The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

A dog, a pie and a lesson

on May 9, 2014

This Friday my mind is all over the place.  It’s hard to think I started the week at a funeral and now I’m finally done with a busy work week and getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day!  Whenever anything unexpected happens in life, my days and weeks always seem a bit surreal, almost dreamlike.  It usually takes a normal week to get snapped back to reality, so by the end of next week I hope to feel back to my normal self.

The Dog

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I love my dog.  She’s been considered a “senior” dog since she was about 8, but now at 13 I can really see the senior coming through.  Grey hairs aside, she’s showing more and more signs of her age as the days pass.

She’s losing her hearing, which has it’s good and bad points.

Good is that she no longer freaks out during thunderstorms or fireworks.  She just sleeps right through them without hearing a thing.  And I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about being able to celebrate July 4th this year instead of bunkered down at home trying desperately to comfort a panic-striken dog.

The bad part is obvious, she can no longer hear me very well.  I inadvertently sneak up on her a lot.  Usually she can hear us when we wake up from her bed downstairs and greets us at the base of the stairs with a wagging tail and a run to the backdoor so she can relieve herself.  Now, the creak of the upstairs floors, the flush of the toilet, the trot downstairs and entering into the room, and none of it is heard by the soundly sleeping dog.  This morning my husband woke up before me and was watching tv when I got downstairs.  The dog was in her assumed position of staring him down so he would not forget to feed her and had no idea that I was awake and now standing behind her.  She freaked when she saw me and not in a good way.  Poor thing!  I feel like I need to find a bell or something to wear so I won’t scare her.

But losing hearing comes with age and we can not complain about that, just adjust.  I use a low, loud voice when I talk to her now (no more baby talk) and that seems to be helping.

A Pie

If you’ve read my blog before you also know I absolutely hate food waste!  So much so that I end up eating leftovers for lunch every day because my husband detests leftovers and will never help me out.  (I have learned to make things that freeze well too, and that helps prevent food boredom!)

I bought a small container of light sour cream for a recipe I made a few weeks ago and only needed a small dollop of it.  Since the expiration date was looming near, I had to find a recipe to use it up.  My go to recipes are always baking.  I just love to bake (and eat baked goods)!

I found a recipe for Sour Cream Strawberry Pie Bars.  Sounded delicious.

I made my own strawberry pie filling instead of using the overly processed canned stuff my local grocery store carries.  I used this recipe for inspiration and used a pound of frozen strawberries and just lowered the amounts of the other ingredients to coincide with the amount of strawberries I had.  The filling was delicious – and it would probably be great with most berries and even cherries!

The recipe sounded a little daunting, but it was actually very easy, filling included, and took relatively no time at all.

I was hoping my home would fill with good smells as the bars baked, but it didn’t.  Bummer.  But when I took the bars out, a heavenly aroma filled the air.  Yay!

And the taste matched the smell.  My husband is not a big pie eater, but he went ga-ga over this stuff!  We didn’t even cut the bars but ate it with a fork straight from the pan!  I can’t wait to see how it survived a night in the fridge.  I will let you know how it tastes!

A Lesson

This morning I took the second part of a CPR class.   The lecture part I completed online earlier in the week, and today I had the practical portion.  I don’t know why but I’m always nervous for those type of courses.  Nothing bad ever has happened to me during a CPR class; I was never embarrassed, but I’m always scared.  Weird, huh?

The instructor of a CPR class can make or break a class.  And while most of my classes in the past have ended 30 minutes to an hour early as efficiency was the name of the game, this instructor actually went over the allotted time.  And besides my full bladder (sorry if TMI!), I really didn’t mind.  Because he wanted to really teach us.  I learned all the necessary steps to care for various first aid and CPR scenarios in every course I’ve taken in the past, but I was never truly taught like I was today.  He focused on not only the steps, but even more so the confidence to take the steps if needed.

Think about it.  If you are in a mall, at the grocery store, or at the park, and someone collapses.  What would you do?  Would you try to give care to the person?  Or would you be too afraid?  I think many of us are filled with a combination of fear and not wanting to intrude.  You think someone else will take care of it – one of the person’s friends or family members perhaps.  You don’t want to intrude on them in a time of need.  But really, going up and asking if you can help is harmless.  Whether they say yes or no, no harm done.

Then of course when you pass the fear, the steps come into play.  But it’s that first step that allows you to use your knowledge, being brave and confident, that is the most important.

We all need to take care of each other.  Just think, if that was your friend, your mother, your brother, would you want someone to act?  Would  you want someone to help?  I know I would!

If you are not CPR and/or First Aid certified, I encourage you to do so.  The courses can be a little pricey, depending on the courses offered in your area, but I was told today that 91 cents of every dollar I spent on the course today goes back into the Red Cross Fund to help others.  So I’m absolutely 100% a-ok with that!

If you are not sure where to start, check out the for local chapters and online resources.



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