpet vacuumed. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Funniest Police Blotter Stories EVER! From Flathhead Valley Montana.

Sometimes we dream about moving to a place where there isn't a murder every night and you don't have to worry about Lethal Flash Mobs attacking you in the middle of the day.

Montana has come up a few times - and I've been reading their local weekly newspaper to get an idea of what life in the West is like - and uh - these are directly from the police blotter of Flathead Valley as reported in the Flathead Beacon - these are SERIOUSLY FUNNY (at least to someone like me where murder, rape, and robbery is almost a daily occurrence in Philly). I wouldn't mind living in a place where crimes like these occur:

From the Flathhead Beacon Police Blotter

11/30/2011

4:37 p.m. Three destructive canyon kids kicked in a wall at the maze. They were caught and left to the mercy of their parents.

11:28 a.m. Someone saw a man walking through the trees near Bruyer Way Loop dragging a leash with nothing on the end of it.


3:58 p.m. A 15-year-old girl was offended by some lewd comments posted on her Facebook page.


9:21 p.m. An intoxicated Somers man reported that his angry wife literally had him “by the balls” for the second time that evening. He did not need medical assistance and the two were separated for the night.


11/29/2011


2:09 p.m. A loose calf tried to make friends with a woman walking down Trumble Creek Road. It was taken home.


8:00 p.m. A woman on Ridgewood Drive reported that her granddaughter’s mother wouldn’t return her cable box.


11/28/2011


2:15 p.m. Two men argued loudly about scriptures in an alley near Second Avenue West.



4:19 p.m. A woman on Liberty Street reported that a man threw a pile of dog “doo doo” on her car and told her that she was the rightful owner of the doo.

4:20 p.m. An awkward situation involving a man straddling a woman laying on a sidewalk was witnessed in Evergreen.

7:00 p.m. Reportedly, people have been living in their truck at the Burger King parking lot for the last year. The caller considered allowing them to move into his guest house.

8:35 p.m. Someone from the Whitefish train depot called in to discuss a strange man with a comb-over who was chanting about train safety.


11/27/2011


1:29 p.m. A Rottweiler that appeared “bold” and a small white dog were seen running down Foys Lake Road.

5:21 p.m. Someone called in to discuss the person they saw at a hotel on Highway 93 South who may or may not be an officer.

11/24/2011

11:37 a.m. A dad on Wyoming Street said a pit bull was circling his children. He yelled at the dog and it ran off.

3:14 p.m. A janitor, who thought he was alone in a Kalispell store, heard strange noises over the intercom.

6:40 p.m. A big dirty truck was seen swerving down Highway 2 West.

10:37 p.m. A Kalispell woman reported that her roommate’s mom stopped by and, for unknown reasons, attacked her. She left shortly after and could most likely be found at Walmart.  (OMG - this is one of the best!!!)

11/22/2011

11:59 a.m. A woman from Hungry Horse claimed that her estranged husband went and married another woman.

8:28 p.m. A gas station employee complained that a drunk was tooling around in the bathroom.

11/21/2011

9:37 p.m. A small intoxicated man wearing “Nintendo pants” was seen crying in a bar on Highway 35 in Kalispell.

11/20/2011

10:32 a.m. A Kalispell resident reported that two happy chocolate labs were in his yard and wouldn’t leave.

11:29 p.m. A woman on Halfmoon Flats near Columbia Falls reported that she had been sitting in her vehicle, afraid to get out, for the last 20 minutes because an unfamiliar dog was lurking around nearby. She decided to make a run for it.

12:25 a.m. A bartender in Martin City asked for assistance with a big, bald man who drunkenly claimed to own the bar and refused to leave. He was napping on the floor when officers arrived. 

5:16 a.m. Two kids were standing on Highway 35 in Kalispell videotaping each other. The caller suspected they were on drugs.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles! Best Christmas Cookie EVER!!!

One of the BEST CHRISTMAS COOKIES EVER!!!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles!

You can make these without using the mint and just do regular chocolate chip also.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1/3 cup milk or vanilla soy milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (OR mini mint chocolate chips)
14 oz white chocolate chips
3/4 cup crushed candy canes
DIRECTIONS:
Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk vanilla, peppermint. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
When dough is firm enough to handle form dough into 1" balls (I use a mini cookie scooper) and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
Melt white chocolate in microwave. Place in bowl and heat for 1 minute 30 seconds, stopping after 60 seconds to stir. After time is up, stir some more until the whole thing is melted.  Using teaspoons , dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.  Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 
These are so fantastic!
I also made a batch using Andes Peppermint Crunch (which I found in Walmart). Instead of the white chocolate, I melted down the Andes Peppermint Crunch and used that. Has that distinctive Andes Candy taste and the coating was a festive Christmas pink! SO GOOD!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Grinch Martini


It's the Grinch Martini, Christmas Bitches!!!

So good, so good, so good!

2 oz Midori
2 oz Pinnacle Gummy (tastes like Swedish Fish!)
candy cane and red sugar for garnish
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake well.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass decorated with red sugar. 
Garnish w candy cane. Chill the hell out and enjoy Christmas!
***note - I've been hearing that people can't find Pinnacle Gummy Vodka - you can always use Pinnacle Cake or Whipped vodka as a sub - I think it would taste just as fabulous!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bourbon and Bacon Chex Mix - The Ultimate Party Pleaser!


Bacon and Bourbon Chex Mix
1 bag (15 oz) Chex Mix® traditional snack mix
1 cup pecan halves
½ lb bacon (6 to 8 slices), crisply cooked and crumbled
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tsp. Chinese Five Spice

Heat oven to 300°F. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix snack mix, pecans and bacon. Set aside.
In 2-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around edges. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Cool 2 minutes. Carefully stir in bourbon and Chinese 5 Spice. Pour over snack mixture; toss until evenly coated.
Spread snack mixture on pans. Bake 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to caramelize mixture. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Break into pieces. Store covered in refrigerator.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas Chex Mix - White Chocolate and Peppermint Crunch

Super Easy - and you can always add red/green M&M's too...


6 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups)
1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy canes (14 miniature, unwrapped)

Line cookie sheet with foil or waxed paper. Place cereal in large bowl.
In microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on High about 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth. Stir in half the crushed peppermint candy.
Pour over cereal; toss to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with remaining candy. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes. Gently break up coated cereal. Store in airtight container.
Makes 20 servings (1/2 cup each)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cream Cheese Filled Snickerdoodles!

Oh yeah. I couldn't wait to make these little treasures.
Guess what? They turned out to be BASTARDS!
I won't post the recipe because, well, it didn't work for me at all.
A) The dough was so sticky, it was impossible to flatten and then roll into a ball as called for in the recipe. Perhaps by chilling the dough first and/or adding more flour might work.
B) Though they came out looking ok and tasted awesome, by the next morning, the cream cheese had dissolved into the cookie. Perhaps refrigeration would stop this from happening.

Bottom Line: They are a great quirky idea but for now, I'm totally happy just staring at the photo!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

BabyCakes Hot Buttered Rum Tailgate Cupcakes!



Fall weather has me thinking of hot buttered rum...but in cupcake form! I used my Babycakes mini cupcake maker for this recipe - but you can bake these like you would regular cupcakes!
I didn't slather the frosting on, and it looks a bit naked - but I swear they would be a fun food to warm up to a tailgate party!

HOT BUTTERED RUM (BabyCakes) CUPCAKES WITH ORANGE RUM FROSTING
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch schnapps 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice (if you don't have, use nutmeg or double the cinnamon)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat Babycake Mini Cupcake Maker
  2. Mix oil and sugar for one minute - add egg and mix for another minute. 
  3. Stir in rum and schnapps. 
  4. In medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
  5. Add the flour mixture slowly, beating just until combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into BabyCakes maker and Babycake it for 6-7 minutes. 
  7. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
***I seriously think this would be REALLY good with some crumbled bacon mixed in. The bacon and rum would really compliment each other - and maybe instead of an orange frosting I might go with a maple frosting....

For the frosting - I made an orange butter cream using subbing rum instead of milk. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Melt Down - Grilled Cheese Fabudelish

















So, I take my friend Darin out for his birthday and sparing NO EXPENSE I took him to the Melt Down because I was eager to try it. I mean, am I a gre
at friend or what?
Let's start with the good news.
I had
the Signature Sliders - a smaller (but totally filling) version of their most
popular sandwiches: The Baja (LOVED IT), BLT (eh. Fine, but didn't really SING with bacon), and the Cheesy Caprese. The Caprese has balsamic vinegar on it, and I am a freakishly in love with BV, so I really enjoyed that. The dipping sauces were okay - fun but didn't make or break the sandwiches. I also had a cup of bacon corn chowder. YES! It was fabulous! Smokey bacon and sweet corn flavor. I was seriously full HOWEVER, I HAD TO TRY the signature grilled ice cream sandwich. I thought I'd just have a bite since I ate ALL my lunch and didn't want to overdo it, but, um, yeah, I ate the whole fking thing. It was fabulous!
Darin had the ham and cheddar melt, which he said was really good, except that it has rosemary butter and the rosemary was just a bit overpowering.
Oh, the sodas are awesome! They are natural (if there is such a thing) and come from New Hope Premium Fountain. I had the watermelon creme, which was not only delish, but it was pink. Way cool. I also tried the Skinny Root Beer and it, too, was great.
Oh, the girl who waited on us, besides being super cute, she was super sweet.
Now, the thing that kept this from 5 stars.
I just didn't dig the interior vibe. The yellow walls and red furniture made me feel like I was in a junior high cafeteria that had just a massive mustard/ketchup food fight. And it's quite small.
Since Grilled Cheese is a comfort food, Darin made the observation the place should feel cozy, and it lacked warmth.
But, I can't say enough about the creativity and fun aspect of the food - not to mention it was really delish!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jacks Dog Farm - Tops The Happy List

We "stopped" by Jack's Dog Farm not planning to purchase a puppy, however, when we laid our eyes on 3 little chocolate labs, I was smitten.
And you can see from my photo of Jack Henry, he is totally adorable!
The kennels that the dogs were kept in were very clean, all had fresh paper and fresh water. There were German Shepherds (adorable!!) and many other breeds (they are known for their Jack Russell terriers I later found out).
Jeremy came out to help us almost immediately. He was very kind and helpful and didn't pressure us in anyway. (Like we needed any extra help - we knew we were doomed as soon as we held the first puppy!).
I did notice a bit of a cough and Jeremy sent us home with meds just in case. Jack Henry came with papers and had already received the vaccinations that were due.
Once we got home, I became concerned about the cough. We'd just lost our dog Diablo unexpectedly, and I had "new mom" syndrome and panicked because of the recent loss of Diablo so I took him to our vet, Ark Animal, which happens to be the same vet Jeremy uses. They put Jack on a round of antibiotics and when I called Jeremy to let him know, he paid for the whole vet bill and was very very professional and kind. We later heard from many friends that new puppies and or rescues they'd gotten from either other breeders or shelters often had the same thing. I met other people who'd bought their dogs there and 2 had dogs that were fabulously healthy, awesome dogs, and one person said her puppy had been sick but that they also took care of the vet bills and now her Boxer is happy healthy and wonderful.
When I talked to Jeremy after Jack went to the vet, he gave me the name and number of a person who had bought a puppy from the same litter a few days before, in case I wanted reassurance. I think, it's not unreasonable to expect that a new puppy from any breeder might not be in tip top health - crap happens! What SHOULD be expected is for the business to work with the customer to remedy the situation - which Jeremy at Jacks Dog Farm absolutely did. Keep in mind too, if you call someone to complain and start off the conversation with a bad attitude, it doesn't help the situation. You should expect to be treated the same way you are treating the other person.
After I got home, I did some research on Jacks Dog Farm and read some horribly written reviews - I know animal people are passionate and sometimes over the top - and I think that Jacks might have been targeted by these crazy over the top people - and from the way they can barely piece a sentence together, I find it hard to believe they can afford to pay for a pure bred dog.
If you are thinking about going to Jack's Dog Farm, please, just stop by and see for yourself!
Also, Jack Henry's temperament is AWESOME! Every time we take him out (to kids soccer games/field hockey/the park) - everyone compliments how laid back and easy going he is!
We're so happy with him and I give Jack's Dog Farm 5 Stars for such a wonderful dog and 5 Stars for the way they handled our situation.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ark Animal Hospital - Best Vet in Bucks County!

Diablo

My Australian Cattle Dog Diablo HATED going to the vet, so we went once to Ark Animal Hospital and went to outdoor clinics for his rabies updates (he tolerated these slightly better). Then Diablo decided to lunge at the tires of a dump truck while we were waiting to cross the street and I rushed him to Ark Animal. I can't even begin to tell you how caring and compassionate the staff was. From the receptionist to the techs to the doctors. Diablo is no longer with us and we miss him terribly but  we have a chocolate lab puppy now- who had a case of kennel cough and pneumonia and so we've REALLY got to know the staff at Ark Animal and they are all truly wonderful. From calling to make an appointment, to the clean and spacious office, and as an added bonus, I love the Ark Animal pets that wander around - esp. Zander the Cattle Dog.
Jack Henry
If you are looking for caring, kind, gregarious, and thorough animal hospital, this is the place for you and those with fur in your family.
***also of note- my daughter (8 years old at the time) - spotted a bunny on the road that had been horribly injured and was barely breathing. She insisted we take it to the vet so we took it to Ark Animal where they graciously stopped it's suffering. Hearing that my daughter wanted to be a vet one day, they offered to give her a tour of the hospital which she loved and appreciated.
Ark Animal truly goes above and beyond the call of animal duty!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bourbon Cranberry Jalapeno Bites - Babycakes Pie Pop maker

Getting my hair done at Blue tomorrow. Since Lynda has departed for a gig in the city, I'm going to be trying out a  new stylist. The reasonable thrifty part of me says since Lynda left, maybe I should try to find a local place to get my hair done instead of traveling 40 minutes to Huntingdon Valley. But the other part of me says FUCK THAT - Will and his crew are so fantastic - and do so much to help the community. It's totally worth the drive.
Anyway - I'll be bringing a dozen of the Bourbon Cranberry Jalapeno bites I made with my Babycakes pie pop maker.
If. They. Make. It. Until. Tomorrow.

I made this recipe up on the fly - if you don't have a Babycakes pie pop maker, you can make them using a small cookie cutter and cookie sheet. I'm terrible at writing down recipes - so if you are a person that needs absolute specifics - you might want to skip this...

Bourbon Cranberry Jalapeno Pastry Bites
(makes about 18)
12 oz fresh cranberries
3/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
some orange zest
Few shakes of Chinese 5 Spice
18 small pieces of pickled jalapeno
Puff Pastry Sheet (thawed)

Mix liquids and sugar in sauce pan - bring to a boil.
Lower heat and add cranberries, orange zest and Chinese 5 Spice

Let cook for about 10-13 minutes. Stir a few times.  You should hear cranberries popping.
Remove from heat, let cool.
Once cool, use immersion blender to make into a jam like consistency.

Roll out puff pastry sheet until very thin and then cut out your pie pops (or, if you don't have a machine, use small cookie cutter).

I place the bourbon cranberry mixture into a Ziploc bag and squeezed a small amount into the middle of the pastry - top with small piece of jalapeno- then top with another pastry round and follow pie pop directions.

After they were done, I basted them with a simple syrup solution and sprinkled on white sugar crystals.

This has it all - booze, tartness, sweetness, heat, all wrapped up in a little bitty tiny pastry - it's absolutely perfect!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Smitten With Babycakes

I had 2 coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond that were going to expire so I popped in thinking I'd load up on Keurig Coffee - and there, right next to the display was a babycakes mini pie maker. WHATTTTTTTTTT??!!!
Recently, I've been obsessed with pies thanks to Lisa who is the pie queen, and Ella Kinsella, author of the SouthernPied Serial.
As much as I love to make pies, I love to experiment with flavors my family does not appreciate: sweet potato and bacon; pecan bourbon and bacon; pecan, cranberry, bacon (do  you see a theme here?).
I could make one small pie just for myself, but it seemed ridiculous to heat up the oven for just one little pie - and then in to my life walked the babycakes mini pie maker!
It makes 4 mini pies in about 10 minutes. This is awesome because now my family can have there boring apple pie, and I can have jalapeno, apple, and bacon pie!
I had a second 10.00 off 30.00$ coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond, so of course, I had to buy the babycake mini cupcake maker too! It makes 8 cupcakes at a time, but can also be used for mini pies (the difference is the mini cupcake maker makes pies that can be eaten in 2 bites, vs the mini pie maker makes pies that take about 4/5 bites to eat).

When I arrived home, I immediately went to work. Though I'm usually all about homemade, I cheated and bought ready made pie crust and canned fruit/pudding fillings because I wanted to experiment. After I was finished, I jumped on the internet  to find more ideas about what I could make and also, to read reviews (I rarely buy something without reading reviews) and then discovered babycakes had a 'pie pop' maker - in which you can make  pie on a stick. 
WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!
I discovered Kohls carries this (Bed Bath & Beyond didn't carry it as of this writing) and well, hello, I've tried making pie on stick myself and had okay results, but suddenly, I was intrigued - if this machine could make it easier, why the heck not -also it was on sale at Kohl's (24.99) - if that's not a sign, I don't know what is.
grilled cheese bites
But by the time I bought the pie pop maker, I'd already made an assortment of pies (and Nutella truffles dipped in caramel for a Halloween party), had cleaned the kitchen and also ran out of dough. So instead, I made a quick batch of mini grilled cheese rounds and they were fun, easy, and very tasty. There are so many different things you can make with ALL the babycakes makers - from quesadillas to scones to calzones to ravioli - not just for cupcakes/muffins/pies.
I took pictures of my first babycakes adventure. Keep in mind, it was my first time;  they don't look beautiful, but they tasted wonderful!
With the mini cupcake maker - banana chocolate pudding pies (topped later with whip cream), apple caramel pie.
Using the mini pie maker - I made lemon pie and for me - apple, bacon, cheddar pie.
Using the pie pop maker - I made mini grilled cheese (these would be really fun for a party served with various dipping sauces!).
These babycakes makers are really fun, easy to clean, and perfect for the family that has different tastes.
Of course, I did end up also buying some coffee from my Keurig - because nothing compliments pie like a fresh hot cup of coffee!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Puppy Dog Surprise. Welcome Jack Henry!

The house was so empty with Dibalo being gone, and since I work from home, the silence was overwhelming. All I could do was stare at all the places he claimed as his own; the space next to my desk, the spot at the front door, in front of the fireplace. I couldn't focus on getting anything done - no writing, no reading, no cooking, no baking, no EATING! I didn't even feel like Pintersting! I had sworn the day after Diablo died, I would not ever want another dog. And then a few days later, I opened the computer and started searching for dogs. And this seemed to be the only thing that got my mind off Diablo. John said "Wait a month." I said, "I need something to distract me - and the only thing that's going to distract me is a new dog." And so...he said he was going to get me an iPad as a birthday/Christmas present, but if I'd rather have a dog, he'd give that to me instead.
After breakfast at the Cross Keys Diner Tuesday, we went to Jack's Dog Farm and picked out a chocolate lab pup. I named him Bob (though for some reason, the few people we told about Bob, kept calling him Jack - and we kind of liked that name too). We decided to surprise Katie with him and the staff at Cutter's Mill is so awesome, I called and talked to Kayla who said they would love to help us surprise Katie. They made up a dog tag that said "I Belong To Katie Freed" and John arrived just before opening on Saturday morning with "Bob" (who would later become Jack Henry - or "Just Jack"). Katie and I arrived at Cutter's Mill (they always have dog events there, so seeing a dog inside Cutter's Mill is not surprising!). Rich, the manager, was holding Bob/Jack and we asked to see him. I asked if I could video tape him and he said "sure" - and then I asked Katie to read the dog tag and that's when she discovered that the adorable chocolate lab was our new pup. "I call him Bob - but we were thinking about the name Jack," I said. "Jack. For sure," Katie said. And so that's that. Though we miss Diablo terribly and he fills a place in our heart that no one will ever replace, he'd surely want us to fill the empty house with love and laughter again. Thanks to everyone who called, sent flowers, cards, emails, and left comments. Animal lovers are a special kind of people and John, Katie, and I were so touched. And Thank You to Rich and Kayla at Cutter's Mill in Chalfont! "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~Ben Williams

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If Only...Goodbye To Dog Diablo

If only…
If only I’d have taken Hellberg Avenue instead of Hillcrest Avenue.
If only I’d have waited five minutes later before lacing up my shoes and getting the dog leash off the counter.
If only I’d have held that leash and that dog tight by my side…
Mondays for me, have always been a favorite day. A day of beginnings – “start the diet on Monday” – “start writing a new book on Monday” – “start working out on Monday” – but on Monday, the 26th of September, it was a day for endings.
Almost every day I walk my dog Diablo – a crazy energetic loving Australian Cattle Dog with the softest coat of fur you’ve ever felt in your life. We walk for at least 60 minutes. I change up our route, but I’m sure everyone who lives by us in Chalfont has seen us pass by them at one point or another in the last 4 years. Diablo even got me kicked out of Manhattan Bagel – I used to stop in for a morning bagel and I’d bring Diablo in – it was only for a few minutes – and one employee chastised me in front of everyone in the store! A year later however, the owner approached me and apologized and said Diablo and I were welcome at any time.  Because seriously, he knew how awesome Diablo was.
Almost every day we walked to North Branch Park, and if no other dogs were around, I’d let Diablo off leash and he’d roll in the big mud puddles, he’d swim in the creek, he loved to run but would always turn around once he got too far away and he’d run right back to me.
My family has many crazy memories of Diablo – me jumping in the creek to save him, Diablo running so fast, he ran sideswiped my legs and knocked me to the ground. Diablo biting another dog at North Branch Park –who happened to be a police K9 – who happened to be a police K9 who works with the same department John & Thor work for! It was an oddly random surreal incident – as we had never encountered Ed and Bo at the park before that day. There was Diablo jumping out of the car when we were driving! There was the time I went to a vet clinic to get him his rabies shot and he again, knocked me over and I landed, in front of about 100 people waiting in a long line, on my ass and hurt my coccyx bone. It literally took about 4 months to heal. And when John and I came back from Australia – Diablo was fine when we brought him home from the kennel, but then the next day – he was limping so bad he couldn’t walk. John thought we should rush him to the vet and I said, “How could he have gotten hurt? He was fine yesterday! Running and jumping. Fine last night. Let’s just wait.” Then at 5 pm the pizza delivery guy rings the doorbell, and Diablo, smelling a stranger with food, miraculously is healed and runs to the door, jumping up to greet the stranger. His injury had been an act – a big “FK You” for leaving me for 9 days! Yep, that’s our Diablo.
Diablo was afraid of paper. When I sat at my desk filing papers or I took down a binder full of notes about the book I was working on, he would run out of the room and up the stairs. Maybe to him the rattling of paper was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.
And of course, he always tried to attack the vacuum cleaner. A dog ‘therapist’ whom I met at a party once told me that dogs attack the vacuum because the dog thinks the vacuum is attacking the person vacuuming – therefore he is trying to protect me. I don’t know, I just think it’s because Diablo was crazy like that.
He also tried to attack cars. Not often, but there have been a few times in the last four years where we’d be walking and all of a sudden, he pulls at the leash and tries to lunge at a car. So, usually, when I’m walking with him along Limekiln pike, close to the road, I have the leash shored up to keep him tight by my side.
And this is where it all went wrong on Monday morning.
We were waiting to cross Hillcrest and Limekiln pike. There isn’t a sidewalk there, so you have to stand on the side of the road, but there’s a small shoulder.
Diablo and I have a routine downpat. When it comes time to cross the road I say “Wait,” and he sits and looks up at me.  Then when it’s clear, I say, “Go!” and we run across the street  - actually – usually it’s him pulling me across the street.
Diablo sat and looked at me. Some cars drove by. And then a large dump truck – the kind with wheels as tall as I am roared by.  
It happened in a split second.
Diablo lunged at the truck, trying to attack the wheels. Look Diablo, you’re a crazy tough mother fucker, but you’re not gonna win, little D.
He was thrown back to the side of the road. Or maybe I pulled the leash to bring him back. I don’t remember.
I do remember that he started seizing and blood was everywhere.
I lost it. Crying. Panicking.  I thought he was dying right before my eyes. And, in essence, he was. People stopped to help.
And some kind old man who was trying to tell me Diablo had just bit his tongue.
I remember sobbing, “Won’t someone please just help me. Please take us to the vet.” I said it over and over because it seemed like forever.
And then Diablo got up! He ran away! He was alive. And running! 2 people offered take us to the vet. I ended up going with Ian, because he had put the floormats on the seat of his car and even though I was sick about Diablo, I was worried about getting blood all over a stranger’s car.
Diablo seemed almost ok. Ian drove me down the street to my house. I quickly gave him stuff to clean out his car and then rushed Diablo to the vet.
John had been working but thank god they let him leave and come home after I called to tell him about the accident.  I was so appreciative to have him there. I couldn’t imagine being alone. 
The vet told us Diablo had suffered terrible damage to his head. Though they felt they could fix him, it would take much time, much money, many visits to the vet (Diablo HATES the vet), there were no guarantees, and his quality of life would be compromised.
We made the decision to send him to that great big bacon boneyard in the sky. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.
They brought him in, he was full of muscle relaxers so he laid on a towel on the floor, and John and I cried as we told him how much we loved him, how much Katie loved him, how we would miss him, how much joy he brought to us in the last 4 years. I got on the floor and lay beside him, his breathing slowed as we talked to him – he knew we were there.
And then the vet injected him and we watched as his chest rose and fell for the last time.
It. Was. Just. Heartbreaking.
John and I sat outside the rest of the day, drinking wine and beer (John) and cranberry whisky (me) and talking about Diablo until the sky grew dark and our eyes were red from endless tears and our chests hurt from laughing at Diablo’s funny moments and from crying because of heartache.
At the vet, I requested to take home his leash and slept with it curled up in my hand close to my heart.
I know, I know, he’s just ‘a dog’ to some people, but to us, to people who treasure their pets, they will understand why, 2 days later, I still can’t stop crying.
And I can’t stop thinking – if I’d have taken a different route – if I’d have waiting one minute later to leave the house – if I’d have held that leash and kept Diablo right by side – and that’s the lesson in there.  If I can save just one pet – if someone reads this and remembers this story and makes sure to have their dog firmly by their side when crossing a road – well, some good might come out of this heartbreak.
Diablo, there is an emptiness in the house and in our hearts – no one could ever replace you. You were amazing and funny and my best friend always by my side for 4 years.  I am so sorry I let you down. I would give anything, anything, to re-live that morning – I’d give anything to have a ‘do over.’
I do know though, that you had an incredible 4 years of walks, runs, swimming, Frisbee catching, bike riding, bacon, and belly rubs.
Thank you for bringing so much happiness to our lives. We love you and miss you and there will never, ever, be another Diablo. I’d say Rest In Peace, but knowing Diablo, I’ll have to say, “Run Forever In The Sunshine, Our Little Devil Dog.”