Friday, November 14, 2014

Gotta Have It Stock Pot

I just realized tonight that I should share my stock pot recommendation with you.  I love my stock pot and have given them as gifts over the years. But I hadn't realize how excited I am about them until tonight.  I am ridiculously in love with this kitchen item.

IKEA Stock Pot
I am not a talented cook. Let's face it, I'm not very good in the kitchen.  I think that is even more testament of the quality of this pan.  More proof that you should get this pot if you are looking for a good stock pot. If it helps me cook successfully, just imagine what you could do with it.

When I moved to Maryland, I moved to a neighborhood that has an IKEA store. I had never heard of IKEA previously.  If you don't know about it, you really should look it up. If there isn't a store near you, you can order over the internet or through mail order catalogs.

IKEA is a home furnishings store.  I have purchased book cases, chairs, entertainment units, and other small furniture items. I have also brought home a whole host of smaller items such as planters, kitchen utensils, and of course, my beloved stock pans.  I love much of their stuff. Not everything, but a large share of it.

With the stock pans, I had originally purchased two different sizes.  A 5 qt. and a smaller one that was about half that size.  During my last move I either lost or donated the small one. And boy have I regretted that loss.  I miss it dearly.

I have used my stockpots for cooking rice, making stews, baking things in the oven, and so one. They are perfect when making big meals for several people.  I'm not sure why, but I don't tend to burn things as frequently in these stock pans.  I guess it is due to the stainless steel and the thickness of the bottom.  Somehow, it seems to heat more evenly than other pots and pans I've had.  And my rice... perfect every time.  But I wasn't able to make good rice before owning this pan.  There is the tiniest steam vent in the lid, otherwise the lid fits perfectly on the pan.  I guess that's part of why it cooks so well.  I never have to worry about making bad rice when I use my IKEA stock pot.

Why am I thinking about that silly little pan tonight enough to write about it?  Because I have an ex-co-worker that I haven't seen since she changed jobs.  We are meeting at the local IKEA store tomorrow in order to visit and shop.  I am very excited to be scheduled to see her since we haven't done a good job of scheduling visits since her departure.  I am also more excited than I should be that I will be able to replace my smaller stock pot. 

Watch out Trish and IKEA, here I come!  I've missed you both.

Written by Dawn Rae 
Disclaimer: In affiliation with, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content 
writer who may earn compensation from the sale of Amazon products.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Blue Star Banner Day

Blue Star Banner Garden Flag on Amazon
As Veteran's Day approaches, I am reminded of all of our family members, friends, and neighbors who have served our country throughout the history of our country  November 11th is Veteran's Day. This date is a Federal holiday in the United States. A day to honor and thank all of our veterans who have served in the armed forces - some of whom are currently deployed to foreign lands.  

In fact, my oldest son is currently deployed. Between my two sons, this is the fourth deployment. Fortunately, the location he's in is much lower risk that the other countries they've been sent to.  For that reason, I am trying to remain relaxed.  As he recently prepared to deploy, I remembered an incident that happened a year or so ago.

I was driving through a neighborhood of single family homes with my friend. The lawns were nice and the homes were cared for.  Not a thing was out of place. It was a lovely day, our windows were down, and we were enjoying the pretty yards, weather, and each other's company. As we drove past a house, my friend began laughing and pointing.  She laughed so hard that if the doors had been off the Jeep, she might have fallen out.

"Look at all that junk" she hooted and laughed.  She couldn't believe it and had never seen such a sight. How in the heck did they get all that crap in there, she continued.

I looked as I circled the cul-de-sac, on the way to my friend's home.  I saw what she was referring to. It was a HUGE amount of stuff. A two car garage stuffed to the gills. The door was open, and I'm not sure how it was able to open because the boxes and things were stacked to the ceiling in most spots. It was astonishing that they had gotten all of that stuff into that garage.

But I saw it as something entirely different.

"They have someone who is deployed" I said softly, nearly a whisper. I don't think she heard me, as I said it mostly to myself.

The ranch house was a neat as a newly polished silver spoon, the yard manicured to perfection.  And in the middle of the huge expanse of picture window hung a blue star banner. 

I didn't see that stuff as crap being hoarded in a garage. I saw that as someone's life, waiting for it's owner to return to resume life in-country.  Because of the blue star banner, I imagined an older couple, waiting for their adult child to return to safety.

I nearly cried then.  I am choked up and becoming teary with the memory as I write this now.  As we drove past that house, I too had a son deployed to some sandy and dangerous land, a long way from home.  I had just learned about the blue star banners in that same year.  I understood the significance of the belongings being stored in the garage.

The blue star banner has a long history. It is a banner that was designed and patented in 1917 by Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser when his sons were deployed.  This banner and it's red border, white field, and blue star in the middle, became the symbol of parents who had children in active military service. One blue star symbolizes one child in service.  A banner can have up to five blue stars to represent five children in active service.  A blue star banner with a gold star represents a child who was killed or who has died.

While my friend saw a neat, but huge, hoarding situation, I saw a family who was likely lovingly storing the belongings of their child until their safe return.

I hope that you too watch for blue star banners and send thoughts of support and safety to these parents and their children.  

And to our beloved Veterans... I thank you.
Thank You For Your Service Military Greeting Card
Thank You For Your Service Military Greeting Card by ForEverProud
Create card designs on Zazzle

**If you are interested in helping a service person by fostering their dog during assignments and deployments, check out my post about a wonderful organization that helps civilians foster dogs so their military owners don't have to relinquish ownership.  No dog should be without a home because it's owner is being deployed.**

Written by Dawn Rae 
Disclaimer: In affiliation with Zazzle and, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content 
writer who may earn compensation from the sale of Zazzle or Amazon products. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Country Dream by Longo

Linked to ABRACABADRA for Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

Disclaimer: In affiliation with, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content 
writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPoster products. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Willy the Treeing Feist

Let me introduce you to Willy, my Treeing Feist. I love my goofy puppy and he goes with me everywhere I am allowed to take him: local parks, beaches, and for rides in the Jeep.  Everywhere we go, people  tend to stare.  And the conversation goes something like this:

Willy at a local park with a small beach
"Pretty dog, what is it?" they ask after staring for a few moments.

"He's a Treeing Feist."

"A what?"

"A Treeing Feist."

They continue to look at us blankly.  So, I continue, "He's like a Rat Terrier."

The blank look usually continues, so I try to explain a little more.  Depending on their appearance I either say "He's like a Jack Russell" or I say, "He's a squirrel dog."  Urban folks here tend to know what a Jack Russell is and country folks appreciate a good squirrel dog.

At that point, I get a nod and smile and we continue on our merry ways.

I'm not annoyed by the questions or the stares. After all, I had never heard of Treeing Feists until about a year ago.  You see, a year ago we lost our beloved Daisy dog to a sudden illness. Daisy was a rat terrier and I am convinced she was the most amazing dog on the face of the earth.  I loved her so much that when I began content writing, one of my first articles was about Daisy and her dog toy recommendations.

When she passed away, I felt the house was too empty.  I felt too alone. Time passed and I wanted a dog but I couldn't bear to have another rat terrier that reminded me too much of her. I was watching the ads and doing some research. Daisy was a mini Rat Terrier, all of 8 pounds in size.  I started researching what they call Decker Rat Terriers. Which are, overly simplified, large Rat Terriers.  But they still hit too close to home for me.

In my searches, I learned about Treeing Feists.
  • Feists are a type of dog (rather than a particular breed) that are used to hunt rodents
  • Treeing Feists date back to the post-Columbus period in North America
  • Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and William Faulkner refer to Feists in their writing (historically sometimes spelled "foist" or "fyce")
  • Feists hunt above-ground game such as squirrels or raccoons. They track silently until the animal is treed (as opposed to dogs such as terriers and dachshunds that hunt animals that go underground or hounds that bay and bark while on the trail of their game)
  • Treeing Feists rarely kill their prey. Rather, they tree the squirrels and expect their owners to shoot them
  • Feists have been used for bear hunting or flushing flying or large game from the brush 
  • Feists are helpful farm dogs in many ways
  • Feists bond closely with their humans
  • Feists are very protective of their families
It was for these reasons, and because Willy looked me in the eye the entire time he ran gleefully around his yard when I went to look at him, that I decided to bring him home.  

Willy loves going bye-bye.
While less "whippet" in appearance than Type A Rat Terriers (which is what Daisy was) Treeing Feists have  similar build. The Feists I'm familiar with have long legs, weigh only up to 30 pounds, have small heads and pointy noses, and their ears can be erect, button, or slightly hanging. Feist dogs (along with Rat Terriers) can have long or docked tails.  The owner of Willy's parents stated that many of their pups are born with shorter tails.  Willy has a stubby tail.

I live in a urban apartment.  But I am often hiking and camping.  I need a small dog that is a good protector but not yappy.  I need a dog that is good in the woods or at the beach.  Most of all, I need a dog that will transition well to my off-grid land when I'm finally able to move to that mountain homestead I dream of.  While Willy is a bit more vocal than Daisy was (when people are making noise on the stairs or in the parking lot) he perfectly fits the bill as far as the kind of dog we need.

Willy is a high energy dog and needs plenty of exercise and stimulation. Like Daisy, we have to walk him often as well as play games like tug, fetch, and chase at least twice daily. Willy is the type of dog that could get himself into trouble if we didn't keep him busy.

Someday, he'll have a "sister" to play with.  We miss our Daisy desperately and expect that when the time is right, we will again have a Rat Terrier in the house.  Until then, Willy is our four-legged only child.

PAWSit Dog Blog Hop

Written by Dawn Rae
Disclaimer: In affiliation with and, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content
writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPoster or Amazon products.