Happy, happy 2017 Everyone!!! I have been having a really great start to the year and I hope your 2017 has also started off really well!!! I've still been getting out a lot on our local rail trails despite the colder and snowier weather we've been having. Running in the snow has actually been really fun for me, although my Mom and I have to be very careful about where we go as the Sussex Branch and Paulinskill Valley trails have been pretty icy during this last month. With all the running/walking/biking traffic that the trails see, the snow on them melts down and then freezes again overnight. We've ventured out to the trails a couple of times only to find that ice skating was about the only activity that appeared feasible. Given neither of us had brought ice skates, we had to opt for some road running instead. My Mom got herself a pair of Yaktrax to put on her running shoes so that she is more surefooted on the trails when the conditions aren't perfect but not so bad. They work really well when there's patches of thinner ice or harder packed snow on the trail (the design is based upon coil traction footwear an outdoor adventurer spotted on a Himalayan Sherpa) so it's a good idea for anyone who would like to get out more during the winter months and be safer doing so. The Yaktrax come in designs that are specifically suited for walking or running. Just still be careful when you're out there and please always look out for your four-legged companions!!! Although our four legs help us get across slick surfaces a little better than humans can, we can definitely take a spill on an icy patch and a bad fall is is a very bad thing for anyone, furry or nonfurry. We are so very fortunate to have a lot of great parks in the area with beautifully cleared roads like Kittatinny Valley State Park, Stokes State Forest and High Point State Park (thanks so much to our local park officials for taking such great care of the park roads!!!) because they are great places for a walk when the trails are impassable.
Now that the weather is so much colder, all of us inevitably spend a lot more time indoors and it's a great time for some good wholesome comfort food like soups. My Mom makes a whole bunch of soups from scratch that she and my Dad really seem to enjoy. One of their favorite recipes is a pumpkin soup that my Mom has been making for years. She's recently been adding about a half cup or so of quinoa to the recipe which adds some more protein and makes it even tastier. Another great soup my Mom and Dad have regularly is a butternut squash soup. If I had to guess which soup is Dad's favorite, I'd guess it was this one for sure. My parents really enjoy the soups after we come in from running and/or playing on a cold day and all of the soups make for great lunch leftovers (my parents are "brown bagging" masters). Although I do very much enjoy the smells that come from the soups while they cook, I don't bother with them much when it's time for me to eat because my Dad shops regularly for my food at Amy's Animals in Sussex. He buys me some great meat patties and treats for my diet, which is what I really need for the high-flying moves I like to show off for everyone!!! :)
Well that's all I have to report for the year so far!!! Everyone stay warm and safe during these winter weeks and I can't wait to touch base with you all again in February!!!!
With the sloppiest but sweetest of puppy kisses,
Piper, The Rescue Mutt