Sunday, September 23, 2012

around here as of late

Sorry for the extended absence.  We've been busy cooking, puppying (yes, I've decided that's a word), and homemaking.

Flowers from Costco in an improvised vase with our little bird salt & pepper shakers from Camden.  I've been trying to remember to drink more water.  Adding a lemon wedge makes it feel like a treat.  And Farmers' Market peppers stuffed with rice, beans, and tomatoes from our garden.

Rick Bayless's Pork Tinga.  Dan's sister made this and I loved it so much that I had to do it myself.   Her recipe involved a slow cooker.  The one I made didn't.  I kept wondering when the slow cooker step would enter into the recipe.  I guess that's why they always say you should read the entire recipe before you start the meal.  Whoops.  I'm just looking at it as an excuse to have to try the other version.

A fall inspired meal with roasted apples, sausages, Farmers' Market kale sauteed with just a bit of maple syrup to sweeten it up, and a roasted mushroom risotto. Oh, and Oliver looking like he owns the place. Which he essentially does...

Oliver is just as big as Dan's parents' full-grown dog, Joey.  Except Oliver is only 4 months old in this picture. Uh oh.  Breakfast on the picnic table.

Another breakfast shot - this time with cinnamon apple - walnut pancakes and a pretty little seagull creamer that used to belong to my grandmother.  A pretty bud vase in the kitchen window.  And more flowers on my bedside table.  I love when Dan brings me flowers.  I try to divide up the bouquets to spread the love throughout the house.

A quasi-finished bookcase! Now I just have the fun task of filling it up.  I am trying out a few different things I have lying around the house to see what works.

More pancakes. I don't really like maple syrup, so instead I slather mine in butter.  I know I shouldn't do this, but you only live once, right? And it's oh, so delicious. Also, a more detailed look at the shelves so far: a ball of twine and scissors from an area antique store, Swedish Dala horses, including an antique one.  My favorite Fenton hobnail milk glass planter (I have 3, but can only find 1 at the moment...hmmm.)  An old tin.  And a very special prince of a frog found a home atop some Sotheby's catalogues.
A silver tray collects bathroom essentials.  And the divided bouquet finds two more homes.  I love the cat-nine tails; they remind me of traipsing around the pond behind my house when I was little.  I have a fondness for paint-by-numbers.  Somehow they all seem to have a red in them that works nicely with our bright-red hallway walls.

Finally, Oliver keeps me company while I write this post.  He has since fallen asleep and is snoring a little bit, which I find adorable. In the picture, he's chewing on his current favorite toy (and actually the only one he hasn't been able to rip a hole in yet): a corduroy mallard duck from LL Bean.

P.S. Please excuse the fragments.  I guess I wasn't feeling that whole sentence thing today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

puppy love: ollie and aly

The only toy that Oliver loves more than a cardboard box is his Aly.  The very first plush toy we got for him, Aly is an alligator.  We named her Aly after our friend from Vail, who is also Ollie's dog god-mother.

Oliver goes nuts over his Aly.  It's crazy to me how he really does seem to prefer this toy over all others.  He runs around with it, sleeps with it, and often lugs it through the house with him wherever he goes.  
Sometimes I will run his Aly through the laundry because she gets kind of gross from all the chewing.  Once, Oliver was in the laundry room with me when I was taking the clothes out of the dryer.  He barged his way in and grabbed Aly out of the mess of clothes and then ran off with her, tail wagging.

Even when he sleeps, Oliver is not generally too far from his Aly. Unfortunately, he has finally ripped a hole in her and has begun to take the stuffing out.  I'm not sure if I should attempt to sew up the hole, buy a new Aly, or just let her go altogether, but I feel kind of bad taking Oliver's "first love" away.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

puppy love: oliver antics

Sometimes we'll give Oliver cardboard boxes as toys.  Just like with kids - cardboard boxes almost always seem to be a bigger hit than the toys you actually spent money on. I came around the corner one morning to find this cardboard box particularly destroyed. So far, Oliver doesn't eat the remnants, he just chews on them until they're disgustingly slimy and leaves them to stick on the floor.  It's really fun to clean up.  But hey, whatever keeps him entertained, right?

Oliver also likes to get his tummy rubbed.  A lot. Could be #2 on his list of all-time favorite things to do.  Eating is #1.  Without fail if you start to pet him, he will roll onto his back and just wait for the tummy rubbing to begin.  I like that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

puppy love: oliver on the bed

Alright. I know, I know. Puppies aren't supposed to go on the bed.  What you let them do now, they'll continue to do when they're fully grown.  (And judging by those paws, this is going to be a BIG fully grown!)  But I think I'm okay with that! I love when Oliver gets on the bed (we have to lift him up, since he can't jump that high yet). He has only spent a full night on the bed with us once.  Generally speaking he gets pretty antsy up there and can't stay still for an extended period of time.  Come to think of it, I don't think he can ever stay still for an extended period of time.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

puppy love: a day in the life of oliver

Oliver's favorite thing to do is wake up early (much to his owners' chagrin).  He's a "morning dog" and a firm believer in the motto that the early bird catches the worm, er make that the cicada, bunny rabbit, and/or squirrel.  After breakfast and a walk, Oliver hangs out in the kitchen while we do other things around the house/get ready for the day. When we come back, it's often to a scene like this:
Who? Me?
We have since reclaimed our coffee table for its original purpose and purchased a baby gate that prevents Oliver from destroying the entire house.

Hmm... I wonder how that blind got so twisted? Those dirty paw prints on the wall certainly aren't any clue.  Nor is the puppy frozen in action - obviously he wasn't doing anything wrong :) (Please excuse the poor quality of this photo!)

If it's not too hot outside, Oliver sometimes gets to hang out on the screened-in front porch.  When this happens, he loves to peer over the banister at his best friend Tana's house in hopes that she might be in her front yard.  His other favorite porch pastimes include chewing things he's not supposed to, trying to dig up the carpet, running around in circles, and generally being so cute that you can't get mad at him.

Finally! Freedom! As soon as that porch door opens, he's off! Luckily, there's no need to worry as we know he's headed directly to Tana's front porch, where he will wait in front of her door until a human is around to let him in. 

The long play session with Tana combined with the morning walk makes for one tired puppy.  Oliver comes home from Tana's and fights sleep for as long as possible until he passes out on the beautiful brick linoleum floor (you know you're jealous).  Just in case you're wondering, he does have a dog bed and a blanket he could sleep on, but sometimes exhausted puppies like the hard floor just the same.

By the way, if this is a typical weekend day, you've just seen Oliver's life from 5:30 am to 10 am. We're not even to lunchtime yet!