Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's a Bugg's World: The best of 'our' Dog, Happy Birthday!

Yep, today is the day our wonderful dog, friend, comforter and protector was born and yes, we do celebrate his birthday.  Bugg is three years old and as I think back over these last three years, I must admit, without him in my life, life would not be as sweet. Love ya Bugg!

A 'big' 6 months old
The Star!

This was the first photograph of Bugg I ever used in an article that I had published and at that moment, a star was born.  Bugg is loved all around the world by a good amount of folks.  No, Bugg and I's journey in publishing articles did not start out as, here is an accomplished writer, whom has raised her family and is ready to move on and upward for herself, not to mention her sidekick, the well trained Hollywood dog.

No it was a moderately trained puppy and a woman that told herself, please do something girl, your kids are grown, your mama just passed a year ago, your Boo passed away six days after Mama (May 2009) and your Max passed away a year later, (in May 2010) and you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself.  No, it was a, grab yourself up from the boot straps girl, get it together, dammit, kind of thing.

I was informed by a friend about a serious writing site, as I have always been a writer (of sorts) and an avid reader, why not, give it a try. Oh my gosh I was 'just' awful and yet some very kind accomplished writers on the site would encourage me on, offer me help and oh boy, did I take advantage of all the free education (on how to write) they were willing to bestow on me for over two years.  Do not get me wrong, I still have a ways away from being an half way decent writer, no doubt.

Bugg at 10 months old

Something was missing though and that would be photographs, I had no camera at the time, until my angel and good friend Jake sent me his camera in the mail.  He is now my son-in-law.

That was when I started to photograph the best subject around my home, Bugg.  This only expanded my artistic nature I was blessed to be born with and Bugg brought this out in me more than anyone or anything around could.

As I am now writing on my own blog and not the writing site that have learned to love Bugg over the years, I thought I would share a story of 'my' never ending doggie, so you are able to see, what so many others have had the honor to witness first hand as he grew into the three year old dog he is today.

Photo: He loves to kiss, is it always for the best, well no but, it makes him so happy, happy, happy.  

Cottonton OR Bust! 

I would like to share a story about how we went about being blessed in having Bugg in our lives, that will prove the good character of my Buggah, his willingness to please, to give and in the end, even when things are at its bleakest he does not run for cover, he stands like a good dog/family member should....

 Max had lost his best friend Boo around six months before Dan and I drove to Cottonton Alabama to retrieve one of the puppies we saw listed on craigslist.  I didn't know which puppy I was going to get out of the liter, I just knew in my heart that I was going to find the perfect puppy when we arrived.  As usual, my heart did 'not' prove me wrong because, in the corner of these kind people's living room there sat the most gorgeous puppy I have ever seen, I mean picture perfect.

The soon to be Bugg was quiet, not the least bit aggressive, actually quite timid though, my eye kept going back to him, as the other two puppies tried hard to get my attention.  Of course, the other two puppies were being loved on by me but, as I played with each puppy, I was still more drawn to that corner in their livingroom.  I just had to do it, I got up and went over to him, he flinched but then, he rubbed his head against my arm and even though he was shaking I just knew, this was the one for Max and I.

The biggest bed, at 7 months old
Dan was hesitant, only because he thought the dog might be sick, sinse he was so laid back but as always, he let me have my way.  As we rode back home that night, that little guy had a strangle hold on my neck with his head, shaking like a leaf and I swear that dog grew a inch just on our way home.

Max was not that happy with the new puppy we just brought home but, nor was his daddy when we brought Max home, so I thought he would get over it.

Max had been blind for around a year at this point in time.  Max was a insulin using diabetic for the last five years of his life.  So I also had taken that into consideration, that maybe since he is not able to see the little guy, he might be a bit defensive towards him.

Bugg kept growing, oh I saw it daily, even hourly at times, I have never seen anything like it.  Bugg could take a nap, wake up and be a inch taller or heck, even a inch longer and that was when I started to call him my never ending doggie.  

Three times a day I would take Max and Bugg outside to just roam around, Max was fine he knew the yard pretty well, as his daddy Boo, was his seeing eye dog for the first month after Max went blind.  That was, until Max was comfortable enough (without hurting himself) with his surroundings.  Bugg would run around like any puppy would, getting into everything and just be happy go lucky, as Max (the old man) would lay down on the ground by my chair, after he had roamed around and taken care of his business.

Bugg would do loops around Max, as if to say "Look at me!", not knowing Max could not see him, it would so irritate Max, that at times he would growl at Bugg.  I would reprimand Max, only by saying, be nice old man, he would take it, look at me and turn his head in a huff but, he tolerated that happy go lucky puppy and I. 

The Fall

Max had a fall that left him unable to fend for himself, when we arrived at the veterinarian's office and was seen by the veterinarian, blood test were taken and his sugar was checked, as he was getting a bit aggressive and as those that love Max knows that was just not in his nature, yep, sure enough his sugar was sky high. 

Our veterinarian recommended that we up his insulin and for his injuries he just needed healing time.

We did as our veterinarian recommended and one day when my brother and I were carrying Max outside to use the bathroom.

Max started to go into a diabetic coma, I knew the minute I had looked into his eyes he was going into a diabetic coma. Sadly, I do know what those eyes do look like. 

I know this as I watched my Mama go code blue (in the hospital) while going into a diabetic coma.  The minutes it had taken the staff in the hospital to come to our rescue, as I held my Mama's neck, as her face was inches away from mine, me begging her to stay with me, the machines were going haywire all around us and no one was listening to my cries of help coming out of that hospital room. 

Well that is, until I yelled one word, yes I dropped the f bomb, my Mama was leaving me, no one was listening, what is a girl to do, might I ask.  Also you must know, this was in a Utah hospital.  Nothing like getting a bunch Mormons feet a moving fast, then to scream the f bomb, with a blood curling scream of "Get a f&*^% Doctor, now!", yep that caught their attention.

That look in Mama's eyes will never be erased from my memory, sadly. 

We decided to change (after 17 years) our veterinarian and go to one that was recommended to us by a friend, they tested Max and his sugar was high, even with all the extra diet changes I always did for him when his sugar was spiking.  

We Were Losing Ground...

We all tried to get Max healthier but, it was not to be so, our Max started passing away 12 hours before we decided to eventually take him to the veterinarian and have him put down.  Max was in no pain and he wanted to be right next to Dan and I.  

When a dog is passing, they usually stray from their pack and since Max wanted to stay close to us, we decided if he is in no pain, he is not having to labor when he was breathing, we would love him until his last breath, it seemed that is what he wanted.

Bugg was so worried about his friend, the old man he looked up to, Bugg would go check in on Max every thirty minutes or so, not get in his face, as Max laid on Dan and I's bed.

Bugg would just go to the door, stare at Max just to see if his buddy was okay.  Yes a few snaps (no touching of Bugg though) thrown his way, as he neared Max.  I then started to notice Bugg wanted to come into the room more and more.  It then dawned on me that Bugg might want to say goodbye to Max.

I coaxed Bugg in the room, he was not afraid, Bugg was just respecting Max's space, he just didn't want to hurt the big guy he loved so much  After the first visit in the room, Bugg would come in and out, lay down for awhile but always keeping his distance. 

When Max's breathing started to become a struggle for him, we then called our Veterinarian and informed her that we were bringing Max over to her in around five minutes, she said she would be ready for us, do not even come inside, she will be waiting outside for him.  

I gave my Me Me head all the love I could, I hugged him, yes I even kissed the guys face and said to him (through tears). "You have been a great edition to our family, I am a better person for it and I love you so much, thank you for what you have given us, I love you.".

Nearing the End

Bugg laid that pine cone down just as gently as he did with his favorite rock
I had gotten up so the other family members could take their turn in the room, so as to say their goodbyes.  I looked around to see if Bugg was around and I was not able to spot him, then Dan came to me and said "It's time".  I had to go in and say goodbye one more time, he was my baby.

I once again went in there and thanked Max for all he had given us, when all of a sudden Bugg was standing next to me.  Max's head (almost his whole body) was in my lap, he was so tired and then, all of a sudden out of that gorgeous Bugg mouth came a pine cone, it rolled close to Max's mouth.  

No sir, not your usual pine cone, only Bugg's favorite, he carried that pine cone around for 5 months, never destroying it.  Bugg would hide it because, when ever one of his treasures (pine cones) he had found outside would get close to Max, Max would demolish it, look at Bugg as if to say "Bite me!". 

Max had turned his head in an attempt to reach the pine cone and yet, he was not able to do so, he was too weak.  So much of his body was on me, I was not able to retrieve it for him.  Then as gentle as I have ever seen one dog be to another, my Bugg rolled that pine cone with his nose to 'his Max'.

Max opened up his mouth and even though he was not able to demolish that pine cone, he was able to place his mouth on it.  Bugg looked at me and was about to turn around and leave, when Max with all his might, lifted his head and licked Bugg's face.  In the end, I feel Max finally gave Bugg the acceptance he so desired and Bugg gave his friend Max, respect but also, the love that Max had always gotten from all family members.


Bugg taking care of his baby
Misses his friend but he has another guy named Sweet Tee in his life now and the few things Max was able to teach Bugg, Bugg has used on Sweet Tee with some great results, might I add.

The mere fact a yellow labrador retriever has what the experts call a 'soft mouth' and Sweet Tee being part pitbull, added a huge tool in teaching Sweet Tee 'not' to bite down hard.
Do right 'young man'

Bugg has had to be a bit stern with Sweet Tee, yes he has but, I allow it as I know Bugg is just trying to get the stubborn dog to do right, just as Max did for him.

Without Bugg putting Sweet Tee in his place, I know that this rescue animal that we sought out would not adapt very well to a pack, since Sweet Tee was abandoned by folks that were operating a puppy mill.

They left him, brothers, sisters and mother in cages without food and water, not to even mention...

The mother was in one cage and the puppies were in another.  Sweet Tee had little bite marks (from the other puppies) all over his body, he was timid and very frightened, we picked him up.

Bugg to the Rescue!

There is no doubt in my mind that if not for Bugg, we would not have our very 'Sweet' Tee.  Sweet Tee would second that, I have no doubt.  This is how Bugg is, he is just a big'ol fuzzy well, yellow lab, what can I say, he is just a nice guy, bar none!


Not only is he as sweet as a hot buttered honey cornbread muffin, he is also gorgeous.  If a photograph of Bugg looks bad, then it is my fault.  He can 'not' take a bad photograph, what a photographers dream  he is, just the right shades no matter what light he is in, he would be a supermodel, if he was a human being, just saying.

I have made Bugg dress up in some crazy costumes for our articles and he only complained once and I think that it is all my fault.

One day Dan had taken Bugg and Sweet Tee out back, so as to do their business when all of a sudden, both of them came running up to Dan, with a rabbit in their mouths.  One had one end, the other had the other end.

Dan yelled (Yes he is going to kill me for saying so) at the dogs "Get away!", I heard as I was heading towards the back door and there Bugg was with a red face, it grossed me out so bad that I would not allow him in my bedroom that night.

It hurt his feelings so bad but, in my defense, I was right in the middle of a bout of the flu.

This is the only reason why I think he didn't want anything to do with those bunny ears, there is no other explanation.  I mean he loves to play dress up for the camera.  Well maybe he learned the lesson he was taught by Max, passed down to Sweet Tee, that is, if you do bad, we ignore you.

Though I do have to admit, I was a bit hysterical at the time of the rabbit cease, I had the flu, sorry Bugg.

He looks so unhappy.  Though he has not brought another rabbit to my door since then.

Really 'he' Does... 

Bugg Wayne
Love to wear hats and play dress up, he has done so for a few years and we rarely have an unhappy set, as you are able to see with our Bugg Wayne we have here.  Bugg is a ham when it comes to the camera, he is almost as bad as my grandson is, okay he is even worse than my grandson.

'My' Bugg...

He is all you would want in a dog/friend, he is a wonderful companion, loyal, protective and he is always full of kisses.

Bug loves to be hugged, I mean a wrap both arms around his belly and just give a big squeeze kind of hug.

Now, Bugg will be doing all he can to get his mouth to your face, as to give ya a big fat wet kiss, as you hug him but, it is worth it.

Bugg will not push me when my muscles are in a bad place, he will hunker down for me.  Bugg will lay close to my legs, as to provide heat for my aching muscles.  When I am up and not able to sleep, Bugg is also up.

Bugg carried his yellow snail around in his mouth for a year, until the washing of his toy finally destroyed it.

I Wish... 

That Bugg's wishes come true, well as long as they do not involve a dead rabbit that is.  The joy Bugg has brought to our family will never be able to be measured, he is just that important to us and especially to me.  I will be celebrating this day, as this is the day one of my best friends was born.

When you take a look at your family pet, do Bugg and I a favor, look into yourself and ask yourself, am I being a good friend, I mean, they deserve it for all they give to us, for very little in return.

Well folks, this is Bugg, he is three years old today, if not for him I don't think I would of had the moxie to put pen to paper and start writing articles and oh, how sad my life would be right now.

I am off for now, as I do have to prepare Bugg's and Sweet Tee's dinners and they are having something special tonight so off to work I go.  I must go folks, as we all know...

It 'is' A Buggs World!

In Bugg's World:  There 'will' be Turkey Dog Food

Me Me Heads: Dog Biscuit Recipe

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, it is acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)

Friday, November 22, 2013

No flour Oatmeal Cookies: Almond, Honey & Apricot Glaze

Just like Paula Deen's son Bobby Deen, I also like to make-over Paula's recipes, do not get me wrong, she has some great recipes but, when I am able to cut fat/calories for my family and I, I do a 'remix' on one of her original recipes. I too like Paula, have a sweet tooth but, with my recipe, you can have the sweet plus, a little less adage to your waist line.

A bit Nutty

By adding walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds and peanut butter, you will be adding plenty of protein to balance the carbohydrates you will be placing in your mixing bowl.  Topping it off with a honey apricot glaze will add a bit of sweetness and the slivered almonds will add another layer of flavor and added texture...

Will make these cookies your 'go to' recipe when you want a healthier version of what we all crave, cookies!


 4 cups rolled oats

1/2 cups sunflower seeds (shelled)

3/4 cup walnuts (Chopped)

1/2 cup chocolate bar (chopped)

1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I prefer crunchy)

1 stick of butter (unsalted)

2  eggs

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar (light will work just fine)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking soda


1/2 cup apricot preserves

1/4 cup honey (I used a orange blossom honey, use what you like)

1/2 cup of sliced almonds (to place on top of your cookies)

Enhance Your Nutty Side

Roasting the nuts, this is one step 'I do not' skip and I recommend you 'do not' skip it either.  When using any kind of nuts/seeds in a recipe, I recommend you take this one step.  When you roast the nuts you are going to use in a recipe, it brings them to life and adds such richness to your dish.

When I came up with this recipe I used some leftover walnuts that I found in my freezer and they were already chopped but, if you are able to get whole nuts, please do so, they roast better.  I would then roast the walnuts for 5 minutes (taking out and stir 1/2 way into cooking), before adding the sunflower seeds.

On a cookie sheet, covered with parchment paper, place your (chopped) walnuts and place your sheet into a 350 degree oven, for 3 minutes.  After 3 minutes take the cookie sheet out, stir the walnuts and add your sunflower seeds, roast for another 3 minutes, take the sheet out and toss the sun flower seeds and nuts, if they are not yet golden brown then place back in the oven, at one minutes intervals.

While you are waiting for your walnuts and sun flower seeds to roast, place your rolled oats and baking soda in a big mixing bowl and set aside.

Peanutty Goodness!

In another mixing bowl, add your sugar and eggs, mix (hand mixer-on high, my standing mixture-on medium) together until the mixture goes a bit pale, then you know you have gotten to the smooth consistency you are look for.

Bottom line is, you want to have a non-grainy consistency.

After you have reached the perfect consistency with your sugar and eggs combination, add your peanut butter, stick of butter, salt and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl.

Mix (same speeds as above) until well blended, when blended add your chocolate pieces and mix with a spoon.  At this time, add your 'cooled' walnuts and sun flower seeds to your oatmeal/baking soda bowl, mix well.

We Are Joined Together

With your oven set on 350 degrees, take out two cookie sheets and place parchment paper on each sheet.

It just keeps you from having to do so much cleaning up afterwards and they are easier to get off the sheet too boot, set aside.

If you have a non-stick cookie sheet than bypass the parchment paper.

Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and stir until well blended.

The 'right' Tool

I have found when you have the right tool to accomplish a task, it is easier on this granny and also, the whole process runs so much smoother and also, it gets done faster.

I only have 2 cookie sheets but if you have 4, then it is worth using them.  I use a (slightly smaller) ice cream scoop then the average size that most home cooks use and actually, it would be just about the right amount in your average ice cream scoop in the end.

I use what I have.

 I scoop up a heaping mound full and do 'only' 4 cookies per cookie sheet pan, yes these are big cookies.

Place your cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until 'slightly' golden brown, take out and place on a cooling rack.

Glaze it Baby!

Place your apricot preserves and honey in a small sauce pan, on medium heat, constantly stirring, until the preserves & honey are combined and is at a pouring consistency.

You can always place it back on the heat to melt the honey and perserves as you are using it, as it will tend to seize up.  I would rather do this step, than to have a runny glaze.

Place your cookies on a cooling rack, 5 minutes after you have taken them out of the oven.

This is where those 4 cookie sheets would come in handy, since you have to wait a bit of time before you are able to use the sheets once again.  Though even with two cookie sheets, I am able to pop these out in around one hour, from start to finish.

Another Layer of Flavor

Make them as gooey and nutty as you like

I will only add the glaze to 4 cookies at a time, so the next layer of taste and texture of the almonds will be all stuck to those cookies before the apricot preserves and honey glaze has time to dry.  Yes, I too roasted these nuts before adding them to the top of this goodness.

I do not allow my slivered almonds get much if any color, I cook them just so I am able to see/hear the oils coming out of the nut.  I find if you roast the slivered almonds as you would a walnut, pecan and even a whole almond, they tend to be a bit bitter...

Now that is not helping our goal of gaining a sweet goody to place in your cookie jar, now are we.

A few more goodies to add to your recipe box...

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Carrot Cake: Done Mama's Way!

Paula Deen's website:

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch: Halloween, Hayrides & Fun!

I have found the best Halloween attraction for the little pumpkin pies that live in the Columbus Georgia/Phenix city/Ft. Benning area, it has just enough scare but, not too much to bring up bad dreams for those little guys and gals we love so much.  

Affordable, you bet your bippy it is.   Please go to Best Nursery's 'The Georgia Pumpkin Patch' this Halloween.

The Pumpkin Patch

When we first arrived at the gate, we were greeted with some very helpful young men and women directing traffic, it all went every smooth.  Also, they could not have been more courteous if they tried.  We did not have to walk very far at all to get into the fun, even though 'The Georgia Pumpkin Patch' was very busy.

Notice whom the driver is

When we entered 'The Georgia Pumpkin Patch' the first attraction we saw was a photo opportunity, no cost, admission is free.  It didn't take many 'you better do this and smile photo looks' before the men agreed to play along.

I guess Daddy's dress was too tight, his tongue popped out

Tristan never to shy away from a camera, went from one photo-op to another, fast as he could, so another photo could be taken.  After we were through with these few displays (and a few others not seen) we then had to check out the big awesome (my grandson's words) spider, so we did.

Now this did take a bit of coaxing to get Tristan to walk up to the spider, he said "Granny, that is a big spider", with a bit of fear in his eyes.

Granddad informed him that the spider can not get out of his cage, so all is well.  Tristan bravely stood at the spider display and had his photograph taken.

Not once taking his eyes off of that 'big' spider.

We then left there in a bit of a hurry, Tristan's choice mind you and next up was a barn, just full of stalks of corn but to a 3 year old, it was awesome.  We roamed around the barn for a few minutes and off to the pumpkin maze we went.

I love how they have thoughtfully laid out the plan, as once you and your child/children are in that maze, there is not a way for them to escape without you cornering them.  Also there are a lot of those that work at the nursery that are walking around making sure everyone is having a wonderful time and are safe.

Pumpkin Maze

We have 'yet' to Spend A Dime

As we weaved in and around the pumpkin maze Tristan was more interested in the smallest pumpkins than he was with the big ones.

By the time we were done with the pumpkin maze, Tristan had three small pumpkins he wanted and Granddad picked out a pumpkin for us to carve Halloween eve.

Granddad went and stood in line so as to purchase our hayride tickets (3.00 per person) and we all went our own way to see what was out there in this beautiful pumpkin garden.

After I (sitting on a beautiful rock by the pond, just lovely) watched (snapped photographs) Tristan as he tried to pull his daddy around in the cart I then decided to leave them and to take a stroll of my own.

Marcus and Tristan decided to also take a stroll, so off we all went in different directions.  By the way, I have no idea where Billy went but, when I did see him coming back to the group he was smiling, so he was having fun.

I must say one thing if nothing else is said, the people that work at best Nursery treat you with kindness, they go that extra step to make sure you are having a great time and it was very much appreciated by us.

My Jaunt

I went off to do my own scouting because, as I was sitting on that rock I saw some of 'my' kind of stuff, yes, woman stuff, I am a woman. I love crafts, sweets of any kind, it be fruit or not and it being homemade, come on!

Yes I spent a few bucks for some (darn good) homemade peach preserves and pumpkin butter made with honey but, the 9 bucks I spent on them will be well served and enjoyed.

Mind you, the men will not complain about the peach preserves and pumpkin butter made with honey on their pipping hot biscuits, I promise you.  I myself like the peach preserves with a very hearty wheat bread, lightly toasted, while hot butter and then, just slather with that deliciously sweet, yet so fruity peachy goodness.

My mouth is watering now, lordy it is good.  They have plenty of Halloween knick knacks, toys and many more flavors of preserves to be slathered on what ever your heart desires.

 They Did 'not' Forget

After I looked at the arts and crafts and goods for sale, I went across the bridge and there sat one of the best sights I have seen in awhile, these pumpkins are being used for good, for all women/men that pass by them.

Come on, you just have to love this.  I have said ta ta's before saying ta ta's was cool, I just had to snap a photograph of this display.  Not only loving the sign, I also love that Best Nursery put their best foot forward to raise awareness to such a worthy cause.  The photo does it no justice, just a lovely sight to behold.

Together Again

We all met at the pond around 20 (or so) minutes later, the hubby had the tickets for the hayride in hand, my brother came walking up with a smile and Tristan was following me (pointing out pumpkins) and saying "I want this for my birthday", mind you, his birthday is not until next year, many months away.  So in line we went for the hayride.  

You are going to have a bit of a wait but, do not allow the long line to frighten you, the hayride takes around eight minutes each go around.  It also seats around 20 people easy.

Meaning, the line moves fast but for some (young tots), not fast enough, so since the line had been set (great thinking on Best Nursery's part) by the pond, Tristan and his daddy were able to go over to look and see what was floating in that pond.  Before he knew it, it was time to go on the hayride.

Before we get to the hayride I just want to let y'all know, we all had a wonderful time.  For the five of us it cost 15.00 for the hayride, 9.00 for the preserves and pumpkin butter made with honey (it is Halloween, I had to get the pumpkin butter, right!), 2.00 for a small pumpkin, 1.00 for two snatches out of the grab bag for Tristan (the eyeballs) and a lot of kids running around not knowing which way to turn first, as it 'all' looks fun and you can not help but have a smile on your face.

The HayRide

Now, do you 'really' think I was going to show you what we saw as we went on this fun ride, well heck no, you must go to 'The Best Nursery" in Fortson Georgia and visit 'The Georgia Pumpkin Patch'.  You and your family will enjoy it.

We had so much fun, we plan on visiting again this week and who knows, I might sneak off and get me some more homemade goodies.

I will say Tristan did want to run at one point, when a dangling snake touched his head but, it was short lived.  Granny told him it was only make believe like we play at home, then he was fine.

Though let me tell you, he had a death grip on his daddy's hand and he could not sit any closer, without being on his lap from then on.  I must admit, it did make me laugh, come on the little scare was harmless.

Please call ahead so you know what activities they are doing on that given day or ask them for the agenda for the rest of this week, they were only too kind when I bothered them with three phones calls given within two days.  The whole atmosphere was just fun, hospitable, affordable and I could not have asked for a better 50th birthday party.  Yes we had cake waiting for us at home.

Remember: Admission is free and you do 'not' have to buy a pumpkin.

Ends with Smiles

Yes, even after that bit of a scare that Tristan experienced there was one last photo-op that awaited us at the exit and after that, that boy only dreamed (that night) of beautiful pumpkins, family, fun and he had a piece of Granny's birthday cake.

Best Nursery is located no more than 25 minutes from our home and we live in Ladonia Alabama...

Best Nursery
9616 Fortson Rd.
Fortson Ga. 

Telephone number: (877 or 706) 327-1515

Hours: Monday-Saturday 8am- 6pm,  Sunday: 12pm-5pm

Best Nursery Website

I thought you might like a few of my own homemade fall recipes...



All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:) 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Buggah INC: Yearly Report & Alabama Scanner Update

Continued (LOL) Success

As CEO and fellow worker (I do 99.9% of the work) of a great crew (mostly me) it is my pleasure to be able to give you a report on just how much progress we have made in this last year.  Since our first yearly report a year ago.

We (I) have decided (no choice, he is 'the star') to name our company Buggah inc. (what we are incorporating, who knows).  We (I) feel this name (his articles gets more views) just has that certain kind of (will try 'anything' at this point) 'ring of success' for us (me) to go even higher (when down so low, up is all you have left) in our field of business.

Bugg's heart filled with pride and joy, when the board (me) members 'unanimously' voted for our (my) new company name of Buggah inc. .

Bugg meant no disrespect (Sure!) to his co (Bugg knows he does it all, well except the CEO) workers when he showed so much joy after hearing the good news of our (my) board members (me) decision on our (my) company name.

Bugg was so surprised that (this had taken them so long) the board of directors (me) would show him so much love (if the 'star' is happy, the whole household is happy <eyeroll>) and respect...

Bugg just could not help but to (put it in his co-workers (them not me) face) grin from ear to ear.

Our (my) Backers

Though we (I) have many backers (2), there is one backer I would like to put out, up front and center.  When I first called him and informed him that I was learning to be a writer but, I needed a camera to enhance my work.

He jumped at the chance (after he stopped laughing), and offered to send a camera (trash heap or me) to help our (my) production company and it was accepted (no choice, broke) with all the gratitude (<eyeroll>) I (can muster) have (he will be the father to my grandchildren, one day) in my heart.

This one backer (his wife, my daughter said "Just do it!") of Buggah inc. has been very supportive throughout this whole process.  I informed him that I was going to publish a company report once again this year and I wanted him to be part of it.

We (I) are so happy he displayed such a delightful (as if having 4 wisdom teeth pulled) response over our wonderful news, that I heard him sucking in his breath with (utter disgust) with all this excitement of Buggah inc including him, then our phone connection was lost.  Buggah inc.tried to reach him throughout the day (okay twice) but, he must have been out of my service area.

He has (since 'finally' picking up the phone) been willing to help (if mil is busy, she might not visit) me in every possible way.  My daughter so graciously (her birthday is coming up) snapped this photograph of the man that so generously (remember: trash heap or me) donated the camera that makes this all happen.

Our (my) wonderful backer we (I) have just showcased for our (my) yearly report is very shy so he would like to remain anonymous (we received the restraining order this morning) and we can (court ordered) understand (<eyeroll>) and respect (Oh yes, he is on the dammit doll list for Christmas) his decision.

If not for this camera we (I) would have never of been able to share (do this or go crazy, empty nest folks) this knowledge that seems to permeate around our (my) wonderful writing staff (me) that helps to (me or nothing) put out such great (grate) work that so many (1 or 2 a day) of my readers hold their breath (that my computer gets a virus) just waiting for our (my) next installment.

B N B Mailroom

We (I) have always encouraged our employees to branch (get off their butts!) out and be all they (some one has to get the mail) can be.

Two of our (my) employees have branched out (they know this road leads nowhere) and have started the 'planning' stages of a new (finally doing 'their' job) business.  B&B (Bad & Broke) Mail Room will (doubt it) open their doors (every time they go get the mail) and we (I) wish them all the luck (in 'not' making me too mad) on their new adventure.

Bugg and Uncle Billy have been working very hard (the walk takes 15 seconds) in making their up and coming business a success.  They have been practicing here in our (my) mail room on how to improve (really folks, it can 'not' get any worse) their delivery system.

Uncle Billy, walks to the mail box, grabs the mail, delivers the mail to Bugg and Bugg is always eager (yellow lab + 'anything' = insert mouth) to help Uncle Billy out.  Their team work is remarkable (if you have no other options) and helps keep their business afloat (as a screen porch lined fishing boat) and they just might (not!) be a real success (mail comes daily folks) in the postal field.


It has come to our (my) attention (walked into the bedroom) a few of our documents have been shredded by accident (okay, sure... remember, yellow lab + insert 'all' in mouth = bad lab chew) and I must say Bugg (was having a ball) seemed so upset over this mishap.  It 'might' cost (never got my publishers clearing house sweepstakes letter) our (my) company (up to) a million dollars.

As a new and up and coming company ourselves, we (I) feel that we (I) must give them (I don't want to get the mail) the time for adjustments.  As we (I) expect our (my) clientele (3 views today) to also have a little bit of (mercy on my soul, my kids are gone) patience so we (I) are able to work our (my) kinks out.

Also, we (I) stay with BnB Mail Room because (no choice), they are a well oiled (if I yell, get the mail!) machine, that we (I) just can not do without.

For now!


As we (I) get older (49 this year, help!) we (I) need a bit more (from head to toe) work on ourselves to keep us (me) up and about, as does our (my) equipment.

Our equipment manager (me) has been working very hard to keep this operation up with the times.

Our equipment manager (me) decided that we could use a update on our Alabama scanner.

Our equipment manager (me) called the head office (my head) and informed them (still me), we (I) need to upgrade a few pieces in our (my) Alabama Scanner so we (I) are able to (not have to buy an 'actual' scanner) keep up with production.

Our head office (my head) went on a hunt for a solution and after one hour (Some one has to sit and watch 'the star') the head office (me folks) then came up with some new and improved (found more stickers) parts for the Alabama Scanner.

Now our photo lab technicians (me) can now scan (bend over and have a better chance of taking a 'clean' 'photograph' of a 'photograph') our photographs with so much more efficiency.

We Believe in this Team

Our board members (me) have decided to promote from within.

We (I) have found that with our limited (0) budget, we should give each employee (ran out of family members) a chance to move up and have a bit more responsibility.

We (I) have decided (no choice) to let our hairstylist/financial backer (0 in the till) Dan, have a bit more responsibility around Buggah incorporated.

This new position will also allow Dan to put (me 'not' take out) a bit more money in his wallet (I'm working, I spend less) and play an even bigger (like he does a thing now) role in our (mostly me, tyvm) company's operations.

Dan did this so (I would shut the pie hole) we could keep this operation in tip top (of a sinking ship) shape. 

Move it!

Since Billy and Bugg are in their learning period of how to deliver/handle the mail (and 'actually' keep customers) and Billy is the head of our (my) moving division, we (I) have decided to take the load off of Billy for a few.

Trial Period

Billy was so pleased (now he doesn't have to do this) to show Dan all he could, to (pass this off) help Dan have a bigger role in our (my) company.

Uncle Billy starts off (grown man, can't throw) by showing Dan/hair stylist/financial backer (another grown man, can't throw), the ropes on how to plant your feet and aim for the target.

Uncle Billy explains to the new trainee that he must place it just so, so the photographer (me) can snap the perfect (as good as this shoddy camera will allow) photograph of 'the star' catching the Alabama frissbie.

Billy was so proud (Dan could at least get it up in the air) that Dan was more than eager (if the wife is not happy, no one is happy, including 'the star') to work hard (as a 61 year old can with a bum knee) and make a success (keep me from complaining) of this new opportunity.

Trial Period, Over!

After 15 minutes of Billy showing Dan how to (still throw like a girl) master the Alabama frizzbie, Billy allowed (I told him, to get!) Dan to take the reins.

Dan was doing just fine (The photographer was hit in the leg, twice!) as our photographer (Me) was about to take the perfect shot of Bugg, jumping up to catch the Alabama frizzbie, disaster happened (<eyeroll>).

Stitches were not (he is 'so' lucky!) needed.

The photographer (Me) complained to the head office (my head) about the dangerous working conditions.

The head office had to re-think (fire his butt) about Dan's role in the props department.

Generosity is Buggah inc.

We (I) have always been very generous to our employees (they get to eat!) and this holiday season is no exception.

Our (my) company had taken (made the hair dresser/no longer in props/financial backer give me a few bucks) out a loan and we (I) gave each employee a wonderful (one dollar mega millions lottery ticket) bonus this year.

We (I) did this because of all the hard work they have (avoided at all cost) accomplished throughout the year and I am sure (they will do the same shoddy work next year) this will let them know that Buggah inc. thinks of them as nothing but (duh, because they are) family to us (me).

As you can see, Dan our hairstylist/no longer in props/financial backer, was so excited (he was just fixing to leave the house) and pleased with his (in the state of Alabama, I get half) Christmas bonus this year.

Dan could hardly (run out the door fast enough) contain himself.

Our (my) Crew (<eyeroll>)

We (I) have a few more employees that have been more than happy (better to just do it) to join our team since our (mine tyvm) last company report.

Marcus has offered (no choice, I gave birth to him) to help out as much as he can.

Tristan my grandson (he can't walk, let alone run away), has also been a tremendous help.

Dan, Billy and Bugg have all decided (I control the TV remote) to stay with the company and help make Buggah inc. into the best production company (on our street) that is out there.

All 'work' & No Play...

Our end of the year (I must feed them) party was a great (no one was arrested) success.  Our kitchen staff (me) served a lovely punch (red kool-aid) and our (my) company CEO (me) even made sure our (my) employees had the best vintage (Shine, supplied by Bubba, on collard green lane) of (none) bubbly we could find.

For our Christmas party Dan (could be making up to the photographer), supplied us all with a box of freshly (brought home from his morning meeting at the car lot) made dunk'in donuts.

We will cut no expenses at Buggah inc. (There's none to cut) for our (mostly me) employees.

When I snapped this lovely (finally got them away from the punch bowl) photograph of our crew, Bugg looked (ashamed) adoringly at his crew.

Bugg knows without them (we would have a better chance at success) he could not shine as brightly as this 'star' does.

In Closing...

Our (mine!) company is committed in doing all we can to make Buggah inc. even stronger (we have no place to go, but up!) in this next year.  We (I) know (fingers crossed) Buggah inc. will grow much bigger (if my kids have more kids) and become a more (that one is easy to top) successful company in the future.

Bugg has since signed (he wants to eat) a new contract with our production company.

I rarely like to be photographed (I like to give my crew the credit) but, Part of Bugg's new contract states: I will (I also want to eat) promote (pimp) Bugg's and Uncle Billy's new company BnB Mail Room.  I do this willingly (as long as my face is covered) for the good of our (mostly me) company.  As we all know (<eyeroll>) ...

It is a Bugg's World!

The Alabama Scanner

I will admit, this is a company report that was written December 2010 and even though (yes I did improve it tyvm) I tightened it up a bit, I can not (heck I know I will get found out, just my luck) tell a lie.  Not much has changed, I am still the boss/talent/99.9% of the workforce, they still listen to me (once again, I cook for them) and Bugg is still 'the star' (<eyeroll>).

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different and acceptable) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Corned Beef Sandwich: Honey, Mustard & Grape Seed Oil Slaw

Yes we are approaching that time of year that those of us that are not Irish, become so on St. Patrick's Day.  I will be making my corned beef & Cabbage dinner, just like Mama did.

Bit Irish

Mama always made us corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day and she made sure to make enough corned beef so we could have sandwiches the next day.  Mama and the rest of the family have always loved thousand island dressing, so they would make a reuben sandwich.  I just made mine by adding mustard, tomato and lettuce.  As I grew up my taste also grew up and so I came up with this recipe that takes in to account, all the tastes of the corned beef sandwich I had growing up, just in a more mature way.


This recipe will make 4 sandwiches.

2 pounds corned beef

1/2 head cabbage (small)

3 tomatoes (depending on the size)

1/2 cup grape seed oil

2 1/2 tablespoons ground mustard (I like to use course mustard)

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1 Tablespoon salt

8 slices of rye bread

I prefer to use rye bread but, use what 'you' like when making a corned beef sandwich.  Also, if you would like to use more corned beef than I suggested, be my guest and who could blame you.

Sweet & Spicy

Slice your cabbage fairly thin, add to a colander, sprinkle with salt, toss and set aside for thirty minutes.  In the meantime slice your tomatoes and set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl add, mustard, honey, grape seed oil, cracked black pepper and mix well, set aside.  When thirty minutes are up, rinse your cabbage with 'cold' water and drain well.  If you have a salad spinner, spin it well or if not, take a towel or some paper towels and get off as much of the water as you are able.  Add your cabbage to your dressing and mix well.

The Grain

I allow my slaw to sit on the counter for 30 minutes before using, it allows time for all the flavors to mix and mingle.

You can use deli corned beef and it will still turn out to be a good sandwich but, to make it great sandwich, make your own corned beef and you slice it.

Remember to 'always' cut against 'the grain' and make your slices thin, you can pack on as many pieces as you like but, your corned beef has a better flavor and texture when you slice it thin.

I thought, how will I tell my readers why I salted the cabbage well, as most of y'all know, cabbage can be a bit gassy.  With my husband, I know this all too well.

The salt & rinse method seems to damper this one side effect of eating cabbage that most of us wish was not there.

Assembly Line

All you have to do now is to make an assembly line and let the family make their own, so they are able to have it their way.

Place out that thousand island, Swiss cheese or what you feel your family will like and then you too, will come up with 'your' favorite sandwich.

My Way...

I really wish you would try your corned beef sandwich my way, I know you will not be disappointed, I know I my family loves them.  Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours.:)

Here are a few recipes of mine that just might tickle your fancy...

Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner

Club Sandwich: Turkey, Ham, Bacon & cheese, Oh My!

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, it is acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)