Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The long, long walk...

So Mom and Pa came up to see us and offered to take us tramping through the woods. We have wanted to do this for a while, but the weather has not cooperated. Today was beautiful! We had deep blue sky, the big fluffy Colorado clouds and about 60 degreees up on the ridge. I decided to take Flint, even though he's not supposed to be exercising that much. We went up the loop road and then cut through the woods to walk along the ridge above the lake. Echo was thrilled to be running a new path and stayed ahead of us leading the way throughout the whole walk.

This is the top of the ridge looking out over the lake.

I knew Flint wouldn't be able to walk the whole way. I took off my scarf and made a sling, put it under his chest and over my shoulder. This way, he was balanced on my hip and the load was spread evenly. I could only carry him like this for about 200 yards. Richard also carried him. We tried to do it in places where the trail was rough or uphill and let him walk downhill and in low spots.

Once Flint realized he could get a free ride, he'd stop walking and wait for me to sling him up again! Richard and I carried him about four times before we made him walk the rest of the way to Mom and Pa's house. By the way, Flint weighs 53 pounds.

Two tired puppies! We stopped at Mom's to have a bit of birthday cake and give the dogs some water. In the 30 minutes we sat there, the temperature dropped 10 degrees, a wind kicked up and we came outside to wisps of fog and overcast skies! Richard and I hurried home in the cold and wind, surprised at the sudden change in weather.

I gave Flint a pain pill, doctored his wound a little to be sure it was okay, helped him onto the bed and he's been sacked out ever since. I expect to be doing more walks - the days are warming up and the housebuilding is slowing down! And Flint will need the exercise, too.

After I finished all that and we puttered around a little THIS is what we found when we looked outside again! SNOW!

Mom's Birthday!

We had planned Mom's birthday party a couple times, but postponed based on people being unable to attend. Finally, we had it Sunday night. Richard grilled rib eye steaks using mesquite wood chips for flavor. I made sauted mushrooms, sauted squash, twice-baked potatoes and homemade sourdough bread. Dessert was birthday cake and ice cream, of course! Becky brought a 4 cake sample with carrot cake, red velvet cake, German chocolate cake and chocolate turtle cake. Some of us sampled it all LOL.

Mom blows out her candles - they say 29 because that's how old she says she is. Naturally I mixed up and had them as 92...I'm lucky I can run faster than Mom!

Mom reads her cards....surrounded by presents.

Mom loves the British TV show, HOW CLEAN IS YOUR HOUSE? She's wanted a pair of frou-frou gloves like Abby's for a while. I bought the gloves and put the fancy cuffs on them so she could clean house in style!

A good time was had by all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Flint only had half his staples removed. Although he's healing well it's slower than the vet anticipated. He's very active and wants to run and play so we have to be careful he and Echo don't get too rough.

We took them for a walk in the woods today and he really enjoyed it. Towards the end he started getting cold and headed home. I went with him and Richard let Echo play for a bit more before coming in, too. Its about 7 degrees outside and the sun is shining. The grass was crunchy with ice and the air was pretty brisk, but no wind, so it was nice.

Mom is healing from her second cataract surgery. She is very happy to be able to see better, although she still has to wear the sunglasses for a while.

I'm still working on decluttering my office which is difficult due to the fact that a lot of my stuff is still out in the garage. I have binders, sheet protectors and file folders somewhere out there! I suppose I should go out there and haul in a few boxes today.

Echo and Flint last night waiting for supper.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Flint's Day...

Today, Flint goes in to the vet to have his staple stitches removed. I expect he'll not be too happy. We've had to keep the cone on his head to keep him from chewing and I anticipate having to use it for another few days, too.

Flint is not a morning dog. He prefers sleeping until daylight. I woke him up to take a picture of him. Note the couch. That's his and Echo's sleeping spot in our bedroom. Initially, I was letting them sleep wherever they wanted, but on second thought I decided that if we had company, especially company who didn't like or was afraid of dogs, it might be better to have an assigned sleeping place with us. Flint sleeps there every night, but since his operation Echo has avoided sleeping there because he growls at her. I expect once he's healed they'll go back to the old arrangement.

Echo often will sit/sleep in a doorway or just behind me as if she's guarding me from everyone. I suppose in a dog pack that's pretty much what dogs do for the leader. Richard claims I am the undisputed Alpha dog in this household. Yay, me! LOL

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I have always wanted to bake sourdough bread. I had a few false starts towards that goal that never seemed to work out. Well, now that I have time I've decided to try again.

My friend, ElizaBeth, gave me a friendship starter which I managed to kill. So when we moved into the house I started another one. I also mixed together a sourdough starter. The instructions off the Internet claimed when it was bubbly and frothy it was ready to use. That happened in about 10 days. However, it didn't have that sourdough yeast smell I'm used to from the San Francisco breads we bought when we lived there. More reading on the Internet confirmed that a good sourdough needs about 2 months to really acquire the flavor and smell. So I let it go another couple weeks. About a week ago I put in the flour and water and the smell was perfect. I finally had some time to devote to the task so yesterday I made sourdough pizza crust.

May I say WOW! It was perfect (okay, I skimped on the salt and immediately noticed, but really it was almost perfect!) I baked it in an electric oven on a pizza stone which I'd also never used even though I've owned it a gazillion years. I didn't have any meat so I made a veggie pizza - bell peppers, onions, olives and mushrooms, with homemade pizza sauce (1 small can of tomato paste, 1 can water, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt - slowly heat to boil, then turn off and apply to pizza crust). I topped with mozzerella cheese. Then I baked the whole thing together - pizza crust and toppings. If you want a crispier crust supposedly you cook the crust alone for a bit.

This is the SECOND pizza. We ate the first one all up! BTW, this second pizza was frozen without cooking - I put the whole thing together, froze it, thawed it out about an hour before and we ate this one for lunch today.

The starter:

1 large glass pyrex bowl with lid
1 cup flour
1 cup water

Mix well, cover with a lid. Every 24 hours, stir and feed the starter with a half cup of flour and a half cup water. Keep it in a warm area. Mine is on the back burners (not used) of my Corning glass stove top. The residual heat from cooking and baking on the front burners & oven kept it warm enough. Some days it'll be bubbly, some days it will have a clear liquid on top. Stir it all back in and keep going. In 10 days, you have a decent starter, but like I said, I wanted more of that sourdough yeast smell and taste, so I let it grow for 2 months.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Slow days...

Its snowing out today. Just a dusting and some sparse flakes but the weather is cold and dreary. The snow has mostly stopped but looking out my window I see the occasional flake drifting down. Its either blowing off the roof and trees or its still snowing a bit here and there.

Last week, I called the place where the girls' senior high school photos were taken. One of the photos has faded with a greenish tinge. I didn't expect them to still have her photo on file, but it was worth a shot. They had warned that they kept photos five years. Well, she graduated long before that. I called, not expecting any miracle and got one ANYWAY! They had her photo in their archives, still! The man I spoke with found it and is sending me a FREE 8 X 10, because they guarantee non-fading! Anyway, I'm still waiting for it to arrive, but am pretty happy.

Flint is healing nicely although a little slower than the vet anticipated. He's been romping with Echo and wanting to walk with us, but we're still limiting his movement some.

Richard has resorted to walking Echo two to five times a day. With no buddy to play with she is highly energetic and needs to blow off some steam. Flint has warned her off so many times she finally got the point. Last night I put my Mo-Mo slippers on (They're fashioned to look like giant Bigfoot feet). Echo started barking at them and ran down the steps outside to chew them. I started backing up and she chased me. I came back inside and she chased my feet again, barking and chewing on the toes of the slippers while they were on my feet. I suspect we have a new game. She's careful to only fake chew, she's not tearing at them or anything.

The tile guys are here doing the master bathroom. Richard and I discussed it and decided we didn't want to do it, so we hired professionals!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I've posted so many pictures of Flint these past few weeks that it seems I need to post one of Echo.

She's been pretty good with her wounded playmate - she will not sleep with him on their couch and she's wrassling gently, allowing him to initiate it.

Both dogs stuck close by me today - the mail lady brought a package (my books, I love Amazon) and the UPS guy delivered Richard's jackets and cap from Land's End (big sale).

I wrote a short story for a specific market, let's see if I can sell it. A quiet day, pretty much wrote all day.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

He's back!

Flint is back home.

Everyone is happy, except him! Well, he's happy to be home but he seriously hates the cone collar. He has to wear it to keep from licking his wound.

Echo has sniffed him over quite well making sure we didn't do anything to her buddy.

Its been a hectic week and I am also glad its over.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Puppy Dog Tales...

Flint went to the vet's early this morning for his cruciate ligament operation. All went well and he's awake, although not alert. We will pick him up tomorrow morning. The vet prefers to keep them overnight for observation.

This is a photo of Flint before the problems started.

Surprisingly, Echo is somewhat clingy today. She is so independent that we figured she'd be pretty blase about her pack mate being missing from the family for a couple days. Not so. She's been very subdued and is staying very close to one or the other of us.

While Richard stayed home and did house things, I took Echo up and down the road to burn off some energy. She had fun sniffing through the brush and has finally settled down at the foot of my bed (Flint's favorite naptime spot).

We're heading to Mom and Pa's for dinner tonight. They meant to invite us yesterday but when they came up to issue the invite, we were gone. We'd taken off on a walk in the woods back of our property and went exploring the creek for a good hour or so. It was cold but not bitter and both dogs enjoyed tramping in the woods. Flint was not supposed to go walking but he set up such a pathetic howling that we caved and let him come with us.

I am really hopeful that is operation will fix his problems permanently and walking will be easier for him. He always goes with us, but the effort he expends is hard to watch. He's a faithful little friend and I'd like to see him able to romp and play again.