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100 Happy Days!

100 Happy Days!

As a psychology student, the idea of being intentional about your own happiness is an idea that makes a lot of sense.  In fact, we just spent class today talking about the definition of consciousness, and how attention is a huge part of that – as in purposefully shifting your attention toward or away from particular things in your environment. In practice, however, I’ll admit I’m quicker to gripe than give thanks on some days, especially when I’m overwhelmed (which of course just adds to the negative energy).

On another note, I haven’t posted here in a looong time.  To kill two birds with one stone, I thought I would jump on the #100happydays bandwagon – and post a least a little something here everyday! If you’re not familiar, the 100 Happy Days challenge is about submitting a picture every day for 100 days of something that made you happy.  It helps to shift your attention to those positive things in your world and allow those things to take on more meaning – which can only be a good thing!

So, here goes!  The first one is easy – the two pups in my life (mine and my BF’s, who I’m puppy sitting for the week/end) always make me happy.  They make excellent snuggle buddies.  🙂

Day 1: Tilly and Sam  #day1 #100happydays

Day 1: Tilly and Sam
#day1 #100happydays

 

 
 

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For the Love of Pickles!!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love all things salt and vinegar.  Potato chips for sure, but other things too.  French fries at a football game doused in vinegar and ketchup.  Olives, capers, anything brined. But most of all, I love pickles. I’ve never met a pickle I didn’t like, but my favorites would have to be a tie between dill and bread and butter.

Because of this mild obsession, I’ve been hoarding pickling recipes with the good intention of trying to make my own.  And I have to tell you that I made and teeny tiny batch out of two pickling cucumbers today, but it can hardly be called pickling because I ate all of them after they had spent about an hour in the fridge.  Seriously, all of them.  They were delicious!

Before I had eaten quite all of them, I remembered to take a picture. Haha

I used Recipe Girl’s recipe for Bread and Butter pickles, and only made a few slight changes.  I approximately quartered the recipe for the brine since I had such a puny amount of cucumbers, and  I only used white vinegar since that’s what I had.  Also, I used a red onion instead of a white, and I impulsively threw in a very thinly sliced jalapeno, which made them sweet and spicy pickles.  I am definitely going to have to try this again with a regular sized batch, and not eat them all on the first day so they have some time to really “pickle.”

On another pickleish note, I finally decided what to do with the black-eyed peas from my farmshare box.  Most of the recipes for fresh black-eyed peas (or purple-hull peas as they’re sometimes called) involved some variation on soaking in a vinaigrette after they’d been cooked.   I found this recipe for purple hull pea salad from Homesick Texan, and decided to loosely follow that.  It’s basically salsa or guacamole but with beans instead of tomatoes or avocados.  I decided to throw in some red onion, and once I tasted the final product it was quite spicy (i put in cayenne and two jalapenos, so it better be!)  which I like, but I threw in a pinch of white sugar to balance it out a little.  Also, I decided to put in some corn which I had in the freezer, which is also sort of sweet.

The “cast of characters” as The Pioneer Woman loves to say: cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, red onion, cumin, cayenne, and salt and pepper.

 

After being simmered for 40 minutes the beans turned an ugly beigey color, but they were nice and tender.

The finished salad. I think it will be yummy as a dip for tortilla chips, or on a bed or greens as a meal.

And finally, if you’re in need of some comedic relief, I took Tilly tubing on the Guadalupe River yesterday.  Unfortunately I don’t have any photographic evidence, but a shot of her in her ridiculous doggy life jacket should give you a pretty good idea.   I wasn’t sure how she’d feel about the whole thing, so I invested in the life jacket as an extra precaution (also, it had a handle on the back which made her easier to grab if I needed to).  She was so not pleased with me for putting her in a tube in the middle of a river, but she was a good sport about it, so it turned out to be a really fun day anyway.  

 

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Cooking, Fun Stuff, Tilly

 

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Dog Days

It’s been thunderstorming for most of the day today, but Tilly and I took advantage of a few hours of sunshine in the middle of the afternoon to explore a dog park.  The Bill Archer Dog Park is about 20 minutes away from my new place, and though there are dog parks closer, this one sounded like it was worth the trip.  It’s huge, and has a pond and a separate area for small dogs so you don’t have to worry about running them over. . . haha.   Tilly had the best time!

The bone shaped pond at the dog park

Tilly was totally unsure about going in the water.  She’s never been swimming before.  She kept pacing around the edge of the pond while the other dogs were splashing around and chasing tennis balls.  After a little while though, she must have gotten overwhelmed by the spirit of the moment and she launched herself all the way to the center of the pool.  She looked like she surprised herself, but she swam right out and seemed happy with her new discovery.

A wet and happy dog!

Tilly and her new friend

A fire hydrant in the dog park

The park had an agility course and a bunch of fire hydrants, which I thought were sort of funny.  Also, since it had just rained, there were lots of puddles.  One of the funniest parts of the whole day was when Tilly went bounding through a big muddy puddle and totally went underwater for a second.  She had to dogpaddle out and was totally covered in muck, but it was pretty hilarious.

The giant sinkhole where Tilly accidentally went swimming

All in all, she had a great time and was totally worn out by the time we left.  I was really glad to have a canvas waterproof dog hammock to protect my backseat since she was so dirty.  I rinsed her off quickly before we left at a station the park had set up near the parking lot just for that purpose, but it hardly helped.

As soon as we got back to my apartment, I gave her a bath.   In my old place, I used to do it in the laundry sink or in the backyard, but since I no longer have either one of those things, I did it in the bathtub.  It worked out pretty well, and now she’s all clean and pretty tuckered out.  🙂

Shake shake shake!

All clean!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in Tilly

 

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