National Police Week is May 13th – 19th. Have you hugged a K-9 today? To all police officers, but especially the K-9 handlers: have a safe week! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
Hope you have someplace this special to go this weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is just around the corner, and romantics and royal watchers of both the two- and four-legged variety are celebrating, including an array of adorable…
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This post is in partnership with Dreft. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby & Bean possible.
Those of you who have been following along for a while likely remember late in the summer of 2016, when our family went through what remains the most difficult time of our lives. For those who do not, our son Emmett, who was a 7 month old baby at the time, had started doing an occasional subtle movement (imagine a little shrug and slight head bob that looked a lot like reflux) that just seemed a little “off” to me. After a few days of this, we took him to his pediatrician who, while not overly concerned, referred us to a neurologist, just in case. Long story short, less than 24 hours later we were in the children’s hospital with a diagnosis of Infantile Spasms, a form of childhood epilepsy that is labeled as “catastrophic” and comes with a very poor prognosis for the vast majority of children who have it. There is, of course, much more to the story. But miraculously, after a week in the hospital followed by several months of intense medication and therapy, Emmett was one of the few (5-10%) who not only beat IS, but has been assessed as completely healthy and developmentally on track. You can see by the photos in this post that he is now a happy, healthy, active, fun, funny toddler, who makes my heart swell beyond words. And for this, I am filled with gratitude.
I’ve gone into more detail of Emmett’s journey with IS here on the blog, especially in the months after his initial diagnosis (if you search for “Emmett” you can find many posts about it), but today I wanted to share something I haven’t gotten into yet; and that’s the emotional experience of our time in the hospital, mainly how the power of scent (yes, scent) – specifically the scent of Dreft baby detergent – helped us cope during that heartbreaking time. Before I get more into details, I want to be completely transparent and say that while this post is in partnership with Dreft, everything I’m about to share is legitimately what happened – and Dreft just happened to play a part in it. One of the things my husband and I most remember about Emmett being separated from us in the hospital for countless MRIs, EEGs, blood tests, lumbar punctures, etc. was how the smell of his clothing and blankets – which were always washed in Dreft – brought us comfort. (In fact, after working on this campaign, we started using Dreft to wash the kids’ clothes again – specifically plant-based Dreft purtouch – because we remembered how powerful that scent was in terms of feeling comforted and bonded with Emmett. But more on that in a minute.)
After the neurologist sat us down to deliver the devastating results of Emmett’s EEG, we were instructed to go home and pack enough belongings to be in the hospital for a week. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and, as my husband describes it, going through the motions, almost as if we were watching ourselves on a movie. It was surreal. We frantically grabbed things and threw them in bags. I was mainly focused on Emmett, and packed his blankets, lovey pacifier, and other things I hoped would bring him comfort. Then we headed to the children’s hospital.
Within minutes of checking in and getting our room, a doctor and several nurses came in. We were asked countless questions and had to fill out pages of paperwork, and Emmett was sedated and whisked away for his MRI. That was one of the hardest parts of the entire experience. From the second the neurologist gave us the bad news in his office, I held Emmett. I even rode next to him in his car seat to the hospital. I was overcome with a biological urge to protect him, so having him taken from me (even for something that was in his best interest and meant to help him), was devastating. During his MRI (which took over an hour), a kind nurse encouraged us to go try to eat something. Sitting in the hospital cafeteria, force feeding myself crackers, I broke down in tears. Right in the middle of that crowded cafeteria, I ugly cried until I was gasping for air. I reached into my diaper bag for a tissue and instead grabbed one of Emmett’s muslin blankets. And as I raised it to my face, I smelled Emmett. Emmett’s clothes were always washed in Dreft, and the scent of that blanket instantly made me feel better, like he was close. I remember telling Robbie to smell it too. As silly as it sounds, that blanket brought me great comfort in that moment, and reminded me of the special bond I had with my babe, regardless of whether or not he was physically with me at that moment.
For the rest of our hospital stay, I made sure we had that blanket with us every time he was taken away. And while I mostly slept in the hospital chair holding and nursing him during the nights, when he napped in the crib and I napped on the hospital couch, I slept with it right next to me. I’m telling you guys, it was amazing how keeping that item close helped me (and my husband) feel bonded with and connected to Emmett during that time. While his comfort was obviously our number one priority, having those moments of comfort for ourselves as well genuinely helped us through one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. I’ve always known (from reading about it and from personal experience) that scent is incredibly powerful, but this was the ultimate proof. And here’s something crazy – the day we were released and took our sweet boy back home, he insisted on having the muslin blanket that I’d hijacked wrapped over him. He couldn’t talk, of course, but I imagined it was because he felt the same bond we did.
Now that I know more, when I think back to how powerful the scent of that blanket was, it all makes sense. In fact, a new survey discovered that Dreft‘s iconic scent actually helps parents feel more bonded and connected to their little ones. (Here are some stats… 8 out of 10 parents feel that using Dreft can make them feel more bonded with their baby. 94% of parents say that the scent of Dreft reminds them of baby. And when they are apart, 87% of parents agree that the Dreft scent helps them feel more connected and closer to their little one. We are proof of this!) We were always very careful with our kids as babies when it came to scents, and preferred unscented products – but because Dreft is hypoallergenic, it is so gentle on baby’s skin, and has such a sweet, subtle scent (one that has been specifically formulated to resemble the indescribable smell of babyhood), we purposefully chose it over unscented detergents. I actually got my first bottle of Dreft at my baby shower while pregnant with my first, and after it was recommended to me by so many friends and family (and I learned that it was the #1 dermatologist recommended detergent for baby clothes and the #1 pediatrician recommended baby detergent!), it was a no brainer to use it. The fact that Dreft has been created exclusively for babies to take care of their delicate clothes and fabrics for more than 80 years is pretty darn reassuring too. And I mean really – if a detergent can make us feel bonded, nostalgic, happy, tearful and grateful just by smelling a load of laundry, I am in.
As I mentioned earlier, since starting work on this campaign, we’ve been using Dreft again, specifically Dreft purtouch, which was introduced last year. It is a 65% plant-based baby detergent that is hypoallergenic and made with naturally-derived ingredients to be gentle on skin. It still has that special scent we love, and gently yet effectively cleanses (removing up to 99% of baby stains, which is mandatory with a toddler). It’s really nice to have it back around the house again, as we share new (and, thankfully, much less intense) bonding moments with our little ones.
To this day, both Emmett and I love that special blanket, by the way. I am constantly reminded (especially now that we wash it in Dreft again) of how it bonded us during the most challenging time. I’ll never throw it away.
Do you have any special scents that help you feel connected to your little ones? Who else is a Dreft fan?
Almost 75 million dogs have been adopted into homes that already owned at least one dog. Multi-dog homes are often good for families with kids. There are other dogs to play with so a dog is not expecting constant attention from your children, or you, all the time, and there is always another dog to play with when the family …
Thank you Village Harvest for sponsoring this post. Every day Village Harvest is planting seeds of change and growing possibilities, one bag of goodness at a time.
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There is little in this world I enjoy eating more than Thai food. (Okay, tacos too, but you’ve seen enough recipes here involving those.) And when it comes to Thai food, I almost always go for curries. (Side note: red curry was the first dinner I ever made for my now husband, almost 12 years ago. Awww.) Lucky for me, everyone in my family (even the 2 year old) loves Thai curry dishes too. Not so lucky for me, these dishes usually require quite a bit of time and ingredients to prepare. You guys know me – I do not enjoy extravagant, time consuming recipes. So sadly, red curry was, for a long time, something I only made on special occasions (and never on weeknights). Recently though, I found a way to make a truly delicious version of vegetarian Thai red curry that only requires a handful of ingredients and takes about 20 minutes to prepare. It’s so easy and so good that it’s become a regular weeknight dinner around here. If you like curry dishes, I think you’ll love it as much as we do.
Easy Vegetarian Thai Red Curry
1 cup Village Harvest Origins Collection Organic Coconut Tumeric Brown Jasmine Rice
package extra firm tofu, cubed*
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2 cups broccoli florets (you can also use cauliflower, or really any veggie you have on hand)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons. garlic powder
lime (for juice)
basil (for topping)
hot sauce or red pepper flakes (optional)
(I’ll preface the instructions by saying that you can easily prepare your tofu right before you eat this, but I like doing it in advance. In fact, I usually buy a couple of packages, prepare them, and keep them covered in the fridge. Then when I make this red curry, I just throw them in the sauce which makes the entire dish take about 10 minutes to make.)
Begin by pressing the water out of the tofu block and cutting into cubes. (Or, if you really want to save time, buy it already cubed like I do.) Heat some coconut oil or olive oil in a large skillet (enough to coat the tofu without being too greasy) and pan fry the tofu over medium high heat until brown on all sides, adding a little salt as you go. Once tofu is read, either place into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until you use it, or continue to the next step while the tofu is cooking. In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to a low simmer. Add red curry paste, brown sugar, and garlic powder and stir until combined. Add broccoli florets and tofu and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. While this is cooking, heat the Village Harvest Organic Coconut Tumeric Brown Jasmine Rice in the microwave for 90 seconds. Pour rice into bowls, top with curry sauce, squeeze a little lime on top each bowl and top with basil (or Thai basil). Enjoy!
This red curry is super simple and so fast to make, but incredibly delicious. And that’s why it’s truly the perfect quick weeknight meal to prepare for my family. Preparing the tofu in advance and keeping it in the fridge eliminates so much time for me, but the real time-saver is the Coconut Turmeric Brown Jasmine Rice from Village Harvest’s new Origins Collection. This collection features authentic recipes from India and Thailand that can be served alone or prepared in endless ways, and that are all organic and non-GMO, 100% whole grain, and gluten free. And they’re not just rice – they’re recipes. So you can serve them alone as tasty side dishes, or as part of recipes like this one. Best of all, they’re microwavable and ready in 90 seconds. (This is huge!) My favorite for curry dishes if the Coconut Tumeric (Thailand), but I genuinely love all of the other varieties they offer as well: Basmati & Lentil (India), Lemon Rice (India), Tikka Masala (India), and Thai Green Curry (Thailand). Village Harvest Origins is truly a smart and simple meal solution that you can bring to life in 90 seconds. If you’re anything like me and love delicious Thai (and India!) dishes but don’t have the time to prepare them on the regular, I highly suggest giving this collection a try. And let me know what you think.
Any other red (or yellow, or green – I love them all) curry fans out there? What’s your favorite type of Thai food?
Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
The FDA reports on a possible health risk:
OC Raw Dog, LLC of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, is recalling approximately 1,560 lbs of Chicken, Fish & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation which was manufactured on 10/11/2017 with a lot number 3652 and a use by date of 10/11/18. We are voluntarily recalling because of potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause severe and potentially fatal infection in animals consuming the pet food, and the humans that handle the pet food and surfaces exposed to the product. Pets can be carriers of the bacteria and infect humans, even if the pets do not appear to be ill. Short-term symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to Listeria monocytogenes infections, which can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves and their pets for symptoms.
Lot # 3652 of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was shipped to the following states with the following associated volume with the intent to sell to Independent Specialty Retailers and in turn sold to Consumers. California – 356 lbs., Colorado – 153 lbs., Florida – 195 lbs., Maryland – 320 lbs., Minnesota – 429 lbs., Pennsylvania – 78 lbs. and Vermont – 30 lbs.
This lot of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was made into 3 lb. Meaty Rox Bags, 4 lb. Slider Bags, 6.5 lb. Doggie Dozen Patty Bags and 7 lb. Meaty Rox Bags. All of which have been marked with a lot number of 3652 and a USE BY DATE of 10/11/18. Each bag has this information on a sticker located on the back lower left corner of the bag.
|Product||Package Nt. Wt.||UPC No.||Bar Code|
|OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox||3 lb.||022099069171|
|OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Sliders||4 lb.||095225852640|
|OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Dozen Patty Bag||6.5 lb.||022099069225|
|OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox||7 lb.||095225852756|
To date there have been no reported illnesses of dogs, cats or persons in any connection with this product. The contamination is still under investigation.
OC Raw was notified by the FDA of the contamination after it was reported that New Jersey Department of Food and Agriculture tested the product and found it to be positive.
The same lab who conducted the tests for Listeria also tested for Salmonella on our 3 lb. bag of Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox and the test was negative. In addition to the OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce tests the lab conducted tests for OC Raw Dog Pumpkin Rox for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella and the results were negative.
OC Raw Dog is a family owned and managed by passionate dog enthusiasts who take very seriously the safety and wellbeing of its consumers and clients. We are dedicated to producing a quality product that is safe. We are taking this contamination very seriously and have sent multiple samples of machines, utensils, packaging equipment and freezers to insure there is no contamination at our facility. We have also sent several individual ingredients to insure we are using safe ingredients and the food we produce is done so in a safe environment. All samples have returned negative for listeria.
There was product at two of the seven distribution locations. The product has been pulled from inventory and destroyed. It is possible there might be a few bags at retailers or at home with consumers. We strongly urge anyone who has purchased OC Raw Dog’s Chicken, Fish & Produce to check the lot number.
Consumers who have purchased product with lot 3652 are urged to return it to the Retailer where it was purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-844-215-DOGS Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm PST.
Pet lovers in the Windy City are about to have their socks blown off – because the 2nd Annual NY Dog Film Festival™ is returning to town on Sunday April 29th, this time to The Patio Theater. There will be two different programs, “Outdoor Adventures With Dogs” at 12:00 (tickets HERE) and “Who Rescued Whom?” (tickets HERE) at 1:45 PM. There are the collections of short films people loved last year, but now the many animal lovers who missed them the first time can have the extra added pleasure of it being a B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Dog!) event! Dogs (the well-behaved ones who are good with other canines and with a crowd of people) are welcome with their humans for the first time, so it’s going to be one big happy party. Our beneficiary is One Tail at a Time Dog Rescue , which will be on hand and receive a portion of every ticket.
Let’s never forget that the Founding Sponsor of the NY Dog Film Festival™ was Halo, which believed right at the start in the idea of bringing dog lovers together, and their belief made the festival possible. The Petco Foundation carried on as the Presenting Sponsor and embraced the concept of giving back to shelters and others working for the welfare of all pets.
The NY Cat Film Festival™ will be making its Chicago debut on Saturday April 28th at The Patio – with two different collections of short films celebrating felines, “Nobody Owns a Cat” (tickets HERE) at 12:00 and “Little Works of Art” (tickets HERE) at1:30 PM. Chicago’s own pet expert and radio star Steve Dale will be on hand to welcome everyone on behalf of the WINN Feline Foundation, which has been funding research into cat illnesses for 50 years and is the national beneficiary of the NY Cat Film Festival™ – in Chicago they’ll be getting a portion of every ticket!
Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat is the Founding Sponsor of the NY Cat Film Festival™ and their devotion to the welfare of all kitties extends to supporting a community celebration of these fascinating felines.
The fantastic Bentley’s Pet Stuff stores are sponsoring both Festivals and will be there both days, handing out deluxe goody bags to everyone who comes.
I’m really thrilled that Chicago pet influencers have embraced the Festivals and are sharing the excitement with their networks and communities as well.
Real Dog Moms of Chicago, (a.k.a. Jes, Lindy and their network of awesome and fun dog loving mamas) started as an Instagram account (@realdogmomsofchicago) but has grown into an incredible force of dog lovers across Chicago who hold events, support local rescues and shelters and champion the canine kind in any way they can. Check out their web site at realdogmomsofchicago.com to find out all the latest dog happenings in the Windy City!
We’re super excited to know Paul Fehrenbacher, the chief mutt at Mutt Jackson. Now here’s a guy who loves dogs and loves people and really loves dogs and people together. That’s why he “got” and wholeheartedly embraced the NY Dog Film Festival™ concept right away! Paul’s working hard to find awesome ways for humans and dogs to enjoy each other. If you live in Chicago you’ve probably taken your pup to Montrose Dog Beach. Thanks to Paul’s tireless efforts, this already awesome beach now has a self serve dog wash. Last summer they washed more than 6,500 dirty, sandy pups! Talk about community service! Paul has a lot of very cool things up his sleeve for Montrose Dog Beach and beyond and we can’t wait to watch them unfold.
Cats and dogs and..fashion? Our new favorite blogger, Christine Nendick at Rescue in Style has combined two of her loves – fashion and rescue pets – into this delightful site that shows readers that animal rescue is always in fashion. She’s pawed in to the local Chicago rescue and shelter scene but travels the country visiting other shelters and rescues and reporting on trends she sees.
Back home she’s ruled by the search for the perfect pump and her two “foster fail” felines, Roni & Cheese.
Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.
Tracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.
Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.
Feral horses run in the wiry grass of Don Blankenship’s prairies. Once real mountains stood here, all crowned in ash and oak and hickory, but beneath them was a black rock. Over the centuries, men came and dug at the earth and sweated and died and then the bulldozers came and the mountains were gone. The state demanded that the coal operators do something to reclaim the land, so they planted some cheap grass and a couple of pine trees. But the land was forever changed.
Over the years, the jobs all went away, and those who had a few pleasure horses took them to the new grasslands and set them free. Better to be “wild horses” on the range than dog food was the simple logic.
And the stallions round their mares in this new steppeland. They nicker and fight the wars of that ancient Equus lambei, which a few romantics like to hope gives some sort of license to the native status of the modern horse on this continent.
At the same time, the state of West Virginia is trying its hand at restoring elk to these very same prairie lands. The elk were natives of the Eastern forests, and the ones being turned out onto these ranges are from Kentucky and Arizona. And those of Kentucky are still of the Rocky Mountain form of elk, not the long gone Eastern kind, which may now exist only in the muddled genetics of some New Zealand ranched herds.
The elk need the grass too, and worries are the horses will make the range too bare. And the elk will not make a comeback.
But the truth of the matter is neither species is native to land that never existed before. The glaciers never made it this far south, and the steepness of the terrain before the dozers came is testament to the antiquity of these mountains. They once stood like the Rockies or the Himalayas, but the millennia of erosion wore them down until the coal operators showed up to cut down their remnant. The glaciers never smoothed out the mountains, but human greed certainly did.
Meanwhile, Don Blankenship is back in politics. He is a former coal operator, a greedy, nasty one at that, the kind that was once excoriated in all those old union songs, but now as the mines employ fewer and fewer workers and UMWA is all broken and busted, he plays the working class victim. All railroaded by “union bosses” and Obama, he didn’t do anything wrong, he tells the gullible.
He’s thrown his hat into the US Senate race. His ads call all his opponents liberals and abortion lovers. He plays up his conspiracy theory about Obama having it out for him. He feigns tears about Indiana bats that are being killed by windmills.
He says he’ll drain the swamp. Maybe, he will, but I have the idea that he might just fill it up with coal slurry. That’s what happened to poor Martin County, Kentucky. Blankenship was CEO when his company’s slurry impoundment overflowed and filled up the Tug Fork River.
He sells the false hope that if you just get rid of a few more environmental and labor regulations, the coal industry will come roaring back. He also says that if we just build Old Man Trump’s wall on the Mexican border, we won’t have any more problems with drugs. After all, the drug problem must surely come from brown foreigners, and not the pharmaceutical industry and those totally unscrupulous doctors who prescribed opioids for every little discomfort.
The politics he offers are the politics of the apocalypse. In land where no real hope can be found, a little false hope will do.
And the miners lose their jobs and their homes and their pleasure horses join the ranks of the feral bands.
The Bible talks about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, but in West Virginia, the hoofbeats of that sound the impending doom have no riders at all.
They are the roving bands of the abandoned, left out to sort out a new existence on Don Blankeship’s prairies.
The snakeoil of politicians rings out on the airwaves, and every year, new horses get turned out, and the mares drop their feral foals.
The coal company’s rangeland gets denuded a little bit more, and the elk might not stand much of a chance.
In this apocalypse, death will come. Sooner or later, the horses will starve on those pastures. A few good souls might get some of them adopted, but most will either starve or wind up shot.
Perhaps, this election will be the final burlesque of Blankenship, but he’s not the only coal country caudillo in West Virginia. The current governor is a more successful sort of politico of this stripe, and the legislature if full of people like him. The long suffering of the people will go on and on, and the horses will continue to be turned out into the wild,
Already, coal towns are advertising their “wild horses” as an attraction draw tourism. It’s a more benign falsehood than the one Blankenship is offering.
But it is not so benign for the horses or the coming elk. For them, the apocalypse is coming. They cannot know it, for if they did, they would run.
And their hoofbeats would ring out the warning of our impending doom.