Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas star and PapillonMerry Christmas!
To all my online friends and readers: Wishing you a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate - or don't celebrate.

Tonight, Christmas Eve, we are going to my mother's apartment for a family dinner and gift opening.

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, DH and I are spending home with plenty of good food, our three furry loved ones, and all our new books, yarn, and chocolate. We'll be watching it snow, feeding the birds, napping, and relaxing. I'll be doing a little knitting.

That's just the way I like Christmas to be. The only thing that could make it better would be to have the Idaho family here.

Take care, stay calm, and have fun. It will all be over soon.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Those Things That Marguerite Makes
At doggy school parties they call these "Those Things That Marguerite Makes". I assume, since they get sought out and eaten, that is a compliment.

Please don't tell them how easy these are to make.

Need a quick, rich sweet bar to round out your holiday cookie plate? Here it is.

Butter Pecan Turtle Cookies

2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter - needs to be soft, at room temperature
1 cup pecan halves

  • Mix well.
  • Pat firmly into an ungreased 13 X 9 pan.
  • Spread pecan halves evenly on top.

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Heat with constant stirring until boiling.
  • Boil for 1 minute.
    Note: I do the heating and boiling in the microwave.
    1 minute - whip with whisk - 1 minute - whip with whisk.
    You can tell when it starts to boil and thicken.
    Then, give it 45 more seconds, whip with whisk, and it's done.
    In my microwave the total procedure takes 4 minutes.

  • Pour over crust and pecans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

1 cup milk chocolate chips (not semi-sweet)
  • Sprinkle chips over top immediately after removing from oven.
  • Chips will partially melt, but still look like chips. That bothered me at first, but it's OK.
  • Cool slightly and cut. They're much easier to cut when they're still a bit warm.
  • Enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Party Report
Doggy school dogs attempting to pose for a pictureNormally doggy school has a strict "no sniff" policy. But party night wasn't a normal night and the dogs seemed to know it. There was plenty of sneaky sniffing going on as we tried to get all the dogs to sit stay for a group photo.

Sunny is not a party dog. She didn't like the noise or the sniffing and she did not want to stay with the group, so trainer Gail sat on the floor with Sunny and held her for the picture.

What Sunny really wanted to do was to sit on my lap and watch. That's how she spent most of the evening, so she had a good time once the picture fracas was over.

See those three fingers in the foreground? That was my futile sit stay hand signal.

At the time this picture was snapped, there were many people yelling "stay". Most of the dogs stayed most of the time, but I don't think anyone got a picture without at least one human included as they put their dog back in position.

Susan, mom to a chow mix named Millicent, told me she had three great pictures of my butt.

Pappy is a party dog. He participated in the sneaky sniffing and would have happily lead a pack of dogs on a romp around the room if I had allowed it.

Dog dish on a standSeveral weeks ago the dogs drew names to exchange inexpensive gifts.

Sunny received this dish on a stand from Ramon, a standard poodle.

Papillon hanging ornamentPappy got this cute Papillon ornament from Marcy, a bull terrier.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Designer Dog Prepares for Party
Sunny standing in the grassSunny, our mixed breed dog, will no longer stand for being called a mutt. She heard people at doggy school talking about designer dogs, (cockapoos, schnoodles, golden doodles, etc) Since Sunny is a princess and is allowed to make declarations, she has declared herself a third generation designer dog.

We're not sure what breeds have gone into her design.

We adopted Sunny when she was seven weeks old and weighted two pounds. She was living in a pen with her two sisters. One sister looked something like a poodle, the other sister looked something like a Jack Russell terrier. Sunny looked something like a Papillon puppy.

Her foster home called her a Papillon/terrier mix, but they were guessing. She's not delicate like a Papillon, and I suspect she might have some Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixed in with her design instead of Papillon. But then where did she get her beautiful, tri-color Papillon tail?

Part of the fun of having a mutt designer dog is guessing what breeds are in there. We're going to have a lifetime of fun guessing with Sunny.

Bubble Buddy, extra bubbles, and Merrick's Venison Holiday StewTomorrow evening is the doggy school holiday party. We're having a potluck dinner and teacher Gail is planning doggy fun for us.

Instead of having the party during class time, Gail is having a combined advanced class party on Wednesday when no other classes are scheduled. Since I have a dog in each of the two advanced classes, that means I'll be there with two dogs.

Sunny and Pappy think of doggy school as a night out with Mom and without the other dog, so it could be a bit shocking for them to end up at doggy school together.

The dogs drew names for gifts. Pappy drew Sundance, a very young Australian Shepherd. Sunny drew Downy, a mid-sized designer dog who got her name because she was found lost and starving trying to get warm under the outside dryer vent.

Sundance and Downy are getting identical gift bags containing:

  • Bubble Buddy, a scented bubble blowin' dog toy
  • Three jars of bubble juice scented sizzling bacon, peanut butter, and Bar B Q chicken
  • Can of Merrick's Venison Holiday Stew, a wonderful tasty dog food containing venison, red jacket potatoes, carrots, zucchini, sugar peas, and apples.

Trainer Gail is getting her Opal Lollipops. The fact that she is the only person outside my immediate family to ever get a pair of hand knit Opal socks from me testifies to my appreciation for the great job she does with the dogs.

I'm taking the camera to the party. With two dogs to keep track of, I may forget to take pictures. But I have good intentions.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Kimmy Gets Her Present
Yesterday there was a break in the snowfall so I headed east, picking up Mom in Kalamazoo and driving to Battle Creek for lunch with daughter Heather and granddaughter Kimmy.

Kimmy and her birthday gift from IdahoI had planned on taking pictures of the four generations of us having lunch, but we were so busy yakking and laughing that I forgot until everyone had their coats on and we were ready to go.

Then I shot this picture of Kimmy with her birthday (10 years old!) present I delivered from John, Anne, and Sydney in Idaho, and my camera batteries went dead.

The gift is a case full of cosmetics and accessories for pretty young ladies. Kimmy loves it, which is good because I sacrificed my favorite nail scissors to fly it to Michigan.

I KNOW you can't take nail scissors on a plane. It was before dawn and I was trying to close my suitcase with Kimmy's gift in it, so I plucked out my cosmetic case complete with nail scissors and crammed it in my carryon bag. Oops.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Early Morning Snowy Dogwalk
This morning I grabbed the camera when I took the dogs out for their first walk about 8 am. All three had a great romp in the six to eight inches of snow we have, and now they're back in bed sleeping off the cold and the exercise.

The snow is gray looking because there is no sunshine. The days are short, so it's barely daylight. The sky is overcast and dark.

Glory in the snowGlory, the queen of the house, is almost ten now. Her blackness makes it difficult to get a good picture of her, but she does show up well against the snow.

Sunny in the snowThe little dogs hop through the snow like kangaroos.

Sunny's curly chest is a snow magnet. The snow gets picked up by her hair and immediately turns into solidly affixed iceballs. That's why she willingly wears a coat that covers her chest and her tummy.

Pappy in the snowPappy has a thick, warm, straight coat that repels the snow. He will happily plow through snow that's over his head and dive into snowbanks looking for rodents.

Fortunately, we don't have that much snow - yet.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Quiz Time for Princesses
After spotting this quiz on Birdsong's Blog, I couldn't resist giving it a try.

The questions brought a smile to my face. Haul out your imagination and have fun with it.

Sorry guys. Unless you want to be a princess, the quiz won't work for you - but scroll down a bit because everyone can have fun with the Chocolate Math.

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both
feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to
be a little on the old-fashioned side. You
value home, hearth, and family life and love to
be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent
for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Chocolate Math
Elaine shared this with the EZasPi Yahoo List and told us to spread it around.

I love figuring out why these things work. You only have to figure out why it works if that's part of the fun for you.


Don't tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway-
but the Hershey Man will know!

This is pretty neat.
It takes less than a minute
Work this out as you read ...
Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!
This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

  1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you
    would like to have chocolate(more than once but less than 10)

  2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

  3. Add 5

  4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

  5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1755 ..
    If you haven't, add 1754.

  6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.
    You should have a three digit number
    • The first digit of this was your original number
      (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).
    • The next two numbers are YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)


Thanks Elaine! Now I know how old I am. How did that happen?