New to photography

Hello!!!!!

So I recently have gotten into photography. I just received my first DSLR camera as a graduation gift and I love it!

I am looking forward to going on hikes next season and photographing the landscapes. Northeast Ohio has many gorgeous areas (Thank you Cuyahoga Valley National Park!!).

Also, I have realized that focusing a camera is quite like focusing a microscope. Many fields of depth!

I am so excited to experiment with photography and develop with the practice!

Here are a few pictures I have taken the past few weeks.

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I know! It’s been too long

I know!!!

I was gone for a long time.

I’m sorry! Don’t hate me!!!

Life got really chaotic and stressful.

Here is a doggie face to make up for it.

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Better?

Ok let’s move on.

I just made this really good vegan dinner. Now, I am not vegan, but I also appreciate a good meal that is healthy.

It was a vegan shepherds pie using lentils instead of meat and it was delicious.

I also may have been a bit EXTRA and made my dog some homemade pumpkin and peanut butter dog treats. When I say extra, I mean extra! I bought some pumpkins and roasted them to make pumpkin puree; which I then used to make the treats.

I made so many they filled a cookie jar to the top when I was finished. Yeah I also put the dog treats in a cookie jar. My dog, Bentley, absolutely loves the treats. Of course, he had to share with his best friend Lucy, my sister’s dog, when she visited.

 

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My father was in for a rude awakening when he tried one. He had to inform me that they were bland.

I laughed when he told me that. Also, I may have put the treats in a cookie jar just so my dad would try one. I have never used the cookie jar, but I thought it was worth the joke!

Till next time!

Desibee

Have you ever gone the extra mile for your pet? Leave a comment!

The Zany Grandma And Her Dogs

Hello everyone,

It’s that time again!

Another zany grandma story!!!

For those who don’t follow the zany grandma train here is a quick run down. My grandma is quite eccentric and some of the things she does make no sense. For example, refusing to get a new oven because she is emotionally attached to her old one even though it leaks gas and could explode.

In a previous post I wrote about the struggle of getting my grandma a new dog. In the post I mentioned that she had owned three West Highland Terriers before and the latest recently passed. I said there was another story in this, so here it is.

In the late 60’s my grandma bought her family their first dog. She bought the dog from a breeder and wanted to name the tiny terrier Hercules. However, her children talked her into naming the Westie, Yankee. Note: They were not New York Yankees fans.

The first dog died in the early 80’s. Soon after Yankee died my grandma decided to get another dog.

So, my grandmother contacted another breeder and bought another West Highland Terrier.

Now, this is where it gets weird. My family wanted to name the dog, but my grandmother insisted on naming the dog Yankee…

Let that sink in.

She said the reason was so she wouldn’t call the dog by the wrong name. However, my grandma has never been good with change (remember the oven??).

She replaced her deceased dog with the same breed of dog and gave it the same name.

Yes, both dogs were male and looked exactly alike.

Yankee 2 died in 1998 and immediately after the dog died my grandma contacted another breeder.

The breeder lived in New York and my entire family took a vacation to go and pick up her new dog. This 3rd dog, also a Westie, is the one I remember and grew up with.

My grandmother picked up her new dog and my uncle adopted the dog’s sibling. My grandmother took the dog home and named him…. Go on take a guess.

She named him Yankee! Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Luckily, my uncle did not name his dog Yankee.

Yankee 3 lived until 2014. It took a few years for my grandmother to get a new dog.

I talked about the process of finding a new dog for my grandma in a previous post.

Long story short: I refused to let my grandma get a dog from a breeder. She insisted on many specifics for the dog. I found her a toy poodle that she is now completely in love with and spoils like crazy.

The new dog was not named Yankee, but I think this was only because the new dog was female.

She named her new dog Corrie.

~Desibee

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Hello everyone!

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending the day with twelve of my relatives while we went on a train ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Now, I am an avid visitor to the park and have even had the honor of aiding in some of the park’s research. However, my family has never gone. I even talked my cousin into camping there and going kayaking.

I was thoroughly impressed with the train ride which wove its way through the park smoothly.

The train, which was from the 1940’s, was in great condition and the railroad system easily adapted to any changes. Due to the high population of visitors that day, the railway added several additional train cars to fit all of the passengers effortlessly.

This was my fist time on the train at the CVNP and I am definitely going back.

My family also really enjoyed the ride and said it was very relaxing. We even got the chance to see the 1000 pound (~453 kg) Bald Eagles nest. This past season two new eaglets were born and have already left the nest.

Definitely a trip to remember!

Let’s Talk: The Cheating Zany Grandma

This past Labor Day my family was over for a cookout. The day was very nice and everyone was lively with chatter.

After dinner my family usually likes to play some games. Recently, we have trying out various card games. We started out with Rummy and made our way to Golf. My grandma won every single game, but one. We all jokingly accused her of cheating.

We played till everyone went home.

The next day, I was folding the blanket my grandma was using and I was surprised to see a couple of cards fall out.

The jokes of cheating were correct.

My precious grandmother who was winning all evening was cheating!

No, I have not asked her and I will not. However, I told my father (grandma’s son) and all he could do was laugh and yell “that cheater.”

Till next time

~Desibee

 

Plants Can Talk

We are going back to the science track with this post.

Little known fact: Plants can talk! WHAT?!

Okay, obviously I don’t mean can plants talk in the same way humans can. I, for one, have never walked down the street and had a daisy bid me “good day” (at least not sober).

I mean plants can communicate with each other. This is done through the release of chemicals.

When a plant is being attacked by an insect or disease it releases specific chemicals. These chemicals act as a warning to neighboring plants.

A nearby plant then detects the chemical and reacts to protect itself. This can be done in several ways. However, it usually involves the action of a secondary metabolite. There are several classes of these chemicals and each performs a different job.

The neighboring plants defend themselves by releasing chemicals either inside or outside the plant. These chemicals are produced based on the threat. A plant can produce chemicals to kill an insect if ingested or release chemicals to deter the threat from the plant.

These secondary metabolites are key to plant survival and human survival. Many medicines used today are derived from the secondary metabolites of plants. These chemicals are key for the survival of both.

There are many other ways plants can communicate, but that is a whole other post.

I am amazed at the “secret lives of plants.”

In all honesty, thank you plants for producing caffeine (a type of secondary metabolite), I don’t know how I would survive without coffee.

~Desibeeblog

Let’s Talk: The Zany Grandma And The Oven

Hello everyone!

Shall we continue with another “zany grandma” tale?

My grandma has lived in the same house for over 50 years. Most of the appliances she owns are from when she bought the house. So, as the title of this post suggest, her oven is also over fifty years old.

A couple of years ago my family started to smell something strange when we would visit. We figured out it was the smell of gas and a little while later we deduced it was her oven.

Now, before I continue I think it is useful to keep in mind that since this oven is so old it is ignited with a match

It took months and months of warnings and us turning off her oven for her to finally listen to get the it checked out.

After a couple of months, at a family get together, the oven was still letting out gas. My grandma informed everyone that she had the oven checked and that nothing could be fixed (the parts are no longer in production) and the oven needed to be replaced.

Everyone in the family offered to pitch in to pay for a new oven. I also told her she could get another oven similar to the one she had. However, she was not interested in any of this. She said “the oven has been with me this long it will stay with me.” Yes, my grandma is emotionally attached to her oven; even if it could kill her.

My family has tried desperately to change her mind and buy her a new oven due to the risk of explosion. My stubborn grandma simply tells us, “I only run it when no one is here, but myself.” That does not stop the risk!

Many appliances in my grandma’s home are like this, but to her they are as precious as family. My entire family has run into problems with items in her home. Another product that she is deeply connected to is her Rotary Phone, but that is a story for another day.

~DesiBeeBlog

Climate Change Versus Global Warming

Climate change is one of the major issues we face today. We live in the moment of a potentially devastating event.

Most people accept climate change as an issue because it is backed by copious research. However, the media is filled with both deniers and acceptors. This includes prominent politicians who want to start televised events to debate the existence climate change.

There is one problem with all the televised material on climate change. The news and politicians usually refer to climate change as “global warming.” This is starting to change with more and more news companies writing headlines as “climate change.” News anchors and reporters will still say global warming when relaying information.

We need to make a change in the way we speak. Climate change is a scientific term used to refer to the change in weather patterns and climate on a global average. Global warming simply refers to the warming of the world.

One of the simplest ways to observe climate change is in weather events such as thunder storms or hurricanes. It is seen in the increased intensity and spontaneity of storms. Since climate change deals more with weather patterns it is not appropriate to call it global warming.

Certain politicians call climate change a hoax because the city they are residing in is cold enough to snow. This is not only ridiculous it is wrong. Climate change does not mean all areas will warm up. In fact some areas will even cool down.

We exist in one of the great moments in history. Future generations will look back and will either praise or condemn us. We can change the gruesome future that is being painted by scientists.

~Desibeeblog

desibeeblog@gmail.com

Dogs Are Amazing

Okay, I know this is a widely accepted fact, but I just need to say it again. Dogs are amazing!

I am not just talking about how cute and lovable they tend to be. (Although that is included). I am talking about how skilled and useful they are.

Recently, I dove into learning the skills and expertise of these canines. Most college seniors have to complete a capstone course in order to graduate. With my degree, that meant I had to prepare an hour long seminar and present it to over 100 people. Worst hour of my life.

The topic I chose was the olfactory capabilities of canines. After months and months of research I was even more amazed with dogs than I was before.

I focused on cadaver dogs or search and rescue dogs, but also came across research on detection dogs. Dogs can be trained to detect seizure in people before they start and even detect cancer in the body.

During my research I came across a comparison that blew my mind: where a human might be able to detect a teaspoon of sugar in water, dogs would be able to detect a teaspoon of sugar in two Olympic swimming pools of water. (yeah my dog can’t do that, but it means a trained scent dog would be able to).

Dogs can even smell the difference between genetically identical twins. However, they cannot smell the difference between newborn identical twins. I learned a lot about the use of dogs in law enforcement and as aids in forensics. This amalgamation of knowledge is what I am truly grateful for after my seminar.

All animals are amazing and many animals have a better sense of smell than dogs, but only dogs are man’s best friend.

Let me know if you would like more science based posts. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

DesiBeeBlog

Let’s Talk: The Zany Grandma And Her New Dog

I previously stated that I had many zany grandmother stories to share. So here is one you may enjoy.

My grandmother is very particular when it comes to dogs. I didn’t know how selective she was until I had the esteemed honor of finding a new dog for her to adopt.

This started about two years after the passing of her longtime dog Yankee III (yeah another story there). She was wanting another dog, but was not making any decisive actions. She has only ever bought dogs from breeders and paid top dollar; no she does not put them in shows. I refused to let her do that so I offered help in searching for a dog for her. I searched all over local shelters to find her a dog.

This should not have taken long or have been difficult. It was.

The reason why it was so hard is that she is incredibly picky. She had a list of requirements for me to meet. This was the first list:

  1. A male
  2. A puppy or young dog
  3. Small
  4. Upright ears (An absolute must)
  5. Short hair, but not too short
  6. Not too loud
  7. Must be okay with children
  8. Cannot shed too much
  9. Light coloration
  10. Solid coloration
  11. Open face (Yeah, what??)
  12. Cairn Terrier preferred
  13. House trained (from a puppy…)
  14. Straight tail
  15. No distinct smell
  16. Okay with being left alone for a short while
  17. No health conditions
  18. Terrier group
  19. No biting

Okay the list was long and made me angry. I can look at any dog and say you absolutely perfect. (We as humans don’t deserve dogs; they are too good for us)

After a few months of looking I told her I could not find a puppy Cairn Terrier that wasn’t from a breeder. She thought of just contacting a breeder, but I convinced her to be lenient with her list. She would now “allow” a non terrier and simply a young dog.

I searched for over a year to fit her specificities. Then she says she wants a female dog. Yeah now more searching.

I finally found her a perfect dog. I kept it as close to her list as possible. This dog came from a rescue called Marilyn’s Voice which focused on rescuing puppy mill dogs. The dog I found was a tiny, six pound, Toy Poodle and Yorkshire Terrier mix.  I wanted to find her a small dog that would remain easy to lift as the dog ages. (Her last dog, a West Highland Terrier, was too heavy for her to lift when the dog got too old to get up stairs to go outside).

She went to meet the dog and fell in love instantly. This dog had character and was so well behaved.

This dog ended up being about 5 years old and had some missing teeth. She also has chronic ear infections and is not used to people handing her food. Even with these quirks my grandmother fell in love with her (I knew she would).

About a year has passed since she got the dog and they are inseparable. The dog had many difficulties at first, but was attached to my grandma instantly. She ended up being partially house trained, afraid of stairs, and barks when my grandma was not in sight. My grandma considered sending her back to the shelter (which upset me because I tried to explain puppy mill dogs take a while to settle into their homes). After about a year the adorable little poodle is now better with stairs, pretty well trained, and content at home and with other family.

My grandma is now in love with the little fuzz ball and says she could not imagine her life without the dog. She babies the dog and spoils her beyond belief.

Well that is my grandma story for today. Let me know if you would like to hear more of these stories.

Until next time.

Desibee