Shout out to Paws of War, an organization dedicated to training and placing shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our U.S. military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war. In turn, each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. Their programs include: War Torn … Continue reading Helping Both Ends of the Leash
This post is sponsored by Prairie Organic Spirits, but all opinions are my own. 21+ Drink Responsibly.
As soon as the first summertime day arrives, my head is instantly filled with daydreams of sitting out on my patio with friends, sipping on cheery, tropical-vibed cocktails. I envision something tangy and subtly sweet, made with only the highest quality organic ingredients. These summertime daydreams and my friends are what inspired me to come up with this incredibly delicious, super refreshing, organic pineapple orange vodka refresher that is guaranteed to bring sunshine to the forecast no matter the time of year. They’re easy to make, will wow the guests at your next gathering, and feature my absolute favorite vodka from Prairie Organic Spirits. Scroll down for the recipe!
Organic Pineapple Orange Vodka Refreshers
1.5 fluid ounces Prairie Organic Vodka
2 fluid ounces organic pineapple juice (chilled)
3 fluid ounces organic orange juice (chilled)
splash of soda
pineapple slice (for garnish)
orange slice (for garnish)
fresh mint sprig (for garnish)
Fill a glass about half full of ice cubes. Pour in Prairie Organic Vodka, organic pineapple juice, organic orange juice, and stir. Top with a splash or two of soda. Garnish with a pineapple slice, an orange slice, and a sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy! Make sure to take advantage and earn cash back through this awesome Ibotta offer –> http://bit.ly/2XCPAsO and get yourself some Prairie Organic Vodka right now while supplies last. (Trust me; you will love it.)
The key to making this sunshine-filled cocktail is the quality organic ingredients – especially the Prairie Organic Vodka. As a Chicagoan, I’m big on supporting Midwest brands, and when a friend told me that Prairie Organic Spirits are not only organic but made in Minnesota, I had to give them a try. Upon first sip of Prairie Organic Vodka, I could sense the true craftsmanship that goes into making their spirits. The taste is distinct, smooth, and rich, and perfect in cocktails or just over ice with a splash of soda. Also, it’s gluten free! And because it is important to me to support organic farming whenever possible, the fact that Prairie Organic Spirits are made from organic corn grown on family farms is a huge motivator in me choosing them above all else. Prairie Organic Spirits are USDA Certified and are the #1 Organic Spirit.
And if I didn’t already love this brand enough, Prairie Organic Spirits gives 1% back to help more farmers go organic! That’s pretty great.
If you make these delectable organic pineapple orange vodka refreshers, be sure to let me know what you think! And if you have any other organic cocktail recipes you love, please send them over to me. I’m also a big fan of their tasty Prairie Organic Gin and Prairie Organic Cucumber Flavored Vodka (so delicious with soda and a squeeze of fresh lemon.) Happy organic sipping!
I don’t like posting dog food controversies on this blog, simply because dog food leads to lots of fights.
A few years ago, it was revealed that dogs had more copies of gene that leads to the production of amylase than wolves do. Amylase is used to convert starches into simple sugars, and dogs with these extra copies would be better able to get nutrition from grains. These extra copies made it easier for dogs to live in human societies that were shifting from hunter-gatherer to the modern agrarian exist.
That study means that dogs can do well on a diet that is rich in grains. Many members the raw feeding movement, swear that dogs must be fed only meat and organs. Some dogs do have a real difficulty digesting grain-based dog food, and they certainly would do better on this diet. However, in the raw feeding community, there is a generally held belief that virtually all degenerative disease in dogs can be traced to having corn or some other grain in the diet.
That controversy is still raging, though not in scientific circles. The real controversy with grains and dog food right now comes from the discovery of a linkage between feeding grain free dog food and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Grain free dog foods have been all the rage in recent years. They provide the convenient kibbles, but unlike grain-based kibble, some sort of legume is used to create the mixture.
Last year, there was deep suspicion that dogs fed a grain free diet were having issues with DCM, and a few days ago, the FDA released a study that shows a very strong linkage between these diets and contracting DCM.
The current hypothesis is that the legumes interfere in some way with he excretion and production of taurine, which creates a taurine deficiency that leads to the DCM.
More research needs to be done, of course. Taurine is not considered an essential amino acid for dogs, but it very well might be.
Maybe, though, the best thing to feed a dog is a scientifically formulated dog food from a long-established company, one that has performed decades worth of research on its products.
Until we know for sure, maybe it’s safer to feed dogs one of those brands.
I certainly think so.
Check out the newest employee at Redbud Hardware in Buchanan, Michigan. So cute! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
This post is sponsored by Mirum, but opinions expressed are my own. Summer has definitely arrived in Texas–and that means high temperatures (114 degree heat index, seriously?) and…you…
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In the 1980s, an Inuit subsistence hunter in Greenland killed three gray whales that looked suspiciously like belugas at first. However, they were oddly gray. The fins resembled a beluga’s, while the tail looked like that of a narwhal.
The hunter kept one of the skulls, eventually donating it to science, where became the property of the Greenland Fisheries Research Institute. A scientist working for that institute, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen,hypothesized that this skull came from a hybrid between a narwhal and a beluga.
It was only today that a study was released in the journal Nature that revealed that this whale was indeed a hybrid. The DNA analysis revealed that male beluga mated with a female narwhal to produce the creature.
The skull was quite strange. Belugas have 40 homodont teeth. Narwhals are toothless, except males. The males have one really long canine tooth that sticks out as a tusk. Sometimes, they have two, but most have only one true tooth. It is spiraled like what is expected form the mythical unicorn. They do have only a few vestigial teeth.
The hybrid had 18 teeth, many of which were pointed out horizontally and spiraled like the vestigial teeth of the narwhal.
Isotopic analysis also revealed that the hybrid had a different diet from either parent species, both of which catch fish or squid in the open water. The beluga hunts fish at depths of up to 500 meters, while the narwhal hunts fish or squid at depths exceeding 800 meters. The isotopic analysis revealed that the narluga was eating mostly benthic prey, which means it was eating mostly shellfish from the sea floor.
So this study raises so many questions. Analysis of the narwhal genome revealed that gene flow between the two species stopped between 1.25 and 1.65 million years ago. The initial split happened around 4 million years ago, and that study thought that an viable hybrids would be unable to reproduce. However, the authors of the study cautioned that a larger sample size of individual narwhal and beluga genomes from across their range might reveal more recent dates on when gene flow stopped (if it did at all).
So it is not entirely clear that this hybrid would have been sterile, but we also have no further evidence of hybrids anywhere else. It is quite possible that these hybrids could be fertile, and if they are, climate change could cause the eventual genetic extinction of the narwhal.
The morphology and feeding behavior this odd whale might point to the origins of the narwhal. Perhaps the ancestral narwhal was a benthic feeding whale that later lost its teeth to become a whale that hunts squid and fish at great depths with an almost toothless mouth.
Having teeth like the hybrid is a great adaptation for this particular diet, because the forward pointing teeth can poke around and dislodge shellfish more easily.
If these hybrids are fertile, then one could see the eventual development of a hybrid whale species that has its own niche as a benthic feeder in the arctic.
It is an amazing find, and chances are there will be more discovered. Further, as scientists examine genomes from belugas and narwhals from a wide geographic distribution, we might see evidence of some hybridization.
Hybridization could also increase genetic diversity in narwhals, but if these hybrids must eat a fundamentally different diet than narwhals do, it might become difficult for these hybrids to add their genes to narwhal populations. They just cannot hang out for extensive periods of time, before they have to split off and engage in divergent feeding behavior.
So this discovery does generate lots of speculation and raises several important questions that need to be addressed.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you doggy daddies out there. Enjoy your special day! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
I recently came across these photos from two summers ago and was so emotionally moved by them (it doesn’t take much with me, but still) that I felt compelled to share. Talking about how quickly time passes when you’re watching little ones grow is the ultimate parent cliche, but guys, it’s freaking true. I’m baffled by how different E and E look now, just two years later. And when I think about how much their personalities have evolved, I genuinely feel a sense of overwhelm; not in a bad way, but in a way that sort of takes my breath away. For real.
My daughter is already at an age (5 going on some unrecognizable level of preteen) where she’s so independent and busy that precious time with her is beginning to feel scarce, and even my 3 year old son, normally so clingy and emotionally connected to me, is starting to prefer friend play time over hanging with his parents. This is why I’m really making an effort to spend as much quality time as possible with them this summer, even if it’s not as much time as I wish it could be. We’re heading to a mini lake getaway as a family later today and I’m going to savor every second of it, mark my words.
For those of you with kids, does it seem like each year speeds up? Is there ever a point where it doesn’t feel like sand slipping through your finger tips? How do you savor the quality moments?
It may not officially begin until later this month but summer is definitely in full swing here. Hurricane season started with the arrival of a rainy tropical wave–and, as soon as it exits our…
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Donuts: the perfect Friday snack. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!