Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You've Come a Long Way Baby

On February 6, 2010 Tillie passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. It took awhile for Susan to receive the actual certificate from the American Kennel Club, but it is finally here. This is a picture of Tillie shortly after her birth on May 24, 2009.
The certificate she received at nine months of age. She passed all 10 items in the test.

Not only did she get her certificate, but we are pleased to announce (knock on wood) that she has not chewed up anything in the new house. She is definitely a cutie!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Dinner

Susan was busy in the kitchen on Christmas. She prepared Sauerbraten for dinner. She found this recipe in the Food Network Magazine from October 2009, where there was an article about Leavenworth, WA.
For those of you not familiar with Leavenworth, it is a town that was created to look like a Bavarian village. There are a lot of events held in Leavenworth, especially during the winter months. Oktoberfest kicks off the holiday season; starting October 2 and running for three weekends.
The original recipe came from chef Richard Zucktriegel at Cafe Mozart on Front Street. Sauerbraten consists of a beef chuck roast that has marinated for three days, then cooked with vegetables and spaetzle, which are noodle like dumplings. The meal was fabulous. Oh, and I do not want to forget the Pumpkin Pie.
Tillie spent most of the day supervising the cooking in her favorite kitchen chair. She always sits (or sleeps) in this chair when we are in the kitchen.
Toby hurt his back again so he is confined to crate rest for at least the next 9 days. He did not get to open his Christmas present this year, which he was not happy about. Tillie was not interested in the presents - she went to sleep on Susan's lap.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow Tales

All this snow piled up along our driveway is really amazing when you consider that Seattle has had more snow during the last few winters than we have. Well, today we were suppose to get about one new inch of snow and four inches have already hit the ground.
It sure is beautiful and unless we have a real heat blast in the next few days, we will have a white Christmas.

Without a doubt we can claim more snow than Seattle this winter. I would rather have the snow than all the rain they are getting over there.

Tillie to the Mailbox

It is snowing really hard today so I decided I would only let Tillie out once, but that I would take her up the road to get the paper and the mail. Well, as soon as I got her leash she went ballistic; crying and jumping up and down, just so excited that she got to go outside. By the time we got home, she wasn't all that excited.

Why, you ask? Well, her legs were so heavy that she could hardly walk and I am not able to carry her that far, so basically I dragged her home while she was trying to bite the snow off her legs.

This is a close-up of her right front leg. I finally found something that makes her stand still! I did manage to carry her inside to her bathtub and after 10 minutes in the warm water defrost cycle and a few minutes under the dryer, she was running around again like normal.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Weather Advisory

Almost all of our snow was gone yesterday. Today, we have a new winter weather advisory in effect. It started snowing about 9:00am this morning and it is piling up fast.
It is just so beautiful outside. I love all the windows in this house. We can watch it snowing no matter what room we are in.

If we do not have a white Christmas I don't feel like we can really complain about it because we have had snow on the ground since before Thanksgiving.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Outdoor Lights

I am so excited that we were able to get lights up this year. I just love lights. Susan ends up driving me around all the time so I can look at the different decorations. Our house is long enough that to include the entire length, you can't see the detail of the lights in the windows, but you get the idea. The wreath is just beautiful and even in this picture you can see a little of the big red bow.

We were actually further away when I took this shot of the backyard and yet it is easier to see everything. The extra lights in the back along the fence make it just light enough so even from this distance you can see the horse and carriage and the deer. I can sit in the house and look at the lights for hours.
I am already looking for decorations on sale that we can add next year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Edible Ornaments

Susan and I made these cupcakes and edible ornaments this weekend so she can take them to work on Monday.

The ornaments were fun to make. The center is made from melting hard candies; different colors are different flavors. The ornament itself is a sugar cookie. We used a straw to cut out the circle for hanging the ornament and baked a pretzel into the base in order to insert the ornament into the cupcake. We use colored sugar to decorate the ornament around the candy center.

But Toby's Inside!

Here is Tillie right after she and Susan got home from their walk. Tillie wanted to go inside and see Toby in the worst way, and she just didn't seem to understand why we would not let her in the house. Every time they go for a walk, Susan has to give Tillie a bath so she can come in the house. And after seeing this, I am sure you can understand. The worst part - it was nice outside on this particular day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Did you know....

I have never been to a farm where Brussel sprouts grow so I was very surprised when Susan brought this home last night. We wanted to have fresh Brussel sprouts for Thanksgiving but I was expecting individual ones in a little bag.

I also did not know that they are part of the cabbage family; I guess I just never thought about it before.
The plants grow from seeds in seedbeds or greenhouses and are transferred to growing fields where they are harvested 90 to 180 days after planting. Each thick stalk can produce up to 3.1 pounds of sprouts.
French settlers brought them to Louisiana around 1800, followed by the first plantings in California in 1920 with significant production beginning around 1940. Currently, production in the U.S. comes from California, Skagit Vally, WA, and Long Island. NY.
I can't wait to eat them!

Happy Thanksgiving

I made this "corn stalk" for Susan to take to work today. I felt like I should tell you what it is suppose to be, just in case you could not tell. I think it would look more like corn if the jelly beans were not so bright and if I crunched the cupcakes together more. Also, I thought I had white cupcake wrappers, but it turns out that I only had gigantic white wrappers, not normal size ones, so my "corn" cupcakes have Halloween wrappers. Oh well, they were fun to make.
I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday 112310

It was not suppose to snow very much today according to the weatherman. It has been snowing most of the day at our house.

November Snow Storm

We received more snow than we typically do for the first snow storm of the year. Between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday morning we got a little more than 3 inches in areas not impacted by the wind.

The drifts are between 5 and 6 inches deep. Tillie is just thrilled. She has been racing around the yard all by herself, because Toby thinks she is crazy. We can barely get him outside to go potty.

It is very pretty. Now, if the wind would just go away! The police and state patrol have asked that people stay off the roads if they do not need to go anywhere, so I am staying put. I miss working, but have to admit that on days like this it is nice to stay indoors where it is warm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

2010 Halloween Party

We hosted our first Halloween party in our new home last night. Strange creatures were seen lurking both inside and out. This character took up residence in one of the bathrooms.

Our human skeleton was Pistol Pete, a sheriff who met an untimely end decided to stick around for awhile longer. His guns came in handy to shoot at overgrown spiders.
Rodents, some alive, some not, spiders and bats were plentiful and that was just inside the house. Brooms would follow our guests around the house and if you were not careful, disturbing spells would follow you into the kitchen.
Some very strange characters were observed on the walls.
Spirits included a Black Cloud Cocktail, Witches Brew and Hot Apple Cider.
Our guests munched on bloody brains.....
Mummy babies....
Spider Eggs.......
and other ghoulish items.
Our guests are seen enjoying a brief respite from the bats, although they were standing right under the bloody cleavers, scissors and saws.

The bloody utensils can be seen in the background.
A good time was had by all!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pies and Pumpkins

Yesterday Susan and I carved pumpkins. I did mine just for fun. Susan created hers for the pumpkin carving contest today at work. They are also having a pie contest today so Susan made a Mexican Chocolate Pecan pie.

It is a shame you can't post smells on the blog. Well, on second thought it is a good thing, but you should have been here when the pies were in the oven!
Aren't these adorable? Susan carved Tigger and mine is the ghost and graveyard. The dogs were intrigued indeed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Beware Flying Witches

She had apparently been drinking too much witches brew before taking flight. So far, we haven't seen any flying monkeys, but I bet they are close by.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bones Poster

This was my final exercise in my Photoshop class. Our task was to create a poster for a movie or TV show. I am not ready for this class to end. I learned so much about the software, but I know we just brushed the surface of what this program can do.

At any rate, I am now taking Flash. This should be interesting, because I can't draw!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Haunted House

Susan and I took this "Haunted House" to North Star Lodge this morning. I knew it would never survive the trip sitting on the floor of the car by itself so I took Susan to work so she could hold it.

I saw this idea in a book and thought it was so cute. We did not put the trees in place until it was safely at work and we broke one even doing that. Oh well, the trees work just as well as bushes.

Susan will have a harder time trying to get the people at work to eat the house than I did making it. I love Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

View from the Cliff

This morning I went exploring and found the road that runs along the top of the cliff behind our house. From North Wenas you turn onto Reitmeier Lane. This road starts out as a nice paved two lane road and then it shrinks down to one lane and by the time you are above our house it is very small indeed but it is still paved. It must be nice.

The next time I go up there I will include the rest of the back yard and the garden shed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Paint and Gravel

Our contractor has been building our garden shed for a couple of weeks. He is building this for us as a side job so he can only work on it a couple of nights a week, weather permitting. The first step was to build the frame for the floor.

Next he put in the floor and built the frame for the ramp.

Several steps went by before I got back out with the camera. Now the siding is on, the roof is ready for the shingles, and the door and windows are framed.

The roof, siding, windows and door are installed.
The next step is to paint the outside to match the house, put a non-skid surface on the ramp and place gravel around the base.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back to School

If you follow our blog on a regular basis, you have probably noticed that the number of posts have slowed down just a bit. I started school in September and as a result my free time has decreased, but I am having so much fun! My first class in the Multimedia Arts Program is Photoshop Basics. This is an amazing program and we are just scratching the surface of what it can do. I want to share just two of the assignments we have had so far in the class. The first photo of the red mini cooper is what we started with.

The assignment was to select the car and remove it from its background. Then we tinted the windows, created a second car, re-sized it and painted it blue.

Not bad for a newbie.
For the next assignment, we started with this old barn. Our job was to create a bar that did not yet exist so that the owner could show potential investors how the property would look when the project was completed.

Notice the new sky? We also fixed the holes in the roof, added windows and signs, painted the barn, added a parking lot, bikes, and truck and people.

The hardest part for me so far has been creating shadows on objects and making them look realistic. I am really bad at this, which explains why you don't see any shadows from the tree in the parking lot. It actually looks more realistic without the shadows than with the shadows I tried to create. I have one more lesson in Photoshop and after the final exam I move on to Flash. I will continue to post examples of what I am learning.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Central Washington Fair

Last night we went to the Central Washington Fair. The theme this year is Get Happy and I loved the 2010 Fair mascot - a smiling cow! While Mom and Susan were at a cooking show Dad and I walked around and looked at all the old automobiles and farm equipment. This is a 1930 Ford Model A pickup with a 4-cylinder engine. Notice the gas cap up by the windshield? Back then, gas got to the engine using gravity, which worked pretty well unless you had to go up a long hill.

This is an orchard sprayer built in 1920.

The agriculture building is one of our favorite stops at the fair.

Selah's grange dislay was very colorful.

The prize winning pumpkin weighed in at 420 pounds.

I really like the happy pigs in this grange display.

We had a good time walking through the animal barns. I got to pet one of the draft horses. He weighed 2600 pounds! The professional photo display was awesome, as always. Now we can look forward to next year.