All posts by Nancy

Where is Spring?

I swear I’m beginning to wonder if Spring will ever come to the Northeast corner of Vermont.  The last 2 snow storms have really dumped the white stuff.

This is my yard on April 27, 2013 (notice the well house).

4-27

This is my yard as of last night (March 24, 2014) again take a look at the well house.

3-23

I think it will be quite a few more days before I can sit on the deck.

deck

And these are the snowbanks in the middle of our driveway.  Somewhere under/behind all that snow is a flower garden.

driveway

Anyone else, besides me, sick of winter?

Max’s Favorite Cookies

To say that Max is spoiled – is well, an understatement!   I seldom buy pre-packaged dog biscuits from the grocery store or the pet supply store.  I don’t eat pre-packaged, preservative filled crap, so why would I feed it to him?  Needless to say these are his favorite cookies!  Whenever he hears the mixer going he comes a running and will sit and watch as I measure ingredients – I swear he feels that I should always be baking cookies for him!

cookiesThis recipe originally came from the King Arthur Flour website and I’ll post it here.

  • 2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats, regular or quick
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter, crunchy or plain
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cold water, enough to make a cohesive dough

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets, or line them with parchment.

2) Mix together the flour, oats, parsley, dried milk, and salt.

3) Add the eggs and peanut butter, stirring to combine; the mixture will be crumbly.

4) Add enough water to bring the dough together; depending on the season, you may need to add a bit more (winter), or a bit less (summer).

5) To make biscuits using a dog-bone cutter, roll the dough about 1/4″ thick, and cut with a 3 1/2″ cutter (or the size of your choice). Gather and re-roll the scraps, and continue to cut biscuits until you’ve used all the dough.

6) To make dog “cookies,” drop the dough in walnut-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten them to about 1/4″.

7) Bake the biscuits for about 40 to 60 minutes, baking the smaller cookies for a shorter amount of time. When finished, the biscuits will be dark golden brown, and will be dry and crisp all the way through.

8) Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool right on the pans.

Yield: about 42 larger (3 1/2″ dog-bone) biscuits, 60 smaller (round) biscuits.

 Notes:

I’ve never gotten 42 cookies out of a batch (but I think my cutter is a 4″ one and not a 3 1/2″ one).

I’ve added craisins to the dough (Max is a fruit fiend).

I’ve substituted 1/2 cup of mashed bananas for 1/2 cup of the peanut butter.

I’ve added a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup (because he has a sweet tooth)

 

Crocus

We were overrun with squirrels and chipmunks in 2012 and the darn chipmunks would get into the big flower garden and dig up my crocus bulbs and stash them for later.  I was so discouraged that I didn’t plant any new ones last fall – figuring what good is it – the darn little buggers will just dig them up again anyway!

But I love crocus, to me they are the first signs of a REAL Spring here in Vermont after a long, cold winter.  So I was thrilled to see that they at least left me some!

crocus

 

crocus1

 

crocus2

As Ben and I walked the trail out back that leads into the woods with Max, we found scattered crocus all over the place – so I guess the chipmunks didn’t get them all!

 

The pooped vs the tired puppy

Max is a bundle of energy and he plays hard – you should see him run – even in 2 feet of snow!  But there is a difference between a totally pooped out puppy and a tired one!

Here’s the pooped puppy

pooped puppy

and here is the tired one.

tired puppy

And yes, he has his own chair in the living room.

The Water Dish

Most animals have a small water dish – not mine!  They use this aluminum watering can!

We have a wood stove which a 2 gallon aluminum teakettle that we keep on top and fill it with water so the house (and my nose) doesn’t get to dried out from the wood heat.  Because the teakettle is usually too darn hot to touch we keep this big aluminum watering can filled with water just sitting behind it.

When Hobo first wandered into our lives back in 2002 on Labor Day Weekend – we had just started building a small fire in the evening, just to take the chill out of the house.  Hobo always drank out of the watering can, so it just became habit to keep it full.

The very first night that we brought Marvin home, that watering can was the first thing he headed for when we put him down in the house.

water dish

As soon as Max saw Marvin drinking out of it – well he decided it was going to become HIS water dish as well!

Don’t I look cool?

We have this pretty big hibiscus tree in our entry way – it’s nice as it flowers just about year round.  But, oh my god is it a messy thing as it sheds leaves and spent flowers just about every day!

Max was helping me pick up the fallen leaves – he even posed for this picture.  He must think he looks pretty cool LOL

leaf

I have to say, he likes to “help”.

The Sub-Zero boys

My sub-zero boys – they love the cold!  When the snow finally hit it was so deep that Max had a hard time getting around, so Ben broke out the snow shoes and made snowshoe trails around the yard so Max could get out and run.

sub zero

Actually, the snowshoe trails were a really good idea.  They taught Max his boundaries and he learned to walk behind us or beside us without a leash.

We all did a lot of snowshoeing over the winter – Max is one energetic puppy and oh, does he love the cold, sometimes the colder the better!

We’d take him out back and we blazed some trails through the woods.  Every time we’d turn around and head back to the house Max would grab a fallen limb and bring it home.

logger dog

We ended up with quite the collection of “sticks” in the yard and Max got his first nickname of “Logger Dog”

stick collection

Looks are deceiving

Don’t they look like little angels?

Well, looks are deceiving!  This picture was taken after I spent about a half hour vacuuming the living room because Marvin had gotten hold of a bunch of dried hydrangea that I had in the living room in a vase.  Marvin getting a hold of the hydrangea wasn’t so bad —- but Max decided he had to join in on the fun and their were hydrangea petals EVERYWHERE!

angels