Tuesday, October 25, 2011

12 Tips for a Well Behaved Dog


I) Start training your puppy early on. While old dogs can be taught new tricks, what's learned earliest, is often learned quickest and easiest. Moreover, the older the dog, the more bad habits will likely need to be "un-learned". When it comes to raising and training a dog, an ounce of problem prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure!

2) Train your dog gently and humanely, and whenever possible, teach him using positive, motivational methods. Keep obedience sessions upbeat so that the training process is enjoyable for all parties involved. If training your pooch is a drudgery, rev things up a bit, and try the "playtraining" approach: incorporate constructive, non-adversarial games (such as "Go Find", "Hide 'n' Seek", retrieving, etc.) into your training sessions.

3) Does your dog treat you like "hired help" at home? Does he treat you like a human gymnasium when you're sitting on the furniture? Does he beg at the table? Jump up on visitors? Demand your attention by annoying you to death? Ignore your commands? How well your dog responds to you at home affects his behavior outdoors as well. If your dog doesn't respond reliably to commands at home (where distractions are relatively minimal), he certainly won't respond to you properly outdoors where he's tempted by other dogs, pigeons, passersby, sidewalk food scraps, etc.

4) Avoid giving your dog commands that you know you cannot enforce. Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor enforced your dog learns that commands are optional.

5) One command should equal one response, so give your dog only one command (twice max!), then gently enforce it. Repeating commands tunes your dog out (as does nagging) and teaches your dog that the first several commands are a "bluff '. For instance, telling your dog to "Sit, sit, sit, sit!", is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue commands. Simply give your dog a single "Sit" command and gently place or lure your dog into the sit position, then praise/reward.

6) Avoid giving your dog combined commands which are incompatible. Combined commands such as "sit-down" can confuse your dog. Using this example, say either "sit" or "down". The command "sit-down" simply doesn't exist.

7) When giving your dog a command, avoid using a loud voice. Even if your dog is especially independent/unresponsive, your tone of voice when issuing an obedience command such as "sit","down" or ""stay", should be calm and authoritative, rather than harsh or loud.

NOTE: Many owners complain that their dogs are "stubborn", and that they "refuse to listen" when given a command. Before blaming the dog when he doesn't respond to a command, one must determine whether or not: a) the dog knows what the owner wants, b) he knows how to comply,  c) he is not simply being unresponsive due to fear, stress or confusion.

8 ) Whenever possible, use your dog's name positively, rather than using it in conjunction to reprimands, warnings or punishment. Your dog should trust that when it hears its name or is called to you, good things happen. His name should always be a word he responds to with enthusiasm, never hesitancy or fear.

9) Correct or, better yet, prevent the (mis)behavior, don't punish the dog. Teaching and communication is what it's all about, not getting even with your dog. If you're taking an "it's-you-against-your dog, whip 'em into shape" approach, you'll undermine your relationship, while missing out on all the fun that a motivational training approach can offer. Additionally, after-the-fact discipline does NOT work.

10) When training one's dog, whether praising or correcting, good timing is essential. Take the following example: You've prepared a platter of hors d'oeuvres for a small dinner party, which you've left on your kitchen counter. Your dog walks into the room and smells the hors d'oeuvres. He air-sniffs, then eyes the food, and is poised to jump up. This is the best, easiest and most effective time to correct your dog: before he's misbehaved, while he's thinking about jumping up to get the food.

11) Often, dog owners inadvertently reinforce their dogs' misbehavior, by giving their dogs lots of attention (albeit negative attention) when they misbehave. Needless to say, if your dog receives lots of attention and handling when he jumps up on you, that behavior is being reinforced, and is therefor likely to be repeated.

12) Keep a lid on your anger. Never train your dog when you're feeling grouchy or impatient. Earning your dog's respect is never accomplished by yelling, hitting, or handling your dog in a harsh manner. Moreover, studies have shown that fear and stress inhibit the learning process.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baked Ravioli


Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, or oregano
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 pounds store-bought ravioli
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta; return to pot.

Toss sauce with pasta. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.


Read more at Marthastewart.com: Baked Ravioli - Martha Stewart Recipes

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ah...puppies!

Our puppies are 10 weeks old today...we have had them home for 4 weeks tomorrow...

It is amazing how fast they are growing and how good they are doing with their "paper training"...

Fun puppy life stage info...


The 7 Stages of Puppy Development
by Charlie Lafave

In order to understand why your puppy doesn't listen to you at times, you need to understand each stage of development a puppy goes through as it matures. Let's take a look at the different stages, but before we do, keep in mind that these stages are generalizations - each dog will progress at its own pace.

Stage 1: The Transitional Stage
2-3 Weeks
The Transitional stage generally lasts from age two to three weeks, and it's during this time that your puppy's eyes will open, and he'll slowly start to respond to light and movement and sounds around him. He'll become a little more mobile during this period, trying to get his feet underneath him and crawling around in the box (or wherever home is). He'll start to recognize mom and his littermates, and any objects you might place in the box.

Stage 2: The Almost Ready To Meet The World Stage
3-4 Weeks
The Almost ready to meet the world stage lasts from 3 to about 4 weeks, and your puppy undergoes rapid sensory development during this time. Fully alert to his environment, he'll begin to recognize you and other family members. It's best to avoid loud noises or sudden changes during this period - negative events can have a serious impact on his personality and development right now. Puppies learn how to be a dog during this time, so it's essential that they stay with mom and littermates.

Stage 3: The Overlap Stage
4-7 Weeks
From 3-4 weeks, your puppy begins the most critical social development period of his life - he learns social interaction with his littermates, learns how to play and learns bite inhibition. He'll also learn discipline at this point - Mom will begin weaning the pups around this time, and will start teaching them basic manners, including accepting her as the leader of the pack. You can begin to introduce food to the pups starting around the 4th week - transition gradually as Mom weans them.

Continue handling the pups daily, but don't separate them from either Mom or litter mates for more than about 10 minutes per day. Puppies that are removed from the nest too early frequently are nervous, more prone to barking and biting and have a more difficult time with socialization and training. Puppies need to be left with Mom and siblings until at least 7 weeks of age - and preferably a little longer - for optimum social development.

Experts say that the best time in a puppy's life to learn social skills is between 3 and 16 weeks of age - that's the window of opportunity you have to make sure your puppy grows up to be a well-adjusted dog. It's extremely important to leave your puppy with Mom and his littermates during as much of this period as possible. Don't discipline for play fighting, housebreaking mistakes or mouthing - that's all normal behavior for a puppy at this stage.

Stage 4: The "I'm Afraid of Everything" Stage
8 Weeks to 3 Months
The "I'm Afraid of Everything" Stage lasts from about 8 weeks to 3 months, and is characterized by rapid learning as well as a "fearful period" that usually pops up at around 8 to 10 weeks. Not all dogs experience this, but most do, and they'll appear terrified over things that they took in stride before. This is not a good time to engage in harsh discipline (not that you ever should anyway!), loud voices or traumatic events.

At this time your puppy's bladder and bowels are starting to come under much better control, and he's capable of sleeping through the night (At last, you can get some rest!). You can begin teaching simple commands like come, sit, stay, down, etc. Leash training can begin. It's important not to isolate your puppy from human contact at this time, as he'll continue to learn behaviors and manners that will affect him in later years.

Stage 5: The Juvenile Stage
3 Months to 4 Months
The Juvenile stage typically lasts from 3 to 4 months of age, and it's during this time your puppy is most like a toddler. He'll be a little more independent - he might start ignoring the commands he's only recently learned - just like a child does when they're trying to exert their new-found independence. As in "I don't have to listen to you!". Firm and gentle reinforcement of commands and training is what's required here.

He might start biting you - play biting or even a real attempt to challenge your authority. A sharp "No!" or "No bite!" command, followed by several minutes of ignoring him, should take care of this problem.

Continue to play with him and handle him on a daily basis, but don't play games like tug of war or wrestling with him. He may perceive tug of war as a game of nce - especially if he wins. And wrestling is another game that can rapidly get out of hand. As your puppy's strength grows, he's going to want to play-fight to see who's stronger - even if you win, the message your puppy receives is that it's ok to fight with you. And that's not ok!

Stage 6: The Brat Stage
4-6 Months
The Brat Stage starts at about 4 months and runs until about 6 months, and it's during this time your puppy will demonstrate even more independence and willfulness. You may see a decline in his urge to please you - expect to see more "testing the limits" type of behaviors. He'll be going through a teething cycle during this time, and will also be looking for things to chew on to relieve the pain and pressure. Frozen doggie bones can help sooth him during this period.

He may try to assert his new "dominance" over other family members, especially children. Continue his training in obedience and basic commands, but make sure to never let him off his leash during this time unless you're in a confined area. Many times pups at this age will ignore commands to return or come to their owners, which can be a dangerous, even fatal breakdown in your dog's response to you. If you turn him loose in a public place and he bolts, the chances of injury or even death can result - so don't take the chance.

He'll now begin to go through the hormonal changes brought about by his growing ual maturity, and you may see signs of rebelliousness (Think adolescent teen-age boy!). If you haven't already, you should have him neutered or spayed during this time.

Stage 7: The Young Stage
6-18 Months
The Young hood stage lasts from 6 months to about 18 months, and is usually a great time in your dog's life - he's young, he's exuberant, he's full of beans and yet he's learning all the things he needs to become a full-fledged dog.

Be realistic in your expectations of your dog at this time - just because he's approaching his full growth and may look like an , he's not as seasoned and experienced as you might expect. Gradually increase the scope of activities for your dog, as well as the training. You can start more advanced training during this period, such as herding or agility training, if that's something both of you are interested in. Otherwise, extend his activities to include more people and other animals - allow him to interact with non-threatening or non-aggressive dogs.

Congratulations! You've raised your puppy through the 7 stages of childhood, er, I mean puppyhood, and now you have a grown-up, dog! Almost feels like you've raised a kid, doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Out of the Closet Spell


This spell is to help you feel more open and to help you come out and be who you are, may it be; Lesbian, Gay, Bi, or Transgendered.

What you'll need:
1 White candle
1 White ribbon
1 Piece of paper
Something to draw with; crayons, pencil, pen..ect.

What you need to do:
Draw a Symbol on the paper that symbolizes what makes you, you.

Light the candle, while in your protective circle.

Take the ribbon and fold it fan style on your palm, hold it between your palms saying:

I'm powerful.
I am who i am.
No one can change me.
The Goddess loves me.
And i love myself.'

Tie the ribbon into a bow around the candle.

Hold the paper with your drawing over the candle, and re say the words.

Fold the paper and hide it somewhere in your closet. (Ironic)

Then say:

'Blessed Be.'

(Spell)
~Tikani SunTiger

Anti-anxiety Spell/Chant


Whenever you are feeling anxious, take several deep breaths and repeat the following until you have calmed down.

Nervous anxiety, you are dead. 
Lord and lady, soothe my head.
Bring me to your calming peace 
as I will, so mote it be.

Cleaning 101

Basic tips and tricks to get the entire house sparkling, from quick cleaning strategies to supplies to stock.

CLICK HERE!!!

Perry's pastor pal Jeffress called 'a poster boy for hatred'

Story courtesy of USA Today:


Have you been condemned by Gov. Rick Perry's pastor pal Robert Jeffress yet today?

If not, you can check out the Morman-faith-bashing pastor in his own voice at Right Wing Watch. Or read up on how Jeffress told First Baptist Dallas on Sunday that

- Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Mormonism are all false religions and I stand by those statements.

Oh, and Catholicism, too. Religion News Service's daily roundup updates us on Jeffress' Catholic-bashing, noting the Catholic League item today on Jeffress, who last year had this to say about Catholicism:

- "Much of what you see in the Catholic Church today doesn't come from God's word. It comes from that cult-like pagan religion. Isn't that the genius of Satan?"

League voice Bill Donohue calls Jeffress,

- a poster boy for hatred, not Christianity.

RNS also catches us up with the questionable legality of the pastor's politicized preaching.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has asked the IRS to investigate whether Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress flouted federal law when he put a video clip about his endorsement of presidential candidate Rick Perry on the church's web site.

The Satan-slinging religious exchanges in the presidential primary campaign so far are starting to sound like an episode from South Park.

However, Southern Baptist theologian Al Mohler upholds the idea that voters of faith might likely want to choose a candidate who shares their Biblical worldview. But no way is he climbing out on the ledge with Jeffress. Mohler blogs:

...We must be honest and acknowledge that there are non-Christians or non-evangelicals who share far more of our worldview and policy concerns than some others who identify as Christians. The stewardship of our vote demands that we support those candidates who most clearly and consistently share our worldview and combine these commitments with the competence to serve both faithfully and well.

Chicken Divan


6 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced leek, white and light green parts only (about 1 large; see Tip)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons dry sherry (see Tip)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, or 1 pound broccoli crowns (see Ingredient Note), chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Place chicken in a medium skillet or saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and slice into bite-size pieces.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek and salt and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour; stir to coat. Add broth, milk, sherry, thyme and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add broccoli; return to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, mayonnaise and mustard.

Spread half the broccoli mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the chicken, then the remaining broccoli mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

TIPS & NOTES

Tips: To clean leeks, trim and discard green tops and white roots. Split leeks lengthwise and place in plenty of water. Swish the leeks in the water to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.

Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don't use the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, purchase dry sherry that's sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store.

Ingredient Note: Most supermarkets sell broccoli crowns, which are the tops of the bunches, with the stalks cut off. Although crowns are more expensive than entire bunches, they are convenient and there is considerably less waste.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 308 calories; 10 g fat ( 4 g sat , 4 g mono ); 76 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 35 g protein; 4 g fiber; 712 mg sodium; 401 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Vitamin A (35% dv), Calcium (30% dv), Folate (19% dv).

Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole


6 servings
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


INGREDIENTS

8 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups nonfat milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 ounces canned chunk light tuna drained (see Note)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)

PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Stir in tuna, peas and 1/2 cup Parmesan until evenly incorporated. Then, stir in the noodles (the pan will be very full). Remove from the heat.

Sprinkle the casserole with breadcrumbs and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Broil until bubbly and lightly browned on top, 3 to 4 minutes.

TIPS & NOTES

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, spoon into an 8-inch-square glass baking dish, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese (Step 4) and bake, covered, at 350ร‚°F for 50 minutes. Uncover and cook until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes more.

Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.

Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh crumbs. For dry breadcrumbs, spread the fresh crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until crispy, about 15 minutes. One slice of fresh bread makes about 1/3 cup dry crumbs. Or use prepared coarse dry breadcrumbs. We like Ian's brand labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 406 calories; 8 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 53 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 5 g fiber; 684 mg sodium; 593 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (30% daily value), Potassium (17% dv), Iron, Vitamin A & Vitamin C (15% dv), good source of omega-3s.

New Focus

If you have looked at the new layout, you probably noticed the new blog focus...

"One lesbian's journey through life, marriage, pet parenting, and cancer...recipes, spells, pet care, news, movies, and all of the ups & downs of life!"

This blog will be an eclectic blend of different things...I hope you enjoy the new blog!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dinner Tonight...

**This is a great dinner for you "cancer" days!!!

Grilled cheese & tomato soup...

Ingredients:

Cheese (sliced, whatever you like) - enough for 1 sandwich per person
Bread (sliced, whatever you like) - 2 slices per person
Butter (enough to thinly cover each slice of bread)
Tomato soup (canned or homemade (recipe HERE)

Instructions:

Butter 1 side of each piece of bread.
Heat a skillet, over medium heat, until warm.
Place 1 slice of bread, butter down in skillet.  Top with cheese & another slice of bread, butter up.
Cook until cheese melts and bottom toasts.  Flip & repeat.
Cook soup according to can instructions or follow recipe above.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

25 Days of Christmas Movie Marathon

I told you I would get the list out before December...here it is...all titles are links to more movie info :c)


1 - Babes in Toyland
2 - Bah Humduck
3 - Barbie in a Christmas Carol & Barbie in the Nutcracker
4 - Beauty and the Beast: the Enchanted Christmas & Disney Princess: a Christmas of Enchantment
5 - Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration
6 - A Diva's Christmas Carol
7 - The Flintstones: a Flintstones Christmas in Bedrock & A Flintstones Christmas Carol
8 - Frosty the Snowman & Frosty Returns
9 - Holiday Inn
10 - White Christmas
11 - It's a Wonderful Life
12 - I'll Be Home for Christmas
13 - It's Christmas Time Again Charlie Brown
14 - Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special (side note...I love the story he tells about his daughter putting gas in her car!!!)
15 - Love Actually
16 - The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper & Prep and Landing & Prep and Landing Stocking Stuffer: Operation Secret Santa
17 - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
18 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town
19 - The Santa Clause & The Santa Clause 2 & The Santa Clause 3: the Escape Clause
20 - Scrooge
21 - Deck the Halls
22 - Christmas With the Kranks
23 - Christmas in Connecticut
24 - A Christmas Carol (w/Patrick Stewart)
25 - A Charlie Brown Christmas & The Year Without a Santa Claus

31 Days of Halloween movie marathon...

Here is the list for the rest of the month...I cannot watch "hardcore" horror movies (Jaws still gives me nightmares)...so if you want a list of really good ones to watch, check THIS out!  If you are like me then chick THIS one out...(all movie titles are linked to more information about the film)...

October...

7 - The Haunted Mansion
8 - Corpse Bride
9 - Underworld
10 - Dracula
11 - The Wolf Man
12 - Van Helsing
13 - Beetlejuice
14 - Practical Magic
15 - Witches of Eastwick
16 - The Witches
17 - The Mummy
18 - Frankenstein
19 - Blair Witch Project & Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
20 - Salem's Lot
21 - The Fog
22 - War of the Worlds
23 - Resident Evil: Extinction
24 - Jaws
25 - Poltergeist
26 - The Ring
27 - The Thing
28 - The Addams Family & The Addams Family Values
29 & 30 - Harry Potter marathon (all about HP here)
31 - Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown & The Nightmare Before Christmas

31 Days of Halloween movie marathon...

Today's movie...

Hocus Pocus

Tomorrow is probably going to be...

The Haunted Mansion

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days of Halloween movie marathon...

I have started this year's "31 Days of Halloween"...

**As always...movie titles are links...click for movie info :c)

October 1 - Halloweentown
October 2 - Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge
October 3 - Halloweentown High
October 4 - Return to Halloweentown
October 5 - Salem Witch Trials

I will update every few days...hopefully I can get the rest of the list compiled by the weekend for those who want to join in :c)

I promise to get the 25 Days of Christmas out before December :c)