November 28, 2022

The Recipe for a Healthy Pet!

I am so happy to be able to tell you about all of the love and knowledge from Dr.Ruth! She is a veterinarian in South Carolina and has done a lot of research on pet nutrition. She gives the best pet menu ideas to keep your pet healthy, and she shares some great history and comments below! I hope you and your pets enjoy all of this important information, and if you contact Dr. Ruth, she can customize your pets diet!

Gotta go! This made me hungry and I am ready for dinner!

Thanks for visiting Coopers Corner!




I developed this diet based on the tenants of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, using a basic recipe developed by Dr. Roger Clemmons, a neurologist at University of Florida Veterinary School, and instructor at the Chi Institute. The first recipe was in 2005, just as the pet food recall hit, and provided my clients a way to know that what they were feeding their pets was safe. Over the years, The Original Crockpot Recipe ™, has evolved into its current format. I began incorporating concepts from Functional Medicine in to the diet, and specified adding the calabrese or Brassica species of vegetables as a large portion of the vegetable content. Because I was concerned that I was providing the very best in whole food nutrition for my clients and their pets, The diet  was reviewed by a boarded veterinary nutritionist. and there were few changes that needed to be incorporated. largely a small increase in the calcium added, and Iodized salt. As I had always recommended using a multi vitamin to cover all the bases, these components were already covered.
While the diet has been balanced to meet minimum AAFCO standards for all life stages, it is important to remember what this means. They are the minimum amounts of both Macro and micro nutrients to support life through weaned  to geriatric age in dogs and cats. The key word here is minimum. If a pet has poor digestion, or has a disease condition that requires more of a particular nutrient, That nutrient may not be in sufficient amounts in the food. Also, the amounts of a nutrient is estimated based on the raw food stuff, not the processed final food product. These ideas make it necessary in my mind to use multivitamin supplements for all pets, whether they are eating home cooked food or commercial food.

What I’ve seen the Original Crockpot Diet ™ do for pets over the years is astounding. There are some dogs who just will not eat it, but they are very few. For dogs that are well, we see marked improvement in hair coat, decreased volume of stool, and energy increases. For dogs that have health issues, we see decreased pain, increased energy, and general improvement in overall health, as well as whatever specific health issue they came to see us for. The best Testimonial I can tell you is from a 6 year old mastiff who had terrible arthritis in her knees. she would not let me do acupuncture, and she also would not eat the herbal formulas I prescribed. She could no longer take the NSAID’s as they had caused a bad stomach ulcer. in 6 weeks, this dog was walking nearly pain-free, just through diet change.
Cheers –
Ruth M. Roberts, DVM CVA CVH Sun Dog Cat Moon Veterinary clinic
2908 A Maybank Highway
Johns Island , SC 29455
(843) 437-0063

Halloween Finger Cookies

This recipe comes from one of our very creative friends, and all around good cooks!

Thank you Karen, and Happy Halloween!

Soften 1 stick of butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk, save egg white for finger

1 tsp. grated orange peel

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. Baking powder

2 tablespoons Fresh orange juice

cream butter and sugar, add egg yolk and orange peel.

beat well, and add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with orange juice

Roll pieces of dough into fingers. Dip one side into small amount of granulated sugar, and place sugar side up on greased cookie sheet. Dip one slivered almond in egg white, and stick on finger like a nail. Bake in pre heated 350 degree oven for  10-15 minutes. Coll, and dip end of finger in red icing. Enjoy!

It is Better To Give Than to Receive..

Happily our holidays are headed our way.. The plethora of activity goes on and on.. We prepare the ambiance and then we think of what we can do for others.  Southern Smarts pauses to consider all the worlds ministries that need attention, and we are going to jump into the gift of giving.  When we say that to the world we see that sometimes the world can be a next door neighbor who lost a loved one last year. Sometimes it can be acknowledging a person on the street, and feeling compassion in your heart for what they may have gone through. Always, there is the hope of Santa Clause for needy children. There are meals to be cooked for homeless and hungry. There are donations to be made for enslaved, and persecuted. There is abundant need for refugees, the repressed, rejected, and victims of natural disaster. The list goes on, but it starts with a recognition and then the unabashed desire to satisfy what touches you. If you want to give yourself a gift, let something outside yourself break your heart, make you mad, and make you cry. Make it forever. Then get attached to your calling. Make it as much a part of your life as the gym, your next vacation, and your next promotion. When you discover the vision and the passion to give to others, you have given the best present ever to yourself…


Andi Bartruff

Green Chili Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange, and Lime Juice

Black Bean soup is healthy and hearty..

Here is a recipe with a delicious little twist..

3 cups chicken broth

2 cans black beans (drained)

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 can green chilies

pinch of cumin

1 cup of cooked yellow rice

1 cubed  avocado

juice of 1 lime

1 peeled chopped orange

1/2 Peeled chopped cucumber

1/4 cup feta cheese

in a large pot heat oil, and sautee onion

add broth, beans, chilies and rice.

Bring to a boil,. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes

mix avocado, lime juice, oranges, cucumber, and feta cheese in a bowl

serve soup, with tortillas chips,  and top with avocado mixture













7 DAY Kitchen Renovation

I am not stretching the truth! Four of us renovated this kitchen in 7 days. This kitchen belongs to my neighbors at Oak Island NC… a vacation home that wasn’t desperate for a kitchen renovation, but the kitchens knotty pine cabinets looked more like a mountain cabin. With a lot of work in a short period of time we had to convert this “mountain cabin”   kitchen into a beach kitchen! We had many challenges , the worst  being the house had cinderblock  walls… This challenge created the guideline for all of our work to begin. We had to put wood stripe on all the walls. It was the only way to run new wiring for outlets, the stove and plumbing lines for the sink. Once the stripes were in place we sheeted the kitchen wall areas with tongue and groove plywood sheets. Now we could place the new cabinets and flooring and appliances… there wasn’t one inch of this kitchen that wasn’t  new once we were finished. I would love to tell you more details, but the photos will speak for me,  and WOW you! Does it look like a beach house kitchen now? Yes of course it does!












Leveling Out Your Playing Field


I remember a lot of great things about my mother , but her green thumb has to be my most treasured. I learned so much from her passion for gardening, and how to tend to and appreciate the beautiful things that grow in nature! Satisfying the need to dig in her gardens gave her a quiet control. She would make time to fertilize, water and “dead head”. This is the technique of pinching off the dead blooms. The simple effort keeps the plants blooming.  For my mother an “off with the old and in with the new!” gave her a hopeful activity. No matter how tired or busy she was with the other things that can consume all of our daily lives, , her gardens always held high priority for her time and attention. Her reward was a beautiful, thriving garden, and moments of peace for her soul.  The relationship she had with nature was one that she could control and because she nurtured her garden, and it responded, she had very few disappointments in that peaceful place. I realized that her gardens were more meaningful to her sanity, a rejuvenating sanctuary of sorts. I think of all the times in her life that chaos would take center stage, and she would head to her gardens… A place she created for herself only… A place that made her smile and feel great about her success as a gardener. I often think my mother was “leveling out the playing field” in her life by spending time in her gardens. After all-controlling plants and their success was easier than trying to control the chaos of people around her. My mother had a lot of beauty in her life, some was a blessing, and some she created.  We all can learn to create beauty in our lives, we just have to remember that controlling a “plant”, is easier than controlling a person. My mother often said ,” My  life was chosen for me, and it is my responsibility to make it as beautiful as I can.” Her ability to distinguish between what she could create and control was the lesson that I learned from her. This lesson was one of many she taught me. No, I didn’t get her green thumb but I got so much more.  I recognize that we can not control people, but we can create a place to go and dwell in what we love. A place that offers us peace and beauty… We can always create a place that makes us smile and offers peace. It can be perfected with our love, and hard work. And does not have to revolve around people problems.  When you find that place visit it as often as possible… It will “level out the playing field” in your life.

Lighting for deck stairs

I have come up with an easy and inexpensive way to light up your deck stairs. First you must have what are called risers, ( boards that run between each step, used to close up the area under each step. I cut out a 1 inch  high by 12 inch width rectangle of the riser (bottom side closest to the step). The best part is that I envisioned a frosted plexiglass cover for each cut out . However, plexiglass seemed way to labor intensive and costly, so I thought what material would give me the same look? I was at Home Depot and thought plastic, clear plastic which isn’t clear, has a frosted look. I headed to the paint department to find a roll of plastic. I cut the plastic into squares and stapled  the plastic squares to the back the stair risers. I use a single light under the stairs that is on a timer.  Look at the pictures as they explain and show the results. Forget the plexiglass and use the inexpensive plastic to create lighting for the stairs. This project shows how to substitute materials and save money doing it!

This idea could also be used on a handicap ramp!


Arugula Bean Salad

Arugula is a wonderful green, and can add flavor, and color to so many things. This is a favorite summer to fall  salad, and we hope you enjoy!

1 can green b1 can wax beans

1 can light red kidney beans

1 tomato

1 bunch scallions

pinch of crushed garlic

tablespoon brown mustard

juice from one fresh lemon

splash of cider vinager

teaspoon olive oil


celery seed

salt and pepper

grated sharp cheddar cheese

drain all three cans of beans and place in bowl.

Mix lemon, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, celery seed, salt, pepper, and dill.

stir in cut tomato, and scallions

pour mix over beans, and add arugula and shredded cheese.

toss and serve with crackers, pita chips etc…

Also great with a few pieces if kielbasa

Enjoy your fall weekends!

Andi Bartruff

Photo courtesy of Edible Charlotte





“They” Say…..! Who the Heck is “They”.

Who is ” They” ?  “They” say, and we do what “They” say. “They” gives us all credibility. We share what “They” say and this unknown entity exist for most of us. It is a way to confirm what will happen or what could happen. So “They” create an easy path for us to live by. Easy in the sense that we agree with this unknown entity for reasons of  ” Well if they said it , it must be true”.  We live in a world of shared thoughts and experiences and we want to share these experiences to save others the burden of the unknown. We all have become an authority of ” They say”. Imagine if someone had done a fact check on “They say not to swim for an hour after you eat, or you will cramp up and drown.”  Had we not taken “Their” word for it many of us could have had a lot more pool time. “They say no two snowflakes are alike.” Well I find that one may have been difficult to say for sure. So be careful with your helpful thoughts and experiences from “They say”, because “They” aren’t always right.


The Tale of a Cocktail

Southern Smarts loves a good drink and a good story. We don’t know if there is a better combination of the two than a Midnight Moon cocktail, and the tale of its owner Junior Johnson. Johnson is the father of NASCAR, and was recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. Midnight Moon is a Johnson family recipe of perfected homemade moonshine, infused with your choice of seven different fruits.

For those of you who might have dabbled in NASCAR, and watched today’s stars race around a fancy track and enjoy all the glitz and glitter of today’s sports celebrities, it may intrigue you to know that NASCAR roots are in bootlegging. Junior Johnson and his family made moonshine to subsidize their farm, and a fast car outran a lawman every time. Junior began running liquor for the family at the age of 14, and tweaked his cars to keep him out of trouble. That didn’t always work, but it was the birth of racing and chasing.

We hope you click the link below for more details.  If you choose, try one of their recipe suggestions.  Do not sip before you explore the history.  You can then enjoy a delicious cocktail, and the taste of this intriguing  adventure.


[Read more…]