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Category Archives: Wayward Living

Wayward on Water: What Happened to this Boat?

Somewhere in the waters between New Zealand and Australia, this boat is lost.

1928 schooner

The historic 1928 American schooner called Nina departed on May 29, en route from Opua to Newcastle. The journey was estimated to take a minimum of 12 days.

No communication has been received from the boat – or any of its seven passengers – since June 4. On that day, one of the crew members sent out a text message during a storm, although the boat has never called out for help, nor has its emergency beacon been activated.

Search and rescue missions have scoured hundreds of thousands of miles of water over the past few days but so far found nothing.

The Rescue Coordination Center of New Zealand has “grave concerns,” but friends and family of the crew are hopeful.

My cousin Kyle is on that boat.

crystal n kyle

Kyle is one of the cousins I have been getting to know more as an adult than I did as a child. He is handsome, fearless and so much fun. He lives for adventure, and his curiosity has taken him all over the world.

The family hopes the current adventure ends soon, with Kyle safe and sound and back to tell us all one hell of a story.

Another rescue mission is happening today, a joint effort by both Australian and New Zealand officials.

Kyle’s sister, my cousin Megan, is keeping family and friends informed on the blog Universe to KBJ.

If you are in the part of the world where my cousin is lost, please keep an ear out for local reports that you can share. Comment on this post or tweet me.

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Dogtique: Rescue of a Lost Friend

Before there was Lassie, there was this dog:

Rescue of a Lost Friend print

Howling for help.

This faithful collie is part of my late grandfather’s collection of dogtiques.

According to my grandmother, this print belonged to my grandpa’s mom, which means it has been in the family for a very long time.

Unfortunately, the part of the print with the artist’s name and the picture title was trimmed to fit into the frame so many years ago. However, a little online research helped me learn a bit about this popular image.

What artist is responsible for this picture and what it is called are all up for debate.

The artists Walter Hunt, Edgar Hunt and Albert Schenck have all been attached to pictures that look like this but have been commonly called “Found,” “Shepherd’s Call” or “Rescue of a Lost Friend.”

My grandmother, who has dealt in antiques for most of her life, swears she has come across this picture many times over the years, with the title “Cry for Help.”

Whatever the truth may be, I enjoy this picture. What do you think of it?

To learn more about the controversy, click here.

For a fun collie blog, check out Collies of the Meadow.

Beer Paws on the Range

Are there any horse lovers out there?

If so, then the following videos are for you. And they’re also for you if you like cute cowgirls, cute cowboys and cute doggies.

Enjoy!

Big thanks to my friends family Tyler and Sevy for making these videos. What an awesome surprise to find them in my inbox yesterday!

Ready to get a Beer Paws bottle opener for your four-legged friend (of almost any species)? Three styles, including glow-in-the-dark, are now available at my online store!

New Zealand goat

Kiko likes the turquoise.

Puppy Brittle and Pumpkin Beer Biscuits

It was a long night, but the house smells great.

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Late in the afternoon yesterday, I came into possession of about 20 pounds of spent grains from a local homebrewer.

I had been hoping to get into this situation ever since I heard that you can make dog treats from the leftover mash from beer making.

The catch is, you have to use the soaked grain mash pretty quick or else it gets moldy.

While I haven’t yet used up all 20 pounds, I did whip up quite a few biscuits, bars and cookies for my pups (and pups of my friends and family) last night.

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These biscuits, which utilize an edible product that would have otherwise been thrown out or composted, are great treats for dogs who don’t have grain allergies.

I tried the basic formula for peanut butter spent grain biscuits that is all over the internet. I also experimented a little for pumpkin and bacon beer biscuits.

My results varied in shape, texture and dryness.

The key to beer biscuits is getting them super dry (and consequently super hard) so that they have a shelf life longer than a couple days. However, to get the biscuits that dry and mold-resistant, they need to be in the oven at least three hours.

I got one batch just about perfect by spreading the batter out thin on a cookie sheet and cutting it into squares before baking. It’s so crunchy I’ve dubbed it puppy brittle. The dogs loved it, and I even tried a little with my own breakfast. It tasted peanut buttery yet wholesome.

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Apparently, granola bars for people can be made almost the same way. I’m going to try this recipe from Flying on Jess Fuel.

Have you ever made people or pup treats from spent beer grains?

Don’t have access to spent grains? Try these recipes: easy baked peanut butter dog cookies and no-bake meat and veggie treatballs.

Dogtique: Last of the Litter

Where could this little puppy be headed?

Last of the Litter print

This print is from my late grandfather’s collection of dogtiques.

I haven’t discovered much history about the print, entitled Last of the Litter. It is also represented online in a collection of prints commissioned by the Wilson Chemical Co. on a page managed by the Tyrone Area Historical Society.

My grandmother said that Fluffy, the dog she got in high school during the 1940s, once traveled across the country in a crate much like the one in the print.

Incidentally, a few days before snapping the photo of this print, I also encountered a similar old timey dog kennel. It was in the back room of a new antiques and curiosities shop in my neighborhood.

Check it out:

antique dog kennel

Can you make out the dog’s name?

antique dog kennel

Solid construction but not a posh accommodation.

antique dog kennel

For times of thirst…

My grandma said her Fluffy was pretty ragged by the end of her trip in this kind of crate. I’m not surprised.

I’m glad pet carriers have advanced since this model.

How do your pets travel?

Local Treats: Porter’s Pet Pantry

Way back on Mother’s Day, I swung by the farmer’s market at City Market in Kansas City.

My goal was to pick up some fresh or potted flowers for my mama. But what I ended up with were chocolate linguine noodles, a hand-painted flower pot filled with six ounces of fudge and a bag of locally made dog treats.

Porter's Pet Pantry

The dog treats were for my pups. They came from Porter’s Pet Pantry, a local company I had not encountered before.

The family of Porter – a chocolate lab who inspired the business – makes a rather large line of wholesome dog snacks in a professional kitchen in the River Market.

Nate, who I chatted with, explained to me that the company started with liver slivers, a pure meat treat, and the offering has grown from there. What I took home for Luke and Scooby was unlike anything I have bought for them before: waffles.

Actually, these were Chicken-N-Waffles, little silver-dollar-sized waffle-shaped biscuits made with wholesome grains and real chicken. They were crunchy and, apparently, tasty.

They were eaten up before I thought to take a photograph and the packaging disappeared. Oh well, we will have to hit up Porter’s Pet Pantry again.

You can learn more about Porter’s Pet Pantry at the website and on Facebook.

Have you discovered any local treats lately?

Nice Day for a Ride

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Not everything is right in the world – particularly if you happen to live near the tornado path in Oklahoma.

But today in Kansas City, the sun is out, the breeze is sweet, and (in spite of some troubles of our own) we have plenty to be thankful for.

This little scene of two smiling dogs in a car will be repeated this morning, as I chauffeur Luke and Scooby to Kennel Creek Pet Resort.

I’m so glad they will be taken care of on a day when my plate at work is sure to be overflowing.

What are you grateful for today?

 

Party Time with Mom

It’s her day.

mom wearing a spuds mackenzie apron

Who’s the real party animal in this picture?

This is the woman who taught me how to love unconditionally and that your baby, no matter how many legs it has or how ill-mannered it can be, should be doted on and cuddled as much as possible.

Case in point: Tori the rat terrier who’s giving the camera the stinkeye.

Today, I’ll be spending a good part of the day with my mom, celebrating our relationship and dining on tasty, locally prepared food.

Our ultimate hope is to get tickets for a  tour of Boulevard Brewery, the internationally renowned craft beer company based in Kansas City.

She better leave that Spuds Mackenzie apron at home, though.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there! Whether your puppies have two legs or four, you deserve some appreciation for a job well done!

Out of Darkness

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The kindness of strangers and friends alike has helped warm my heart over the past few days.

I am still processing the loss of Charlie Machete, as well as other unrelated family matters that I will not go into here.

Yet, even in dark times, there are reasons to rejoice.

A kiss from an old man, the squeeze of a sister’s hand, new life emerging on my doorstep – so much beauty abounds.

Joy to all on this spring Tuesday.

Reading Material as Home Decor

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Have you ever wondered what to do with a wine rack if you’re not storing wine in it?

Research related to my ongoing office transformation project revealed a clever solution that also helps me mitigate paper clutter.

Turn the empty wine rack into a magazine rack!

I have a hard time parting with magazines, especially ones that contain an article I’ve written, so I have amassed a rather large collection. Fortunately, they roll up nice and look pretty good tucked into the places where wine bottles could go.

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In case you’re wondering where my wine bottles do go, the answer is in our kitchen and dining room.

If you’ve been following this blog for long, you might recognize my wine rack as the base of last year’s seedling nursery.

While I opted not to start any seeds this year, I do have a few houseplant cuttings incorporated into the scene.

And because I love books, I’ve also turned them into part of the decor.

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Have you ever used a wine rack for something besides storing wine?

Come back tomorrow to learn why the main shelf of my wine rack looks a bit like a shrine to Charlie Machete.

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