Posted by: Brenda Schurrer-Maro | July 26, 2010

My Adventure in Dog Ownership


Although this may sound rather strange to most, one of the reasons I decided to own a dog is because I’m afraid of them.  Not just a little bit, but literally terrified, and they know it.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told, “Just don’t be afraid”.  Well thanks Captain Obvious, but how exactly am I supposed to do that?

I’ve been bitten by dogs eight times from childhood on, and that only counts the times they’ve broken skin and actually shed my blood.  I can’t even count the number of times a dog has growled, lunged, nipped, chased or otherwise tried to attack me.  It seems that if a dog has a violent bone in its body, it will behave aggressively toward me.  Experience has conditioned me to believe this which causes an automatic physiological fear response.  I wish it didn’t, but invariably it seems that it does.

So at this point that I’m sure you’re asking yourself, why on earth would she want to own a dog?  And admittedly, yes I’m much more of a cat person; however, it’s not that I bear malice toward, hate, or otherwise dislike dogs.  On the contrary, I love all animals and dogs are obviously included in that.

In fact, along with what I term the “mean” dogs, I’ve met a lot of “nice” dogs.  When I say that, I’m not talking about anything except the way that they seem to react to my fear.  See, I’ve noticed that many dogs will have one of two responses to the fact that I’m afraid of them.

Those I’ve termed “mean” dogs will act aggressively toward me, presumably, because they know I’m afraid.  This quickly gives way to me becoming terrified which gives them the response they want and drives them to act even more hostile.  Many won’t go so far as to actually bite me, but they will do whatever ever they can short of that to intimidate me.  Unfortunately for me, it works.

Those I’ve termed “nice” dogs, on the other hand, will behave very amiably toward me.  They will often try to lick or snuggle me and will give me sweet little looks that, as crazy as it may sound, seem to just say, “I promise not to hurt you, just love me and don’t be afraid”.  Of course these are the dogs I prefer and genuinely love to be around.

“Nice” dogs are the dogs which have nurtured my desire to own a dog, along with my daughter’s continued wish to own a dog even though we have owned multiple cats throughout her life.  So after months of careful consideration, online research and advice from family and friends with high pet IQ’s, I decided it’s time to give dog ownership a try.  Who knows, maybe a dog will finally be the one to teach me how not be afraid.

Posted by: Brenda Schurrer-Maro | June 26, 2010

How to Ship Frozen Food


If you have ever lived far away from home, you know the feeling of wanting a delicious home cooked or local treat.  Shipping food across the country is quickly becoming a regular practice.  This is not only true for large restaurants or franchised businesses, but also for everyday people.  Care must be taken, however, to ensure that your treat arrives in the best possible condition.

There is nothing worse than homemade ice cream that’s melted, or a mushy cannoli; especially if you have been looking forward to your favorite treat for days.  Since food which is maintained at a freezing temperature has a preserved effect, the most efficient way to ship food over a long distance is to ship it frozen.  Shipping frozen food may sound difficult, but if you follow a few simple measures you can easily ship frozen food and have it arrive still frozen.

After selecting and preparing your treat, the next step is preparing your packaging.  For this you will need a styrofoam or insulated shipping container, a cardboard box which is slightly larger than the styrofoam container, plastic wrap or a plastic bag, styrofoam peanuts or newspaper, gloves and dry ice.  If you will be shipping food regularly or for commercial/business purposes it is recommended that you purchase higher quality insulated shipping containers like those available from ThermoSafe.com; however, if you will just be shipping an occasional goodie to a friend or loved one, an inexpensive styrofoam container from the grocery store should work fine.

First, wrap the frozen food securely in plastic to prevent any piece coming into contact with the dry ice.  Next, place the frozen food on the bottom of the styrofoam container.  Then, wearing gloves to prevent frost burns, place dry ice on top of and all around the food.  Make sure your container is big enough to easily accommodate your choice of food and approximately 5 to 10 pounds of dry ice for each 24 hour period it will be in transit.  Place the lid loosely on the container and then place the container inside of the cardboard box.  Fill any gaps between the cardboard box and styrofoam container with either styrofoam peanuts or crumpled up newspapers to prevent shifting during transport; additionally, this offers extra insulation to prolong the freezing effect of the dry ice.  Last, seal the cardboard box, add the address and you’re ready to head to the post office or package delivery company.

The one drawback to using dry ice is the high level of government regulation involved.  Since dry ice is a hazardous material, with potential transportation hazards ranging from frost burns to explosion, rules governing proper use are needed to help minimize the risks.  To make sure that all rules and regulations will be followed, it’s important to consult your package carrier before shipping your package so that they can help you determine the pertinent regulations in advance.

Gifting goodies is a long time tradition and shipping food frozen is a great way to reduce the risk of spoilage.  Following these guidelines will ensure that your package arrives at its destination intact and unspoiled for optimum enjoyment! Bon Appetit!

Previously published on Helium.com (http://www.helium.com/items/1823596-shipping-frozen-food)

References:

http://www.dryiceinfo.com/ship ping.htm

http://pe.usps.gov/text/pub52/ pub52c3_024.htm#ep900096

Resources:

ThermoSafe Insulated Packaging: http://www.thermosafe.com/prod uctsearch.html?&Pr10=Food

Dry Ice Vendor Directory: http://www.dryicedirectory.com /usa.htm

Posted by: Brenda Schurrer-Maro | June 25, 2010

Who’s the Daddy? (Phloe/Danoe)


Nothing is more typical of soap operas than the classic “Who’s the Daddy” storyline, and Days has clearly decided to give this one another go.  About halfway through June 23rd’s episode, Carly interrupts Chloe and Daniel’s hospital wedding (for what is this the 10th time?) to make an announcement.  Rather than tell Daniel what Chloe has done like it seemed she had planned, she states that Chloe’s full lab work has come back and that she’s pregnant!

Now for anyone who watches, you might think this would be a hugely joyous event, right? I mean after all, wasn’t it just months ago that Chloe so desperately wanted a baby she had a “hysterical pregnancy”?  Oh, but wait that’s right, she also recently cheated on Daniel with Phillip so her response is of course the typical “Who’s the Daddy” panic look.  I have to say her face when she first got the news portrayed it pricelessly!  Her eyes were so expressive you could just feel the wheels turning in her mind.

And of course her initial response of “I can’t have a baby!” just gets totally glossed over.  Daniel goes straight into miracle mode and you would think he would pick up on the tension written all over Chloe’s face, but this is Salem so of course he just goes on laying it on thicker and thicker about how it’s “our baby” to her!

Although I was happy to see that they did some testing to somewhat prove it wasn’t another false pregnancy, come on, like Carly would be the one? She couldn’t just sit there doing the sonogram and listening to Daniel get more and more excited but not say something about Chloe’s affair? I mean she’s been so vocal about him needing to know and that she’s going to tell him, but now she suddenly decides to keep quiet?  I’m so not buying it, they should have had someone else do the sonogram or had her spill the beans to Daniel right after announcing the pregnancy.  Better yet, they could have done it right away with Phillip and Melanie still in the room too, because I really don’t think anyone wants to see any more babies hidden from their parents.  That storyline has been pretty played out recently.

Already there is a lot of speculation that the baby will be Phillip and Chloe’s, which makes sense because it would throw a wrench in two intermingled couples.  Personally though, I think it looks too much like it’s going to be Phillip’s baby.  Whenever they try very hard to make it seem like it will be one thing, it usually ends up being the exact opposite.  So my opinion is that Daniel will find out some how during Chloe’s pregnancy that she cheated and give up thinking the baby isn’t his.  Then when the baby is born, SURPRISE, it’s Daniel’s baby not Phillip’s! Only time will tell whose baby it is, but for the time being I’m just glad that Chloe is at least getting another shot at being a mom.

Posted by: Brenda Schurrer-Maro | June 23, 2010

A Day at the Beach with Children


A day at the beach!! As a child this conjures images of fun in the sand, sun, and surf; for the parents this brings up worries of sunburns and crabby children whose exact vision of the day has not been produced. However, with careful planning, a fun day at the beach with your family is very possible.

The most important step is to begin planning early! Start by making a list of all the things that you’ll need while at the beach. I would recommend water proof sunscreen of at least 30 spf, sunglasses, hats, swimsuits, towels, extra towels, a change of clothes, a blanket or sheet, a cooler with water and snacks, handi-wipes, beach toys, umbrellas and sandals or flip-flops. You need to make sure that you bring enough of each of these things for everyone who is going. Also, make sure to pack a bag or backpack with these things ahead of time so that nothing will be forgotten in the excitement of leaving for the beach!

Before leaving, apply sunscreen to everyone and make one last check of your supplies. The reason for applying sunscreen before leaving is because it works best when it has time to fully absorb into the skin. It’s still important to bring sunscreen with, however, because it should be re-applied often to avoid a painful sunburn. Spray sunscreens are great for taking along to the beach because you don’t have to rub them in and this can help avoid rubbing sand into sensitive skin. Like sunscreen, some items on the above list have obvious uses, such as sunglasses and hats to give protection from the suns harmful rays; swimsuits and towels for swimming and drying off; and beach toys for the kids to build sand castles and play with. However, others may seem like unnecessary burdens, but each item does have a very beneficial purpose.

A blanket or sheet provides the perfect place to rest or picnic with your family. Handi-wipes are convenient because you can use them to quickly wash sand off your hands before handling food, because truly, who wants to literally eat a “sand”-wich? Bottled water is important because it provides hydration which the sun depletes from our bodies quickly, especially in children. Umbrellas offer portable shade and are great to shade napping infants. A change of clothes for everyone is necessary because after swimming, you don’t want to have to hang around waiting for your clothes to dry or have to ride all the way home in cold, soggy clothing. And lastly, even if you’re planning to go bare foot, it’s important to bring sandals along because often times the sand will become too hot to comfortably walk on during the midday heat. Additionally, they offer protection from pieces of glass or sharp shards of seashells which may be hiding below the sand. Bringing all the necessary items helps make sure that your day will go smoothly.

Although, some people are probably saying that they can’t possibly do this because they don’t live in Florida, California or one of the other coastal states, but you just need to be creative! Many inland states have large bodies of water which have beaches open to the public. Search locally for reservoirs, forest preserves and even parks with lakes or rivers in them. Any lake can serve as a beach, so don’t think you have to live close to the ocean to plan this fun activity. All you need is to take the time to carefully plan your day at the beach and it’s sure to be a fun and memorable day for your entire family!

Posted by: Brenda Schurrer-Maro | June 21, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians


These are a wonderful collection of books for children in about 5th to 7th grade! One of the things which makes them interesting is that although primarily fiction novels (with exciting stories), they are intermingled with facts about the Greek Gods andPercy Jackson Books 1-4 Goddesses making them also sneakily educational.  I have always been interested in Greek Mythology and found these books to be very interesting and even containing some tidbits and facts which I did not previously know and/or remember from my childhood education!  I looked up multiple references which Riordan made to Greek Mythology (including those to Zeus, Hades and Poseidon – “the big three”; Persephone; Medusa and her three sisters; and Kronos) while I was reading these books and all of them were consistent with the Greek legends and stories.  I think this collection is a wonderful read for children and adults alike, especially those who enjoy mythologically based story lines.

Posted by: Brenda Schurrer-Maro | June 19, 2010

Hello world!


Welcome to Brenda’s Badinage Blog on WordPress.com! This is my first post for a brand new blog which is very much still “under construction”.  In the future I’ll be editing it and starting to blog since, well, why not? Talk to you soon!

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