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Archive for the ‘Denali’ Category

Ever look at your dog, like really really look at your dog?

Black Lab SadfaceYeah, it sounds so wonderful to be a dog–no work, no stress, no responsibilities…But if you take a deep gander into their furry souls, often times you’ll see a lot of boredom pent up in there. They can go stir-crazy too, ya know.

Insert “Homemade” busy bones!!!!

These are the easiest dog treats that will keep ’em occupied for a little while, or at least until you have a moment to get them out for some fresh air. You do walk them every day, right?

PB Bone 2All you need is a few 2″-4″ Beef Marrow Bones and some all-natural peanut butter.

Simply give your pups the bones to chew/slurp the marrow out of, then fill ’em up again and again with peanut butter for them to eat and repeat. I use peanut butter that is just peanuts. There is no need for added salts and oils, especially when my boys get high-quality salts and oils in their homemade dog food that I prepare for them. <-Post to come soon!

PB Bone 3I like to throw these into the freezer for a few hours so the peanut butter hardens,  making it extra challenging (i.e. time-consuming) for them to enjoy.

Bear Hike 10-16 008That’s better!

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Just Peekin’ In

photoJust peekin’ in to say I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

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Yappy Birthday Bear

Last weekend Evan, Denali, and I attended a neighborhood dog’s birthday party! We had a blast.


My hair was just as unruly as a bunch of dogs let loose!

(And my camera was acting up and refusing to take non-blurry pictures.)

There was lots of “getting to know each other.”

Yummy food for humans AND dogs. These handmade dog biscuits looked good enough to eat.

There was a party game!

Owner’s walked their dogs to music and when the tunes stopped, the last dog without their hiney on a colored square was out.

Denali was one of the last standing and won a prize. What can I say? He was trained well.

And even the humans got a little silly and had fun.

Yappy Birthday Bear!

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Riding Aftermath

So, I’m sure you’ve all realized it has been a little while since I’ve joined you here. I have decided that in the interest of my sanity, and also to maintain blogging as a source of enjoyment, I will be posting 2 or 3 times a week. I’d like to iron out exactly which days and stick to them. For now, I’m still trying to deduce what works best for me.

Now, on to the good stuff.

Yes, that is a small piece of apple pie sitting pretty in my breakfast oats. I took this photo almost a week ago now and simply had to sneak it in to today’s post.

Today was a gorgeous fall day. More specifically, it was 70 degrees out (and yes, it is October 24th!) Since the mercury was much much higher than we’d anticipated, our little four-legged friends we’d invited to accompany us on our bike ride did not fair as well as we’d hoped.

Case in point–

Exhibit A: Denali

So dog-tired he has to lay down to drink from his water bowl.

Drooling is totally acceptable when you’re panting a mile a minute.

And so is sprawling out in the middle of a parking lot…

…with your tongue plastered to the dirty asphalt.

Exhibit B: Summit

Flailing wildly on his back. I’m not exactly sure how this was supposed to help him cool off.

I think these guys are more than ready for snow season.

And only one of these two might be ready, and it’s not me.

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Please excuse our hair. After rolling out of bed this morning Evan, Denali, and I set out into this beautiful, blustery fall day to hit some local hiking trails.

When we arrived at the trail head we noticed our good friend Todd’s car in the lot. About a mile or so into our excursion we caught a glimpse of him just ahead on some switchbacks. He happened to be barreling along in our direction.

Evan, Denali and I took advantage of a tree trunk with quite the girth and hid from view. As Todd approached we jumped out and startled him half-to-death. That’s what friends are for, right? According to Evan, his eyes bugged out. Yeah, we got him good!

Somehow I caught this shot of the aftermath.

After briefly catching up and promising to meet up in a couple of days we said our goodbyes and trudged on.

We breaked for photo-ops.

And watering holes.

Meanwhile, Denali set the pace (as he has an entire extra set of legs and was bred to run.)

And Evan followed (he’s got a good 9 or 10 inches on my height *read much longer legs/stride.)

And I took up the rear trying to keep up with my pace-setters, whilst getting a killer glute workout as I half ran up the inclines to keep up.

It is so nice to let the changing seasons guide you in switching up your workout routine. For me, I’ve been adapting to fewer miles in the saddle and more on foot. Not only is the change of pace nice, but I find more quality time is spent with my “family” while hiking, running, and some biking for leisure.


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Yesterday, I participated in two very fun spectator sports. The first: Cyclocross

The Nittany Lion Cross race was the first UCI race of the 2010 season.

Not only have I never ridden a cross bike before, but I’ve never even watched this type of riding. So, obviously I’m not an expert and can’t speak with any degree of credibility on the sport. But, basically, cyclocross is a form of bike racing typically reserved for the months of September through January.

It is like mountain biking in that knobby tires for traction are needed, as well as cantilever breaks for clearance from grit, grime and gunk. Besides these bike features, mountain bike handling skills can translate to accommodate a myriad of cyclocross course conditions–Mud, grass, loam, dirt and pavement under sunny skies or torrential rain, sleet, snow.

Cyclocross is like road cycling and criterium racing, in that the bike is designed also for speed and agility. It is lightweight with narrow tires for reduced frictional resistance and has drop handlebars for the option of a more aerodynamic riding position.

However, riders can’t get too comfortable in any given position because cycloscross is much like an obstacle course. Steep embankments, steps, sand pits, and plank barriers are some of the elements incorporated into race courses that force riders to dismount, carry their bikes, and run or hop to overcome.

Strangely enough, cross can also be compared to Nascar racing. A rider can swing by a “pit” mid-race to swap out their bike for a clean, well-oiled spare. They can even have a pit crew standing by to assist with anything from fixing mechanicals to refueling (i.e. feeding the rider).

Finally, similarities can be drawn to a party in that copious amounts of beer is often consumed by spectators and riders alike. And a multitude of shenanigans and monkey business is always to be expected including, but not limited to, heckling, noise-making, costume-wearing, fun and games.

Where’s Waldo Evan?

There were about 120 riders going off at once in Evan’s class alone.

This was his first-ever cyclocross race.

And it was short-lived.

Evan only made it around one full lap of the course before flatting on a root. But, lucky for me, I had a spectating partner for the rest of the morning.

We planted ourselves in front of the barriers to heckle and watch for carnage.

Spectating is far better with company.

The other spectator sport: Doggy playtime!


Although, these pooches seemed to be doing more lounging and drinking at “the watering hole” than playing.

But they enjoyed themselves nonetheless…

…And so did I.

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As cliche as it may sound, the storm is passing…and everything is starting to look more beautiful than I ever remembered.

With the antibiotics taking their course and giving my overtaxed immune system a serious boost, my ailments are slowly releasing their death grip. Sayonara Lyme!

And I had enough energy to carry me through multiple chores, which felt more like pursuits of bliss!

Some of the highlights of this Suzi Homemaker’s day included:

Taking Mr. Denali for a stroll through suburbia.

Putting fresh sheets on the bed…

because crawling into clean sheets at day’s end is sheer bliss. And on my list of top 100 ordinary indulgences. (I spy a future post, or two.)

Spotting these at the grocery store!

I hate to admit it, but coffee just tastes better when it’s in a pretty cup and stamped with a well-branded logo of a siren. To me anyway. It’s quite possible that I’m just a lemming, and a sucker. These coffee travelers at least mimic the pretty cup part of the equation. I happened upon them while browsing the back-to-school section at Wegman’s. I am also a sucker for back-to-school crap. No, I am not of school-age. My psychoanalysis on this matter concludes it might be because it invokes feelings of new beginnings and fresh starts.

Experiencing flavored almond butter for the first time.

It did not disappoint, especially since it was expertly paired with oats. These little packets of heaven just might be the cure for portion distortion with nut butters (A terrible disease). And they’re easy. All you have to do is snip off a little corner and squeeze the gooey goodness into your mouth like candy! Or you could be a crazy person and proceed to then cut the packet completely open and lick up every last bit. Just sayin’.

And cooking my all-time-favorite soup, minestrone.

This isn’t your ordinary minestrone. This is my minestrone; so good that Evan’s eyes lit up when he found out what I was up to in the kitchen. That speaks volumes considering their was a time in the not-so-distant past when Evan relied solely on Domino’s pizza and Wawa hoagies for sustenance. I’d also like to add that this recipe calls for vegetables and is completely lacking in meat. Volumes I tell you!

Oh, the anticipation. This deliciousness smelled a-m-a-z-i-n-g as soon as it hit the stovetop in all its bubbling, herb-infused, soupy glory.

Titanium Cheeks!!!

*commentary omitted.

Laura’s tip of the day today: Laminate recipe cards you use and abuse! You will thank me next time you spill.

The Recipe: (It’s easy. I swear)

15 Servings/Prep & Cook Time about an hour

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 C chopped white onion
1/2 C frozen cut Italian green beans
1/2 C chopped zucchini
1/4 C mined celery
4 tsp. minced garlic
4 C vegetable broth
2 15oz. cans red kidney beans (drained/rinsed)
2 15oz. cans great northern white beans (drained/rinsed)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 C carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
5 C hot water
8 C fresh spinach
1 C medium shell pasta

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.

Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in oil for 5 mins. or until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add vegetable broth to the pot, plus tomatoes, beans, carrots, hot water, and spices.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for 20 mins.

Add spinach and pasta and cook for an additional 20 mins. or until desired consistency.

Calories: 120, Fat 3 g, Sodium 540 mg, Carbs 18 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 5 g

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