About Electric Dog Fences

Stubborn Dog Fence
Many people have heard of electric dog fences but may not understand exactly what they are and what they do. An electric dog fence is also sometimes called an invisible fence®. They are an ideal way of containing your dog without the need of a physical fence. They are less costly than a standard fence and the dog cannot dig underneath or jump over it.

There are 3 components to an electric fence: the wire, the transmitter and the collar. First, the wire is buried about 3 inches deep in the ground, around the perimeter of the yard. This dog fence wire defines exactly where you would like your border to be. The transmitter is set up in a weatherproofed location such as a garage. This transmitter emits a radio signal that communicates with the wire. A special collar is then placed on your dog. This collar has two metal contact points that come out of it and touch the dog’s neck.

Your dog is able to roam freely within the containment area of his own accord, without you having to put him on a leash. When he gets close to the border that was created with the wire, he will hear a warning tone through the collar. If he stops, nothing happens. However, if he keeps going forward, he will receive a mild, static shock. With a bit of repetition, your dog will learn to stay within the boundaries you have defined for him.

There are many kinds of electric fences for dogs. One of these is the PetSafe® Elite Little Dog Fence. This system has the smallest and lightest collar available, as it is designed for dogs that are as small as 5 pounds.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is the PetSafe® Stubborn Dog Fence. It is designed for large dogs that require a stronger correction for them to comply. Its correction strength is 3 times higher than standard electric fences for dogs. It works well for guardian breeds such as the Pit Bull and German Shepherd.Elite Little Dog Fence

For everything in between, the PetSafe® Rechargeable in ground system is a great choice. The highlight of this system is its lightweight, rechargeable collar. It is able to contain up to 25 acres of land.

The great thing about PetSafe® systems is that you can interchange any of the collars with any of the different PetSafe® dog fences. For example, if you have the little dog fence, you can use the little collar for one of your dogs and for a larger dog, you can use one of the larger collars.

And there you have it. electric fences are an easy way to keep your dog in your yard, without having to build an unsightly fence. You are sure to enjoy their many benefits, such as the increased freedom they provide.

Southern Hospitality

Southern Hospitality

This week’s Feature Friday is a blog about a woman who was able to rise above the devastation and heart breaks life can throw your way and and as she says it, ‘make lemonade out of those lemons.’  Southern Hospitality is a blog written by an woman named Rhoda, a self proclaimed Steel Magnolia, and a personal account of her own journey.

Rhoda loves all things design related, especially thrifting and making something old, new again. Her story is a mix of happy and sad and her faith that no matter what,  life will go on is inspiring. She picked herself up and continues to press on. Apart from her personal experiences, Rhoda offers tips on decorating, thrifing, diy how-to’s, gardening, and yummy looking recipes.

She has an amazing eye and a big heart, plus she reminds me a lot of my own designing momma. She has her own ‘feature friday’ on her blog so jump on over to Southern Hospitality and give Rhoda some love and see what she featured today.

Happy Friday!

My Mama’s World Famous Spicy Pickled Asparagus

My mom and step-dad where recently down on the farm visiting for a few days and while doing so, my mom and I managed to get in the kitchen and make a bunch of jars of her world famous spicy pickled asparagus. If you loved pickled anything then you need to try these!

I have fond memories of opening the refrigerator, grabbing a jar of the green goodness and biting into the spicy spear. Delicious!

Today, because I think everyone should have a jar of pickled asparagus in their refrigerator or pantry, I’m going to share her recipe with you!

Here is what you’ll need:

12 one-quart glass jars with lids

Fresh (organic if possible) asparagus (it depends on how many jars you want to determine how many pounds you need)

Salt (we used table salt)

Distilled water

Spices (we used the following: mustard seed, chili flakes, pickling spice) You can really use whatever you like.

Fresh dill

4 garlic bulbs

Dried red chiles

You will begin by making the brine. Using the ingredients below, in a big stew/soup pot, bring to a boil on the stove.

2 Qts white vinegar

2 Qts water

10 Tbs salt or 1/2 a cup

You will also need to sanitize the jars and lids by boiling them.

While you are getting your brine heated on the stove you can begin getting your asparagus cut to the right size. It’s really quite simple. Measure the asparagus against the jar you will be stuffing it with and then cut to the appropriate size.

You may have to cut it a couple times but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Since we used two different sized jars, we had to cut two different size groups of asparagus.

Once the asparagus is cut you will need to blanch them. This will cook them slightly and retain the bright green color. Get all your spices together in separate bowls to make it a more efficient process.

Then, if you are using two sizes of jars, take whichever one you want to start with and get them lined up to fill with the spices, dill, garlic and chiles. Start to fill them each with about a 1/4 of a teaspoon of  each of the spices, 2-3 garlic cloves, 3 red chiles, and a couple sprigs of dill.

After you have done that, you will stuff the jars with the asparagus making sure they are pretty full. Once all the jars are full, take them over to the boiling brine and fill each to the top with the brine mixture.

When all the jars are filled with the brine, you will need to get your canning pot filled with water and get that boiling.  You may want to do that before you fill the jars with brine because it can take awhile to bring water to a boil.

Place as many jars of the same size as you can in the canning pot. You want to make sure the lids on the jars aren’t all the way tight. They will seal when they are in the boiling water. Cover the pot with it’s lid and let boil for 10 minutes. Once done, using oven mitts, use the metal wire rack in the pot to lift the jars out and set them on a towel to cool.

Continue this until all jars are sealed and then let them sit out until they have cooled completely.

These guys will be ready to eat the next day but for more flavor and more of a kick, wait a while to open them!

Office Organization Inspiration

I just finished painting the trim in the office white. WHOA! That was quite the task! But, it looks 110% better and I am daydreaming what the whole house will look like with a lovely shade of white framing the windows and walls. I can’t tell you what a difference the white makes. It’s bright, it’s cheery, and when I walk into our office, I get all warm and fuzzy inside because it doesn’t look like a scary dungeon anymore.

As I start to wrap things up in here {still have a few days of sorting, filing, labeling, and touch ups to do}, I still need to think of a few organizational ideas for some of the loose odds and ends. So, what else do you do when you need help?  I sat down today to do a little  cruisin’ through ciberland looking for some ideas to incorporate into my own plan. I thought it would be fun to share some of the office spaces and craft rooms I’m gaining some inspiration from.

Cubby Unit with Old Mason Jars: I’d love to incorporate something like this for all the odds and ends I can’t find a home for. I think it’s the perfect spot for buttons, loose nails and whatever else that is small and I need to store.

Pottery Barn Daily System: I have to admit, I’m obsessed with this whole look and want to recreate it exactly. But instead I’m taking bits and pieces from it. But if I could, I’d snap my fingers and magically every single aspect {including the reclaimed wood wall} would be in our office. But I guess that’s why they have stylist, right?

Source: Pottery Barn

Frames on the Wall: Let’s face it, I have way more wall space in this house then I even know what to do with. Isn’t this a clever and pretty way of hiding it while adding color and your own personal touch?

Wall Organizer: This is an awesome idea for storage of extra pens and ribbon! All made from scratch with a little wood and stain for next to nothing. I like the sound of that!

If you have some fun ideas you’d like to share send them my way! And I’d love to know, what is your favorite part of your office or crafting space?

The Planning of Our Garden Part 1

D and I started planning our garden for the spring the other night and as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, we have decided to grow our garden to where we can live off it as much as possible throughout the year.  Basically, we are growing from two raised beds to about 10 plus and several half wine barrel planter beds. It’s an overwhelming task to say the least but one that both D and I are looking forward to.

Over the weekend I went into the garage to find all the bags of seeds that we already have. We needed to devise a plan centered around one questions: What are we REALLY going to eat? Last year we planted too much of most items and not enough of few others we surprisingly enjoyed eating and all at the same time. So, when it came time to harvest, we had more broccoli,  snap peas, and pickles then we knew what to do with. And for the record, we DID try to can the pickles but they didn’t work out so well. If any of you have a great pickling recipe I would love to hear all about it!

So this year we are devising a plan. A few weeks back I jotted down what I thought we would eat and find use for.

Then David and I looked at some different sites that offered heirloom seeds and decided that we wanted to order  from Botanical Interest. The reason for picking them out of the hundreds of others basically came down to how easy the website was to navigate. Honestly. I have this funny thing about websites. If they are chaotic and cluttered I will exit out of them as quickly as I found them. I like clean, organized, and informational. Botanical Interest has it all! So as we looked over the site, D took note on which seeds we were getting, as well as spacing for planting and rows.

Since we are starting most, if not all of these little guys inside, we want to be well prepared to start planting when we get back from our trip from SE Asia AND hopefully start working on building my potting shed! {More to come on that later!}

I’d love to know: What are you planting in your garden this spring? Any great advice for starting from seed inside? 

Update on Project Organize Office!

I realized that in my post about organizing our office, I left out one very crucial thing. PHOTOS! Who doesn’t love a little before and after and in between action?

So here they are, ladies and gentlemen. A little dark but well, that’s our office for ya, dark. I think you will get the picture though on what exactly I am dealing with.

So I began by creating a list of everything I’d need to get organized in here. My ultimate goal in organizing each room in the house is to do it as cheap as possible. Yep, I’m frugal and proud of it! I am a firm believer you can revamp a house all the while keeping the cost low. It just may take a little extra creative thought and possibly consulting my ever talented Interior Designer mom. (Hey, it pays to have an Interior Designer in the family!!)

Here is my list of wants and wishes for the new office:

Remove closet doors {check!}

Paint closet walls {check!}

Paint trim white {check!} Just adding this one yesterday

Shelves for wall behind my desk

New lamp for desk

New desk chair

And of course, rearrange a few things to get a better flow

With a little thrifting and a lot of paint, this should all come together very nice. With adding painting the trim to the project, I’ve decided to give myself a little more time. Another week.

In the meantime, here are a few photos to give you a little sneak peek! I’m so excited with  how everything is turning out!

Cucumber, Red Onion, and Cabbage Salad

This dish is so refreshingly delightful I’ve made it the last two nights for dinner and again for lunch today.  What can I say, as D puts it, I tend to fixate on something and eat it for days. The great thing about this salad is it can either be a tasty side dish or, you can add rice or noodles and make it a main course. It’s easy to be versatile with it and for a linear thinker like me, it’s super easy to ‘think outside of the box’ on this one.

Warning: The dressing tends to pack a punch so if you don’t enjoy heat as much as I do (the more I sweat and am desperate for a glass of water the better!) you may need to alter the garlic and red pepper to your taste.

 

Cucumber, Red Onion, and Cabbage Salad

What you will need:

1 cucumber

1 small red onion

Half of a head of cabbage

A bunch of cilantro

Braggs Liquid Aminos (a soy sauce substitute for us gluten-intolerant folks)

White Wine Vinegar

Garlic and Chili sauce

Pepper

How to make it:

Thinly slice the cucumber, red onion, and cabbage and put them all in a large bowl.

Chop up  a handful of cilantro and throw in the bowl with the other vegetables.

It will look something like this:

Then, mix together the remaining ingredients to make a spicy little dressing. There really isn’t a science to it, I typically just do it to taste.

Use these:

Once all ingredients are combined, transfer to smaller bowl and garnish with more chopped cilantro!

 

ENJOY!

Oranizing Project Number One: Office

One of my goals is to get more organized. I moved down to Oregon sometime at the end of May last year and I still feel like I haven’t unpacked completely. For example, there is  a huge box in the garage full of items that were suppose to go to the Goodwill back in the first week of June. Now it’s even bigger because every couple of days I walk through the house and pick up something I feel doesn’t have use anymore and walk it down to the basement and place it in the ‘Goodwill’ pile. Well, first I assess it and make sure I can’t make it into something else. But, most of the items have been sitting in that pile for a couple of months now and I’ve realized it’s time to get down to business.

One. Room. At. A. Time.

Starting now.

I’m taking the next two weeks to organize our office. I said I was going to work on one room a month and I think that is very doable. In fact, I believe I could probably do TWO rooms a month. Whoa!

Now, I understand it may not be  exactly where I hope it to be by the end of these two weeks because for starters, I still have several things to get for this massive office project to get done but it will be a whole hell of a lot more organized then it is today. And my anxiety level will subside. At least until I start on the next room.

So here is what I am looking at:

* D and I don’t have drawers in our desks so a lot of things just end up piled on top. It’s frustrating and gives us both the overwhelming need to pick up our trash cans and push everything into it in some dramatic fashion.

Project: Figure out a way to reduce the pile up on our desks.

* We had one of those old 1970’s gross brown sliding doors on the closet which gave me the creeps so I decided to take them off. Now I am left with a lot of clutter fully exposed and realize it’s unexceptionable to me.     

Project: Organize closet so it is efficient and usable.

* I also want to move my sewing machine and craft supplies upstairs cause let’s be honest, I never go down into the basement where it currently lives because it’s dark, dank, and cold this time of year and a little on the scary side. No, I take that back. A LOT on the scary side.

Project: Create a ‘crafts’ space in the office by putting a desk in the closet for my sewing machine and all my supplies.

* D is running his families vineyard and future winery, Omero Cellars (I guess this is where I can give a little shameless plug) out of our home office and our file cabinet is rather messy. It’s time to label, label, label those files so everything is extremely easy to find.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Project: Create a working system and organize the file cabinet

For the most part, this is what’s needed to be done. Like I said above, I may not have it 100% finished by the end of these two weeks because I still need to find a desk (preferable and old one I can refinish) to put in the closet as my craft table but it should be pretty darn close.

To start things off, last night I finished painting and stenciling a desk organizer I found at the Goodwill some time back…this summer. It felt good to finish it and I really love the way it turned out. It’s not perfect but well, neither am I so it’s fitting. And it get’s me one step closer to being organized. Amen!