Friday, July 30, 2010

That dog needs a job!

So two weekends ago Spencer went back home to Cheyenne Wells and left me here with only the dog to defend me from robbers, creepers, and the like.  Sampson and I spent all weekend together.  We really do love each other.

I noticed in all my time with my long-legged beautiful boxer that he was scratching his ears an awful lot.  So much to his disdain I started looking into his ears... no really looking INTO them.  He hated me right then.  But, I knew something was wrong.

So when Spencer returned home I told him he had to call the vet and tell them that Sampson's ears were bothering him.  Sampson went into the vet Wednesday of last week.  He had a yeast infection.  Yes, you heard me correctly, a yeast infection in his ears.  Don't ask me how this happens to dogs, it just does.

They had to sedate him and give him medication etc.  Spencer brought home a nearly drunk dog.  Poor thing couldn't even stand up without leaning on a wall.  I'm serious.  Look at this picture of him!  He couldn't even close his mouth!  Precious dog.
Today is Friday.  Today I went out to run errands and came home to discover that same precious dog and thrown up on the carpet.  I wasn't happy.  Then he went outside and threw up 2 more times.  He had thrown up 3 times in 2 hours.  So, being the overprotective "mother" I am, I called his vet.  They said to bring him in.  I did.

2 shots, 2 prescriptions, and $68.00 later and this precious thing is back home with me again.  Sleeping on the floor.

I told that dog that after last week and this week, he's going to have to get a job to pay for his medical bills.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pumpkins and Apples

My friend Jenny wrote on her FB the other day how much she was looking forward to fall.  I am too and have totally been feeling the same way.  This Colorado girl wasn't cut out for such high humidity partnered with such high temperatures!

I can feel them coming though, the days of fall.  Summer is winding down and soon we'll be in the heart of the best weather, smells, and colors.

I spent all of yesterday writing the curriculum for our preschool fall programming.  Talk about leaving your desk feeling accomplished and yet totally exhausted!  I'm there...  Doing these things helps me to know that fall is indeed on it's way.

I've been making muffins for breakfast in the morning.  Nothing like a convenient breakfast I can eat in the car.  I used to be better about getting up and eating cereal or toast or something.  Summer has gotten the better of me.  I'm doing all I can to actually be out of bed by 7:30 in the morning.  Anyway... I decided to make my FAVORITE homemade muffins, Pumpkin Apple muffins with streusel topping.  These are SO good.  Bakery worthy even.  The two I had for breakfast have left me wanting more all day.  Here's the thing about pumpkin in the summer.  Apparently stores are under the assumption that pumpkin can only be purchased and used in the fall and winter.  I went to Walmart and got everything I needed for my scrumptious muffins, but they didn't have any canned pumpkin.  So I ran across the street to Target.  No pumpkin there.  You know I was determined because I drove to Hy-Vee looking for it.  FINALLY!  It was even on sale for $0.89 a can.  Yay Hy-Vee.

Also, speaking of apples.  My fam is coming to our house for Thanksgiving this year.  I'm totally excited.  This will be my first time to host a holiday.  Here's the deal though.  I can't make pie.  Well I mean I can if I buy the crust frozen.  I've determined to start making apple pies until I get it right.  Any guinea pigs?  My grandma showed me ONE time how to make a good pie crust.  Evidently I'm not a fast learner.  How can I host Thanksgiving and not be able to make a good pie?  I've gotta get this figured out.  Any pie makers out there with great pie crust suggestions?

So Jenny, I agree with you... it's about time fall arrived.  Until then, I'll keep eating my muffins and practicing my pies!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Travel Aspirations

Spencer and I are taking a weekend (when I say that I mean Friday night and Saturday) "away" to Kansas City next weekend.  We're excited to have time away together.  We're also excited to have time away from home.  As much as I love being home and making my home what I want it to be, I also love traveling to new places.

I grew up taking family vacation every year.  Some years it was some place far away (California) other years it was ... Iowa.  It didn't matter where we went we always had a great time.  Spencer grew up going on vacation like three times.  Twice was with his family to Montana and once was with family friends to Hawaii.

We have these huge travel ambitions.  We want to go places and see things.  I've been more places than he has and want to show him where I've been.  He's been to Hawaii and wants go there with me.  I doubt we'll ever get to do all the things we want to, but I'd like to visit several places in the next few years.

Some of the places we really want to go are:

-NYC at Christmas time (to do all the things you see in the movies "Rockefeller Center", Macy's, etc
-Chicago (I've been and LOVED it, Spencer's never been)
-Washington State/Oregon (coastline)
- Myrtle Beach (Neither of us have been)
- a cruise (to anywhere tropical)

Hopefully we'll find the time/$ to go soon.  Until then, we'll just keep planning these ultimate "dream" vacations from home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Recipe Showdown

So I've been working some interesting hours this summer at the church.  We have had 4 different summer camps (all at night and last between 4 and 5 days).  These camps are every other week 7 weeks in a row!  I've been pooped!

There are two things that have always been great stress-relievers for me: playing piano and baking. When some people encounter stress they freak out, break out in hives, become irritable, or shut down.  I bake. So, I got this new "Best of desserts" magazine.  It's full of cakes, cheesecakes, pies, crumbles/cobblers, cookies/bars, and ice creams.  Yum!  So I've begun baking my way through my new magazine.

The first recipe I tried were brownie crackles.  DELICIOUS!  These are soft chewy chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, rolled in powdered sugar!  Sugar overload?  Yes!  Delicious?  Yes!  These are really easy to make but a bit time consuming (the rolling them in powdered sugar part is).  So make sure you have some time to make these:
1 package fudge brownie mix (13x9 in pan size)
1 c. flour
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, beat the brownie mix, flour, egg, water, and oil until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Place confectioners' sugar in a shallow dish.  Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls into sugar; roll to coat.  Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until set.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
*These smelled so fantastic we couldn't even wait for the to cool and ate them hot while still gooey in the center!

Next, I tried making Marble Brownies.  These were super easy homemade cheesecake brownies.  The cheesecake toping was good but the brownies were a bit dry.  I was supposed to make them in the microwave but that made me nervous so I baked them, which might be why they were dry.  Next time, I'll try them the way the directions say.
5 T butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate.  Cover and microwave on high for 30-60 seconds; stir until smooth.  Beat in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Combine the flour and baking powder; gradually add to the chocolate mixture until blended.  Spread into a greased microwave-safe 8 in square dish; set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Beat in the sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.  Spoon over the brownie batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Cook, uncovered, at 70% power for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cook on high for 1 minute longer.  Remove brownies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in the refrigerator.

Finally, I made a recipe I won't share with you.... it was that bad!  I don't know how it made it into the magazine: Potato chip Cookies.  I liked the concept- salt and sweet (butterscotch chips).  I figured the crunch of the potato chips would be awesome with the butterscotch.  I baked the first batch for the suggested amount of time.  They were MIGHTY crunchy this way.  So then I baked them until they were done they way I like.  These spread out a LOT on the cookie sheet and didn't have much "girth" to them.  I don't like a thin flimsy cookie and that's what these were.  Spencer and I each ate one, gave one to the dog, and threw the rest out.

Oh well, these cooking messes and successes somehow revitalize me and renew me for more 12 hour days in the office.  Thank goodness for baking!