Thursday, November 7, 2013

Amazon Books


I just released my First paperback book, "How To Self-Publish A Kindle Book, A Step-by-Step Guide",  which is available in the Amazon Book Store at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Publish-Kindle-Step-Step-Guide/dp/1482788497  

The Amazon Kindle Version is available at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Self-Publish-Kindle-Step---Step-Guide-ebook/dp/B007AQ4DT6

If you are a serious writer seeking to cash in on the Amazon Marketplace, then you must read my book.

If you have ever wanted to become a published author, this comprehensive step-by-step guide to self-publishing a Kindle book is a must read for you.

"How to Self-Publish A Kindle Book, A Step-by-Step Guide", takes you from start to finish in the process of publishing your book into the Amazon Kindle eBook Store. Includes easy to follow instructions, marketing tips, many website resources where you can find additional help in your pursuit of self-publishing and more.

 A must have for any author with the goal of self-publishing a book to the Amazon Kindle eBook Store.

There are many guides available out there but mine was the first and the rest just copied my idea. I have helped many  authors get their books published in the Amazon Marketplace to sell in the Kindle Book store so have had much experience with the problems that  authors face when trying to get their books self-published.

You will find this book worth adding to your treasured reference library.

Be sure to check out my current promotional paperback and Kindle boo sales at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Publish-Kindle-Step-Step-Guide/dp/1482788497

Debbie, Author

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If you are a  writer desiring to get your book published with no upfront fees, then you will most definately enjoy reading my newest eBook "How To Self-Publish a Kindle Book, A Step-by-Step Guide", which instructs you  through the process of formatting and selling your book via the  Amazon Kindle Book Store.

"How To Self-Publish a Kindle Book, A Step-by-Step Guide" is available through the Amazon Kindle Book Store as a digital eBook which can be read  on most digital devices using a free Kindle App  and is also available in a paperback book. You can find more information about both my Kindle eBook and my Paperback book  by following this link:  


If you prefer to purchase a PDF file to be read using Adobe Reader, please contact me at shenkle.books@gmail.com .

If you would like personal one-on-one assistance getting your book formatted and published into the Amazon Kindle Book Store as a digital book or to CreateSpace in a paperback version, I do offer over-the-phone  instructional sessions by the hour. You can simply contact me through my email address: shenkle.books@gmail.com or through my telephone number at: 712-229-2039.

View my professional website for my offered services, rates and payment options at:  




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Make Envelope Style Throw Pillow Covers

Have you ever wondered how you can quickly and easily change your home decor in minutes without spending a bunch of money in the process?

Well, PILLOWS are the  perfect answer to that question. Did you know that a room can take on a whole new look   simply by changing the pillows or by covering them with a different cover?

I personally prefer to have  a variety of pillow covers sewn and ready to go whenever I get the urge to redecorate. Using leftover remnants of fabric that I may have from other projects or sometimes from a new piece of designer fabric, I skillfully  whip up a new cover or pillow in minutes.

Sew or no sew, a fashionable pillow cover can be created in an hour or less and ready to slip onto your pillows or on pillow inserts. You can either sew the seams together on the cover or secure them with iron-on tape. Whichever option you choose, you will have a new pillow cover quickly and easily all in about 1 hours time.

Sewing and designing pillows and pillow covers are a favorite hobby of mine, so several years ago I began  sharing  my e-patterns with others via  my Etsy.com Shop...Unique Cozy Treasures.  If you are looking for some great pillow cover patterns or ready made pillows feel free to browse my shop at:


There, you will find a variety of easy pillow cover e-patterns that you can use to sew or no sew an endless amount of pillow covers. The e-files are in Adobe PDF format that  instantly download to your computer or any device that supports Adober Reader.

There are also a variety of  ready made pillows available in my shop, as well as, many rare vintage finds,  handmade and other items.

Comments left by my fans:

......."Thanks so much for the pattern. I am looking forward to using it."

...."Just love the pattern!"

....."PDF came through beautifully. Thank You!"

....."Easy pattern, well written. Done in an hour or less! Pattern was delivered quickly!"



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

High Sierra Hike

The Sierra Nevada Mountain range is one of the most beautiful places to take a day hike. There are so many awesome things to experience and the scenery is so gorgeous! Please enjoy the relaxing video above of a Sierra mountain stream that we crossed while on one of our day hikes there. We also panned for gold in the same stream.

An abandoned mountain cabin not far from the stream. It was beautiful, but I suspect the occupants were a little nervous about the natives.

Fresh evidence left next to the cabin by the natives. Yes, it's bear do do. Time to get back across the stream and back to the vehicle. Oh, did I mention...remember to take your bear spray and other protection.

Sardine Lake, CA

On the way home we stopped by this serene mountain lake just long enough for me to take a quick photo. I had 5 minutes to set up my tripod, camera and get the shot. Amazingly, it turned out to be one of my best photograph's ever.

Sage brush along the highway home. In the autumn they bloom full of small yellow flowers.  Very pretty to look at but not to breath for those many people who suffer from allergies.

All in all, we had a great day hiking in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. Hope you enjoyed the slideshow!

For more Sierra Adventures...Visit:  sierralaketrekker.blogspot.com 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Natural Mosquito Repellent Tips

Are you a MOSQUITO MAGNET? I am. So like me,  If you do not care to indulge in spraying yourself down with chemicals to repel those biting pests, you may find these tips to naturally repel mosquitoes very  helpful and interesting.

Mosquitoes hate the smell of citrus like, lemon or orange, lemon grass, marigold, and lavender.
1) Before trekking outside eat something containing lemon oil. Or, take a small bite of  a lemon wedge. Yes, it's sour, but it's worth it, isn't it?  Rubbing a bit of citrus peel on your skin may also work, but messy.

2) Or, Rub your hands through one of your Marigold, lemon grass or lavender plants, then rub your hands over your arms, legs and any exposed skin.

3) And, Avoid sugary foods and drinks before and while you are outside. Mosquitoes love sugar and they can smell it in your skin making you a magnet for bites.

4) Avoid wearing sweet perfumes, hairsprays, etc. which tend to attract  pesky insects like mosquitoes, flies and bees.

5) Make mosquito repellent candles using  vintage canning jars, then placing them  in strategic areas of your yard. This works great when you are having outdoor gatherings and parties. I simply place either some sand or potting soil into the bottom of a vintage canning jar, add one of my handmade organic beeswax candles, then place lemon peels around the perimeter of the candle. 

Next, I light the candles, then  hang several of these candles around my yard on shepherds hooks and also set them tables around where we are sitting.  The heat from the candle helps expel the citrus oil from the lemon peels sending the citrus odor out into the air. It works great!

Hopefully, by using some of  these tips, you will ward off many of those nasty pests and  enjoy the outdoors without getting bitten during the summer.

If you would like to learn more about my organic beeswax candles and vintage canning jars or how to order them, please visit my Etsy Shop by clicking on my shop widget located in the upper right hand of this page. Or, you may simply follow this link:   


Please tell us about your own natural tips to repel mosquitoes by leaving a comment below.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How to Make Homemade Flour Tortillas

Oh Yumm..Tortillas. We all love them. Even though tortillas are widely available in most supermarkets here in the U.S. the homemade variety offers alternative health benefits, as well as, superior taste. There is nothing that compares to the taste of a freshly cooked homemade flour tortilla.

Right now you may be thinking that making homemade tortillas is a time-consuming and messy undertaking and that you would rather watch paint dry. But, think again. With the proper mix of only four ingredients that you probably have sitting on your kitchen shelf, making tortillas can be very quick, easy and real treat for you and your family.

Trust me....once you have eaten one of  these homemade tortillas....you will NEVER buy the store bought tortillas  again!

Easy Homemade Flour Tortillas

In a medium size bowl mix together:
2 cups flour (white, wheat or a combination of each)
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup  water
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Mix all ingredients well forming a soft ball. Continue incorporating ingredients by kneading the dough on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes, adding small amounts of flour if needed to achieve a smooth non-sticky dough.

Place dough back into the bowl and cover with a small towel. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. You can let it rest longer if you like or while you are getting your fillings prepared.

After the resting period is complete, Cut dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each into a ball.

Using a rolling pin( marble pin is easiest) roll each portion into a 7-12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface.

Flour each rolled out tortilla so that they do not stick together when stacked before cooking.

To cook your tortillas, preheat either a heated cast iron tortilla/pancake griddle or an electric grill.  I find the electric grill that has a heating element in both the top and bottom works best, is much easier, less messy and takes less time. If you are using an electric grill simply place the tortilla on the heated grill then close the lid and let each tortilla cook for a couple of minutes checking periodically to see when the tortilla is completely cooked but not overcooked. They will appear slightly browned as shown in the photo below:

The tortilla will start to bubble when it is close to being cooked. If you are using a cast iron griddle on the stove top, you will need to regulate the heat to cook the tortilla yet not burn it and you will need to turn it over once you see large bubbles raising in the tortilla.

Remove your tortilla from the griddle with a cooking tong, then place inside a container that will keep them warm until you are ready to use.  Repeat this cooking process with all of the tortillas until all are cooked.

I recommend having your fillings and topping ready before you start to cook the tortillas so that you can fill them as soon as possible when they are done cooking.

***Tip: You may also store the tortillas in your freezer for later use. Just place the rolled tortilla balls(before rolling out with the pin) into a freezer container and place in your freezer for up to two weeks. When ready to use, simply take out the tortillas to thaw, which takes about 30-60 minutes at room temperature. Roll out each with a rolling pin as directed above, cook, and fill.

Enjoy! Your family will LOVE these!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


"Summer...The time for beautiful Hydrangea flowers to open their soft colorful petals and dance in the warm breeze until the cool days of autumn take their precious gift along hiding them away for the next summer."  D. Shenkle

My love for Hydrangeas began several years ago when I happened across them in a local garden center. I purchased a lovely blue one and promptly planted it in my backyard only to find that it didn't grow any additional blooms. In fact, it wasn't looking too good at all. It was then that I realized that Hydrangea really aren't happy with so much hot summer sunlight shining on them all day long.

I dug up my precious plant transplanting it to the north side of my house where it is practically shady all day long. Much to my surprise the Hydrangea loved the spot and grew profusely exhibiting an abundance of  over 50 large beautiful flower heads in an array of colors from green, lavender, blue, white and pink. I was thrilled!

However, after a few years I realized that it was getting so large that it became necessary to divide it and replant it, which left several new transplant divisions that needed new homes somewhere in my yard.  So I did my fair share of research to learn just how to divide and transplant with success.

Once I felt confident in my dividing and transplanting abilities,  I decided to remove some of my tall Hosta's that were growing next to my large Hydrangea so that I could put two additional  Hydrangea division plants in their place.  Using the directions that I found during my research, I dug up my large plant, divided it and planted two of the additional  divisions next to the larger main plant.  Soon the  new division transplants were showing signs of green leaf growth.

So for those of you who have a very large Hydrangea that you would like to divide into more plants I have included instructions on how to properly divide and transplant a Hydrangea:

The time to divide your Hydrangea is in the spring when your plant is just putting on leaves at the bottom of the plant as shown below:

Starting about 12-18 inches outward from the base of the plant dig out the complete root of the Hydrangea. Once out of the ground you will be able to identify new individual plants that should easily come apart from the main plant. Mine fell apart into six separate plants. You may not have as many, but be sure to have roots on each new plant start.

Soak the roots of your plant divisions in a bucket of lukewarm water while you are digging the hole where you are going to plant them.  In a shady location, dig holes two to three times the size of the root circumference of your division plant, as shown below:

Fill the hole with water as shown below.  Then let the water completely soak into the soil. Repeat this process one more time.

Place your Hydrangea division into the hole, then cover with soil level with the area just covering the root to the top where it attaches to the plants branches, packing the dirt lightly around the plant, as shown:

Water thoroughly once more.

If your new division transplants do not have any leaves growing yet, be very patient because it may take awhile for the roots to get settled in their new home and start putting on new leaves. Remember to keep them well watered during the growing season.

***DO NOT prune off  the old branches  until your plant is showing signs of forming blooms or you probably won't have any blooms.  It is also important to  always prune your Hydrangea in the early summer once the plant is showing signs of blooms forming, but not before. The old foliage from the previous year determines your blooms for the following year. I had to also learn this the hard way. The foliage looks dead but it is not. You may also treat your new plants to special fertilizer that is especially formulated for Hydrangea and may be purchased at  your local garden center.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Easy Classic American Cherry Pie

Cherry pie is one of America's top favorites in the pie category. So here is my best recipe for Classic Cherry Pie:


(2) crust pie dough
2 cans cherry pie filling (regular pie pan)
  or 3 cans for deep dish pie pan
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Mix pie dough, then roll out into two  crusts. Place one crust into the bottom of your pie pan. Pour filling into a bowl and mix the almond extract into it. Pour into pie pan. Place top crust on pie. Cut  several small slits into the top crust for venting. Sprinkle with a little sugar.

Set pie  on cookie sheet then place on the center rack of a  375 degree oven. Bake for  35-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cool completely before cutting. Serves 8.

Click on the arrows below  to view my popular YouTube videos demonstrating how to easily make a cherry  pie  and how to easily make pie crust  from scratch: 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dogs Will Travel


Many dog lovers love to travel with their faithful companions..their dog or dogs. Traveling with dogs can be a real challenge at times but with a little bit of  planning ahead of time, traveling with your canines can really be a lot less stressful plus a lot of fun. Following are a few tips that will make your trip more enjoyable for you and your dogs.

1) Take plenty of their favorite food and treats. Running out of these items during a trip can cause a lot of havoc not only for your dog but for you. Why? Because if you cannot find the brand of food and treats that your dogs are accustomed to, substituting with a different brand can upset your dogs digestive system causing them discomfort and at times either loose stools, constipation or possibly an allergic reaction.

2)  A couple of their favorite toys, blanket, etc.

3)  A portable kennel comes in handy at times.

4)  Their collar, dog tags and leashes.

5)  Having your dog micro chipped is a good idea when traveling. However, remember that there are different types of micro chips. Most chips will just identify the dog with a number which is associated with your contact information IF someone has found your dog and has the number checked.  However, this will not help you locate your dog if he/she is lost. A tracking microchip can locate your pet but you will have to pay for the tracking service.

6)  Grooming brush and comb.

7)  Flea/Tick control product, heart worm preventative (etc.) and any medications your dog takes regularly.

8)  Water and bowls.

9)  Vaccination Records, including your Vet's contact information.

10) First Aid Kit and contact information of available Vet's in the area you are traveling to.

These are just a few tips that will make your dog travels more comfortable and please remember that if you have to leave you dog in your vehicle briefly...leave a window open at the top with the proper air available. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle when it is too warm, hot/cold outside. The temperature inside a vehicle may rise or drop to dangerous temperature levels very quickly,  risking your canine's life.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Eggs! Which Are Best?

We all want to feed our families the very best foods that are available in our markets. Organic foods are getting a lot of attention these days and rightfully so. One of those foods is eggs. Since most  of us eat eggs on a regular basis I'm going to zero in on eggs in this post. Why?

Well, the reason why is just this....There are so many cartons of eggs sitting on  supermarket shelves with so many different name types that it's completely confusing as to what they really are! So following are the different types of eggs, followed by links to other articles and videos about eggs and egg production in the USA that will define the types of eggs and what they REALLY ARE. You will find the information enlightening.


The following websites contain information about eggs and their production in the USA:




Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quick & Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Ah… Comfort food! We all need it now and then. Even though I would love to indulge in a fair amount of comfort food daily, I generally reserve comfort foods for special times for obvious reasons. One of those special times for me is Sunday Mornings.  Sunday mornings for me mean drinking a great cup of coffee and eating a luscious caramel pecan cinnamon roll while sitting in a cozy chair surrounded by abundant rays of sunshine.   The perfect start to a Sunday wouldn't you say?

In times past I used to make my own bread dough for the rolls, roll it out, fill with cinnamon and sugar, roll and cut the dough into individual rolls. I enjoyed it and found it somewhat relaxing. However, it took a length of time and effort so now my favorite method of baking cinnamon rolls is by using the  frozen form of cinnamon rolls which make  it much easier for me to indulge in my Sunday treat more often and with minimal effort. 
Simply by taking one of the prepared frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer on Saturday night and allowing it raise overnight, it is ready to bake when I get up on Sunday morning.  Then, I can happily enjoy my cinnamon roll with minimal effort with my gourmet coffee.  It’s as simple as that!  And even if the sun isn't shining, it feels as though it is.
Below you will find my scrumptious cinnamon roll recipes, one using the frozen roll variety and the other for  Classic Cinnamon  Rolls from scratch. Enjoy!

(1)Package frozen cinnamon rolls
Brown sugar
Walnut, Pecan, Almond or
     Peanut pieces (optional)

Butter the sides and bottom of a baking dish or iron skillet. For each roll you are placing in the dish or skillet place a teaspoon of sliced butter pieces into the bottom. Sprinkle one teaspoon brown sugar per roll over the butter. If you are a nut lover, then sprinkle either walnut, pecan, almond or peanut pieces over the brown sugar.  

Place rolls on top, flat side down.

Cover with a cloth and set in a secure draft free place for rolls to rise. I like to prepare my rolls this way the night before I want them for breakfast the next morning. Then they are all risen and ready to bake.

Preheat oven, then place the baking dish or iron skillet on the center rake of the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.


If your frozen rolls included a packet of cream cheese frosting, you can spread it out on a plate or cookie sheet.

When your rolls are finished baking, immediately place your rolls onto the frosting.
Do this by turning over your baking dish or iron skillet  so that the browned side of the rolls is on top of the frosting and the caramel side is facing up. If your frozen cinnamon rolls did not include a packet of cream cheese frosting, I have included a recipe at the end of these recipes.

Now...Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, milk or juice.

1 ½ pkg. active dry yeast
1   cup lukewarm wate
3  ½  to 3 ¾  cups bread flour
3  Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼  Tablespoon salt
2  Tablespoons softened butter
Filling: 1 Tablespoon softened butter, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,   3/4 cup white granulated sugar, mixed together.

Topping:  1 stick (1/2 cup butter), ¾ to 1 cup brown sugar, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or peanuts.
In a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add sugar, salt and butter. Mix until dissolved then add ½ of the flour. Beat with a spoon until smooth.  Using the spoon, then hands, mix in enough of the remaining flour until the dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured board or flat surface. Knead until smooth and blistered about 5-10 minutes. Place dough into a large buttered bowl, cover with towel and set in a warm draft-free place to rise. Let rise until double in size.

Punch down dough and knead again for a couple of minutes. With a floured rolling pin or a marble rolling pin, roll out dough on a floured surface forming a 12”x 12” square. Spread  1 Tablespoon softened butter over the rolled out dough.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, then spread evenly over the dough. Starting with one of side of the dough, roll it up into a tube. Seal the edges  by pinching together.  Using a serrated  knife, slice the rolled tube into 12 equal portions.

Butter the sides and bottom of a 13”x9” baking dish.  Place 1 stick of chopped butter on the bottom of the dish. Cover with the brown sugar. If you like nuts then sprinkle chopped nuts over top. Place each roll with flat side down on top of the nuts. Cover with cloth and let rise until double in size. 1-3 hrs.  Remove cloth and place on center rake of oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Immediately remove from baking dish by turning over onto a large cookie sheet that has been spread with cream cheese frosting.

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Little milk as needed to blend

In a medium size bowl beat together cream cheese, butter
and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and cream of tartar until you reach a smooth spreading consistency. Add a little milk if needed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's Seed Ordering Time

We had our first significant snowfall last week here in Southwest Iowa. It has been an unusually mild and dry winter here this year, but I will take it. Generally speaking we are blessed with quite an abundance of snowfall and sub-zero temperatures during our winters in Iowa.

This week the thermometer has bounced back up into the upper 40's and low 50's giving way to the rapid melting of the 5 inches of snow that fell last week. It's nice to see the grass showing through the snow again and breathe in the mild fresh air outside.

I took a little stroll around my yard today just so that I could bask in the warm sunshine. Suddenly, I realized that spring is just around the corner and it would be planting time again once more. Oh, how I look forward to planting my vegetable, herb and flower gardens in the spring. Digging in that fresh black dirt is so therapeutic to my soul.

I don't use any pesticides or chemicals on my lawn, garden or flowers so the neighborhood birds, bees and worms just love my yard. I feel that is my duty as a steward of the earth to contribute to a healthy environment when at all possible.

When it comes to buying seeds and plants each year, I try my best to only purchase organically grown plants and organically produced GMO free seeds. I have found this to be a very challenging task some years, however. I live in the first Nursery Capital of the World, the place where seeds were first commercially grown, packaged and made available through purchase through catalogs. Yet, little organic and non-GMO seed is even produced here, probably because it would be nearly an impossible task to accomplish since all of the nursery fields are surrounded by farmland where the crops are all GMO and heavily sprayed with chemicals.

So.....I've come to accept it and look elsewhere for what I need if nothing is available locally. One of the places that I love is actually by way of a nursery called “Seeds of Change” or seedsofchange.com. Their online and print catalogs offer a large variety of Certified Organic non-GMO seeds and plants including fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit trees. They also offer a variety of gardening products, even raised planting beds.

I have ordered seeds online from Seeds of Change for the past 3 years and have had excellent germination, growth and production from the seeds that I purchased. And, I feel so good that the plants and foods that I am growing are chemically and GMO free. The difference in taste between the foods produced from seed and plants that aren't organically grown  and those that are is like night and day.

Seeds of Change has not paid me and I receive no compensation for endorsing them. I just love their products and would like to pass along the information to those who are organically conscience. I also appreciate  their Safe Seed Pledge . The first couple of sentences read, “Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations.........”

Anyway, in closing...it's time to get your seeds ordered from wherever it is that you order them so that you will be ready for spring planting. I can't wait until those tiny green shoots start to poke up out of the ground.....Happy Planting!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Potty Training Tips for Puppies!

We all have a soft spot for  cute adorable puppies. They are so soft and adorable with those big brown eyes begging us to take them home. However, many times when while we are happily  bringing  home our new bundle of joy, we have totally forgot about the amount of time and effort it will take to potty train him or her.

I love puppies and enjoyed many years of  breeding and selling my AKC German Shepherd puppies to happy owners. Along with their new puppy I always sent home with them a packet of information which included time tested tips for potty training their new puppies.  If you are a new puppy owner or will be in the future, I am sure you appreciate the potty training tips below...

 Tips for House training Puppies and Dogs
As with most things in life, there are right and wrong ways to get things done. Rubbing a puppy's nose in a mess is not the right way to housetrain. Using ample amounts of supervision and positive reinforcement is. Use the following puppy house training tips to get started on the road to proper puppy potty training.

Getting On the Right Track
The first course of action in house training is to promote the desired behavior. You need to:

*Designate a potty area outdoors.
*Guide your dog there to do his business.
*Heartily praise him when he goes.

By occasionally giving him a treat right after your dog finishes, you can encourage him to potty in the desired area. The odor left from previous visits to that area will quickly mark it as the place for the pup to do his business.

Timing Is Important!
A six- to eight-week-old puppy should be taken outdoors every one to three hours. Older puppies can generally wait longer between outings. Most puppies should be taken out:

*After waking in the morning
*After naps
*After meals
*After playing or training
*After being left alone
*Immediately before going to Bed 
Pottying on Command

To avoid spending a lot of time waiting for your puppy to go, you may want to teach him to potty on command. Each time he is in the act of eliminating, simply repeat a unique command, such as "hurry up" or "potty," in an upbeat tone of voice. After a few weeks of training, you’ll notice that when you say the command your puppy will begin pre-potty sniffing, circling and then potty shortly after you give the command. Be sure to praise him for his accomplishments.

Feeding Schedules
Most puppies will potty within an hour after eating. Once you set your puppy's feeding schedule, you will have some control over when he needs to go.

*Schedule your puppy's dinner times so that you will be available to let him out after eating.
*Avoid giving your puppy a large meal just prior to confining him or he may have to go when you’re not around to take him out. Schedule feeding two to three times daily on a consistent schedule.
*Have food available for only 30 to 40 minutes, then remove it.
*The last feeding of the day should be done several hours before he’s confined for the night. By controlling the feeding schedule, exercise sessions, confinement periods.
and trips outdoors to the potty area, your puppy will quickly develop a reliable schedule for pottying.
Crate Training

This is one of the best puppy house training tips we have to offer. Training a puppy to be comfortable in a crate is a good way to keep him safe and confined during house training. Most puppies will quickly accept crate confinement when you make the introduction fun. Since it’s important to associate favorable things with the area where your puppy is confined, it is a good idea to play with him there, or simply spend some time reading or watching television nearby as he relaxes with a favorite chew toy. If he is only in the area when you leave, it becomes a social isolation area that he eventually may resist entering.

A good time to start crate training is at dinnertime. Feed your puppy his dinner, one piece at a time, by tossing pieces of kibble into the crate for him to chase and eat. This way, you can make a game out of training.

When you pick up his toys, store them in the crate so he will enter on his own to play. You may even want to occasionally hide a biscuit in the crate as a nice surprise.

You should not use the crate for periods that exceed the length of time the pet can actually control the urge to urinate or defecate. If you are gone for long periods each day, you will need to provide a larger confinement area. You may want to consider using an exercise pen, small room or a pet sitter.

Provide an area large enough so that if your puppy has to potty when you are gone, he can do it in a space that is separate from his sleeping area. A 15- to 30-square foot area is adequate for most puppies. If he chooses a specific place to eliminate, cover it with paper to make cleanup easier.

Expect Some Mistakes
Left on his own, the untrained puppy is very likely to make a mistake. Close supervision is a very important part of training. Do not consider your puppy house trained until he has gone at least four consecutive weeks without pottying in the house. For older dogs, this period should be even longer. Until then:

  *Your puppy should constantly be in your sight.
  *Baby gates can be helpful to control movement throughout the house and to aid      supervision.
  *Keep them in the crate when unsupervised.

When you‘re away from home, sleeping or if you’re just too busy to closely monitor your pet's activities, confine him to a small, safe area in the home.

Nervous Wetting

If your puppy squats and urinates when he greets you, he may have a problem called submissive urination. Dogs and puppies that urinate during greetings are very sensitive and should never be scolded when they do this, since punishment inevitably makes the problem worse.
Most young puppies will grow out of this behavior if you are calm, quiet and avoid reaching toward the head during greetings. Another helpful approach is to calmly ask your dog to sit for a very tasty treat each time someone greets him.

Direct Him Away from Problem Areas
Urine and fecal odor should be thoroughly removed to keep your dog from returning to areas of the home where he made a mess. Be sure to use a good commercial product made specifically to clean up doggy odors. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for usage.

*If a carpeted area has been soaked with urine, be sure to saturate it with the cleaning product and not merely spray the surface.
*Rooms in the home where your dog has had frequent mistakes should be closed off for several months.
*He should only be allowed to enter when accompanied by a family member.
Don't Make Things Worse
It is a rare dog or puppy that can be house trained without making an occasional mess, so you need to be ready to handle the inevitable problems.

*Do not rely on harsh punishment to correct mistakes. This approach usually does not work, and may actually delay training.
*An appropriate correction consists of simply providing a moderate, startling distraction. You should only do this when you see your dog in the act of pottying in the wrong place.
*A sharp noise, such as a loud "No" or a quick stomp on the floor, is all that is usually needed to stop the behavior. Don’t be too loud or your pet may learn to avoid going in front of you, even outdoors.

Practice Patience
Don’t continue to scold or correct your dog after he has stopped soiling. When he stops, quickly take him outdoors so that he will finish in the appropriate area and be praised.

Never rub your dog's nose in a mess. There is absolutely no way this will help training, and may actually make him afraid of you.

We hope you’ve found these puppy house training tips helpful. The basic principles of house training are pretty simple, but a fair amount of patience is required. The most challenging part is always keeping an eye on your active dog or puppy. If you maintain control, take your dog outdoors frequently and consistently praise the desired behavior, soon you should soon  have a well house-trained canine companion.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Cocoa

We all have wonderful memories of our childhood that flood our senses from time to time. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of the times we spend with our grandparents.

We spend alot of time with our grandparents, but especially with our  maternal grandparents who greeted us with warm smiles on every occasion.  Grandma would  always make certain that she had something special for us during each and every visit to her house.  She always had freshly baked cookies waiting in her cookie jar and in the wintertime she always treated us with her delicious old-fashioned homemade cocoa piled high with marshmellows.

Wintertime always reminds us all of our grandmother's old-fashioned homemade cocoa. She could whip it up in nothing flat and fill it chock full of an abundance of love for us all. I remember how she smiled at each and every one of us as she carefully sat that warm mug of cocoa in front of us. Our eyes magnified with joy as we nutured every sip until we reached the bottom of the mug.

My mother carried on the tradition with her grandchildren, And I have tried to keep the tradition alive in our family yet to this day. I hope you and your family will enjoy our old-fashioned homemade cocoa as much as we have.......

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Cocoa

Single Serving(1 large mug)

1 rounded tsp. baking cocoa powder
1-3 tsp. granulated sugar
dash of  salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Large Serving(6 cups)

5 rounded tsp. baking cocoa powder
1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar
dash of salt
12 oz. can evaporated milk
12 oz. can water
3 cups whole milk
1 Tab. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan combine the cocoa, sugar and salt, mixing together. Add a small amount of the milk a little at a time to form a thin cocoa paste. Turn heat on medium, continue  slowly adding  the milk  until it is evenly incorporated into the cocoa mixture and there are no lumps. Stir this mixture consistantly so that it doesn't burn.

If you are making the large serving, now is the time to add the water, then continue to stir. Using a whisk is most helpful at this stage. Once the cocoa is warm, then add the butter and vanilla. Continue to slowly stir until the cocoa reaches the desired hottness. Do not let it come to boiling!

Pour into mugs or cups. If desired, add small or large marshmellows. Enjoy!

***You can refrigerate any leftover cocoa and either reheat it or use it  as chocolate milk. You can also fill popsicle holders to make homemade fudgesicles.

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