Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Please donate

Please help the animals of the 
Houston Flood
Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security patrol help to rescue residents and their dogs in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood on Aug. 27 in Houston.
Click HERE to DONATE
A cat wanders through debris on Aug. 28 in Rockport, Texas. A neighbor took in the cat and provided it with food and water.

HSTN WebDonation

Milwaukee Kayaking Company


Last night two friends and I took the Milwaukee Kayak Company Harbor District Tour.  I had a excellent time.  

We signed up for the August 10th tour. On August 10th there was a severe thunderstorm warning which cancelled the trip. We rescheduled for last night.

We arrived at 5:15 pm for the trip. We registered then we were fitted for a kayak and life jackets.  I brought my own life jacket ~ I know it is silly but I feel safe in my life jacket. 

They offered water, snack, and headlamps if needed.  We were all good.

It was a group of about 15 people - all different ages and all different skill sets for kayaking. A few this was their first time in a kayak others definitely knew how to paddle. 

We had two guides from the Milwaukee Harbor District that explained what was happening in the district.  I was very impressed at the districts work to save the area.  I can remember when the Milwaukee River area was very polluted. Over the past 25 years there has been a lot of work done to clean up the waterways and Lake Michigan. The waterway area is much cleaner that it was.  I was especially impressed with the floating islands and the underway fish habitats.

Very fun trip that I recommend to everyone living in the area and visiting Milwaukee. The cost is $25 for the Harbor District Tour - definitely worth the money! Excellent guided trip with good equipment. I had a Pelican Prodigy Kayak and a Harmony Sea Passage Paddle ~ both good quality.
This is a post where the pics can tell the story! 









Milwaukee Kayak Company 
Canoe & kayak rental service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Address318 S Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Hours
Open today · 10AM–7PM



Kayaking & Camping Mirror Lake ~ Wisconsin State Park

In July of this year we spent a weekend camping and kayaking at Mirror Lake State Park
just south of Wisconsin Dells.  Mirror Lake is one of my favorite State Parks. The park offers excellent hiking. You might remember the post about camping in 29 degree weather - that was Mirror Lake SP.  This year we camped in our Popup and spent the day 
kayaking.

Our campsite was very nice. Close to the bathroom but kind of too far from the water. Next trip to the park we will pick a site closer to the water. No complaints about camping ~ the park was very busy ~ but no issues with campers.

Now kayaking was a different story!  The lake was packed with kayaks.  They were everywhere. Mirror Lake rents kayaks - so many were new to kayaking.  I was shocked at how few wore Life Jackets.  I counted 6 kayaks wearing life jackets ~ out of the 6 we were 3 of them.  Seriously no PFD's were worn. That is so scary to me ~ knowing how fast it can go bad on the water.

I took Diesel with us. It was way too busy for him on the lake. He was not having a good time - stressed the poor dog out.  Dogs also were not wearing life jackets. That too was shocking to me. 

After about 4 hours on the lake we decided to get off the water. The boat launch was crazy busy - so busy that cars were unwilling to wait for people to get off the water before they felt the need to put their boat in the water. Very stressful boat landing. 

Over all the trip was a huge success ~ you know what they say!

A Bad Kayaking Day is Better than a Great Work Day

I give Mirror Lake Wisconsin State Park a 5 Star rating for camping. The lake is a beautiful destination for kayaking.  I will never go again so close to a holiday weekend. Way to many people on the water. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Save Money with Groupon

I love to shop on Amazon.  My friends are always saying yes I know you got that on AMAZON!  Yes I did.  

Put they do not know is that I save even more money by using Groupon to shop on Amazon! Amazon and Groupon make excellent partners!  

When doing my back to school shopping I find a lot of the school supplies on Amazon and right now Groupon has over 156 deals on amazon items. 

Right now, one of the Groupon Amazon deals is FREE shipping with Amazon without having to have Amazon Prime.

If you have not checked out Groupon ~ you should! There are so many amazing deals at Groupon right now! Groupon has over 9,000 retailers and over 70,000 deals! That is money just waiting to be saved in your pocket.
With back to school right around the corner I am able to save hundreds of dollars just by using Groupon for my back to school shopping.

There are so many retailers you can shop with Groupon such as Target , Macy’sWalmartBed Bath & BeyondWalgreens, and Aeropostale. No matter what your shopping need may be, Groupon has a deal for you! So, get saving and check on the deals for yourself!


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Kayaking the National Seney Wildlife Refuge in the UP of Michigan

Last week I explored the UP of Michigan with a group of family and friends. We were camping,kayaking, and site seeing.  We had a excellent time!

On Saturday we decided to take a kayaking trip down the Manistique River into the Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

We contacted the folks at Northland Outfitters Campground & Canoe Livery. They rent kayaks and canoes and also offer to let kayak owners launch at their location with
 pick up at Mead Creek State Campground - which is 15 miles down stream. 

Having someone pick you up downstream is a life saver ~Definitely worth $10!!!

When we arrived at Northland Outfitters we unloaded our kayaks and headed for the office. Once we completed the necessary paperwork off to the river we went.  We arranged to be picked up at 6 pm (5.5 hours from drop in) - since we were a large group we figured we would be dilly dalling our way down the river.

The trip was amazing!!!  
Breathtaking Beautiful!!! 
The river was extremely curvy. Beautiful waterway. I saw two beavers - both swimming.
One swimming regularly and the other swimming on his back with a piece of wood in his mouth. 

The river has a very nice current - it keeps you moving.  Lots of trees in the water - which was great for testing our kayaking skills.  

I highly recommend that you bring with you some bug spray. The mosquitoes are the size of small birds! Okay maybe not that big - but they are big!  I was fine as long as I keep moving. The minute I stopped my kayak - here came the mosquitoes and they were hungry!

JR in his new kayak!

JR ~ myself (blue kayak) ~ Mary ~ Holly
                                                                                                                                                                                              
Take out was at the Mead State Campground. We planned to be picked up at 6pm - but the trip went faster than expected. We arrived at 4:45pm.  Jen called Northland - they arrived to pick us up at 5pm.  

A FANTASTIC DAY with a FANTASTIC group of family & friends!



A HUGE Thank You to Northland Outfitters for making this amazing adventure possible.
Northland Outfitters 
Canoe & kayak rental service in Germfask, Michigan

Address8174 State Hwy. M-77, Germfask, MI 49836
Hours
Open today · 8AM–9PM

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our First Popup ~ named Popper

Crazy lady alert!  I have two friends that I always kayak with. We would have to take three cars because we each had our own method of transporting our kayak. Holly and Mary put theirs inside their vehicles and I put mine on top in my Hullivator. Plus, we each slept inside out vehicle.  After one trip of three cars traveling in a convoy - we thought heck we could buy a cheap popup - sleep in it and transport our kayaks on top of it. 

During our first camping adventures I found a popup on a Facebook resale page. On our way home we made a detour and checked out the popup. It was a 1997 Palomino Popup in okay but not great shape.  We bought her for $1200 delivered. A reasonable price considering the sales we have seen in our area. $1200 divided by 3 is only $400 each. A great way to camp and kayak and not spend a lot of money.



She was a little rough inside and outside.  The outside had nasty peeling stripes all around the camper. Drive you nuts coming off stripes! That was one of our 1st jobs to do - Remove the stripes. Sounds easy enough - WRONG!
Hours of heat gun and scraping we finally got them off!  Removing the strips and doing some touch up on paint made a world of difference.

Next was the inside. Many hours spent cleaning and removing mold and mildew from the canvas. Washing her down completely. Every inch of her needed TLC and muscle cleaning. 


The cushions were not the best. When we took off the covers the foam was nasty. 20 year old foam is not good!  The cushion covers were in decent shape - no tears.  We hosed them down with water and dish soap - letting them dry in the sun. We decided to only replace the table seat and back cushions. The reason was that Mary would be sleeping in the table area.  I planned on using my air mattress for my side and Holly wanted to use her air mattress for her side.  Since new foam is pricey with figured there would be no reason to replace the bed foam since we both planned on sleeping on air mattresses.  We found a Foam Company in Milwaukee that would customize cut the foam to fit perfect.  
I have to say the cushions that we replaced the foam in look brand new.  New foam cushions are pricey - doing 2 backs and 2 seats cost us $140. 

We removed the heater and sink section. Removing the sink gave us so much space. We plan on using a small electric heater and fans to keep the dampness out of Popper.

The installed fridge is a ice box - something we wanted nothing to do with.  We plan on removing it during the non-camping months but until then we use the fridge for a storage space for items we need but do not use often. We placed a small fridge on top of the section where the sink was. We took pics of our campsites - had them printed and placed the pics over the holes from the sink. Then we added plexiglass to hold the pics in place - our new small fridge fits on top of the plexiglass. Works great!





After a couple of camping trips we realized that we never sat at the table. So we no longer even put up the table - the area stays Mary's bed. We love sitting outside and when we are inside we each get into our area and watch old movies. Buying a nice TV and a BlueRay were definitely worth every penny. Walmart had great deals - we were about to get both for under $200. 

We kept making list and more list - I am happy to say that I no longer have to make a trip to WalMart before our next trip. Having what you need is key to a stress free camping adventure. 

We just returned from a trip to the UP of Michigan.  The bathrooms were so nasty that we decided to get a porta-potty and a small tent. 

Check back to see our next addition to our camping items. 



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What You Should Look for in Dog Food


There are so many options out there today that it may become quite confusing for a dog owner to find a product that has all the necessary ingredients. However, if you love your dog, you should take the time to read the ingredients mentioned on the box carefully before buying. Just in case you are not sure what you should be looking for in dog food, the following list should help you.

Protein

As dogs are carnivores, their primary source of protein is animal protein. While most dog foods will have animal protein in them, you will need to see if they have mentioned the kind of animal meat from which the protein has been derived. For example, a good quality dog food product will mention something specific like chicken, fish or beef right at the top, instead of just printing the word “meat.”

Grains

There should also be a small amount of grains like rice, soy, oats, wheat, barley, beans, and corn in the dog food to help your pup with digestion and add some carbohydrate induced energy. One point to be noted is that you need to avoid any product that contains grains if your dog has a history of allergies to them. If it’s the first time that you are feeding your dog a product with grains in it, watch out for signs of allergies and only continue with the product if no adverse effects are seen.

Fats

Fats are essential dietary nutrients which dogs need for energy and vitamin absorption. It also makes their skin and coats shine with health. Look for healthy sources of fat like safflower oil, vegetable oil, fish oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil and even a bit of pork fat on the ingredients list. As long as the total percentage of fat doesn’t exceed 10-15%, you need not worry about your canine friend becoming overweight.

Vitamins

Just like human beings, dogs also need their daily dose of vitamins to lead a healthy life. Vitamin E boosts canine immunity and vitamin A keeps the skin and fur shiny.

Minerals and Trace Minerals

You will see a long list of essential mineral nutrients mentioned behind the box of a good quality dog food and they are usually as follows.
Primary Minerals
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur
  • Magnesium
  • Chloride
In Small Amounts
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Iodine
  • Fluorine
  • Chromium
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Adequacy

This one is not an ingredient, but rather a guideline designed to give you a clear idea regarding whether or not it’s suitable for your dog. Adequacy statements read something like this, “This product is suitable for all life stages” or “This product is balanced and suitable for adult maintenance.” Similarly, food products designed especially for puppies will have an appropriate adequacy statement on the box as well. Be aware of them and buy the right product according to the age of your dog.

Now that you know what to look for, the next step is to find a trusted dog food brand with the help of this knowledge and stick to it. You can change up the flavor every once in a while, but when it comes to the brand, the phrase “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” holds very much true.

Is Your Dog Safe from Heartworm Disease?


It’s not a comforting thought to imagine that there is a possibility worms might be residing inside the heart of your favorite canine friend, but the chance of that happening isn’t as rare as we would like to think. In fact, heartworm disease has been found in dogs all across the United States of America and not just the Gulf of Mexico and New Jersey. Sure, it’s more prevalent in certain states than others, but as long as you have mosquitoes in your area, your dog is susceptible to heartworm.

So, the question is what can we do about it? As is the case with almost everything, knowledge is the key here. Read on to find out what the heartworm disease is, how it affects dogs and what we can do to fight against it.

Mosquitoes are the Carriers

Just like with Malaria, dengue and a host of other killer diseases, mosquitoes are the intermediate hosts of heartworm as well. The larvae lie dormant in the insect’s body, until it bites and infects a dog. If a mosquito wasn’t carrying the larvae, but bit a dog that was already infected with heartworm, the mosquito would instantly become an intermediate host for the parasite.

The Worms Affect More than Just the Heart

They are called heartworms because that’s where they are found mostly, but the lungs and all blood vessels in the body of the dog are also inhabited by these parasites. In extreme cases, they can also be found in other major organs as well. Fortunately, canine heartworms cannot infect human beings and are, therefore, not contagious.

The Worm Burden

The worm burden refers to the number of adult heartworms residing inside a dog’s body and it can range from anywhere between 10-15 to 250+ in rare cases. As females grow to a length of 10-12 inches, one can imagine that the higher the worm burden is, the more danger your dog is in. The males are about half the size and range between 4 – 6 inches.

The Four Stages

  1. Occasional Coughing and sluggishness.
  2. Aggravated symptoms from stage 1.
  3. Even more coughing, tiredness, breathing problems, signs of an impending heart failure, changes in heart and lung structure visible in x-ray reports.
  4. Caval Syndrome: A huge body of worms is blocking blood circulation in and out of the heart, lungs and kidneys. Surgery is the only solution and survival is not always likely.

Prevention

Just like with most other types of worms, it is possible to prevent an infection by consulting with your veterinarian. Preventive measures are usually in the form of monthly oral tablets or through topical liquids, but half yearly injections might also be necessary. Once your dog does take the preventive meds, though, he will remain completely safe from heartworm, even if he/she is bitten by an infected mosquito. Unfortunately, if a dog is already infected, vaccines will actually endanger the dog’s life. Therefore, it is imperative that canines older than 6 months are tested for heartworm first, before vaccination.

Treatment

Treatment in the later stages has a low success rate, but even in the initial stages, it is risky. Caparsolate Sodium injections are a common form of treatment, but Immiticide injections have also proven themselves to be very effective. Unfortunately, the treatment is very costly and toxic as well, but it works well in the initial stages. All said and done, prevention is your dog’s best bet when it comes to heartworm.

Helping a sick dog requires compassion, resources and most importantly, knowledge. Now that you have a decent idea about what the disease is and how you can prevent it, you are already better equipped to deal with this nasty disease than most dog owners.

How Much Hemp is Safe to Give to Your Dog?

For pet owners looking for a way to treat chronic and acute health issues in dogs, hemp is often an option they turn to. It can help with the pain and inflammation of arthritis, regulate the GI tract, and even offer comfort and care when dealing with end of life situations. If you're convinced that hemp is a great solution for your pet's needs, the next logical question is how much hemp is safe to give?

Why Administer Hemp

Hemp supplements have become a very popular treatment option for pet owners thanks to the fact it offers benefits without making the pet feel high. It's often able to improve your dog's quality of life without you having to worry about the negative effects that are often associated with marijuana. While hemp does contain many of the same qualities as marijuana, its levels of CBD and THC are much lower.
Even though it is shown to be beneficial and safe for your dog, it's still important to be aware that the right dose is imperative. If you give your dog too much hemp, it can make them feel lethargic and even change their mood. Some animals will also be more sensitive to it than others.

Dosage is Based on Weight and Size

When it comes to finding that right dosage, it is based on the weight and size of the dog. There is no universal dosage amount that works on all animals. Instead, you need to take care when administering it to your pet. As mentioned, some dogs may be more sensitive to it than others too, which may require you to dial back the dosage, even from the recommended safe amount.
Another thing to keep in mind with the dosage is that it should be based on the condition or issue you are treating. For example, if the dog suffers from severe joint discomfort you may need to administer the hemp a couple of times per day over the course of a few weeks. Meanwhile, if you are using hemp to improve the GI tract, it's best to keep it up for a longer amount of time.
It's a good idea to look for pet CBD that takes the guesswork out of the dosage. Something such as Canna Companion that comes in a pill allows you to follow the guidelines and get the exact right dosage each time. Most hemp products, such as Canna Companion, take at least a couple of weeks to a full month to start taking effect. This means you should continue with the recommended dosage during this time.

Results Depend on the Dosage


Just like with any supplement, the results of the hemp you deliver to your dog are largely dependent upon the dosage you give. Giving too little or too much will both result in negative effects. Look for a product that is easy to give, offers dosage information, and always consult with your vet if you have questions regarding the dosage.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

ThunderSnap Leash

You guys know I have a crazy lovable Smooth Fox Terrier named Diesel. Diesel is the love of my life but it is a pain to hook him up to a leash. He jumps runs around in circles acts like a complete nut. 
I understand his excitement but it still gets old.  One of the worse things is during this excitement I have attached his leash to his collar tag. When this happens the minute I get him outside he runs tugging on the collar tag. Since the collar tag is not strong enough to hold the leash ~ off snaps the collar tag and Diesel is free to run! 
The ThunderSnap Leash solves all issues with getting Diesel hooked to his leash. It is so easy!
The ThunderSnap uses powerful magnets and a strong ball bearing latch mechanism to connect the collar and leash.
Tested to over 500 pounds of pull force.  I was worried that Diesel could pull the ThunderSnap off - so when I first tested the ThunderSnap I used the new ThunderSnap and his old retractable leash at the same time. I wanted to be sure the ThunderSnap could hold Diesel. He is a hard puller when he wants to run. The ThunderSnap worked great! No issues!
Once in the house it is a simple pull on the grey slide down to release! 
Connects and Releases in a Snap!

Available in three sizes:
  • Small size: 5/8” Wide Webbing; 6’ Long Leash
  • Medium/Large size: 3/4” Wide Webbing; 5’ Long Leash
  • Extra Large size: 1” Wide Webbing; 5’ Long Leash

Here is my baby Diesel hooked up to his ThunderSnap Leash.

It is refreshing to not have to struggle with Diesel to take him out. Makes life so much better.

It is amazing how the little things cause the most stress. Thank you ThunderSnap for making our daily outings a whole lot less stressful. 



Now is a great time to purchase a
ThunderSnap Leash.  

Free Shipping 
Money Back Guarantee! 
Click HERE to order



Thursday, August 10, 2017

A simple act of Kindness

It is never too late to start a new hobby.  I came across a Kindness Movement that I LOVE! It is called Kindness Rocks.   Are you wondering what a Rock and Kindness have in common?  This is HOW....I paint rocks then leave them for other people to find. They can keep the rock, leave it alone, or move the rock to a different location. Once they find my rock the rocks destiny is in their hands. It is my gift to them ~ a way to bring Joy and Warmth to a all too often cold world.

I wanted my rocks to have a meaning expressing something important to me.  One of the things I think that we as a world need so much more of is DIVERSITY. Diversity is key to living in harmony with each other.  

I decided to paint the Tree of Life on all of my rocks.  Big or small - long or short - black or white  all of the rocks will have a Tree of Life.  To me the Tree of Life represents such important values that I feel need to be nourished.
Growth
Connection 
Rebirth
Diversity
Immortality
Strength
Nature
Family

My first three Tree of Life Rocks. Each rock was made for a special location I will be camping at this month.  I will also be leaving rocks on hiking trails and just about anywhere I think a rock would be welcomed or is needed. 


This past weekend while camping I asked my grandson and my BF's granddaughter to find a perfect spot for the Tree of Life Rock at the campground we were camping at.
The only requirement for placement was in or near a tree.   
Priceless Memories 

They are both so intrigued with the act of giving a rock for Kindness that they want to start a regular Rock Painting Get Together to paint beautiful rocks. 
My small way of offering then the joys of giving. 

 If you ever come across a Tree of Life rock with DKL on the back. 
Please enjoy my gift to you!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Yikes Summer is flying by!!

Living in Wisconsin we wait so long for warm weather. When it arrives it seems like it is over before I can get all the things completed I want to do.  Mind you I have no yard work or home maintenance to do. Moving to a apartment complex has simplified my life! I love it.

I'm talking about rivers to kayak, places to camp, adventures to take.  Wisconsin is a beautiful state but temp wise it can get chilly in October - too chilly to be camping for this old gal. This year our nice weather did not start until June - making our warm weather outdoor time very short.

So far this year I have kayaked quite a few nice rivers and lakes. But I always seem to want more! More adventure! Maybe the fact that as I age I see life flying by with the end in site. I know that sounds crazy ~ but it does make a difference how I look at life being 64 vrs 46.  At 46 I felt old but not that old. Now at 64 I am starting to feel old but not think old. Not thinking old but starting to feel old is a terrible thing.  I look at mountains and think sure I can climb that.....then half way up I am panting and out of breath. I think maybe I should slow down - but then the young thoughts come back and say "heck no" just get in better shape. 

Thank goodness my young side is doing most of the talking lately because the old side has been listening. So far this year I have lost 42 pounds, taken up hiking, snow shoeing, camping, kayaking, rock painting and hiding. My life consist of adventures that allow me to  explore life. 

Crazy but I get up every morning smiling, take ownership for everything I do, plan my adventures, contact friends, talk to family, live life to the fullest with my Diesel, and I am extremely THANKFUL that I am able to spend my life MY WAY.  I work at the local hospital part time in the ER Department. I work with a fantastic group of caring professionals that make going to work a pleasure instead of a burden.   I have made some amazing friends and I truly enjoy being with them. I have two friends that feel like they were meant to be my Soul Friends! 

Yes, you could say I am wearing Rose Colored Glasses and I LOVE it! My family is so supportive - my grown children never question why I do the crazy things I do. They smile and say sure Mom. My grandchildren call me the crazy Nana - they are always willing to join me in a new adventure. 

My newest adventure is Geocatching. When Geocatching became popular that was during my work till I die phase. I was climbing up the ladder of success and seem to loss track of everything else. Since I no longer am focused on a career - in fact it has been 7 years since I left that crazy chapter of my life. My 8 year old grandson and I think Geocathcing would be a perfect adventure for us.  I am in the researching process and we plan to start a hunt in September of this year.  We are both very very excited ~ it is kind of like a Treasure Hunt minus Captain Sparrow.

Life is Short ~ Every Breath is Valuable!  Please don't waste 
life on worry and unhappiness. 

Enjoy !