Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dogs As Teachers....

A friend sent me the following lessons that we would learn if dogs were our teachers. I thought they were very appropriate and so true!!! Sophie is the 4th lab that we have owned and each one has been such an incredible part of our family and has shown us incredible love and loyalty! So take a lesson from a dog and have a wonderful day!!

If Dogs Were Teachers You Would Learn Things Like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy..

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent,
sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Until Next Time....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Sunny Day!

It is another beautiful day today! A perfect puppy day!! We've already had a walk around the field and played fetch and she is down for nap #1. Yeah! Time to update the blog and do a little knitting.

For those who guessed I was making something Vikings related, you were right!! I am working on a Vikings Ballband bag. I love knitting felted bags and am reminded of it every time I cast a new one on! I have made several of these ballband bags. I double strand my yarn on size 15 needles to make a tote large enough to carry a laptop.

Sumo was feeling especially perky on the walk today and twice even 'played' with Sophie!! I asked the vet if I could be exercising Sumo too much and she reassured me this was all very good for him and that his stamina would get better and better. (And all of the movement with walking was good for his aging joints!)

I doubt he'll be running through the weeds with Sophie the way she does. I think the desire is there; the body just isn't able. But Sophie sure enjoys it!!

He is allowing her little kisses more and more. He still has his grumpy moments when she gets a little too aggressive, but he puts her right in her place.

We have certainly come a long way in the 3 1/2 weeks since she arrived!! At her Vet appointment on Wednesday she had gained 8 pounds in 3 weeks and was deemed 'perfect' by the doctor!!

She is definitely losing her puppy look and getting the lean, muscular look of a lab! But she is still all puppy!! She did pretty well at puppy school. There are only 3 dogs in the class, and the other two are 9 months old, so that's hardly fair!! We'll see how it goes. She is very smart and learning fast. Can already to a 'sit' and 'down' with verbal and hand signals.

Did a little baking yesterday for R & M. They are heading to Galena this weekend for a final trip to our condo. We have sold it and will be closing on it in a month or so. We will miss having it, but it just isn't the season of life that allows us to get over there and use it like we would like to. (Plus with the economy tanking, it will be nice not to have it!) M really likes a caramel Crispix mix that my sister in law makes, so I made up a batch for them to take over. Yum!

Caramel Crispix Mix

1 12oz box Crispix
16oz nuts (I like almonds and cashews - can used mixed nuts)
1 cup pretzels

2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

1. Put cereal; nuts and pretzels into large bowl
2. Melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar and corn syrup.
3. Bring to a boil and let boil one minute.
4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Stir well.
5. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until well coated.
6. Put on baking pan sprayed with Pam.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
8. Cool on waxed paper, stirring frequently as it cools to break it apart.
9. Enjoy!!

It is still sitting in a bowl on my counter until they pick it up tonight. It's very hard to not grab a handful everytime I walk by!!! I sure hope there is some left to send with them!

Until Next Time.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day Of Fall

Well, it is officially here....Fall! I still am not sure what happened to Summer! I just hope we have a few months before the onset of Winter!!

The weekend was busy with lots of activity at our house. Unfortunately I rarely got the camera out, so no pictures of all of those coming and going. It was fun to see lots of the kids' friends and we enjoyed having them around. And everyone enjoyed meeting Sophie!!

I do believe that Sophie grows right before our eyes!! She and Sumo are becoming better friends, but he would still tell you that his favorite times of the day are when she is sleeping!!

She's learning new tricks all of the time and already loves to play fetch!! She is very excited to start puppy school this Wednesday and promises to be the best behaved puppy in her class!!

Sumo loves the perks of having Sophie around which include twice daily walks around the back field; rawhides in the house (strictly forbidden before now); a change of food; and very frequent visits to see Molly next door. Now if Sophie could just get past the biting his ear and tail stage, I do think they'd be best of friends!!

I didn't do much knitting over the weekend with all of the activity. I had been a little frustrated with my scarf after Sophie had gotten it and put a few snags in it. Fortunately I googled how to fix a snag in knitting and was able to make it good as new. I love the internet!!

I did get my first of MANY shipments I'm sure of Cascade 220 from The Loopy Ewe!! Sheri has started carrying ALL of the colors that they make and it is one of my favorite felting yarns!! Here is some yarn that is going to be wound tonight and cast on for a Christmas present. Any guesses what I might be making???? (These are Cascade 220 Purple and Gold)

I also bought a brown/tan tweed color to make another Lucy bag for myself. I LOVE my Lucy bag and have just started carrying it again now that the weather is turning cooler.

Well, I think I hear little Sophie waking from her nap. Probably time for another walk around the back field.

Until Next Time....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Texas Caviar

Well, things have been pretty busy lately and I haven't taken many photos. I promise I'll have new photos after the weekend of both Sophie and my latest knitting projects. Until then, I thought I would share another chip dip recipe that my friend shared with me this week. It is similar to my Calico Bean Dip, but has a different taste to it. Very yummy as well!!


One 16 oz. can each

Black beans
pinto beans (or black eye peas)
garbanzo beans (chick peas)
fiesta corn
petite diced tomatoes (I like 2 cans)
chopped green chiles (5 oz can)

One cup each (chopped):
Onion, green pepper, celery, cucumber, cilantro

1 c cider vinegar
1/3 c oil
2/3 c sugar
1 TBSP fresh garlic
2 tsp Tabasco
¼ C Worcestershire sauce

1. Bring dressing to a boil.
2. Pour over canned/chopped ingredients.
3. Refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally.

*Note: This will seem very soupy! You may choose to drain it before serving or dish out what you need with a slotted spoon. I like to keep it marinading until the very end!


Until Next Time...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Not To Wear....

So... I was getting ready for another early morning walk around the back pasture and realized that my morning outfit probably qualifies me for the show 'What Not To Wear' which is aimed towards those who are a walking fashion disaster. Yep. That's me in the morning!! Note the lovely rainboots; my 'Life Is Good' PJ pants and the Frostline Gortex parka I made Steve when we were dating 27 years ago. (Does anyone else remember Frostline kits???) It's actually been a great coat and is still very much in use!! My cup of coffee tops off my outfit and I am ready to go! (Rest assured I don't go into town looking like this!!)

Sophie is getting much braver when it comes to the llamas. She even ventured up to the fence this morning and got quite the greeting. Llama kisses all around!! She hasn't gotten quite that brave with the cows that are to the west of us. I think their loud moooing has her a bit spooked!!

There is quite a line of llamas that are out there for her to get to know! Llamas really are curious animals and have been quite interested in Sophie since she arrived!

Back at the house, she tips over her toy basket and tries to decide what to play with next. Decisions, decisions!

We have had a very fun week of surprise packages!!! Yesterday a package came with special treats for Sumo, Sophie and I from Sheri. Sumo got a delicious bag of dog treats that he is determined NOT to share with Sophie. Good luck with that one! There are already puppy teeth marks in the bag!!

Sophie got a very fun toy that has already become her favorite. She is very willing to share her toy, but has not had any takers up to this point. There is something not all that appealing about a toy covered in puppy slobber. I don't know, maybe I'm weird!!

As for me, I was spoiled with some GORGEOUS Hazelknit yarn and Enchanted Knoll roving - both is shades of blues which is my all time favorite!! Yes, we are all feeling a bit spoiled. Thanks, Sheri!! (Oh, and I am NOT sharing my gift with Sophie if I can at all help it - I don't care how cute she is!!!)

The other unexpected package that came was from some very dear friends of ours from residency days in New York. We had hoped to meet them over Labor Day in Virginia Beach for a half marathon, but couldn't because of Steve's call schedule. (Next year for sure!!) Anyways, they found these running shirts and thought we would enjoy them as we plug away at our marathon training. The tanks quote Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Amen! This verse gets quoted quite often during our long training runs, which are now up to 18+ miles. Thanks Rob and Judy!!!

Beautiful sunny day here. Gotta love Fall! Off to enjoy it!! You all do the same!!

Until Next Time....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

Ok, rainy days with a puppy are hard! Sophie has so much energy and to try and wear her out without lots of time playing outside is difficult. We've had several rainy days in a row and it is getting old. (Although I really shouldn't be complaining when I think of all of the people affected by Hurricane Ike!) I finally broke down and did a Starbucks run for needed energy!!

Sumo has decided that it is worth putting up with Sophie in order to still be in the same room as us. She has learned to keep her distance, but occasionally just can't help herself and attacks him.

One thing that Sophie loves is to be on our lap and chew on her toys. I like to cover my legs with part of her blanket. (I took a blanket and cut it into 6 pieces for her to have in her kennel etc..) This probably won't be part of our routine once she is full grown!!

They still go outside for potty breaks and to play a bit, but have to wait to come in until I have towels ready to wipe paws and wet puppies.

Eventually Sophie is ready for a nap! We put her into her napping area and she falls asleep quickly. Sometimes in very funny positions! I really don't think she has any bones in her body the way she flops around here and there. She sleeps a bit and reenergizes and wakes up ready to go!

For Sumo, Sophie's nap time is his favorite time of the day. Doesn't he just look happy??

Until Next time...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today is a day of somber memories as we think back to this day 7 years ago when planes were used as weapons against America. My thoughts and prayers go out to those personally affected by the attacks.

It is also the day 1 year ago that we made the difficult decision to put our sweet Nikko down after her battle with Cognitive Dysfunction Disorder. It is the hardest decision a pet owner has to make, but we know that it was for the best. I still think of her often. She was with us as we raised our kids and is missed by all.

We had a stone marker made to put out where Nikko is buried. We are hoping it's a good long time before we fill in Sumo's final year. I think Sophie will do a good job at keeping him young at heart!

It is nice to have little Sophie with us. One can not be sad for long with a puppy in the house!! Nikko would have found her to be as big a pest as Sumo does, but I know would have taught her great things.

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

Well, it is 1/2 through another week! We are starting to settle into some routines and life is taking on a new 'normal'. (However normal life can be with a puppy!). Usually the first thing we do after breakfast is take our first walk around the back pasture. Sumo seems to know that these walks are now everyday because of Sophie and tolerates her shadowing his every move and wondering what to explore next.

Sophie seems to be getting bigger everyday! She was 16.5 pounds at her 8 week vet visit. My guess she is over 20 pounds already. She won't be a lap dog for long!

After the walk, Sumo does his usual disappearing act into the garage with Sophie pondering where he has gone. It won't be long before she figures the dog door out and then Sumo will have to come up with Plan B. Until then he's safe for now.

So Sophie turns to her basket of toys. Here is one that we are encouraging her to kill and destroy. Yes, it's a Packers football that someone gave us as a joke. (Since we are Vikings fans!) After the game on Monday, we thought it only fitting to let Sophie destroy the Packers ball.

In knitting news, I have been finding short times to work on the fan and feather scarf I started last month out of Wollmeise. It is an easy pattern, but with the fineness of the yarn and the generous yardage on each skein, it seems to take me forever. But it is so worth it!! My mom is making this same pattern out of Paton's wool on size 8 needles and it's coming out great! (Mom has just taken up knitting... go mom!!)

Speaking of Wollmeise, I am fortunate enough to be a member of her new sock club!! The first shipment arrived yesterday all the way from Germany and it is amazing!! TWO skeins of Claudia's amazing yarn; a sock pattern; special double point needles; a little yummy German chocolate treat packaged neatly in a cool bag that gives knitting terminology with the German translation. It will certainly help in my fluency of the German language. HA! Thank you Claudia for such an amazing package!!

It was a double sock club bonus week in that my Loopy Ewe Sock club package also arrived this week!! Lucky, lucky me! I LOVE the yarn and the pattern looks challenging...... (Always up for a challenge!) The best part is the little Loopy Ewe book that is full of sticky notes of various sizes. Too too cute! I don't think I know anyone in this world who has more skills in running an incredibly successful business!! I'm so proud to be able to call Sheri my good friend!

Now, I don't know if I will make socks out of all of this yummy new yarn. I'm kind of in a scarf kick right now, but time will tell. I also have a sweater and felted circle tote on my needles that I want to finish up. With cooler weather on the way, I am hoping to do just that!

Until Next Time....

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Weekend Recap

Well, it's Sunday evening and we've had quite the busy weekend! Friday we headed down to see K in Iowa City. We took not only Sophie, but K's friend Dasha from Russia! Dasha was here 4 years ago as a Foreign Exchange student and she and K had become good friends. She was visiting here for a week and had the day free to go down with us. It was fun to see them together again!

Sophie did great with her first adventure away from home! So much to see and do. She tried out the basket on the back of K's bike. She quickly decided she should attack and kill the Gerber daisys that K had attached to it!!

Saturday morning Steve and I ran in the Park to Park 1/2 Marathon race here in town as our 'training run'. It was a beautiful morning for a run and we didn't finish too badly. It was a well organized event and I hope to still be running next Fall so we can do it again!!

Today was another visit next door to see Miss Molly, a 5-year old Wheaton Terrier with energy to burn!! She was very tolerant of Sophie and they had a GREAT time playing and wearing each other out! (Sumo thanks you, by the way, Miss Molly!!)

More walks in the back pasture with brother Sumo with occasional 'pick-me-ups' by Steve and I. She's getting heavy, however, so her carrying days will be coming to a halt before you know it!!

And what would a Sunday afternoon be like without a short nap on the hammock?

Now I do believe that she is out for a while and I may even begin to sneak in a little knitting.

Until Next Time....

Friday, September 05, 2008

Some More Sophie....

Well, it is Friday morning and Sophie woke up ready for another exciting day! What kinds of things will she experience today?

I have to say that we have been very blessed with a good puppy (for the most part!!) She is learning quickly and sleeps through the whole night without a peep. (or a pee!) She does love to chew on things (Sorry K, hope you weren't too attached to these flip flops...) and pick on Sumo, but that is to be expected!

One of her favorite things to do is take a walk in the back pasture! It is mostly tall grasses, but Steve has mowed us a path all around it which makes it perfect for a nice walk. She LOVES to follow Sumo through the grasses....

And up around the path. He keeps a half eye on her and seems to enjoy having her around.. as long as she keeps her sharp little puppy teeth to herself!

Occasionally she likes to be picked up....

Especially when there is a llama close by!!! They really are big and scary when you are only 8 weeks old!

She's bound and determined to attack and kill all of our hosta's!!

She's having a little trouble figuring out how Sumo keeps magically disappearing through the side of the garage!! We've decided to let her figure the doggy door out on her own.. and until she does, it provides Sumo a handy escape route when needed!!!

All in all we are quickly falling in love with this little bundle of energy.

Today we are off on a BIG adventure. We are heading down to visit K in Iowa City since she is the only one who hasn't met Sophie yet!! Will post more on her adventure tomorrow.

Until Next Time....