Preparing Your Dog for Winter

As much as I hate the idea cold weather is coming. While some parts of the world don’t really have much of a winter in Michigan winter means icy cold and lots of snow. Getting the house ready for winter is one job but preparing your dog for winter is something every dog lover should do.

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Bam’s Battered Steak Bites

A long time ago, longer than I like to admit, we took a trip to California. On the way we had a really tasty meal in a tiny diner somewhere out west. I can’t even remember which state we were making out way through at the time but I remember that meal! Battered Steak Bites is my take on that dinner.

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Liebster Award



I am honored to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by
Il bruciacchio

a delightful blog with wonderful recipes!

I began this blog as a way to share what I’ve learned over decades of caring for my family and home. It was my hope that my experience could help other homemakers with creating a warm, inviting, comfortable “coop” for their broods. I write about all the things I do to make my home cozy and a lot of the things that just don’t go as planned.

Although I have not been blogging for very long my advice to my fellow bloggers is to simply enjoy writing your posts. If you’re having fun with your blog people will have fun along with you!

I am nominating the following blogs because I truly enjoy each of them. I only wish I could nominate all of the blogs I love reading!

The Frugal Farm Wife

My Frugal Farmstead

Anna’s Gardening

Make it Ultra Psychology

Edge of Humanity Magazine

Should my nominees wish to accept the nomination, here are the rules.

The rules

1. Write a post to show your award
2. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
3. Give a brief story of why you started blogging
4. Give advice to your fellow bloggers
5. Nominate a few bloggers for the award
6. Leave a comment to let the nominated bloggers know about the award.

If for some reason you do not want to accept the award, it’s completely your decision and I will respect that.

Andi’s Tropical Crunch Chicken


Our son’s girlfriend decided to make us dinner last night. She and our son were stopping by anyway and, after the tomato sauce debacle, she knew I wasn’t able to do much. I felt guilty as she lugged in bags of ingredients but, once I tasted her chicken strips, I got over it. They were wonderfully crunchy and the coconut and orange flavors made her dish like a trip to the Caribbean. Since she didn’t have a name for her chicken I dubbed it Andi’s Tropical Crunch Chicken.

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Attack of the Killer Tomato Sauce

In 1978 a movie entitled “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” was released.  If you haven’t seen this musical and you’re really desperate and willing to just allow silliness to take over your life for about an hour and a half you should rent it. But this post is about a real-life horror story that took place in my own kitchen and nearly cost me my life.

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Fall Maintenance Chores

The thermometer may be telling us it’s still summer but the calendar tells us a different tale. I know it’s hard to think (at least for me) of snowy days and being trapped indoors but that weather will be upon us before we know it. Now is a great time to start your fall home maintenance chores because you won’t get frostbite or have to shovel to get to things that are outside. And getting a jump on indoor chores will help you from getting exhausted right before the holidays.

Here are some things you can do while the weather is still warm:



  • Touch up paint on trim, decks, and railings. Be sure to prime wood before painting. A wire brush is an easy way to remove flaking paint.
  • Schedule fall inspections for your furnace now. The waiting list for inspections will get much longer once there is a real chill in the air.
  • Have your fireplace inspected and the chimney cleaned.
  • Have you central air conditioning unit winterized.
  • Defrost your deep freezer if it isn’t a self-defrosting model.
  • Schedule a professional carpet cleaner. Companies get much busier in the cooler weather and by late October it may be nearly impossible to set a date that works for you. Some companies have sales at this time of year so you can save money and go into the holiday season with clean carpets.
  • Inspect the dryer vent and exhaust tube. Clean out any built up lint and debris. Make sure the vent closes tightly when not being used.
  • Inspect and, if necessary, replace your washer hoses. Look for bulges, cracks, or small splits. Replace these hoses every other year to prevent a disaster!
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Debris in the gutters will make it easier for ice dams to form which can cause damage. You can easily make a gutter cleaner with an empty plastic two liter bottle. Just cut off the bottom of the bottle then cut one side of the bottle to form a scoop shape.



I hope you can see the “scoop” shape of the bottle. Leave the cap on the bottle when you use the scoop. And the heavier the plastic, the better the scoop.

  • Wash interior and exterior windows. You’ll want to get all the sunlight you can during those dark winter months.
  • Check caulk around windows and doors and touch up the areas that need it.
  • Inspect weather stripping around doors and replace as needed. Don’t forget the garage door if you have an attached garage!
  • Drain and store garden hoses and sprinklers.
  • Turn off water to outside spigots. You may even want to install insulating covers on outside spigots.
  • If you have a sprinkler system you should have it blown free of water.
  • Drain the hot water heater and clean out sediment.
  • Clean or replace humidifier elements before you need to turn on the furnace.
  • Change the furnace filter once a month. Your furnace will run more efficiently saving you money and ensuring maximum comfort. Save yourself a trip to the hardware store in winter by purchasing a season’s worth of filters now.
  • Clean and store patio furniture, children’s summer toys, and umbrellas before the weather gets nasty. You’ll be less likely to leave things out if you can do the cleaning while it’s still nice outside.
  • Do one last weeding/clearing of your vegetable and flower gardens. This will make things easier in the spring.

Bam’s Breaded Pork Chops

Yesterday was not a fantastic day. My hands were terribly swollen when I woke up and it took me a while to even be able to make a loose fist. On top of being stiff and sore all over I had a migraine. The only thing I wanted to do was retreat to my bed and feel sorry for myself but I refused. If nothing else I was determined to make a good dinner and thick, juicy pork chops coated in a slightly spicy breading is my idea of a great dinner! It was time for Bam’s Breaded Pork Chops.

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Cleaning with Chronic Pain or Illness

For the past 16 years, 2 months, and 17 days I’ve been in constant pain. I don’t mention this because I feel sorry for myself. It’s just the reality of my life since my spinal cord injury. I used to clean a lot. But cleaning when you have chronic pain or illness requires some adjustments in your thinking.

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Herb Encrusted Roast Leg of Lamb

If you want a meal that will really impress your family and guests then Herb Encrusted Roast Leg of Lamb is the perfect dish. It does take some work but the results are just fabulous! It’s tender, flavorful, and succulent. This is definitely not an after work Wednesday type of dinner!

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Why I Hate Pokemon Go

I’m not entirely sure how much people in cities and suburbs watch out for each other but, out here in the boonies, folks tend to notice anything out of place. Even something as simple as a curtain drawn when it “should” be open or a garbage can out of place may spark an inquiry. It’s not nosiness. People just like to make sure their neighbors aren’t ill or injured. And it’s that level of caring that makes me hate Pokémon Go.

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