Signs That You Are Addicted to Coffee
Everyone loves delicious, homemade treats, and your canine pal is no different. Why not spoil them with some wooflicious dog biscuits these Holidays? You’re in the kitchen anyway and besides, they deserve it.
Baking your own dog treats is a great way for kids to hone their kitchen skills. It’s an opportunity for family time too, since you can get cracking on the Christmas cake, while the youngsters make biscuits for Fido. It will also save you money, which is always nice.
There’s another, even more compelling reason for baking from scratch for Fido. Store bought dog treats aren’t always safe for your dog to eat. The FDA polices the pet food industry retroactively, which means it will only investigate a brand once a complaint has been made.
The dark truth behind these seemingly harmless treats is sobering to say the least. Earlier this year four pet food brands were recalled after dogs and cats fell ill and died. Last year the FDA issued a warning saying that store-bought dog bones could be fatal.
Fortunately, not all dog treats are toxic. The Spruce Pets put together their top pick of healthy dog treats for 2018 that they claim are nutritious and delicious. Their review process is thorough, so you can rest assured you’re buying the best.
Bottom line: if you are going to buy dog treats, make sure you know what they’re made of. These guidelines from Healthy Pet offer some insight into what you should look out for. But if you have the time, making your own is first prize for Fido.
The recipes outlined below are easy to make and you’ll find you probably have most (if not all) of the ingredients on hand already. The one thing you might not have is a dog bone cookie cutter set, which (IMHO) every self-respecting doggie biscuit chef needs.
Disclaimer: A lot of these recipes sound similar, but the pooches featured in the post photos were so adorable I couldn‘t resist including them all.
Taste-tested by Olive, the cutest pup ever, these four-ingredient treats take only half an hour to make (including bake time). Check out the video to see how to make them (and meet Olive).
Hounds Dexter and Dewey gave these fruity biscuits two paws up. Using only six ingredients (one of which is water), these chewy treats sound like something I’d happily dip in my morning coffee.
Frozen pupsicles aren’t biscuits, but they’re still a treat. All you need is yoghurt, banana and peanut butter and some human grade dog treats to use for sticks.
These mega-healthy dog biscuits sound mega-delicious, too. The ingredient list is slightly longer, but the recipe is pretty straightforward. You’ll still be done in under and hour, including bake time.
If I had a dog, I’d make these just because of the name. I mean, pupcakes, right!? Adding the icing decorations is obviously more for you than your pooch, but it’s still a nice touch. I’m sure Lola and her office pals appreciated the effort.
Also not biscuits, but who doesn’t like sweet potato fries? Nobody, that’s who. The recipe is super simple, and your dog is guaranteed to love them. Why? ‘Cos Luna pup says so, and she should know.
Four ingredients and a grand total of five minutes in the oven and you’ve got the happiest puppy ever. What’s not to love? The only problem I can foresee is stopping yourself from eating them.
These holiday pup treats are smothered in a bacon PB glaze which you may want to rejig, if your pooch is vegan (or on a health kick). Check out the video to see how to make them (and watch Sage devouring a biscuit):
Okay, so these are also just one-ingredient sweet potato treats, but the photos of Gus snacking on them are so sweet. Also, the post includes a link to an upcycled dog treat jar tutorial. What dog wouldn’t love to find one of those under the Christmas tree?
Jack’s human reckons he’s a big fan of her homemade dog treats, and if the photos are anything to go by, she’s absolutely right. This seven-ingredient recipe is kindergarten easy and includes peanut butter. Yum.
It’s that time of year where pumpkin features in just about everything, so why not your furry best friend’s treats as well? I’m sure I was a dog in my previous life, because these sound really delicious. There’s also a how-to video featuring a fluffy mutt.
Combining brown rice flour, apples, Greek yoghurt, ginger and coconut oil impressed the heck out of Lola and Rio, so chances are these treats will have a similar effect on your canine pal, too. They sound so good, I think I’ll make a vegan version for myself.
Staying with the pumpkin theme, Emma the French Scent Hound shows us how whip up some simple (yet clearly tasty) pumpkin cookies. Click here for the actual recipe. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel as well.
Hopefully you’re not ‘pumpikinned’ out just yet, because this recipe is super simple. Mix up the four ingredients, roll into small balls and bake for 30-35 minutes. You’ll end up with four dozen crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-in-the-middle treats for Fido.
We’re on a roll, so let’s end off with one final pumpkin-inspired recipe to wow your pooch. These cinnamon-infused treats have loads of peanut butter that’s sure to have your hound howling for more.
There you have it, a bunch of tail-wagging dog biscuit recipes that are sure to keep Fido coming back for more. When you’re done snacking, you can work off those extra holiday pounds together.
By: Angela Horn
Current Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
Moon Currently in the Zodiac Sign of Scorpio
Moon in Scorpio
Moon in Scorpio creates the need to delve into your feelings as deep as possible. You desire meaningful emotional exchanges now more than at any other time even if it is not easy and you are forced to change many things. Shallow relationships do not satisfy you, because they are not purifying enough.
Organs influenced by Scorpio Moon Sign:
These organs are now more sensitive so provide them with extra care.
Although the actual date of Christ’s birth is unknown, Christmas has been symbolically celebrated on the 25th of December since the 4th century.
Briefly, we know that the oldest existing record of a feast to celebrate the birth of Christ is in the Roman almanac called the Chronographer of 354 or the Philocalian Calendar. This ancient almanac noted that a festival commemorating Christ’s birth was observed by the church in Rome in the year 336. Chronographers of the third century were the ones who reckoned December 25, around the winter solstice, as the most likely day of Christ’s birth.
Many historians believe that the church stirred up interest in a festival at this time of year to counter the pagan festivals surrounding the solstice, but no historical document proves Rome’s involvement. The record shows that such a festival was adopted throughout the Christian world by the year 458. The word Christmas comes from “Christ’s Mass.”
Decorated trees were used in winter celebrations long before the advent of Christianity. Plants and trees that remained green all year had a special significance for people who lived in cold winter climates.
Ancient people hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. Some believed that evergreens kept witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness away.
Romans decorated evergreen trees with trinkets and topped them with an image of their sun god. Druid sorcerers hung golden apples and lit candles on oak trees to celebrate the winter solstice.
It is generally agreed that the use of an evergreen tree as part of Christian Christmas celebrations started 400 years ago in Germany and spread to most of northern Europe by the 19th century.
Ever wondered how the custom of giving Christmas gifts originated? No, it’s not invented by the department stores!
The ancient Romans gave each other gifts on the calends (first day) of January, and the practice spread throughout the Roman Empire.
“Jimmy Christmas” or “Jiminy Christmas” is a direct reference to Jesus Christ and dates back to 1664, when it was first recorded as “Gemini,” a twist on the Latin phrase Jesu domini. The name of the Walt Disney character Jiminy Cricket was probably based on this phrase.
People used to write their own cards. The first Christmas card design is thought to have been printed in England in 1843. Wood engravers of the time often produced prints with religious themes, but this was the first time anyone produced these prints in quantity and sold them (1,000 copies in London). The design was of a family party, beneath which were the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” In the mid-19th century in the United States, the owner of a variety store in Albany, New York, produced a card carrying Christmas greetings from “Pease’s Great Variety Store in the Temple of Fancy.”
This dates back to a 15th century song sung by English ploughmen on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Day, the end of the Christmas holidays. Before farm laborers went back to the fields, they dressed all in white and went from door to door drawing a plough and soliciting “plough money” to spend on a last celebration. The song lyric “Godspeed the plough” expressed a wish for success and prosperity and was soon shortened to just “Godspeed”.
The word Yuletide originated from the word Yule, which was recorded in Latin writings as early as A.D. 726. At that time, the form of the word was guili. Both terms refer to a 12-day pagan feast celebrated around the time of year that has come to be known as the Christmas season.
This might seem an odd Christmas question, but it’s a common one! Folks have suggested a lot of things over the years, and you may have to try several until you find a method that fits your cat’s personality. The most direct route may be to keep your cat out of the room where the tree is.
If that’s not possible, try lining the tree’s lower trunk with aluminum foil. Some cats hate the sound and feel of it and won’t try to climb up with the foil there.
Another trick may be to keep a pot of ryegrass or catnip near the tree to act as a diversion. Cats may respond to loud noises or the popular method of spraying water at them when they begin to attack the tree, but we’ve found that their little cat brains forget this message pretty quickly, and they’re soon back to cause trouble again.
While most of us think about Christmas trees only in December, for growers of cut-your-own trees, it is a year-round commitment.
Growing quality Christmas trees is a serious business requiring lots of hard work. Trees are fertilized in the early spring and late summer. Grass in the rows and between trees needs to be mowed. Pests such as balsam twig aphids and red spider mites need to monitored and dealt with. Many growers hand-shear their trees with a sharp machete-like knife and use clippers to give them a natural look rather than an artificial cone-shape. For every tree harvested, two or three seedlings are planted making them a renewable resource.
Most Christmas tree varieties need 6 to 10 years to grow to a marketable size. Christmas trees are grown in every state, even Hawaii, and this year more than 35 million trees will be cut.
For many years we would trudge out to our local tree farm to choose and cut a tree. It was a fun day out when my son was little but as the years went on it became a chore. That is when I tried buying a potted living tree. We prepared a place to plant it well in advance, digging the hole and insulating it by filling it with a bag of leaves. We kept the dirt to refill the hole in the basement in buckets. The living tree was pricey but I looked at it as an investment. After enjoying it indoors for about a week, we hustled it out to the shed to acclimate to the cold before planting it in the prepared hole.
Luckily that experiment worked and the tree thrived outside where it stands as a reminder of that long ago Christmas.
I have since invested in seedling trees from our local state nursery. They are taking their time growing but my hope is to have trees for the grandchildren (which I don’t have yet) to cut in the future.
It all comes down to water. Whether you choose an already cut tree, cut your own, or use a living tree, the most important thing to remember is to keep it well watered once it is in the house. Trees are very thirsty and will use up to a gallon of water a day.
If fear of fire keeps you from having a real tree, be aware that less than one tenth of one percent of residential fires involve a real tree. Artificial trees are made from petroleum. When they catch fire they exude thick black smoke and toxic fumes. A freshly cut tree is actually difficult to set ablaze. As long as it is kept in water it will be fire retardant.
Enjoy bringing the outdoors inside this holiday season with your festively decorated tree!
Get inspired by Robin Sweetser’s backyard gardening tips. Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. She and her partner Tom have a small greenhouse business and also sell plants, cut flowers, and vegetables at their local Farmer’s Market.
SOURCE: The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Before you toss this year’s Christmas tree onto the compost pile or the curb, check out these ways to get the most out of an old tree!
Before you toss this year’s Christmas tree onto the compost pile or the curb, check out these ways to get the most out of an old tree!
SOURCE: The Old Farmer’s Almanac
The Great Smog of London, or Great Smog of 1952, was a severe air-pollution event that affected the British capital of Londonin early December 1952. A period of cold weather, combined with an anticyclone and windless conditions, collected airborne pollutants—mostly arising from the use of coal—to form a thick layer of smog over the city. It lasted from Friday, 5 December to Tuesday, 9 December 1952 and then dispersed quickly when the weather changed.
It caused major disruption by reducing visibility and even penetrating indoor areas, far more severe than previous smog events experienced in the past, called “pea-soupers”. Government medical reports in the following weeks, however, estimated that up until 8 December, 4,000 people had died as a direct result of the smog and 100,000 more were made ill by the smog’s effects on the human respiratory tract. More recent research suggests that the total number of fatalities was considerably greater; about 6,000 more died in the following months as a result of the event.
London had suffered since the 13th century from poor air quality, which worsened in the 1600s, but the Great Smog is known to be the worst air-pollution event in the history of the United Kingdom, and the most significant in terms of its effect on environmental research, government regulation, and public awareness of the relationship between air quality and health. It led to several changes in practices and regulations, including the Clean Air Act 1956.
The cold weather preceding and during the Great Smog led Londoners to burn more coal than usual to keep themselves warm. Post-war domestic coal tended to be of a relatively low-grade, sulphurous variety (similar to lignite coal), while conversely, better-quality “hard” coals (such as anthracite coal) tended to be exported, which increased the amount of sulphur dioxide in the smoke. There were also numerous coal-fired power stations in the Greater London area, including Fulham, Battersea, Bankside, Greenwich and Kingston upon Thames, all of which added to the pollution. According to the UK’s Met Office, the following pollutants were emitted each day during the smoggy period: 1,000 tonnes of smoke particles, 140 tonnes of hydrochloric acid, 14 tonnes of fluorine compounds, and 370 tonnes of sulphur dioxide which may have been converted to 800 tonnes of sulphuric acid.
Research suggests that additional pollution-prevention systems fitted at Battersea may have worsened the air quality, reducing the output of soot at the cost of increased sulphur dioxide, though this is not certain. Additionally, there was pollution and smoke from vehicle exhaust—particularly from steam locomotives and diesel-fuelled buses, which had replaced the recently abandoned electric tram system – and from other industrial and commercial sources.
On 4 December 1952, an anticyclone settled over a windless London, causing a temperature inversion with cold, stagnant air trapped under a layer (or “lid”) of warm air.The resultant fog, mixed with smoke from home and industrial chimneys, particulates such as those from motor vehicle exhausts, and other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, formed a persistent smog, which blanketed the capital the following day. The presence of tarry particles of soot gave the smog its yellow-black colour, hence the nickname “pea-souper”. The absence of significant wind prevented its dispersal and allowed an unprecedented accumulation of pollutants.
Although London was accustomed to heavy fogs, this one was denser and longer-lasting than any previous fog. Visibility was reduced to a few metres (“It’s like you were blind”) making driving difficult or impossible.
Public transport ceased, apart from the London Underground, and the ambulance service stopped, forcing users to transport themselves to hospital. The smog was so dense that it even seeped indoors, resulting in cancellation or abandonment of concerts and film screenings as visibility decreased in large enclosed spaces, and stages and screens became harder to see from the seats. Outdoor sports events were also cancelled.
In the inner London suburbs and away from town centres, there was no disturbance by moving traffic to thin out the dense fog in the back streets. The result was that visibility could be down to a metre or so in the daytime. Walking out of doors became a matter of shuffling one’s feet to feel for potential obstacles such as road kerbs. This was made even worse at night since each back street lamp at the time was fitted with an incandescent light-bulb, which gave no penetrating light onto the pavement for pedestrians to see their feet, or even the lamp post. Fog-penetrating fluorescent lamps did not become widely available until later in the 1950s. “Smog masks” were worn by those who were able to purchase them from chemists.
Near railway lines, on which “fog working” was implemented, loud explosions similar to a shotgun shot were common. The explosions were made by “detonators” – a form of large percussion cap placed on the track and activated by the wheels of trains. These devices were placed by certain signals to provide an audible warning to match the visual indication provided by the signal for the driver.
There was no panic, as London was renowned for its fog. In the weeks that ensued, however, statistics compiled by medical services found that the fog had killed 4,000 people. Most of the victims were very young or elderly, or had pre-existing respiratory problems. In February 1953, Marcus Lipton suggested in the House of Commons that the fog had caused 6,000 deaths and that 25,000 more people had claimed sickness benefits in London during that period.
Mortality remained elevated for months after the fog. A preliminary report, never finalised, blamed those deaths on an influenza epidemic. Emerging evidence revealed that only a fraction of the deaths could be from influenza. Most of the deaths were caused by respiratory tract infections, from hypoxia and as a result of mechanical obstruction of the air passages by pus arising from lung infections caused by the smog. The lung infections were mainly bronchopneumonia or acute purulent bronchitissuperimposed upon chronic bronchitis.
More recent research suggests that the number of fatalities was considerably greater than contemporary estimates, at about 12,000.
The death toll formed an important impetus to modern environmentalism, and it caused a rethinking of air pollution, as the smog had demonstrated its lethal potential. New regulations were implemented, restricting the use of dirty fuels in industry and banning black smoke.
Environmental legislation since 1952, such as the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1954 and the Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968, led to a reduction in air pollution. Financial incentives were offered to householders to replace open coal fires with alternatives (such as installing gas fires), or for those who preferred, to burn coke instead which produces minimal smoke. Central heating (using gas, electricity, oil or permitted solid fuel) was rare in most dwellings at that time, not finding favour until the late 1960s onwards. Despite improvements, insufficient progress had been made to prevent one further smog event approximately ten years later, in early December 1962.
Atmospheric scientists at Texas A&M University investigating the haze of polluted air in Beijing realized their research led to a possible cause for the London event in 1952. “By examining conditions in China and experimenting in a lab, the scientists suggest that a combination of weather patterns and chemistry could have caused London fog to turn into a haze of concentrated sulfuric acid.”
Even though research findings point in this direction, the two events are not identical. In China, the combination of nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, both produced by burning coal, with a humid atmosphere, created sulfates while building up acidic conditions that, left unchanged, would have stalled the reaction. However, ammonia from agricultural activity neutralized the acid allowing sulfate production to continue.
It is theorised that in 1952 in London, the nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide combined with fog rather than humidity; larger droplets of water diluted the acid products, allowing more sulfate production as sulfuric acid. Sunrise burned off the fog, leaving concentrated acid droplets that killed citizens.
The Great Smog served as the basis of an episode titled “Forog” of The Goon Show (series 5, episode 13), which aired on 21 December 1954.
The Great Smog was a plot element in David Bishop’s 2002 Doctor Who novel Amorality Tale, in which the Third Doctor and his companion Sarah Jane Smith travel back in time to investigate a photo taken of the Doctor and an East End gangster in its aftermath.
The event was a central plot line in the episode “An Act of God” (season 1, episode 4) of the Netflix series The Crown (released in November 2016).
The events of Boris Starling’s 2006 novel Visibility occur during the great smog.
It also features prominently in Dominion, an alternate history novel by C. J. Sansom.
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.
In the morning, send yourself love for the entire day and be sure to collect that love along the way.
When things go wrong, it is easy to get into a bad mood, and that bad mood has a way of spiraling out and affecting our life for days to come. In the same way, when we feel badly about ourselves, we tend to act in ways that have repercussions, again creating a negative vibe that can negatively influence the next several days. While it is important that we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, and to be genuine, we do not have to completely surrender to a dark mood or feelings of self-doubt. In fact, the more we simply allow and accept our darkness as one part of the picture, the more easily we can also allow and accept our light. In this vein, we can temper our grey moods with an injection of sunshine in the form of sending good wishes to ourselves for the next 24 hours.
If you feel a bad mood coming on or find yourself plagued with negative feelings, take a moment to acknowledge that. At the same time, recognize that things can and will change, and that you can still have a good day, or a good week, especially if you take the time to visualize that for yourself. This is a great way to support yourself when you are working through tough times and hard feelings. When you visualize good things for yourself, you are sending yourself love and warmth, as well as encouraging yourself to keep going.
Before you even get out of bed in the morning, you can take the time to send good wishes to yourself all the way through to the next morning. As you picture your day, take the time to fill in the details – where you are going, who you will see, what you will do – and send love and good wishes ahead to yourself, as well as everyone you encounter. It will be like arriving in a new place and finding that an old friend has sent a bouquet of flowers from back home to welcome you and remind you that you are loved.