Vodka Ice Cream is a Thing Now. And It Will Get You Smashed

Be still my heart! Someone has mastered the art of vodka ice cream 😁 I know many folks that would love to get their hands on this stuff. We need to help them branch out from only selling in Maryland. For now, road trip anyone? 😉

The Oily Guru

The liquor industry has long sought new ways to package their distilled spirits. While the demand for traditional alcohol remains strong, upstarts in the industry have a hard time competing. Perhaps that’s why there is now a new trend: alcoholic ice cream. Looking for a cool way to end summer? Try some vodka ice-cream.

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Or, as the company says: “chill out, eat vodka.” ArcticBuzz has launched a line of ice cream that combines flavors like cookies and cream and key lime pie with the kick of vodka. The Baltimore company has figured out how to keep the mixture from separating, which is a challenge because of the low freezing point of vodka.

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“If you have ever put a bottle of vodka in the freezer,” ArcticBuzz writes, “you know the vodka wins every time. After working with several different recipes and numerous tastings, ArcticBuzz has cracked the code and delivers homemade…

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Doggy CCL Knee Surgery and Recovery Time Activities

One Sunday, a few weeks ago, we noticed Breck was limping. The first thing we thought was that he had gotten stung in the foot by a drunk wasp that had been dining on the fallen apples near my back door. Nope, no sting locations. We felt if he had any broken bones, nope. No dog squeaks after pulling it out and bending. We figured we’d get him into the veterinarian that next Monday.

Our appointment was at 10 AM, and in less than 3 minutes, he was diagnosed with a cruciate ligament tear in his right, rear knee. A CCL is the same as an ACL in humans. In a nutshell, its the tendon that holds the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (calf bone) and prevents the femur from sliding forward off the tibia. Clearly, dogs are made a bit different. All the vet needed to do was to push his femur back from his tibia and note the amount of ‘shift’ it made. Too much shift for it to still be attached.

Breck in the doughnut-of-shame

She offered up three options, do nothing, or two types of surgery. The first type was called the ‘Fishing Line’ or ‘Old School’ technique. The vet would basically recreate the tendon with fishing line between the two bones. Vets have been doing this surgery for years and it has worked well for dogs Brecks size for decades. The other surgery sounded a bit more intense, as the tibia would be cut and reattached backwards, to create a ledge. (Read the link for more details on the surgeries).

After the vet briefly described the surgeries, she then asked me to sit for the prices… The fishing line surgery was about $3,500 and the tibia cut surgery, would be about $4,500. Good thing she had smelling salts handy 😉 I clearly had to go home and discuss this with my hubby.

There was no doubt we were going to have to go with one of the surgeries. Unless we wanted him in a brace for the rest of his life… Nope!! He’s only 10 years old. We started getting educated about the surgery and reached out to my Mother-in-Law, as her dog just had CCL surgery done at 15 years old and recovered fabulously. Her vet only charged her $1,400! Say what?!? That is more than half the dough my vet wanted! Gimmie his number!

I wasn’t that happy with my current vet anyway.. I wondered if she even liked animals. She wouldn’t get on the floor and pet them, or give them treats before the business time of the appointment. Just the facts, ma’am.

Breck at work with me.

We got an appointment two hours after I called M-I-L’s vet. The first thing he did was to pay attention to Breck and make both of us feel comfortable. He examined his leg (on the floor) and quickly agreed with the other vet. His CCL was torn. Dr. H told me that Breck looked healthy, not overweight and the fishing line surgery would be a great surgery for him. He showed me models of dog knees and how the surgery/recovery process would go. We scheduled surgery for the next Monday.

Breck in his onsie… Hey, don’t knock it until you try it 😉

His surgery went well and according to his x-rays, it was a freak accident. He had no predisposition for this injury, nor did he have any arthritis anywhere. In my opinion, his injury was from his little, evil brother, Oreo. He likes to ‘check’ other dogs and hoomans. ‘Checking’ is a hockey term for running into another player really hard. Surely, this is what happened.

Since I knew the 8 week recovery time was going to be hell on everyone in this house, I started perusing Amazon for any products I could find to make Breck as comfortable as possible, keep him safe and help keep the hoomans sane.

Yes, we do have a real cage, however, this is not the route we wanted to take. With a cone or ‘doughnut’ on, he would not be able to turn very well in the cage. We bought a large cage enclosure to keep him in while we’re home. I am also able to take him to work with me, so he’ll basically be under surveillance 24/7. Well, except for when we slept.

We soon learned cones-of-shame were Breck’s most hated thing in the world. After cone attachment, he’d pant, shake, squirm, cry and paw at it, trying to achieve removal. We tried to be patient, however he was not having it. We next tried the doughnut. He is accepting of it while I am around him, however the minute I turn my back, its off. We tied it as tight as we thought reasonable. His neck to head ratio is nonexistent, along with his silky fur, allows for easy removal of anything around his neck. The hoomans needed to be smarter… Bandages wouldn’t help. We even tried to put a pair of daddy’s boxer underwear on him… Placing his tail through the hole. (heehee…) I won’t humiliate either of them with a photo. 😉

I finally happened upon these doggy-after-surgery onsies. I ordered a large, however I feel it was too small and now ordered an XL. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime!! Now I’ve only had it on him for a day (and it’s a bit small), but so far, I am sold! He doesn’t mind having it on and he can still lick some places, just not where his stitches are. I will have to report if this works, as he has already got one stitch out. (Overnight and into the second day, the stitches have been un-licked!)

So, now that we’ve been able to keep him from bothering his stitches, keeping his brain entertained was the next step. If you believe Cesar Millan, dogs don’t have emotions, thus do not get depressed. Really? I used to respect that man….Sigh.. Anyway. Since I believe dogs do have basic emotions, including depression, I felt I needed to figure out some activities for him to pass the time. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Long-lasting chew toys. I found these Himalayan Cheese blocks! I did not follow the directions on the package, but gave one to him right out of the package. He loves them and they take about a day or two to get through.
  • He likes to be brushed, so he’s gotten brushed daily. He also loves his face and nose rubbed with something fuzzy. He really likes massages, also.
  • Gentle tug of war. Very gentle!
  • Which cup is the treat under game. He’s too good, we’ve had to go to 4 cups.
  • Breck loves being talked to. I’m not sure how much he understands, however he is absorbed in every word I speak.
  • I normally don’t let him ‘defuzz’ a tennis ball, however he really likes doing it and it takes an hour or two to do the job.
  • He loves just sitting outside. Since we’ve been having some beautiful days lately, I’ve been enjoying the weather with him, sitting in the cool grass and relaxing.
  • He loves coconut oil. I put it on his front feet to lick off.
  • We had gotten him a few ‘Brain Games’. Basically, hide the treat type games. He’s too darn smart for these, though. Once he’s figured it out, it takes less than a minute to do it again.
  • I’ve read about others buying dog buggies to take their pooches on walks rides in. Well, I’m not going to blow a bunch of bucks on a specialized one, however I remembered the gardening cart I used when I had my own biz. He loves it!! I wheeled him through the neighborhood and he just sniffed the air. I take him out occasionally to write P-Mails on posts and mailboxes 🙂

Wanna go for a roll??

There is very little I’ll not do for my fur kids.

© Ilex ~Midwestern Plant Girl

Happy Trails

Last time camping under the old, oak tree… I wish you the best, my friend.

I was thinking that my last post, the one that has been static on my site was a scary selfie of me in a welding helmet… That just can’t continue for any longer! 😉 This post will serve as a better landing spot for my blog and describe its status.

We recently went to our favorite campground, Hickory Hollow in Utica, Illinois. It is right near the Starved Rock area. Every September, you can count on us to be attending the wine festival! This year’s fest was a bit less chaotic, as last year’s fest was a madhouse. Because of this and the ticket prices doubling, we were able to get around much easier this year.

We were very melancholy, as the sand mine (just past the berm behind the camper) has bought the campground to destroy it for the sand it stands on. How sad is that?!? I can’t describe the pain I feel for my favorite burr oak tree (next to camper). It’s like knowing a friend with a deadly disease… knowing that in a short time, their life will end sooner than it should. I need a subject change… my blubbering is upsetting my dogs.

Updates….

I have been researching my future ventures en mass! I have a plan for my future schooling in Horticulture Therapy, which starts this January, finishing in the Fall of 2018. Not too long! I have also decided to try to open my own business revolving around Nature Therapy. This will include Forest Bathing (shinrin-yoku (森林浴) in Japanese), and other programs for nursing homes. I’ll try focusing in those arenas first, and see if I need to branch out or not. I will post updates…

Hubby is doing super at quitting smoking! It’s been 4 months now!

For our Annual Christmas Camping Vacation….. GALVESTON, TEXAS is the winning location for 2017!!! We’re already booked and have started researching things to see and do. If you have any insider info, please pass it on 🙂 We will also be needing a Texas themed audio book for the 18 hour ride down there. Last year we listened to, “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” for our ride to Savannah.

Here’s a funny coincidence, well, maybe not so funny… We decided on Galveston one week before Hurricane Harvey hit them. Last year, we decided to go to Savanna, Georgia one week before Hurricane Matthew hit them. Hmmm, are we dooming the cities we choose to visit to hurricanes? Maybe next year, we shouldn’t pick a coastal city 😉

I hope everyone in my blog-o-spere is doing well. I’ve visited the WP Reader a few times. It’s really hard to be in there too long. I could have an hour blow by in what feels like a second. I love reading everyone’s posts, however I MUST STUDY!!! When my life has settled down, I will return to the reader and posting myself. Until then, I hope the best for all of you! I do miss our fun in the comment’s section!

Take care!!! Ilex

I’m Ready for the Eclipse

I AM IRON WOMAN

I think this may be my first selfie! At least my first POSTED selfie 😉 It wasn’t very easy to pull off, since I could not see my phone screen through the darkened welding helmet screen. Yes, it is perfectly fine to view the eclipse with a welding helmet, as long as it creates at least a setting of “Shade 12”. This helmet provides between ‘Shade 12 – 16’, so I’m well covered. Sadly, the sky may also be well covered also 😛 I’m in northern Illinois and we have a storm going just south of us… Hopefully, it won’t bring clouds with it.

I hope everyone gets out and at least tries to view the eclipse. The next full one to cross the U.S. will be in 2024.

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Filling a Gap

This venn diagram is super!

I think I fall into the ‘Lacks Passion‘ part of the equation. 2 for 3… Not bad!  Trying to ebb into the 3 for 3 ‘Sweet Spot’!

I’ve got a few directions to go now and I’m pretty manic about them. No worries, tho. I embrace some of my crazy. Better manic that depressed 😉 I will certainly share these directions after I completely commit.

I hope to get on-board with some career coaching, even. Does anyone have a reference or does this sort of thing? Please contact me with your rates. I see no reason that this can’t all be done on-line these days. So, it doesn’t matter where you are.

To that end, my posts and visits to your blogs will become a bit more sporadic, due to the focus I must place on my journey. I will certainly share posts about Horticulture Therapy, as I have always been a writer and can’t completely disappear 😉 I also learn so much when I write posts, not only from the research while writing, but from the comments section also! Writing about HT will just strengthen my knowledge.

Chase your dreams!!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-14-2017

Happy Monday =-)

I had a wonderful weekend, was able to make bail and get to work this morning!

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Helianthus pauciflorus ~Stiff Sunflower (Pretty sure)

     

Hibiscus moscheutos ~ Native hibiscus    ||    Eupatorium perfoliatum ~ Common Boneset

     

Hibiscus trionum ~ flower-of-an-hour, bladder hibiscus, bladder ketmia, bladder weed, flower-of-the-hour, modesty, puarangi, shoofly, and venice mallow     ||      Vernonia fasciculata ~ Prairie Ironweed

      

My summer pot looks fantastic!!    ||    Eryngium yuccifolium ~ rattlesnake-master

Carpenter bee on Ratibida pinnata ~ gray-headed coneflower

      

Milkweed bugs on milkweed    ||    Euphorbia corollata  ~ Flowering Spurge

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

 

 

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-11-2017

Woo hoo! It’s Friday!! And I’m gonna ice that cake with our annual birthday pig roast this Saturday!! Here is a past post. And another. I’m here for the bacon bread and the crunchy, salty, garlic skin. MMMMMM! Oddly enough, I eat little of the pig, else-wise. I like all the things the other folks bring, also.

My neighbor told me last week that the pig the neighbor cooked up (without my hubby around) was overdone and didn’t compare to my hubby’s. SNAP!!! What a compliment, the padewan has surpassed the master. 😉

I hope your weekend is as good as mine will be!! Namaste 🙂

Check out the past –   2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

     

Liatris spicata ‘Floristan White’ & ‘Floristan Violet’ & Phlox paniculata ‘David’ & (A very short) Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’

      

Pastinaca sativa ~ Wild Parsnip    ||     More Monarda

      

Solanum ptychanthum ~Black Nightshade    ||   Verbascum thapsus ~ Mullien and some Queen Anne’s Lace

       

Might as well have called this Blooming Monarda post!    ||    Free bird seed!!

      

Phlox paniculata ‘David    ||    An educated guess is: Agrimonia striata ~ Roadside Agrimony… Anyone???

Oenothera biennis  ~  Common Evening Primrose

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl