Boatmade Dog Treats

When in the house, I became a bit of a crazy couponer (especially when it came to dog treats). Coupons would substantially bring down the cost of dog treats - you know, a staple in our household. Aboard, there is not an abundance of space to keep stockpiles of groceries (and dog treats), so we've gone back to buying a box at a time.

Yet, I realized that we likely had the ingredients aboard to make easy treats so one Saturday I gave them a try. Success! I found an easy dog treat recipe with a basic Google search, and I learned that making treats aboard not only makes my dog happy and saves money, but it also uses up some of the staples we always have - flour, for one.

No room to keep a rolling pin aboard so I use a wine bottle.
Pizza cutter helps make nice square treats. I'd like to get a bone cookie cutter for next time.
I sprinkled chicken bullion power on top of the biscuits, for a special additional taste. 
Entire recipe filled above canister with treats. An abundance for a little bit of time and money. 
Recently, I've noticed that our dog comes into the galley when I'm washing dishes or cooking dinner. He just stands there, so I'll ask him, "Do you want a cookie?" He sits down, I grab one homemade treat for him, and then he goes back to the couch. So, recipe is pooch tested and approved!

He likes it!

From Caesar Milan 

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. Beef or chicken Bouillon granules (can substitute beef or chicken broth/stock)
  • ½ cup hot water

  • Optional Add ins
  • Bacon or chicken broth, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Dissolve bouillon in hot water
    3. Add remaining ingredients
    4. Knead dough until it forms a ball (approximately 3 minutes)
    5. Roll dough until ½ inch thick
    6. Cut into slices or bone shapes
    7. Place dough pieces on lightly greased cookie sheet
    8. Cook for 30 minutes

Winter Ducks

As we stay toasty warm inside, our marina critters are business as usual. Yesterday afternoon, we spotted our ducks traveling across the ice on our creek - some were walking, some were sitting. Eventually, a good number made it out of the slips.

We're Staying Warm

"Are you staying warm?" is a question we hear often. It makes sense. In our locality, January and February (sometimes, March too) is really cold. This year, we've survived the Polar Vortex and an overnight snowstorm that closed our local schools for one week. Through it all, we do keep warm due to planning and patience.

In the fall, my husband installed a propane heater. We hardly use the fold-up table that was installed in our boat, so my husband used it as a secure backdrop for the marine heater. The propane tank is kept outside on the port side deck, and the heater was installed with a vent for fumes, etc. to escape the boat.

A nice stream of heat blows out of the heater, and it's been a wonderful addition to our boat during this winter. And, it's really cozy to lay in our aft cabin and see the reflection of the flickering flames overhead in the saloon.

In addition, we have a few small heaters that are strategically placed on the floor, as we use those as needed. Also, we have a wonderful heated blanket that we turn on before we go to bed so the sheets are warm when we snuggle in - we have found that our dog LOVES going to bed, and he's often in the rack hours before us. Around 7 PM, he hops off the couch, shakes, and then heads to the aft cabin. He stands there until we turn on the blanket, and help him hop up into bed (he's very skiddish about leaping as his paws sometimes slip on the wood floor). A spolied dog, we know. After an hour or so of us sleeping, one of us usually wakes up and turns off the heated blanket and we sleep warmly and soundly until the morning.

Going outside is what's cold for us. We love hearing the weather raging outside or seeing the evidence of how cold is is, while we are toasty warm inside the boat. When we lived on land, we often talked about how weather could happen outside without us knowing it. Being back aboard puts us back into the mix and we are part of the weather each day. We see this is a blessing and having a stronger connection with the world in which we live.

Below are some shots from the recent freeze. Hope you all area staying warm, too.

Merry Christmas!

It's been a wonderful Christmas, and I was blessed to have the opportunity to come home for the holiday week. My brother recently bought an adorable house, so my husband, pooch, and I decided to make our home base here. Not only am I incredibly impressed with my little brother's decorating skills (who knew?!?), but he has been an absolutely great host, and having Christmas here with our entire family was a blast.

Was so happy that my little brother had a Christmas tree up and ready for our arrival. 

My husband said that this stress-free week made this the best Christmas he ever had, and he also praised the loveliness of the indoor plumbing system (i.e., shower and toilet). When you live aboard, these land-lubber everyday conveniences are a special treat. As is being able to let the dog out in the morning to run around in the backyard on his own, making a quick cup of coffee, a dishwasher, a big tv with cable, etc. The biggest treat, though, is just being able to spend time with family which doesn't happen often enough.

Hoping that you all had a wonderful holiday and with continue to do so through the New Year. Best wishes!

One of our marina friends had his own Christmas tree poised on his boat.

A full size kitchen means I could try out creative breakfast - heart cinnamon rolls (one does look like an insect, though...)

Brother braved the northern cold to deep fry a turkey! Impressive.

I contributed appetizers - cranberry nut brie, spinach artichoke dip, crostinis. 

Yum. The brie was good. Actually, not sure if you can mess up brie!

My grandmother's Christmas decorations were on display. It's the third Christmas without her, and she's always missed.

My sister literally brought a Christmas gift bag full of jello shots. Yum.

Dogs were exhausted.

Although I'm not a fan of eating it, having Grandma's layered jello is a nice touch.

The pooch preferred the office futon for naps. 

Day after Christmas brought snow. 

Everyone was still stuffed after eating and drinking too much.

A good cup of coffee was lovely the day after. Being able to make it in a few minutes is nice!

Winter Morning

The weather outside is frightful, but the pictures turn out delightful. It's been a cold couple of days on the water. After we luckily missed the brunt of an eastward moving storm, we did have some low temps and freezing on the creek and pier. Just some pictures of what I enjoyed seeing and what makes me appreciate our new inside propane heater even more.