Author Archives: Mia V

Featured Pet: Presley #5777

Pet-of-the-Week-Presley-5777--TV-1Presley (#5777) is a two-year-old male hound dog. He was picked up and brought in to SCRAPS and is now looking for a new family who can keep up with his boundless energy! He is smart and eager to please but needs some obedience training to stay well behaved (and you’re in luck because SCRAPS offers FREE training classes!). Presley would do best with a family of active adults with no children or older children, as his size and energy could be overwhelming for small kids. The adoption fee for Presley is $87.04 and includes neutering, micro-chipping, and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting him, please come to SCRAPS and ask for him by ID number 5777!

Adventures in Spokane, Part Thirty-Three: Where I Fall Down a Hobbit Hole, Enter the Promised Land, and Am Definitely Not Always in Spokane

AdventuresInSpokaneI don’t know about you, ladies and gents, but I’ve been having a busy busy summer. I just realized it will be August at the end of the week. Where the heck did July go? I woke up one morning and it was gone.

Anyhoo, so what have I been up to the last four weeks (four weeks, seriously, it’s been that long since I posted an installment of Adventures in Spokane? Shame shame shame on me for neglecting all my wonderful readers)?

Well…

I went to Vancouver (WA not Canada though that would’ve been cool too) to see my wonderful (and very tall) cousin marry his wonderful (and very tall) soulmate. It was a fun ceremony and a great reception with a Spanish theme and I had a delightful time even though I was almost the shortest person there (my niece is two so her being shorter than me doesn’t really count).

Seriously folks, I felt like a hobbit that had wandered into Rivendell by mistake. I have never seen so many tall, beautiful people in one place in my entire life. If the gorgeous tall lawyer with the Australian accent sitting across from me during the reception hadn’t been so nice, I might have knocked over his chair or something, just to remind him there are people down in the lower stratosphere.

corvallisAfter the wedding I went with my family over to Corvallis to visit my aunt and uncle who’ve been living there since forever (or at least the last 30 years or so). We stopped in Portland on the way and I finally – FINALLY PEOPLE – got to spend some time in Powell’s books.

I’ve been dreaming of Powell’s for years and yet every time I’ve been in the area something has kept me from going there. But not this time. NOT THIS TIME.

The family gave me 35 minutes in the store. It wasn’t nearly enough time but I didn’t waste it on wallowing. I bought two books and also inquired whether it would be possible to bring a tent and just live in the poetry room. They laughed like my question was funny but I was very serious. I’ll let everyone know how the move goes.

After Powell’s we walked around downtown a bit and ended up at Noodles and Company for lunch. Brilliant restaurant idea behind Noodles and Company, by the way. We thought it would be all Asian-style cuisine but it turned out to have a menu that included multiple kinds of noodle dishes. I had myself some Pad Thai, my dad had stroganoff, my niece sampled some chicken noodle soup, and my sister had whole wheat linguini. It was a fun, random way to spend lunch.

Corvallis was nice. I wasn’t there very long and spent most of the time at my aunt’s house, eating delicious food and playing in the garden. I may have also spent some time fondling my uncle’s collection of vintage hardback books and first editions. The hundred year old Mark Twains smelled particularly wonderful.

dinosaursBack in Spokane (because I always end up back here eventually) I took my six-year-old nephew on a playdate to Discover the Dinosaurs. Billed as having “40 life size dinos in their natural environment” I was a little disappointed that they had around half that actually out on display. Some of the animatronic elements didn’t work and not everything was marked with proper signage. But while I was a bit underwhelmed, my nephew had himself a grand ol’ time. At one point he even told me it was his “greatest dinosaur day EVER!”

When Rifftrax Live: Sharknado came along I was much more … whelmed? Over-whelmed? Whatever. It was awesome. That’s the important thing. Fans of the ‘so bad it’s fabulous’ SyFy movie, my tiny/tall roommate and I giggled and laughed our way through the film on the big screen, with the wonderfully snarky and hilarious addition of commentary by the Rifftrax guys (the MST3K guys in case you didn’t know). I am not too proud or ashamed to admit I’m excited for the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One on July 30th AND the next Rifftrax Live event – Godzilla!

swimmingWhile that seemed like plenty to keep my occupied during July that’s not all I did! I managed to squeeze in some meals at Waddell’s and Sushi Maru, as well as some movie time at the AMC Riverpark Square for 22 Jump Street (way better than expected, by the way. I really enjoyed it). I had an editorial lunch with a fabulous new young adult author, helped celebrate my cousin’s son’s first birthday with cowboy style, babysat two adorable young men who used me like a jungle gym, and attended an annual meet-up of my cousins that included much swimming, eating, s’more making, snarking, and playing of Cards Against Humanity. I’m not sure anything bonds a family quite like playing CAH together. Whether that is a good or bad thing I’ll let someone else decide.

And THAT, folks, is gonna wrap up this installment of Adventures in Spokane. I’m sure there was some other stuff that went on this month but I’m tired from typing and I’m sure you are all tired from reading. I’ll be back soon (ish?) to talk about bat country, singing puppets, and anime inundation. To pass the time until I return, why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

- Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Powell’s City of Books
Noodles & Co
Rifftrax Live
Waddell’s
Sushi Maru
AMC Riverpark Square
Cards Against Humanity

Heat Returns Along with Danger to Pets

scraps logoThis weekend the Spokane area enjoyed some relief from the soaring temperatures, but the forecast for the next few days shows escalating heat and that can be dangerous for pets left in a vehicle while the owner runs an errand.

The last day over 90 degrees in Spokane translated into 15 calls of dogs confined in hot cars for SCRAPS Animal Protection Officers. Two of those owners face charges and fines for leaving their dogs in vehicles that were both above 110 degrees.

“Despite repeated warnings, people are still taking their pet with them for a trip to the store,” said Nancy Hill, Regional Director of SCRAPS. “Those few seconds inside a car in the heat could be fatal for your pet – even if you open the window an inch or two.”

SCRAPS is asking the public to leave their pets at home during these extreme temperatures.

The signs of heat stoke include:
1. Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing.
2. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red.
3. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits.
4. The rectal temperature rises to 104° to 110°F (40° to 43.3°C).
5. The dog becomes progressively unsteady and passes bloody diarrhea.
6. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray.
7. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death rapidly ensue

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, July 2014)

Pinterest:Impossible – Gyoza and Teriyaki Chicken

pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundThere’s just something about having family in town that makes me want to cook. Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first) but feeding a large group (at least half a dozen adults and two kids going through a picky phase) of people whose opinions actually matter to me seems like an excellent challenge. AND an excellent opportunity to try out some more recipes from Pinterest!

Last week for Family Dinner I made gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and chicken fried rice. I pulled gyoza (or potstickers if that name works better for you) and Teriyaki chicken recipes from Pinterest and used my own tried and true fried rice recipe. I’ve spent YEARS perfecting that one and am quite proud of it.

And to be completely honest here, I’ve made gyoza before so they weren’t a huge challenge for me. The recipe I found was not exactly the same as the one I’ve used in the past, however, and two times out of every five that I make gyoza I burn them a bit, so there is still some work involved for me in making them.

chinesefood

Before you ask, yes, of course, I made substitutions and changes to the recipes. I can’t seem to help it. I like stuff the way I like it and that is that. The gyoza called for cabbage to be included in the filling along with the pork, but I’ve never thought it was necessary. The pork is so flavorful by itself (well with all the spices and seasonings mixed in) that cabbage seems superfluous to me. PLUS it always seems that if I buy cabbage I don’t use enough in the gyoza and there is tons left over and I don’t know what to do with it. I’m cool with cabbage but I don’t love it and I don’t want to be eating it for weeks just because it comes in giant quantities.

I also took out the shiitake mushrooms and I’m not sorry. I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t want them in my gyoza. So there.

Gyoza are wonderful and delicious and addictive, but they also take awhile to make as you have to individually fill the little wrappers and then fold them properly so they don’t fall open while cooking. THEN you have to fry them a bit til the bottoms are a light brown and then steam them a bit so the sides are nice and chewy. It is an involved process that takes more than a few minutes and so I needed the dishes that I was making along with the gyoza to be a bit simpler. That’s why I was very happy to find a Teriyaki chicken recipe that was made in the slow cooker. I set up the chicken and sauce before I left for work and by the time I got home it smelled amazing and tasted even better. The only change I made to that recipe was cutting up the chicken before adding to the slow cooker. I thought it would be easier to deal with once it was cooked if it was cut into small chunks.

The fried rice turned out to be the most complicated (and messy) dish I made, and that was mainly because I was making it in my dad’s kitchen without the use of my giant rice cooker and electric wok. Juggling different mix-ins between frying pans and big pots was not the easiest thing to do but I managed as well as I could. And the rice turned out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself (and I do!).

Between the gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and fried rice, I’d have to say everything turned out well. My family ate lots of food and my picky five-year-old nephew even ate two gyoza, so I’m counting this Pinterest:Impossible a success!

- Mia V.

 

*Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Fox 28 Foodies Unite! and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

**Interested in my fried rice recipe? Just let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to share!

SOURCE – gyoza
SOURCE – crock pot teriyaki chicken

 

 

Cats Near Capacity at SCRAPS!

scraps logoFourteen cats have become the latest residents of the SCRAPS free roaming cat room after they were surrenderedThey are all adult cats that came from one home and are in good health and ready for adoption.  They joined the already near capacity number of felines, both adults and kittens, that are in the SCRAPS cat room.

“Our new facility holds almost twice the number of cats as before, but we are still almost full in our cat room,” said Nancy Hill, Regional Director of SCRAPS.  “This has been an incredibly busy kitten season and now we are seeing more and more adult cats being surrendered including this latest group.”  The pet parent of these cats passed away and the family could not find homes for them.  The limit for pets in one house-hold is four cats and four dogs in Spokane County (and just four pets total in the City of Spokane).

To ensure that each of these cats and all of the felines at the shelter can find a forever home, SCRAPS will be holding a two-day cat adoption event.  On Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th, you can adopt a cat for free with the cost of the license, which is fifteen dollars The spay/neutering, microchipping, exam and vaccinations are all free.

“We have every age, weight, size and breed available,” said Hill.  “Our facilities are really stretched to the limit and we hope the community will help us and come find a forever friend.”

SCRAPS is open seven days a week:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 5:30 p.m.  Wednesday the shelter is open from  noon to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. SCRAPS is located at 6815 E. Trent in the Spokane Valley.

 

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, 7/25/2014)

Pinterest:Impossible – Stuffed Hot Dogs

pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundIt’s National Hot Dog Month and what better way to celebrate than by making (and eating) hot dogs! I scoured the Pinterest boards trying to find the tastiest looking hot dog recipes out there. I’ve always been a ketchup-onions-relish kind of girl myself, but I’m pretty open-minded and it was fun seeing just how many dozens of recipes for hot dogs exist.

I actually picked two that looked interesting and delicious, but only ended up making one. Hey, it was the Fourth of July and I was drinking fun ‘lady’ beers (Mike’s Hard Lemonade) and watching RoboCop 3 (yes, seriously, I sat all the way through it and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about that) and it was hot and cooking sounded less than fun, so I only made one recipe and that’s that.

Stuffed Hot Dogs were what I went with. They included fun toppings like crushed Doritos, cheese, ketchup, onions, and Worchestshire sauce, but instead of being placed on top of the dog, the dog was split open and had everything stuffed inside. They were not too difficult to make, though I was a little concerned while splitting the hot dogs open as I wanted to make room for all the filling but didn’t want to split the dog so far it would fall apart.

stuffedhotdogs

In the grand tradition of Being Me, I did change up the recipe somewhat from the listed instructions. I got Doritos instead of potato chips and sandwich rolls instead of hot dog buns. Nothing too big, but I think the Doritos added an extra flavor kick to the filling mix. The sandwich rolls were tasty but too big, so I’m thinking in the future I need to pay closer attention to how things match up size-wise.

The first hot dog I ate without any additional condiments. I figured with all the stuff squashed inside of the meat it wouldn’t need anymore flavor. While it was tasty, it was also a little dry, so for my second hot dot I added a generous dollop of honey mustard.

I love honey mustard. It’s the best condiment ever invented. I could eat it (and have eaten it) on almost anything. (Bit of friendly advice though, don’t try honey mustard on chocolate cake. It will not work out.)

Stuffed Hot Dogs are a fun twist on a classic food and this recipe was nice and easy to make. I’d definitely call this Pinterest:Impossible a WIN, even if I had to cut off the end of the sandwich rolls to make the hot dogs fit.

- Mia V.

 

*Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Fox 28 Foodies Unite! and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

(SOURCE – stuffed hot dogs)

Top Tips for Finding a Lost Pet!

scraps logoWhen a pet goes missing it can be devastating to your family. Before you panic and give your missing pet up as gone forever, here are some tips and actions you can take that may help return to your pet to your family ASAP!

Stop by SCRAPS.
SCRAPS is the only place where a neighbor, passerby, or Animal Protection Officer will bring your lost pet. No other organization houses stray or lost animals in Spokane County. Look on our website under Impound to see if your pet has been brought to the shelter or better yet, stop by. If your pet has a license microchip, we will contact you immediately.

Begin your search right away, especially for cats.
The longer you wait to begin your search the less likely you will be reunited with your pet. Waiting for your pet to find its own way home increases the chances that your pet will travel further away or become injured.

Fill out a Lost Pet Report on the SCRAPS website.

Post a “Lost Dog/Cat” ad on the community “Lost and Found” and “Pets” section of Craigslist.
Also check for “Found” pets on Craigslist to see if your animal has been found by someone trying to find the owner. Re-post your ad every other day, since sometimes there are so any ads that yours will fall to the second page and may not be seen. WARNING: If you are contacted by someone who wants a reward for returning your pet, it may be a scam. If your pet has a license, it is considered your property. You can file a theft charge against the person holding your animal. If you are willing to pay the fee, ask for proof and meet in a public place so that you can view the animal before any money changes hands.

Ask your neighbors if they have seen your pet.
Many people place a stray animal in their garage and start looking for the owner.

Make “Lost Dog/Cat” posters and flyers.
Use bright neon paper and write “LOST DOG/LOST CAT” in large block print. Hang posters, following your town’s sign ordinances, at major intersections so that they can be seen and read by people driving by. Hand out flyers to people, hang them in store windows, and post them on bulletin boards. Hand out your flyers in a 20-block radius around your home. Flyers should have a photo of your pet, a complete description, and your phone number. “Tag” your car using a neon window marker as well. Use several bright colors and write three or four words to describe your pet.

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS informational flyer)

Featured Pet: Josee #4802

josecollageadoptedJosee (#4802) is an eight-year-old female Terrier mix. She came to SCRAPS after her previous pet parent became seriously ill and couldn’t take care of her anymore. It is important when taking on the responsibility of a pet to make arrangements with family or friends to continue their care if something like serious illness or death happens. Josee is very affectionate and loves to be active and play. She’s looking for a family that has time to give her lots of exercise as well as cuddle with her on a regular basis. The adoption fee for Josee is just $25 (the cost of a license) until July 13th during the current SCRAPS sale, and includes micro-chipping and licensing among other things. If you are interested in adopting her, please come to SCRAPS and ask for her by ID number 4802!

Full House and Sale at SCRAPS!!!

scraps logoIn a one week period from July 1st through July 6th, the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) has taken in 89 dogs and 145 cats – a total of 234 animals. That’s thirty nine animals per day for the last six days.

“Even during this busy season, that’s an unbelievable amount of incoming animals for us,” said Nancy Hill, SCRAPS Regional Director. “These pets have no identification – no license or microchip – so we must find them homes immediately.” Last year, SCRAPS took in 43 dogs and 59 cats during the same period of time and that number is considered high.

No matter how you add it up, SCRAPS is full. Every cat cage and dog pod is almost full to capacity and we are seeking the public’s help in finding new homes for the animals in our care. To ensure that each of these animals can find a forever home, SCRAPS will be holding an adoption event here at the shelter. On Tuesday, July 8th through Sunday, July 13th, you can adopt a dog or cat for free when you purchase a license. Licenses are $15 for cats and $25 for dogs. The adoption fee and the cost of the spay/neutering, microchipping, vaccinations and exam are all free.

“If you’ve been thinking about adopting a new dog, cat or kitten, please help us find good homes for these great pets,” said Hill. “Also, please remember to license and microchip your animals. It the best way to guarantee they will find their way home.” Licensing is required by law for both dogs and cats in Spokane County.

SCRAPS is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 –5:00 p.m. We are located at 6815 E. Trent in the Spokane Valley.

 

About SCRAPS:
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is a progressive municipal animal care and protection agency serving the unincorporated areas of Spokane County, the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Deer Park, Fairfield, Liberty Lake, Millwood, and Medical Lake.

SCRAPS has deputized animal protection officers extensively trained to enforce animal laws and respond to emergency situations. SCRAPS is also active in educational and community outreach programs and is dedicated to its continued investment in innovative behavioral programs.

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release)

Adventures in Spokane, part Thirty-Two: Where I Watch Some Futbol, Eat Some Lunch, and Laugh at Comedians

AdventuresInSpokaneI saw my very first full soccer game recently, folks! I feel like I’m really growing as a person this year. First I sat through my first full Superbowl in February, now I’ve sat through an entire World Cup match. It’s practically time to slap a jersey on me and call me a sports fan!

Well maybe not quite yet. I’ll sit through an entire baseball game first and then we can talk.

genosgamedaySo anyway, I went to Geno’s to watch USA play Portugal. It was an interesting experience. Standing room only by the time we arrived (30 minutes into the match) but we managed to drag some stools over into a position where we could see the big TV. Even though it was completely packed in there when we walked in it was almost completely silent. Every person in the dining room and bar area was just riveted to the game. Of course by the end of the game when more beers and drinks had been drunk and some goals had been scored it had gotten quite a bit louder. Totally understandable, though, when everyone had to verbalize their surprise and displeasure at Portugal tying up the score in the last few seconds.

I’ve heard Geno’s has excellent food and great drinks. I’m hoping at some point I’ll get to find that out for myself. Sitting on a stool, crammed against a wall in a tightly packed restaurant where people have a tendency to suddenly jump up and dance around while screaming, is not the ideal setting to try and eat.

Luckily for me I had plenty of other opportunities to eat in the last couple of weeks. I hit up Subway for the first time in probably a year. I’ve gotten really used to ordering from Jimmy John’s since they bring the sandwiches right to my door. But since several people from work were going to Subway I went ahead and tagged along. I forgot how much I love the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub. Also, how messy the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub can be. I had also forgotten how busy places like Subway will be during lunch time for the next few months with all the kiddos out of school. It was a bit of a zoo in there but I managed to survive with my eardrums and nerves mostly intact.

I also hit up Borracho one afternoon to try out their new lunch/dinner menu items. I’ve got to say, their cheese enchiladas are mighty tasty. They don’t drown them in sauce which was perfect as I dumped a bunch of queso on them and didn’t want to lose that spicy cheesy flavor. Since I’m mentioning Borracho, I feel I should ALSO mention that my tequila frenemy finished the Tequila Challenge last weekend. She now has a plaque on the wall commemorating her achievement. It brings tears to my eyes, but probably not for the right reasons.

uncledscomedyTo get over my disappointment in not being the first female to win the Tequila Challenge, I hit up Uncle D’s for some open mic comedy. Ate myself some very tasty onion rings and heard some very funny comedians plying their trade. One of the Spokast Podcast boys has become a semi-regular at the Thursday night open mics and he’s just as funny on stage as he is on his show. I have to admit I’m consistently impressed with the quality of comedy that I’ve seen at Uncle D’s. I had no idea what to expect from a local open mic before attending the first time but I’ve found myself laughing more than not and it’s fun to see new comics get over their stage fright and perform the first time, and seasoned comics working through material each time they get up there.

It’s been a bit of a slow start to my summer I guess. I’ve had lots more stuff planned, but I’ve skipped some things to instead laze around on my couch, binge watching entire seasons of Downton Abbey and playing with my recently adopted Bearded Dragon I got from SCRAPS. Oh yeah, I got a new Bearded Dragon from SCRAPS the last time we went to film our video for Happy Tales. She’s adorable and sweet and so far hasn’t bitten me or hissed at me once (which is a bit of a problem with my older Bearded Dragon who hates my guts and wants me to die and everything). It was pretty random that SCRAPS had a lizard at the shelter and I’m pretty glad I was there to find her when I did.

And that about wraps up this thrilling (well not exactly) installment of Adventures in Spokane. I’ll be back in the next week (or two) to talk about dollar movie nights, discovering dinosaurs, and partying with the girls. To pass the time until I return, why don’t you head out for some adventures of your own? If you’re lucky you just might see me bouncing around town while you’re out there (and if you can find me I’ll give you a prize)!

- Mia V.

This week’s Adventures in Spokane brought to you by:
Geno’s
Borracho Tacos and Tequileria
Uncle D’s Comedy Underground
Spokast Podcast
SCRAPS