Scenes from a dog park

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In today’s episode we find ourselves in a rainy situation.

We find a rabid tree.
Rabid tree

A tree foaming at the trunk wasn’t covered in my botany class, but it turns out an accumulation of sap and other things that build up on the trunks of pine trees can actually form a crude soap. Who knew our trees so desperately wanted to be clean?

I don’t know why I’m fascinated with this tiny forest of tiny trees. They are just so cute!
Tiny forrest

And instead of two tiny galls on a large tree, today I saw this huge gall on a small tree.
Gall

We also got a rare glimpse of the elusive Woodland Fluffy Badger stalking through his native habitat.
Elusive Woodland Fluffy Badger

I also learned that the best place to walk in the park is about 100 meters behind someone else with dogs who roam through the woods. Wixer ran and jumped and sniffed and it was awesome. He did go up far enough to interact with the other dogs maybe once, but clearly that wasn’t the fun part. Checking out where the other dogs had been at top speed was.

Stick

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Coming back to Muskegon is sometimes odd. I only lived here for 3 years or so, but it seemed like a much larger part of my life than that short time suggests. We’re visiting Dave’s fam for Thanksgiving and taking advantage of the 48 acre dog park that’s not far from their house. Its great because its so large you rarely, if ever encounter anyone. Granted we are usually there at times when people are working so that helps as well. The area we usually head to is a the Canine Frontier a 24 acre wooded area with a nice walking trail.  Yesterday was kinda harsh because there was a layer of slushy icy mess that was hard to walk on.  Given that I was counting on this to exercise the dogs I was not encouraged.  Today was much better though, yay!

 

Hey guys! I found a thing.  Its awesome.  I’m awesome.  Do you want it?  No?  Okay, I’ll just be awesome with my awesome thing.
Stick!

We also saw this tiny tree, it was just so adorbs.
Tiny

And then this tree had testicles.
This tree's got balls.

 

Grilled Cheeses

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I had nice response to my post about the way I’ve been making grilled cheese sandwiches lately.  I thought if anyone was on the fence they might want to see how I make them specifically and then they’ll be tipped right off that fence into the land of gooey deliciousness.

I start with a hearty white bread slice cut in half then covered in a layer of swiss cheese.
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Then spread on the cream cheese.

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I find the mildness of the cream cheese further diminishes the already mild taste of the swiss cheese, so I like to add some Fox Point spice mix.  I’ve also considered using scallion cream cheese, but haven’t tried it yet.  Other spice mixes also taste delicious, but Fox Point is my fav.  You might also try Sunny Paris or a Sandwich Sprinkle.

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Over low heat melt 1/2 Tablespoon of butter.

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Add your sandwich.  I prefer to do this over a lower flame to for a couple reasons.  First it allows the cheese time to melt.  If the heat is too high the bread gets done brown too quickly, not allowing the cheeses a real chance to show their gooey stuff.  The other is to reduce risk of burning the bread.  I like my grilled cheeses lightly toasted, and too high of heat means my window of golden goodness is too small.  After a couple minutes use a spatula to gently lift the sandwich and check how done it is on the bottom.  When it looks like your level of brown add 1/4 Tablespoon of butter.

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After allowing the butter to melt flip your sandwich onto the freshly melted butter and cook until the second side is as golden as the first.

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This sandwich isn’t quite as brown as I’d like it, so after cooking the second side I flipped it back over and let it go just a while longer.   It was delicious.  My favorite presentation is along side a bowl of tomato soup.

Grace

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Here I am again in Florida.  Wesley Chapel represent!  I got to attend another Aaron Robbins flyball seminar and this one was especially cool.  Previously, nearly all participants were racing dogs who had an issue or three that they were working on. This seminar was predominantly baby dogs, ranging from 12 weeks to 9 months.  So the tone and content was subtly different and I enjoyed it.  Lots of foundation games and getting to see different dogs of roughly similar ages learn differently.

After getting back to Jaimie and Bryan’s house from the seminar they had a wonderful surprise for me.  Bryan heard of my computer woes, took his old MacBook, cleared it and set it up for me.  Totally unexpected and full to the brim with awesome.

Just wow
With the large amount of forced home improvement this fall a new laptop was so far down on the priorities list as to be non existent. Now the only problem is learning about Macs, as I’ve only ever been a PC!  What a fabulous problem to have.

They also have a fine assortment of world class dogs available for snuggling.  Tor is like taking sleepy time drugs when he lays across your lap, and Traffic is very close to my heart and is a total neck snuggler.  But now and then even big ol’ Alix demands his fair share of snuggles. I mean just look at that face.
Even big giant shepherds demand snuggles. Alix is a great snuggle buddy

And when you stop petting him he make this tiny little whine that’s barely audible, but totally pitiful.

To top it all off I opened a mini pack of Starburst just now and totally won!  Pink is my favorite flavor.

Starburst win!