In my head this blog is super up to date. You wouldn’t believe how many things I’ve written about (in my head) over the past few weeks. You wouldn’t believe how many recipes I’ve shared! But somehow the thoughts don’t get magically transmitted onto the computer. Worse, the photos don’t get magically transmitted either. (It’s a multi-step process, the most cumbersome of which is using the laptop that is perpetually on Minecraft now, and thus rather slow. Also, O Canada ended with my camera being dropped on the marble floor of the lobby and the lens breaking. So all photos the past few weeks have been with my phone. But that still requires some transferring around to get into WordPress.) Although the kids are in school all day, making it seem like I should have endless hours to enjoy to myself, there seems to be an awful lot on my to-do list that is not “write a blog post.” (I lie-it’s on my to-do list every day, it’s just not getting done!) I know that last year at this time I was enjoying many special days of sewing and quilting, and I haven’t even done that once since school started. I’m really just going to blame everything on the dog and not my inability to get my act together. So let’s launch into some categorized catching up, starting with the dog.
We continue to go to dog class and be very bad about practicing at home. I mean, just terrible. That said, she is doing pretty well. I’ve been taking her on longer and longer walks and getting her good and tired out.
She was terrible about eating things off the counter, so now we have “snappy trainers” up all over the counters to keep her away. She is getting extremely playful with the Liesl, with mixed results. Now she’ll chase her and put her paw on her and trap her, which I think she considers as “Yeah! The cat is finally playing with me!” and the cat considers “Oh God! This stupid dog is attacking me!”
But Liesl has had plenty of times of hitting Willow with her paws, but no claws out, and sometimes in a playful manner. Willow’s greatest achievement this weekend is that we brought her to the park for all of Saturday morning for both kids’ soccer games, as well as to someone’s house and a field hockey game on Sunday, and she did great.
She barked a few times at other dogs, but didn’t freak out. And she allowed many children to pet her and play with her, and she did not knock them over or bite them. There were a lot of people, dogs, and activity, and she was able to relax and eventually get very tired and just tune it all out and go to sleep.
* an update since writing this yesterday morning–Sweetie finally scratched her with claws. I didn’t see it, but heard the yelp and saw the running away and Sweetie all fluffed up huge. Later I went to the basement and saw Sweetie in her basket with Liesl in there with her (which she never is) and Liesl was licking Sweetie’s face (which she never does.) I have to assume that they were bonding and commiserating over how terrible things are with a puppy in the house.
For someone who has always professed to hate all sports, I sure spent a lot of time at sporting events this weekend. With Tabby adding field hockey to her schedule we now have a week with several different sports practices and 3 games on weekends. Clark’s soccer team is sadly really not very good, which is a bummer. Tabby’s team is ok, and the field hockey team has been creamed in both their games so far. With field hockey though half the team has literally never played the sport before (including Tabby-it’s a grades 2-4 group.) Tabby is enjoying learning it and playing (and it looks like so much fun I might get a stick myself and play in the yard with her.) Here she is in action:
So as long as they don’t get discouraged and have a good time playing, I’m happy for them. Paul just bought a bunch of pvc pipe and built a soccer goal for our yard, so that should be fun for us. After the games on Saturday we went to a Princeton University football game in the late afternoon. We did this last year and had such a good time we were happy to go again (it was a staff day-free tickets!) It was a great game (Princeton, 52-26) and we were super excited when 2 touchdowns were scored right in front of us.
In between soccer and the Princeton game, Paul and I participated in a game ourselves. No, nothing athletic. Our town was having its annual Country Fair and this year the rec department sponsored a Family Feud. They really did a great job with all the details-a fun host who got into the game show host role, name tags just like they used to wear, and a buzzers and microphones. We called ourselves Richard Dawson’s Creek (get it? GET IT!) and it was me and Paul, our friends Stephanie and Ernie, and our friend Greg.
We played against some other friends of ours and it was quite merry and fun. And because I am a tad competitive about games, I’m pleased to say….we won!!! There were even prizes.
IV. In the Coop:
Poor Gordon has been forced to have an unpleasant change of habitat. He can no longer be allowed to roam around the chicken coop after an adventure last week. Paul and I went out in the evening to put him back and discovered he’d handily escaped through a tunnel he’d dug under the fence. We were able to catch a glimpse of him under the shed, but were not able to get to him. Eventually we had to go to bed. (and p.s. I’m pretty sure the raging poison ivy on my face and other parts of me came from lying down next to the shed in the dark trying to find him.) In the morning we went outside, hoping he’d still be there and we spotted him…in our neighbor’s yard! We guided him back towards us, away from the woods, and were able to catch him next to the chicken coop. I hate to see him cooped up in his hutch, but it’s better that than letting him escape and run away/be gotten by a predator. For now he can only be allowed to run around when I am out in the coop with him and can directly supervise.
V. Hey Good Lookin’, Whatcha Got Cookin’?
I used to be so good about doing recipe posts! Here are a few highlights of things I’ve cooked/baked in the past few weeks:
- Corn Souffle: nothing makes you feel quite so fancy as a souffle for dinner. I was thrilled with how this came out. Using fresh corn off the cob and a nice sharp cheddar it was super delicious. Recipe from: ? I found it online and saved the open page for days and then my mom closed all my tabs (again, you don’t need to close the tabs to use the computer.) I hope I find it again.
- Maple Scones*: my new favorite scone recipe. I made these for a back-to-school tea I had for some friends. Although 1/4 c maple syrup is used to sweeten the scone you can’t taste it at all. These were quite possibly the best scones I’ve ever made. And I served them with a homemade Devonshire cream and jam. It was totally heavenly.Recipe from a cookbook I’ve had for many years, so it’s nuts this is the first time I’ve made it-The Simple Art of Quick Breads.
- Extra Crumb Coffee Cake: Holy cow was this insane. Primarily butter and sugar and cinnamon it smelled amazing when baking and tasted absolutely wonderful. Recipe from Joy the Baker.
- Apple Cake*: This was made using my mom’s recipe, which she often used to make (using peaches or apples.) It’s a flat cake, not very sweet, and I always remembered it as being very dry. I made some adjustments (cooked shorter time, added cake spice, used brown sugar) but it was still pretty dry. It looked pretty though and was a nice fall, not heavy dessert.
*These items, along with ham & cheddar muffins, were all EATEN by the dog. Yes, leftovers innocently placed on the counter or stovetop were gobbled up by that wicked creature. The scones eating sent me over the edge and the Snappy Trainers were promptly ordered. P.S. since getting the snappy trainers I have set them off more than Willow, scaring the bejeesus out of me every time. Every. Time.
And so that’s basically it. Still trying to get into a school year groove, still hoping to finish a Halloween quilt by Halloween, looking forward to some good things (like hikes) that we’ve got planned, and enjoying the cool early mornings and evenings we’ve been having (except yesterday and today-warm and humid?!).