Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winter Care for Pets

By Deb Shenkle
AKC German Shepherd Dog Breeder

As the late autumn days and nights  draw ever closer to winter,   it's important to keep in mind the needs of our favorite furry friends. It's really getting cold outside especially at night so it's time to think about providing adequate winter care for pets. Providing an adequate winter shelter is essential for our pets  to stay warm and healthy throughout the coldest of this winter season.

We may think that  the fur coats on dogs and cats will keep them plenty warm, but that is only true to a certain extent. When the thermometer starts dropping into the 40's and below  or if  there is a cold rain or snow coming down, our pets need more than just their own furry coats to keep them warm and protected.

I have yet to figure out why some pet owners will leave their dogs and cats out in the pouring down cold rain/snow or leave them out at night shivering and miserable with absolutely no shelter. Dogs and cats do have feelings and get cold. They can easily die of exposure or freeze to death. Puppies and kittens are especially at risk from the outdoor elements.

Most pet owners are very sensitive to their pet's needs and take wonderful care of them. However, I am  simply amazed at how many pet owners just give little thought to their pets needs. I suppose many just think that a pet's fur coat is adequate enough to keep them warm and protected.

Providing an insulated pet house will help them out tremendously. Outfitting it with  a heating pad made just for pet houses will provide some extra warmth for  your pets.  If  they spend alot of time outside in the cold,  providing an added wind break such as a shed, garage or outbuilding will also give your pets some added protection from the cold. If your dog is spending time in a kenneled area, consider adding a windbreak and cover for more protection.

If you have a safe place available to hang a heat lamp above your pets outdoor sleeping area it will really  make their life more comfortable and tolerable during the cold winter months. Remember, that even with all of these protections in place, in some areas there will be  days and nights it will be just too cold for your pets to be outside for more than just a few minutes at a time. So having a safe place indoors for them to hang out is a must.

Many pet owners also find that using paw covers will help protect sensitive paw pads from frostbite. And what about those cute sweaters that I see some of our canine friends wearing?

Besides adequate warmth and shelter, our pets also need plenty of food and fresh water  available.  Installing an inexpensive water tank heater into their outdoor water source will ensure that they have plenty of fresh unfrozen water available at all times.

I'm sure that many of you have additional winter care for pets tips that I would love here about. Please feel free to leave your winter care for pets tips in the comment section of this blog.

Have a great late autumn day! Deb


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pies Made Easy

With the Holiday Season in full swing, cooks everywhere are planning their special pies for the upcoming festive dinners. Some may find making pies to be a real chore, as I did, until I finally mastered the skill of making pie crust from scratch.

My mother helped me with the first pie crust that I ever made when I was about 18 years old. She made it seem so simple and the cherry pie that she tutored me though came out perfectly. It was a fact widely known that mom was a wonderful pie baker. She always made those pies look so easy to make and she could whip one up in no time flat.

Mom once told me that her first pie was a disaster. The crust was a mess and she became very frustrated with the whole ordeal. Well she kept at it to become one of the best pie bakers around. I found it frustrating too and it took me a good amount of time to achieve her status as pie baker.

With that said, I'm going to share with you some tips on how to make the perfect pie crust the easy way. You can learn how quickly and avoid a lot  the frustration by viewing my YouTube video here.

I hope this video will make your Holiday pie baking just a little easier.

Please view my other pie how-to videos:

"How to Easily Place a Pie Crust into a Pie Pan"

"How to Flute the Edges of the Pie Crust"


Saturday, November 19, 2011


A Book Review

With all of the demands put on us day in and day out in this fast paced and high stressed world, sometimes we forget how to be truly happy. Recently I read a short Kindle book by Jim F. Kukral entitled, "How to Catch Happy", which reminded that it's just the simple things of life that bring us the most happiness.

"How to Catch Happy" focuses on the author, Jim F. Kukral along with three key people that he  met along his life's journey and how they all found happiness in different ways. All were from different economic backgrounds with different life experiences, yet they all seemed to find some genuine happiness in their lives.

I enjoyed reading  "How to Catch Happy" as it gives the reader insight  into how to find some real happiness in this sometimes unhappy world. It is written in an easy to read style and it leaves the reader with something beneficial to use in their daily lives.

Learn more about "How to Catch Happy" , By Jim F. Kukral.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Winster, Social Gaming Where Friends Help Friends

Winster is a new Social gaming community designed to help women to interact with other women and help each other to win valuable prizes.

Women can join for free to play really fun games and solve puzzles targeted at fulfilling women's gaming interests.

Northern California housewife, Michelle Kaplan, was the creater of Winster who loved to play games online but found that most of the games to be found were targeted for men's interests. Michelle along with her husband, Jerry Kaplan, CEO of Egghead.com, founder of Onsale.com and author of the Best Selling novel, "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure", teamed together to create Winster, a interactive game where people can earn prizes quicker if they work together.

With Winster, you pick your prize, then play games with others who help you win your prize.

You can learn more about Winster at winster.com

Try This Hot New Pen!

The UGLee pen  is a revoluntionary designed  erogonomic pen that was designed by a real physician, James Lee M.D. to help people reduce several types of hand and finger pain associated with the use of typical hand held pens.

The UGLee penThe UGLee pen weighs less than one-half an ounce with a shape that is perfectly engineered to follow the anatomy of your hand. It grips you, you do not have to grip it. It is so comfortable to use that you really must try it yourself.

You can learn more about the UGLee pen and where to purchase one at the UGLee pen website:http://www.ugleepen.com

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Color Mixing Part 9

Now that we've reviewed the basics of the color wheel and how each color complements another, we will focus on practical everyday use of the color wheel. The items shown below are examples of the use of complementary color application.

Red and Green are opposite of each other on the color wheel so they complement one another. Adding the white really sets off the red and green colors as shown below.

Christmas Pillows Holiday Pillow Shams SUZANI 20 x 20 inches Festive Holiday Pillows 20" Red, Green, White Pillows
By beckorama

Apples Painted Wood Sign  Orchard
By uniquecozytreasures

Vintage Wyandotte Metal Stake Truck 1930"s
By uniquecozytreasures

This handcrafted clutch features the three primary colors: Yellow, Blue and Red.
Yellow Red and Blue Flower Mini Clutch
By MarianRuth

Here is an example of using triadic color harmony. The primary colors are Blue Green, Yellow Orange, and Red Violet. A little white is splashed in for contrast.
Set of Two Crocheted Cotton Pot Holders
By crochetedbycharlene

Next week I will continue the series on color mixing featuring some our talented etsy artisians handcrafted work.

It's a rainy dreary cold day here in Iowa. There is some snow forecast for later this evening. These colorful items that my fellow etsy friends have created will certainly brighten any  day.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

A New Type of Dental Floss?

Did you know that ADA statistics show only 12% of the population flosses regularly? Why? Because many feel that dental floss is not convenient to use.
BrytonPick oral care dental floss is a new and unique interdental cleaner which claims to be more convenient and discreet to use.  It is designed to use on the go to remove food and plaque from between the teeth.

It is FDA  Registered and is made in the USA from completely recyclable materials. The BrytonPick is not like a string floss. It is made of germ-resistant stainless steel  cleaning strips that can be carried  conveniently in your wallet or purse.

Many may find that they benefit from this new type of floss. However, I personally did not care for the product when I used it on my teeth. I found that even though the stainless steel strips are very thin, they did not even slide through my teeth and I felt they may  have the potential to cut my gums if it came in contact with them.  I  found this product of no use to me personally. That is only my personal opinion as a user and a former dental assistant. In the dental office we used a simple product for a different application of which I believe it was originally designed for.

***My  opinions do not reflect that  of others who may possibly find this product safe and useful to them. I have received this product free from the company which produces it in order to write an honest review about it. I am not being paid by BytonPick to review this  product.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Now that we have reviewed the main components of Color, it is important to have a quick reference guide  to Color and it's definitions. The chart below gives Color definitions for your convenience.

COLOR: Described by the three dimensions of intensity, hue, and value.

Intensity: Also known as Saturation or  Chroma. Means the relative degree of brightness or dullness of a color.

Hue: A specific color family with it's relative degree of warmness or coolness.

Value: The relative degree of lightness or darkness of a color.

Primary Color: Yellow, Red and Blue. These colors cannot be mixed from any other colors.

Secondary Color: Two primary colors mixed together resulting in Green, Orange and Violet.

Intermediate Color: Also known as Tertiary Colors. Achieved when one primary and one secondary color are mixed together.

Warm or Advancing Colors: Yellows, Reds and Orange colors.

Cool or Receding Colors:  Greens, Blues, and Violet colors.

Tint: White plus  Color.

Tone: Gray plus Color or it's compliment.

Shade: Black plus Color.

Key Color: A Dominant Color in a color scheme or mixture.

Neutral Gray: A Combination of  White and Black.

Chromatic: A Color with hue, including Red, Green and Violet, etc.

Achromatic: A Color without hue, including White, Black and Gray.

Achromatic Color Scheme: A Color scheme using only White, Black and Gray.

Monochromatic Color Scheme: a Color Scheme using one color in different values.

Analogous Color Scheme: A Color Scheme using colors that lie next to one another on the color wheel.

Complementary Color Scheme: A Color Scheme using colors directly opposite on the the color wheel.

Split-Complementary Color Scheme: A Color Scheme using one color plus the two colors next to it's complement on the color wheel.

Triad: Three Colors equally spaced on the color wheel.

Tetrad: Four Colors equally spaced on the color wheel.

Now you can use this quick reference guide along with Lessons in Color Mixing Part  1 through Part 7 when designing your craft items, crochet and knit pieces, your art work and in decorating!

Future articles will feature examples of the practical use of Color Mixing in everyday life using the color wheel to enhance your favorite projects.

It's snowing here in the Midwest this afternoon :(  I think winter is about to arrive.  Keep warm and safe everyone! Deb..............

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