Monday, February 23, 2009

Rosy ran away today (but thank goodness for the neighbors)

Because they caught her. They'd left with their two dogs to go for a walk & she ran after them, in typical puppy fashion. That was quite an heart attack, because she came back, saw me in the open gate, and then ran off again. Boy, she's fast.

We think her head hit the gate latch & popped the gate open. I really need a new fence. Maybe the tax return will help.

On the good news front, apart from getting Rosy back safely, I also managed to cut ALL of her toenails, while she was busy eating doggie bones. Amazing how well that works, I'm not sure eating food would distract ME if someone else was cutting my nails. Yeek.

In this picture, I think she looks comparatively innocent. I love these pictures of the dogs looking into or out of windows. She's obviously thinking, "Mom, come out and play!" I need a couple of acres of land (fenced) for her to gallop around & really exercise. Am going to make pumpkin walnut bread to thank the neighbors. Maybe chocolate chip cookies too.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

One more of Rosy

Ok, I can't stop... she's too darn cute! This is also on Nick & Robbyn's farm. She feels as good as she looks too. That lovely soft & silky puppy hair.

Roi'si'n on the farm

This is Rosy at Nick & Robbyn van Frankenhuyzen's farm, back in December. She loved it, and it was such a nice safe place for her to be off leash & gallop around.

Rosy graduates from puppy class

And plays with the paper shredder. Not to worry, I have it unplugged, so if she licks it, it won't pull her tongue in. For some reason, she thinks it is fun to grab at the mail as it goes through the shredder and also likes to watch the paper drop into the bin, through the plastic window. Silly pooch.

She was a good demonstration dog again, and demo'ed puppy pushups. This is where you make the puppy do a down, then a sit, and back to a down again, several times. Rosy's very good at this, because she's known this since she was 8 weeks old. I'm used to her doing this, so wasn't prepared for the people in the class laughing. Apparently they thought she was cute! I think she's cute too. They promptly started trying it out with their puppies too.

We also had puppy dressup, where you run down, call your puppy to you, put something on the puppy & run back with the puppy. Rosy looked confused to have a purple zip-up vest on. They had bobbing for treats, but Rosy wanted to drink the water, so of course, the other puppies drank the water too, until the level was low enough to get the treats out without dunking their noses in the water. Too silly. It was a good class. I'm hoping we'll be in other classes together, but we'll see.

Will take Manners I next, starting in March.

I have several times called Rosy Nosy instead. Oops! But she is nosy, as all puppies are, I think. She & Annie are continuing to bump noses, and this past weekend, Annie was more congenial toward Rosy than I have ever seen her. It is still going to take Rosy time to settle down & treat Annie nicely consistently.

By the way, if you don't already have a shredder, get one. I have the cross cut one now (the old one burned out & this was the one that just turned paper into long strips). The cross cut one holds more shreddings, because the paper is more compacted due to its size after cutting. Had a blast, and shredded two large trash bags full of stuff.

On the reading front, re-read Robin McKinley's Chalice, which again is good for anyone who loves bees or honey. It is a fantasy. Also read Jacqueline Sheehan's Lost & Found. Adored this one. There is a black lab in it, and a wounded woman. It is a mystery, I think, but I think it is billed as fiction. Lovely story of coping with loss, grief, and how differently people deal with it. The black lab is dealt with in a lovely way, and the chapters dealing with what he's thinking & why he's doing what he does are done well. Doesn't seem like soppy sentimentalism & anthropomorphism, which I really hate.

The other book is Flying Changes by Sara Gruen. This is another book dealing with loss, but also about learning to let go. To say too much about the plot would ruin it, but it is another animal book, so's to speak, in that horses are talked about a lot in this book. Not to the detriment, even if you're not a horse lover. Highly recommended.

More later. I'm cooking pistachio chicken, and going to make soup for the week ahead. Soup is always fun. You just fling everything you like together. (ok, so there's more to it than that, but that's the basic for me). I'm also going to try my first London Broil. Pray for me. (yikes). It is marinating now, so I'm debating whether to wait until tomorrow or do it tonight. Supposedly it is better if you let it marinate overnight. Would all day suffice? Who knows.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Seasoned Oyster Crackers

I did a search because I thought I had posted the oyster crackers recipe here earlier, but apparently not, I had only posted a promise to post. So here's the recipe :

One bottle butter flavored popcorn oil : This is Orville Redenbacher's, and I think it is an 8oz.

two packages (large) of oyster crackers. (I prefer the small crackers over the large ones).

one package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the kind you add buttermilk to, not the kind you add milk to).

Lemon & Pepper seasoning
Black pepper

Mix up butter flavored popcorn oil & Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, stir in well. Mix in your preferred amounts of garlic & lemon & pepper seasonings, plus the black pepper to taste Stir in well.

Put the oyster crackers into a large bowl, big enough for you to stir the oyster crackers (with your hands, so you don't break the crackers up) once the oil is on it. Pour oil over the crackers, stir up well, and let rest for ten to twenty minutes.

Oven needs to be set to low. I put it to 250 degrees. You do not want the crackers to brown up too much or get too crisp. Put the crackers in a pan with sides, and try to get the layer as flat as possible, so the crackers are not resting on top of each other.

Stir every ten minutes. Bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake longer for more brownness.

Also, I often scatter more lemon & pepper seasoning on the top of the baking crackers or even more garlic powder, to make sure they have enough flavor.

I do think the secret to this recipe is to stir often, so that they get baked well, and there's no oiliness.

If you can not find butter flavored popcorn oil, get an equivalent amount of oil, and add butter flavoring to it (approx. one teaspoon. You should be able to smell a light odor of butter coming off the oil).

Variations : Parmesan cheese, other spices. Many recipes similar to this call for dill. Dill is not my favorite herb, but I did put it in the dish last time & liked it, so a mild scattering of Dill can be a very nice addition. has the lemon pepper & the garlic at a 1/4 tsp. They have Dill at 1/2 tsp. I would actually reverse this & put only 1/4 tsp of the dill & 1/2 of the other two spices. Also, since I have two packages of the oyster crackers going (or even two boxes) you can double the Cook's Recipe, and then increase the seasoning as the oyster crackers bake. Taste the oyster crackers as they warm up & start to brown, and I think you'll get a sense of what they need.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Early pic of Rosy

This is a picture from the fall, early on. She's doubled in weight since then and now weighs 36 pounds, unless she had a foot off the scale. ;) She's a wriggler! The picture is in here mostly so you can see her favorite toy of all time... a rose pot!

She really does love this thing and with the snow melted off, we have rediscovered the buried snow pots & she ran to the back fence to show them off to the next door dogs, who are not impressed. Oh well. The glory of rose pots will have to wait for another day. Rosy & I will just enjoy them together.

Sure is fun to have the break from all the hard snow & ice. Have to report also that Rosy & I watched Westminster together. And yes, Rosy really does watch TV, especially when there are animals on there. Annie does this too, and I think I've mentioned before that she especially likes the moose from Northern Exposure. She was fascinated by the tiger cubs too, and I'd like to see Rosy's reaction to tiger cubs. Full grown tigers might be too scary right now, since she's so young.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

My house

This is my little house, with lots of snow too. Wouldn't it be nice if both Annie & Roi'sin were peeking out the front window? Bridie & Annie used to do that & I see more & more signs each day that someday Rosy & Annie will do that also. For now, Annie stays up high, especially on her new cat condo, so that Rosy doesn't flatten her. It is very obvious that Rosy likes Annie (and vice versa) but Annie is understandably cautious around my wild puppy.

Nice brillant day today, and I took Roi'sin for a walk. She was very good, but we both were skidding over the black ice, which is impossible to see and which is caused by the snow melt & refreeze. The sun is wonderful & I love the change from grey & snowy to sunny.

Starting Monday, Rosy and I are looking forward to Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday updates

Had a pretty tranquil day. Just made artichokes gratinata, a chili (midwestern style, so with beans added and some other vegetables), roasted red pepper spread and should be set for the week ahead. Can't wait to get to my Friday off. I plan to take Rosy to the dog park in the morning. Here's hoping it isn't too cold.

Changed the picture in the last post too, since I thought the one I uploaded was a tad too blurry. Here's one of Annie & Rosy together. Rosy used to run around the outside of this pen, barking. It used to scare Annie a little, until she finally realized that Rosy really couldn't reach her & was just being noisy. One of them just knocked a pan off the table, so I have to go comfort them all with treats. Poor babies. I think I need more kitchen space. Doesn't everyone.