Saturday, July 16, 2011


We've been on a bit of a fostering hiatus lately since we've been really busy and adjusting to new work schedules (despite the economy both the hubs and I have managed to to transition to new jobs in the last several months without any down time).  Anyway, I couldn't say no anymore when I got an email, sent specifically to me that said


So even though we're still crazy busy (even busier, actually, we just started doing a boot camp class this week), we decided that we've got things under control enough to take Kansas in (my conscience wouldn't let me do anything else).

Sunday afternoon the one year old Aussie named Kansas made the trip from Pittsfield, IL up to Chicagoland along with a Dalmatian and Chocolate Lab.  And on Monday instead of being put down he got put under to get neutered and got to wake up afterward and come home with me.  He already got a bath and once I finish brushing the burrs out of his fur he'll be good as new!

Kansas has been great so far.  He is super, super sweet and gentle.  He's been great with Lenny and Waldo - Waldo actually isn't afraid of Kansas and will come into the same room as him to hang out instead of just watching everything from the top of the stairs.

Kansas showing off how good he is with the cats

Kansas is already house trained; he's not quite crate trained yet, but every time he's crated he cries and barks for shorter periods of time before calming down and taking a nap.  Right now he sticks to my leg like glue when we go out in the yard or for a walk, but I think as he gets more comfortable he'll become more confident and start exploring on his own a bit more.  I'm really excited to watch his personality really start to come out.

Kansas and Dash hanging out together

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, White and Blueberry Muffins

Happy 4th of July! 

This morning I found myself face to face with a mostly full carton of blueberries in my fridge.  Now, I like blueberries as much as the next guy, but the hubs and I aren't such blueberry fanatics that we could eat 2+ cups of them on our own before they go bad.  Dash woke us up extra early this morning, so I decided to take advantage of the morning and bake some blueberry muffins.

I got this recipe from my mom and modified it a little; this recipe also works for chocolate chip muffins or pretty much whatever else you feel like tossing in there.  You can increase the amount of whole wheat flour or eliminate it all together depending on what you're in the mood for - the proportion doesn't really matter as long as you end up with 2 cups of some kind of flour total.  This makes about a dozen muffins, but I doubled it so I could use all of my blueberries.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder

1 egg
1/3 cup oil (I used olive oil - melted butter would also work instead of oil)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400F.  Blend the wet ingredients together.  Blend the dry ingredients together and then combine with the wet ingredients.  After rinsing the blueberries, sprinkle about a teaspoon of flour on them to coat - this will help the blueberries stay suspended in the batter so they won't all just sink to the bottom.  Mix the blueberries into the batter.

Grease a muffin pan and add the batter (I put about 1/3 cup into each muffin).

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Allow muffins to cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack.

Try not to burn your mouth with the molten blueberries as you shove the muffins into your mouth!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weave! Weave! Weave!

Eeps, it's been a while since my last post!  Going to try and post more regularly!

About a month ago we wrapped up an agility class for Dash.  It was so fun and Dash was a total rockstar!  It's definitely something we want to try and continue to do with him.  Dash is a smarty pants with lots of energy whose main goal in life is to be with his people and make them happy, so it's a perfect fit.  Check out some videos from the last day of class!

Awesome, right?!  And pretty much all of the mistakes that he made were really my fault.  Turns out there's almost as much to learn as a handler as the dog does for agility.  You have to know what path to take, how to direct your dog, what to say and all that jazz.  Good times were had by all.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Foster Wall of Fame

This is a collection of pictures featuring some of our fosters from the last 3 years.

Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty proud of the fact that we don't even have room to showcase all of our foster dogs, even with 20 frames.

This project was really inexpensive and easy to do.  I bought all of these picture frames at the dollar store, Ikea and Hobby Lobby and didn't pay more than $3 for any of them - most were only $1.  I got no more than two of any one frame and didn't really pay attention to the color of the frames because a can of spray paint solved that problem.

To get all of the frames to hang neatly on the wall and avoid putting a thousand holes in the wall, I carefully laid out a pattern.  I traced each picture frame on a piece of paper, marked where a nail would go to hang the frame and labelled it so I would know which was which.

Using painter's tape to hold them in place, I took all of the paper cut out frames and laid them out on my dining room table, rearranging until I came up with a pattern I liked.  I measured the size of the rectangle the frames created all together.

Using a level, yard stick and more painters tape I marked the edges of the large rectangle on the wall.  Then I moved all of the cut outs from my dining room table to the wall.  I put the nails where I had marked on the cut outs and then put the frames up - this is easiest if you put in all the nails through the cut outs and then remove/replace the cut outs/frames one by one so you don't get confused about what goes where.  I think I only ended up having to fix one or two of the placements when it was all said and done - not bad if you ask me!  I put all of the extra pictures I had printed in a photo album to keep on the entryway table (which you can sort of see in this less than stellar photograph).

I like seeing all the fun pictures and adorable faces.  And I think it looks great on the wall and is a nice conversation piece, too.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hippity Hop

Happy Zombie Jesus Day, everyone!

Dash is rocking his bunny ears but stole and ate his adorable bunny cookie before I could get a picture.  Oh well.  Here's to another great day to get delicious, seasonal candy on sale and eat ourselves sick.  Happy holidays!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Keep an Eye on Your Olive Oyl

Because Bluto is swinging by!  Almost four weeks ago I picked him up after work.  Bluto is an Australian Shepherd and I would guess about a year old.  Even though he had just been neutered when I got him he was go-go-go!  I knew he and Dash would be buds and we'd probably have to stop them from wrestling since Bluto was supposed to stay quiet for a week or two to recover from surgery (yeah, right!).

Bluto is a confident dog; not fearful at all.  But he was really stressed the first few days with us.  And I can't really blame him.  On Sunday he made the trek from Pittsfield, IL to the suburbs of Chicago.  On Monday morning he was neutered and got a few remaining vaccines and in the evening I picked him up and brought him home.  It's a lot to take in!  So even though Bluto was wanting to play with Dash and exploring the house he would.not.stop.panting.  At all.  Or sit still.  For four days.  The e-collar he was wearing was just soaking wet with drool from all the panting, so we were constantly refilling the water bowl so he wouldn't get dehydrated.

Aside from the frantic panting I could really see Bluto's potential.  He was very smart and generally well mannered (except for the thrashing when you'd try to crate or leash him - ha!), not to mention gorgeous!  By Thursday Bluto started to relax a little bit and he was doing great by Saturday.  Which worked out well for him, because he got adopted that day, just a week after arriving to us.  It also kept us out of trouble, because I think if we had Bluto for too long we would have a really hard time letting him go.  I mean come on, then we'd have matching orange/grey sets of both our cats and dogs!  That would also make fostering trickier though, so it really was for the best.

Bluto, now named Harley, has a shepherd mix doggie sister and a teenage human sister, both of whom he's going to have lots of fun playing with!

Side note: Okay, so Bluto is the name of Popeye's nemesis.  Basically Bluto has a crush on Olive Oyl, Popeye's girlfriend, and keeps trying to kidnap her.  Um, what?!  That's practically cartoon date rape!  Anyway, I was kind of surprised by it because I never noticed when I watched Popeye as a kid.  So weird!

Friday, March 18, 2011